If a staycation doesn’t quite cut it but you also don’t want the hassle of tests and quarantine that come with foreign travel, check out the Channel Islands. DOSE writer Rosie hopped over for a holiday in Guernsey and experienced a long weekend of sunshine, seafood and sailing. Read her guide to help you plan the perfect green list getaway.
CHANNEL ISLAND HOPPING
Guernsey is a British Crown Dependency, but as you fly across the English Channel to reach the island it feels like you’re escaping the UK for foreign shores.
But unlike most flights, there’s no hassle of long immigration queues the other end. In fact, UK citizens don’t even need to show their passport – and within an hour of taking off, we were already in a taxi on our way to our hotel.
Guernsey’s airline, Aurigny, flies to Guernsey from multiple regional UK airports. Return flights from London Gatwick are priced from £100 per person including 10kg hand baggage: www.aurigny.com.
CHECKING IN AT DUKE OF RICHMOND HOTEL GUERNSEY
As the island is just 12 miles long, we reached the Duke of Richmond Hotel moments after leaving the airport. The boutique hotel overlooks leafy parkland, with select rooms boasting stunning sea views.
Double rooms at the Duke of Richmond Hotel start at £144, including a la carte and buffet breakfast served on a sun-drenched terrace overlooking the hotel’s private pool and with views across the harbour. Don’t hold back on the divine Guernsey butter on their homemade bread, an indulgence you won’t regret…
ONE OF EUROPE’S PRETTIEST HARBOUR TOWNS
A short stroll down the hill from the Duke of Richmond Hotel takes you through beautiful Candie Gardens towards St Peter Port, known as one of Europe’s prettiest harbour towns.
Wander the cobbled streets and explore the quaint shops, or continue all the way to 800-year-old Castle Cornet, which makes its presence known with the firing of its gun at noon daily. The castle grounds house several museums that tell Guernsey’s history, and also serve as a spectacular panoramic viewpoint back towards St Peter Port and out across Guernsey’s sister islands.
If the sight of all that water makes you eager to get out to sea, stop by Guernsey Sailing Trust for a sailing lesson (adult courses start from £35). The Trust was established to allow local children from all backgrounds to learn about and enjoy the challenges of sailing, but now caters to all ages who wish to experience the waters.
WILD SWIMMING AT COBO BAY
If sailing isn’t your thing, find a hidden beach or bay for a wild swim instead. A highlight of our holiday in Guernsey, the stunning Cobo Bay boasts beautiful white sands and crystal clear waters, or visit the historic La Vallette bathing pools – since 1865, these pools have offered a safe and contained area for salt water swimming.
After an afternoon of swimming and sailing, visit one of St Peter Port’s many restaurants and enjoy a seafood supper with gorgeous sunset views across the harbour.
We booked a window table on the mezzanine level of The Slaughterhouse, with postcard views across the water. Be sure to start with a G&T made with local Blue Bottle gin before tucking into a menu of locally-supplied steaks alongside fresh seafood and extensive vegetarian options.
There are enough hidden coves and bays on Guernsey to keep you entertained for days, but it’s worth the short ferry trip across to Herm Island (£14 per adult with Travel Trident) for a peaceful afternoon.
The island has no cars, no crowds and no stress – walk its perimeter to take in spectacular views of neighbouring islands and the French coast, then enjoy a clotted cream ice cream on the beach before taking the ferry back.
Not yet ready to return to the hustle and bustle? Extend your stay with a night at the White House Hotel, and make the most of the clean air and peace and quiet that comes with no traffic. Proof that you can escape life back home, without ever really leaving the country: bliss.
Please check the latest government guidelines before making any bookings.
For more information on the Islands of Guernsey, visit www.visitguernsey.com.
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