One thing you are sure to notice while visiting Guernsey is that reminders of its intriguing past are all around. Our island’s rich and turbulent history is impressively preserved.
As well as historical intrigue, Guernsey also offers unforgettable views and a handy network of lanes and pathways for you to explore, meaning the best way to discover the island’s history is on foot.
Relics of Guernsey’s earliest years can be found in the north of the island. The common at L’Ancresse is home to several sites dating back to the Neolithic period of 4,500 BC to 1,800 BC, including Les Fouaillages burial mound, and La Varde passage grave.
The common is also home to several loophole towers built to deter French invasion during the 18th and 19th centuries, as well as many reinforcements made during the German Occupation during WWII.
Situated in the parish of Vale, the area once formed a separate island known as Braye du Valle, before the channel was filled in to make it easier to defend. The common itself is criss-crossed by paths and also offers fantastic coastal views, making it a perfect place for walkers to explore.
Many of Guernsey’s most popular sandy beaches are situated on the west coast. While that makes it a hotspot for visitors, it also made it a focal point for those trying to defend the island in years gone by. The bays were considered ideal landing points for attacking forces, and as a result, many of these golden stretches of sand are guarded by fortifications.
Nowadays, this combination of fascinating historic sites and beautiful beaches makes for a great day out on foot. Find your perfect balance between exploration and relaxation, and feel free to cool down with a dip in the sea afterwards! The west coast is served by continuous pedestrian paths, allowing you to navigate without any hassle, and also hosts many great eateries along the way.
There’s much more than meets the eye to Guernsey’s charming capital; a pretty harbour town steeped in fascinating history. From bombings and witch trials to legendary writers and famous churches, there is a near-endless amount of historic sites for you to explore during a walk along St Peter Port’s cobbled streets.
Overlooking the town is the imposing structure of Castle Cornet, a fortification with more than 800 years of history, and now home to five museums and four period gardens. From there you can head south to discover the defences at Clarence Battery, or inland to the stunning Candie Gardens or the house of Les Misérables author Victor Hugo at Hauteville. The compact nature of the town means it is ideally explored on foot.
You may wish to use a tour guide to get the most out of your St Peter Port discovery; there are dozens of knowledgeable accredited guides who know the ins and outs of the town, and can’t wait to share its secrets with you.
Want to discover Guernsey’s fascinating history? Plan your walking holiday today!