The Islands of Guernsey are an excellent destination for a family holiday. With activities to keep you busy and peaceful spots to relax at together, there are plenty of ways to spend quality time together as a family.
Spend days on the beach, dive into the sea with water activities, have adventures on land, explore unique historical sites and taste delicious local food.
This guide highlights a range of family-friendly things to do and places to eat and stay on The Islands of Guernsey.
A visit to Guernsey wouldn’t be complete without a trip to one of our beaches. Whether it be for a walk along, a swim in the sea, a day of beach games or simply to sit and soak in the sun, there's something to entertain every member of the family.
Some of our most family-friendly beaches include:
Cobo Bay is possibly Guernsey’s most popular beach for families. The sandy beach is perfect for building sand castles, the sea is clear and great for snorkelling and Mim’s Kiosk, a classic beach kiosk, is found serving delicious food and Guernsey ice creams at the top of the slipway. If you need to get out of the sun for a bit, Cobo Tearooms and Cobo Bay Hotel are both just across the road for drinks and something to eat.
Vazon Bay is another popular beach on Guernsey. The water is great for swimming, Guernsey Surf School is located here for those who love surfing (more on them later) and the sea wall that stretches the length of the beach creates the perfect shelter from the wind. For all of your food and drink needs, Vistas Beach Cafe is at one end of the beach and Richmond Beach Kiosk is at the other, so you’ll be spoilt for choice.
Pembroke and L’Ancresse bays create a long stretch of sand for families to enjoy a day on the beach. Although they can get busy, you’re sure to find space to settle down with your beach gear. There are rocks for rock pooling, the sea is great for swimming and the amount of room available makes this the perfect beach for an active day. The Beach House at Pembroke can be found here for a more substantial meal, or there are two smaller kiosks for drinks and light bites at both ends of the beach at the top of Pembroke and L'Ancresse slipways.
Braye Beach, Alderney
Braye beach is found just a few minutes outside of the main Alderney town. The water is calm, sheltered by the breakwater, so it is safe for the whole family to swim and the soft sand is great for creating masterpieces. The old quay presents the perfect place for jumping into the sea at high tide, if you’re feeling a bit more adventurous. There are also a handful of restaurants along Braye Road, whether you want to take food back onto the beach or get out of the sun for a bit.
Dixcart Bay, Sark
Found just below the cliff paths of Dixcart Lane, Dixcart boasts views of the French coastline and is enjoyed by sea swimmers, kayakers and paddleboarders alike, with equipment available to hire on the beach, so you’re sure to have lots of fun.
Shell Beach, Herm
Shall Beach on Herm stretches for nearly three-quarters of a mile, giving plenty of space for swimming in the shallows adjacent to the shore. Kayaks and stand up paddleboards, supplied by Outdoor Guernsey, can be hired from Shell Beach and there is a well-stocked beach cafe with everything you could need to spend the whole day on the beach. Belvoir Bay is another popular beach for families nearby, found by following the cliff paths to the east coast.
For even more adventure and excitement, explore our hidden beaches and bays. They might be trickier to get to, but that’s all part of the fun.
Here’s a full list of the beaches and bays you can find on our Islands.
One of the most important things about coming on holiday with kids and teenagers is ensuring that there are plenty of activities to keep everyone entertained. We have a huge variety of activities that appeal to all ages. From jumping off rocks and swimming into caves to kayaking, surfing and paddle boarding, our oceans are home to loads of fun adventures. If you prefer to stay on land, there is plenty to keep you occupied, with archery, climbing and more.
Kayaking and Paddleboarding
- Outdoor Guernsey has kayaks and paddleboards available to hire daily at Cobo, Petit Bot and Saints Bay in Guernsey and Shell Beach in Herm. Weather permitting, all you need to do is call up on the day of hire and let them know what you’ll need.
- Go Guernsey Land and Sea provide guided tours via kayaks and paddleboards or, if you’d like to explore on your own, you can hire them. They also provide lessons if you want to learn a new skill as a family.
- Guernsey SUP supplies stand up paddleboards for hire or lessons that cater to all abilities. Guided tours of the Islands of Guernsey by paddleboard are also available.
- The Alderney Wildlife Trust have kayaks, canoes and paddleboards for hire. If you love marine life, you can even hire transparent canoes to get a better look at the abundance of wildlife in our waters.
- Adventure Sark offers kayaking and coasteering trips, taking you on adventures around Sark's caves and cavern systems; an excellent way to see the unique Island from a totally new perspective.
Vazon Bay, Port Soif and Portinfer are our best beaches for surfing and are all found on the West Coast of Guernsey. Guernsey Surf School can be found at Vazon Bay and offers private group or one on one surfing lessons. Or, simply hire the boards and wetsuits and have fun surfing as a family. In the height of the summer through to October, the Surf School runs surf camps where kids and teenagers can spend a week learning how to surf. Depending on your plans, the camps can be booked for either a half-day or a full day.
An adventure that is sure to get the adrenaline pumping, coasteering lets you jump off rocks and cliffs into the sea to swim and explore the rocks, cliffs and caves surrounding the Islands of Guernsey. Go Guernsey, Outdoor Guernsey and Adventure Sark have guided coasteering tours that cater to different abilities and comfort levels and jumping in is never compulsory.
If you want to explore the ocean but don’t want to get in, Island Rib Voyages has a huge range of tours to suit all interests. You can say ‘hi’ to the Puffins and Seals with Wildlife Voyages, delve deep into the Islands past with tower and bunker tours, or explore our Islands from a new perspective with the Hanois Lighthouse adventure tour and so much more.
Activities on Land
Outdoor Guernsey provides a range of fun land activities. Try your hand at climbing to the top of the tower, test how true your aim is with archery or simply hire a bike and explore our country lanes. Cycle tours are also available with a knowledgeable guide taking you around parts of the Island you may not have seen before.
You can also hire a range of bikes suitable for the whole family from Go Guernsey and Adventure Cycles on Guernsey, A to B Cycles, Avenue Cycles and Bam’s Bikes on Sark and form Cycle and Surf on Alderney.
Up Climbing is an indoor climbing centre with a range of different climbing experiences for all ages. They have traverse climbing walls, boulders and auto or manual belay high walls. A 15 - 30 minute level 1 induction is required for anyone aged 18+ on their first time visiting to ensure safety while climbing. Children are encouraged to participate in the induction, but it is not required. After this, you are free to climb.
Karting Guernsey will let everyone show their competitive side as you race around our go-kart track. They have karts for adults, junior karts and even kid racer karts for the littlest racers, so every member of the family can get involved.
Guernsey has two mini-golf courses. The 18-hole mini golf course at Oatlands Village is great fun for the whole family and, once you’ve finished your round, you can explore the independent shops or stop off for coffee and cake at The Kiln.
Pirate Bay is, you guessed it, a unique pirate themed 12 hole mini golf course at Nineteen Bar and Grill. You can play a round and then head inside for some food; be sure to have a go at the driving range inside the restaurant while you’re waiting for your meal.
We have a whole host of nature and wildlife native to our Islands. As mentioned earlier, you can see the abundance of marine life we have by taking a Rib Voyage or Kayak/Stand Up Paddleboarding tour, but there is also a variety of wildlife and nature to discover on land. From the humble Guernsey vole and Guernsey cow to the Blonde Hedgehog of Alderney, you’re sure to see something you won't see elsewhere.
You can take your own wildlife walk, or there are a variety of tours available led by Tours of Guernsey or Annette Henry Tours. These walking tours are led by accredited tour guides who have an extensive knowledge of our history and interesting facts surrounding the flora, fauna and animals you will see.
Learn more about our unique wildlife with this blog.
If you’re a family who loves getting out and walking, we have plenty of opportunities for you. Every year we have our Spring and Autumn walking festivals, where accredited guides will take you on walks ranging from half an hour to two hours long. Each tour is in a different location, has a different focus and is categorised by difficulty level, so you can cater your walk to your family’s ability and tastes.
If you’d prefer to go on a family walk without a guide, we have developed a range of different hiking and walking routes. They can be found on our website or, alternatively, you can download the VisitGuernsey App. Each walk is filtered by duration and difficulty and, on the app, there is an interactive map, a step tracker and you will also have points of interest and suggestions for good refreshment stops pointed out to you along the way.
Museums and Historic Sites
We are lucky to have such a rich and fascinating history on our Island, with plenty of museums and historic sites to visit. You could visit Fort Grey and learn about Guernsey’s maritime history or explore the four museums at Castle Cornet to learn about many different aspects of Guernsey’s past. The Guernsey Museum and Art Gallery at Candie Gardens have a rolling programme of exhibits. At the moment, there is a focus on Renoir, with their time warp room being transformed into his paintings. Finally, Hauteville House, previously home to Victor Hugo, one of our most famous past inhabitants, is open seasonally for tours around the house and gardens that were designed and cared for by Hugo himself.
If you find yourself needing to retreat indoors, fear not, there are still plenty of things to do. Get the creative juices flowing at Guernsey Candles or Iris and Dora Studios. Sit back and relax with a film at our local independent cinema, The Mallard. Or, you could get everyone to work together and solve puzzles by visiting our Escape Rooms.
A trip to our Islands is not complete without an Island Hopping adventure to visit the smaller Islands in our archipelago. Spend the day exploring the lanes in Alderney, cycle along the car-free roads of Sark, soak up the sun in Herm, and walk across the cobbled causeway to the smallest Island in our archipelago, Lihou. Each of our Islands has a unique and distinctive feel, and all ages are sure to enjoy exploring everything on offer.
Family Food Guide
We are lucky to have a huge variety of restaurants and bistros on our Islands, many of which have menus that can be catered to children and young teens. Here are just some of our favourites:
For play areas and entertainment
- Crabby Jacks
- Saumarez Park Cafe
- The Longfrie Inn (playground most suitable for under 12s)
- Cafe des Amis or Terrazzo del Giardino at Le Friquet Garden Centre (playground most suitable for under 12s)
- St Pierre Park
For a summer’s day dip ‘n’ dine
- Les Douvres
- Fleur Du Jardin
- The Farmhouse
- Clifftops at Saints Bay
- La Trelade Hotel (a great indoor option)
For crowd-pleasing menus
- Cafe Emilia (lunch only)
- Dix Neuf
- Cobo tearooms (lunch only)
- Hotel Jerbourg Restaurant
Dinner at the beach
Nothing is better after a day spent on the beach than sitting on the sand or sea wall with fish and chips. We have a huge range of fish and chips shops dotted around our Islands, but the ones that are closest to beaches are:
- Cobo Chippy
- L’Islet Fish and Chips
- Beetons Barista and Bites (great for heading into St Peter Port looking over the harbour or seafront)
- Braye Chippy (opposite Braye Beach, Alderney)
Find a full list of restaurants, bistros, cafes and bars here.
A Family Adventure
There are lots of family-friendly accommodation options on The Islands of Guernsey, from boutique hotels to self-catering cottages.
One of the most popular options for families is our camping and glamping sites. There is a great range of places to set up camp across our Islands, whether you’re bringing your own gear, or wanting to hire a tent or hut for the duration of your stay.
- Camps du Reves Glamping
- Fauxquets Valley Campsite
- La Bailloterie Camping
- The Treehouses at Fermain Valley
- Le Vaugrat Campsite
- Camping in Herm - two locations at the Seagull Site and Moss Field
To view a full list of our accommodation options, click here.