Experiences 22 September 2022

Things to do this October Half Term

Whether you are looking for cozy crafts, spooky heritage activities or outdoor adventures, there is plenty to explore this October Half Term on the Islands of Guernsey. 

Whilst the weather may be getting chillier, October is an excellent time to visit our Islands. Wrap up for scenic family walks, get involved in local Halloween celebrations and enjoy our family-friendly food festival - Tennerfest.

Autumn Celebrations and Spooky Days out

Here on the Islands of Guernsey, we have lots of seasonal celebrations for everyone to get involved in. Below are some of the events going on this October.

1st October - 31st October: Le Hechet Farm Pumpkins

A celebration of all things Autumnal, Le Hechet Farm offers homegrown pumpkins, opportunities to meet their farm animals and enjoy one of their classic ice creams produced on site - it's an excellent family day out.

​​22nd October: Souper Spooky Saturday at the Victorian Walled Garden

Visit the team at the Victorian Walled Garden at Saumarez Park to celebrate the produce of Autumn and enjoy some spooky family activities. Saumarez Park is also home to a tea room very popular with locals, as well as an adventure play park and plenty of open space to burn off some energy. 

22nd - 23rd October: Autumn on the Farm

Explore Heritage Farm and connect with Guernsey's agricultural history. Meet friendly farm animals, discover their tractors and pick up some treats from the stalls. There will also be games and activities for all ages. 

22nd October: Castel Farmer's Market

From 9.00 - 12.30 head to the Friquet Garden Centre and support local produce from the parish of Castel. Stalls will have fresh vegetables meat, fish, baked goods and cheeses to enjoy. 

29th October: The Little Bunker of Horrors and Mystery

This year from 11.30am-1.30pm explore 'The Bunker of Little Horrors and Mystery Mage'. Trick or treat your way around the bunker and see who you meet. With magicians, refreshments and entertainment all designed for under 12's, it is a great way to get in the Halloween mood. 

29th - 30th October: The Haunted Castle 

Explore Castle Cornet at Halloween with a weekend of ghostly activities, crafts and storytelling. With a family fancy dress costume and free entry to the best dressed if you can impress the 'gatekeeper', these fun activities are perfect to get you into the spooky spirit.

Outdoor Adventures

The weather may be getting colder, but it is still important to get outside and experience the crisp fresh air. Wrap up warm and explore one of the many outdoor activities on offer this half term. 

Guernsey Surf School

Head to Vazon Beach and learn to surf under the tutelage of their experts. Whether you are joining a group ABC's course, refining your skills with a one-to-one lesson, or getting involved with a Surf Camp, children and families can enjoy building skills and spending time together in the sea. 

Outdoor Guernsey Adventure Days 24th - 29th October:

Join the Outdoor Guernsey team for a day, or the whole week, and try your hand at every activity from coasteering, paddleboarding and high ropes to boogie boarding, beach games and archery. Suitable for children ages 8-14, build confidence and make friends with a great day of adventures. 

Oatlands Village

Oatlands Village is one of the island’s leading visitor attractions. It brings together many local crafts, gift shops, eateries and attractions for all the family. In the village you will find Oaty and Joey’s, Rebecca’s Chocolate for homemade chocolate, a variety of shops, a mini golf course, go-karts, trampolines and The Kiln Cafe and Restaurant. There is something for everyone of any age to enjoy, and adults can sit back and relax knowing that their children are safe.

 

Karting Guernsey

Experience the thrill of karting. The only circuit of its kind on Guernsey caters for all visitors, regardless of age and experience. There are junior karts for ages 8 to 14 years, and adult karts for ages 14 and up, as well as a brand new Kid Racer track for children aged 3 - 7 years. All gear and safety equipment is provided, and there is a racing shop on the premises. Booking is recommended to avoid disappointment. 

Pirate Bay Adventure Golf

The Golf Club at St Pierre Park boasts one of the top family attractions on the island. Perfect for a family day out, tackle this challenging course and find the treasure. Designed by City Golf, one of the UK’s most prominent adventure golf designers, experience adventure golf never seen before on Guernsey. 

Sausmarez Manor

Sausmarez Manor, the Islands only Stately Home, contains architecture, artefacts and art relating to members of the family, who are still there after over 800 years. Also on site are an unusual RHS Partner Garden, a Coppersmith, a celebrated Sculpture Park, a Tearoom and a relaxed 9 hole Pitch & Putt with free equipment hire. There are spooky evening ghost tours conducted by the Seigneur, or for those not wanting to hear stories about the most haunted house on the Island, there are Historic House Tours and Guernsey Potato Peel Pie Tours, named after the book. For children, there is a miniature train that takes you through part of the Wooded Garden populated by Toy Animals for just under a 1/4 mile.

Hauteville Gardens

After walking around the magnificent Hauteville House, you will be able to take in the tranquil settings of Hauteville Gardens. They include a kitchen garden, fruit trees, and Hugo's United States of Europe Oak tree, which Victor Hugo himself planted whilst living on the Island.

Explore Nature

There are many outdoor activities to take part in, but Guernsey also has an expanse of nature to be explored. From cliff paths to woods, and parks to beaches, Guernsey’s nature is unique to the Island, and unlike anything you will find elsewhere. 

Try a Self-Guided Walking Tour

Autumn is an excellent time to explore the coastal and country paths of the Islands. Using the Visit Guernsey App you can try self-guided tours. Each walk shows a route, time and expected difficulty, and shares interesting details about the history and landscape as you explore. Many routes are available to choose from, with varying intensity to suit your family's pace, both around the cliffs and more gentle strolls by the beach. 

Saumarez Park 

Saumarez Park is the largest public park in Guernsey and is very popular with families, with many facilities for young and old, including The National Trust of Guernsey's Folk and Costume Museum, a cafe serving snacks, hot meals and drinks, a playground for children of all ages, large open grass lawns, and a duck pond with a Japanese Pavilion overlooking it.

Delancey Park 

Delancey Park offers wide open grassy spaces with spectacular views of Herm and Sark for you to enjoy whilst you let your children play in the modern playground. Other features include an array of ramps for skateboards and BMXs, as well as an outdoor exercise area.

Le Guet 

Le Guet woodlands offer spectacular views across Cobo Bay, and provide an expanse of open space that is sheltered by trees. There are trees to climb, rope swings, hidden dens and seasonal berries to pick. And, up a slightly steeper path, is the Napoleonic watch-house, built in 1780, which gives incredible views over the coast. 

Bluebell Woods

At the southern end of St Peter Port, you will find Bluebell Woods. A wonderful place to walk at any time of year, with trails leading onto the cliff paths and wonderful views from the south-east of the island.

Saint Saviours Reservoir

The reservoir is situated in Guernsey’s countryside and is an important area due to the freshwater and woodland habitats it provides for local wildlife. As well as the picturesque scenery, you will also find the Millennium Walk, a peaceful path around the reservoir that takes approximately an hour to complete.

Table des Pions - The Fairy ring

Found at the South-Western point of the Island at Pleinmont Headland, local folklore tells tales of fairies gathering here, hence locals referring to the site as ‘The Fairy Ring’. It is accessed by walking from Portelet Harbour, and if you walk around it three times and make a wish, it will come true.

Indoor Activities

Now that the weather is getting colder, there is a need to take shelter inside. The Islands of Guernsey have an array of indoor activities for you to take part in this half term. Whether you're after something creative, something educational or something adventurous to let off steam, there truly is something for everyone, at any age, to enjoy. 

Candle Making with Guernsey candles 

Explore the workshop of this local family business, witness the candle-making process and have a go at making your own unique candle to take home with you. Their on-site shop is filled with great artistic pieces, homeware and gifts - perfect for some early festive shopping.

Library Activities at Guille-Allès Library

Every half-term the Guille-Alles Public Library in Guernsey organises events for children of all ages. From story-time and spooky tours of St Peter Port, to writing workshops and creative afternoons, they are perfect for a peaceful moment. Final details of the events are incoming.

Pottery Painting at Iris and Dora

Iris and Dora is one of the leading craft and art venues on Guernsey, offering pottery throwing lessons, craft sessions and pottery painting. All ages and abilities are welcome in the studio. They have intricate pottery or plain mugs for you to create your own design for adults and older children, and for kids, they have special mini figures and quick-dry paint, so they don’t have to wait for their creation to go in the kiln.

Explore Oaty and Joey’s Playbarn

Oaty & Joey’s Playbarn, located at Oatland's Village, is every child’s favourite day out. Inside, you will find one of the largest play frames in Britain, with a number of slides, including our giant 6.3m astra slide, climbing ropes, pipes, ball pits and a whole host of obstacles. The Playbarn also includes Highway 66 Bowling Alley, party rooms, large trampolines, e-cars, pool and air hockey tables and against the clock basketball. If you’re feeling creative, you can make your own bear or paint some pottery. 

Being indoors, Oaty & Joey’s Playbarn is a great retreat on rainy or cold days. They also provide refreshments and snacks in their cafe, so you can sit back and relax knowing the kids are safe and entertained.

Adventures at Beau Sejour Leisure Centre

Beau Sejour Leisure Centre is Guernsey’s only community leisure centre, with plenty of facilities to cater to all of your needs. Outside, there is Cambridge Park, a recreational park that offers wide open spaces for members of the public to enjoy. From the park you can access Beau Sejour’s outdoor playgrounds, suitable for all ages, and a state-of-the-art skate park. There are also tennis and netball courts available for booking. 

Inside, there is  a great selection of sports facilities, such as 5-a-side football, badminton, volleyball, basketball and squash courts. There is a 25m, 6-lane indoor pool and a separate 10m children's pool. For young children, there is an indoor soft play area, so you can enjoy any of these amenities, or simply sit in the cafe, knowing that they are safe and having fun. 

Films at the Mallard cinema

The Mallard Cinema is situated at the Mallard Complex, and features 4 screens. There is a large pick 'n' Mix sweet selection, freshly popped American style popcorn, slush puppies and candy bars for everyone to enjoy as they sit back and watch a film. There is always a selection of films to choose from, with at least two or three being suitable for the entire family. Ideal for a rainy afternoon, this year look out for the new family animated film Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile, which will be showing over half-term.

Tours of Victor Hugo’s House

At 38 Hauteville you will find the recently refurbished Hauteville House, the house that Victor Hugo called home during his fourteen years on the Island whilst he was in exile from his native France. Hour long guided tours are bookable for you to take a walk around the rooms that were meticulously decorated by Hugo himself. At the very top of the house is the glazed lookout where Victor Hugo stood at a podium and wrote some of his masterpieces, looking out over Sark, Herm and Little Russel.

Escape with Adventurerooms Guernsey

Adventurerooms Guernsey provide a fun, unique and engaging live escape challenge for teams of 4 to 7 people. The object of the game is to work together as a team to solve puzzles and escape within 60 minutes. Please note that this is only suitable for those aged 11 and over. After you've escaped, enjoy a meal at Buho, Guernsey's authentic Mexican restaurant. 

Climbing Adventures 

Guernsey's indoor climbing centre Up Climbing Guernsey offers a range of sessions for beginners and those looking to advance their skills. During the holidays they offer Climbing and Activity sessions, pairing time on the walls with crafts, lego and painting.

Explore Forts, Castles and Museums around the Islands

Around the Islands of Guernsey, you can take a walk through history, with castles, fortifications and bunkers from across the centuries. There are many museums to explore, allowing you and your children to learn about the rich history of the Island. Many spots can be explored for free, with others such as Fort Grey and Castle Cornet charging a small fee for those over age 7 to support their on-site museums and ongoing research.

Castle Cornet

Castle Cornet is an 800-year-old castle standing at the mouth of St Peter Port harbour. The castle offers a fascinating insight into hundreds of years of Island history in the four museums housed within the grounds. These comprise of: the Story of Castle Cornet, 201 Squadron (RAF) Museum, Royal Guernsey Light Infantry Museum and the Royal Guernsey Militia Museum. There is plenty to do outside, including four historic gardens. Guided tours are free at 10:30m and at midday the Noonday Gun is fired. There are self-guided trails for children to enjoy along with a dressing up area. The café offers light meals and snacks with views back towards St Peter Port and out across our sister islands. Finish your visit in the gift shop where you can buy quality books and original souvenirs. The castle is much bigger than it first appears, so allow at least three hours to fully explore all it has to offer. 

Guernsey Museum and Art Gallery at Candie Gardens 

Once part of a private estate, the award-winning, restored Victorian Candie Gardens offer spectacular views across St Peter Port harbour and our sister Islands, along with a rare example of a late 19th century public flower garden. They are home to the oldest known heated glass-houses in the British Isles, which date back to the late eighteenth century. In the gardens, aside from the beautiful flowers, you will find a museum, art gallery, and a cafe housed in a Victorian bandstand.

Guernsey Museum houses permanent exhibitions showing the Archaeology of Guernsey, Treasures from around the world, the Folklore of Guernsey and the Rona Cole Gallery, showing 200 works of art displayed ingeniously, using pull-out drawers to make the best use of a small space. In addition, the museum has a rolling programme of temporary exhibitions and the public art space run by Guernsey Arts shows a rolling programme of local art displays. There is also the Discovery Room for families with a Cabinet of Curiosities, old-fashioned games to play and the very popular Timewarp that changes theme each year.

Café Victoria in Candie Gardens offers a relaxing atmosphere and great food and is accessible from the Guernsey Museum and Art Gallery through the gift shop, which sells quality books and original souvenirs. 

Fort Grey

Known locally as the "Cup and Saucer", Fort Grey is a Martello Tower built in 1804 to defend Guernsey's west coast. Many vessels came to grief on this beautiful but treacherous coast, and this Martello Tower now houses the Shipwreck Museum, with a variety of objects recovered from the wrecks telling the stories surrounding the disasters, dating from the HMS Sprightly in 1777 to the Vermontborg in 2003.

The National Trust of Guernsey’s Folk and Costume Museum

Found at Saumarez Park, step back in time and enjoy the fascinating and unique historic collections housed within a cluster of meticulously renovated traditional buildings. The museum gives visitors the opportunity to learn about the history of Guernsey’s people over the past 250 years, with displays that tell the story of daily life for those at home, school and work. Selections from any of the 8,000 pieces in the nationally acclaimed costume collection are on display throughout every season.

The Little Chapel

The Little Chapel was a work of art built by Brother Déodat, who started work in March 1914. It is a  beautiful building measuring just 19ft by 9ft, intricately decorated with seashells, pebbles and broken china. There is no charge to enter the Chapel as it relies totally on public donations. 

German Occupation Museum

Located within walking distance of the island's airport, the German Occupation Museum provides a unique insight into life in Guernsey during the occupation. The museum is complete with an authentic recreation of an occupation-era street, exhibitions on maritime history, and Second World War fortifications.

Underground Hospital 

The German Underground Hospital and Ammunition Store is the largest structural reminder of the German Occupation existing in the Channel Islands. This maze of tunnels covers an area of about 6,950 square metres (75,000 square feet) and is almost invisible from the surface, except for the entrances.

La Vallette Underground Military Museum

This museum covers Guernsey's military history, including World War One, the German Occupation of the Island during World War two and the island's own militia’s history. Set in a complex of tunnels that were built by German forces as a fuel storage facility, the museum is near La Vallette Bathing Pools and features various military and occupation memorabilia. 

The Guernsey Tapestry Gallery

The Guernsey Tapestry Gallery is an independent museum that houses The Bailiwick of Guernsey Millennium Tapestry. It illustrates 1000 years of local history in ten panels of embroidered canvas work, each panel covering one century. The panels were stitched by the residents of the Bailiwick, with each one bearing the crest of the parish that stitched it. The story in each panel is brought to life by an audio guide which is available in English, French, German and Dutch.

Restaurants 

Finding somewhere to eat that caters to all tastes, for both adults and children, can be difficult. The Islands of Guernsey have an array of restaurants that not only cater to children and adults alike, but also have safe indoor and outdoor playgrounds that can keep your children entertained for hours. 

Dine Out at the Tennerfest

The Tennerfest is the Island's annual food celebration, with restaurants offering set-menus at low costs. The festival has prices from 3 courses for £10 up to £20, depending on the restaurant, letting you explore more of Guernsey's gastronomy for less. 

Nineteen Bar & Grill

Nineteen Bar and Grill is located at The Golf Club, St Pierre Park, just outside of town, and boasts some of the most beautiful parkland views on the island. Their menu is expansive and caters for all, and with plenty of room inside, and a driving range and mini golf as entertainment, it's a great place for the whole family to have fun. 

Crabby Jacks 

Crabby Jack’s is the go-to venue for families in Guernsey who are looking for a place where the kids can let off some steam and the adults can sit back and relax. Situated on Guernsey’s west coast, alongside Vazon Bay, this is the perfect place for families to come together. Their menu is expansive, and with a large fenced-off playground just outside, you know the kids will have hours of entertainment.

The Longfrie Inn

The Longfrie Inn is located in St Pierre du Bois, with a restaurant and bar well known locally for its expansive menu of home cooked food and real ales. Relax in the gardens or the indoor dining space and let your children have fun in the soft play area. 

Afternoon Tea at the Old Government House Hotel

Guernsey's five star hotel is a great place to cosy up when it gets breezy out, and with its location in town, it is very convenient for taking a break from exploring St Peter Port. The team at the OGH are welcoming to children and have a selection of afternoon teas for the whole family to enjoy including Oggie's Afternoon Tea which is ideal for under 12s.

Cafe des Amis or Terrazzo Del Giardino at Le Friquet Garden Centre

With both an indoor and outdoor play area in viewing distance, this is the perfect spot to take the entire family. Situated inside Le Friquet Garden Centre, one of the island’s largest garden centres, stocking the widest array of indoor and outdoor products, you can enjoy a meal in stunning surroundings. Take a walk around the Garden Centre before settling down for a relaxed bite to eat in Cafe des Amis, or a stone baked pizza in Terrazzo Del Giardino, sitting comfortably while the kids are happily entertained. 

Earlswood Garden Centre

Earlswood is one of the biggest, best & most well-stocked Garden Centres in Guernsey. Relax in the peaceful surroundings of Earlswood Garden Cafe, part of a family owned Garden Centre established over 30 years ago. Enjoy a coffee and cake, a snack, or lunch whilst the kids enjoy their wooden climbing frame and playground. 

The Pony Inn

The Pony Inn serves family favourite meals in a relaxed, informal setting, and has a small and safe indoor play area perfect for children.

The Kiln

Found in Oatlands Village, with beautiful gardens, good food and a playground, mini golf course and Oaty and Joey’s just around the corner, The Kiln offers the perfect family day out. With a wide selection of options on the menu, and freshly made cakes and pastries, this hidden gem gives you the opportunity to see a different side of the Island with plenty of family activities.

Find out more about what's on each month on the Islands of Guernsey here.