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Guernsey Article


The friendly Channel Island of Guernsey is a wonderful place to spend a holiday or long weekend. Walkers will especially enjoy the miles of cliff paths with their breathtaking views and there are plenty of quiet narrow country lanes to explore. Alternatively you can hop on a local bus and go round the island for 60p! Car hire is still reasonably priced here too. Summer attracts the beach lovers and there are plenty of beautiful clean beaches to choose from. The west coast boasts long golden sandy bays such as Vazon and Cobo while the southern coves are more of a mixture of sand and pebbles with dramatic granite cliffs in the background such as Petit Bôt and Moulin Huet. Children can enjoy body-boarding and rock pooling or simply making sandcastles. Although the island is uncommercialised most beaches have excellent kiosks/cafes serving light lunches and cream teas. Try a piece of Guernsey Gâche with butter - a delicious type of tea loaf. Should you tire of the beach there are plenty of places of interest to visit. Children in particular will love the Little Chapel, a tiny church made from broken glass, pottery and shells. (There is also a small aquarium, Sausmarez Manor with Guernsey’s only miniature train ride and the Telephone Museum.)
 
Those interested in local history should head for the Guernsey Museum and Art Gallery set in the beautiful Candie Gardens above St Peter Port. Here the Victorian bandstand has been turned into a café and has stunning views down over the busy harbour, Castle Cornet and across to Herm, Sark and Jersey - on a clear day you can see as far as Alderney and the coast of France. Nearby at St James Gallery you can see the islands Millennium project, the Guernsey Tapestry. It tells the islands history in a series of ten intricately embroidered panels. The National Trust of Guernsey Folk Museum set in the grounds of Saumarez Park depicts daily life here more than 100 years ago. Anyone interested in maritime history will love Castle Cornet and Fort Grey Shipwreck Museum. Meanwhile the German Occupation Museum and La Vallette Underground Military Museum detail life in Guernsey during World War II. Finally Victor Hugo’s house is a must for those interested in literature. The famous French writer spent 14 years in exile here and his house which is full of curiosities has been preserved in its original state. It was from here that he wrote his famous novel Toilers of the Sea published in 1866. (It is also worth mentioning that the famous French Impressionist artist Pierre-August Renoir painted no less than 15 canvasses at Moulin Huet bay in 1883.)
 
Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy the wide range of activities available such as golf, fishing, windsurfing and diving. Food lovers will find an excellent choice of restaurants across the island using fresh local produce and fish with prices to suit all budgets. Shoppers will love the capital of St Peter Port, its narrow cobbled pedestrianised streets and alleys offer a great range of individual shops and boutiques with plenty of outdoor cafes to relax in. Alternatively head for the busy harbour and yacht marinas, find a bench and watch the sailing world go by. You may even be tempted to hop on a boat yourself and spend a day exploring one of the other lovely Channel Islands!