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3 Nights on the Channel Islands

We're flying from Dinard to Guernsey, then have three nights to see the sights. Could someone recommend an itinerary split between Guernsey and Jersey? Thanks

Posted by
24844 posts

I haven't been to Guernsey recently. I did Jersey, Guernsey and Sark way back in the 1980s, and when I returned to the islands last year, I decided to stick with Jersey because it seemed to have more places of interest to me. With the internet, it's vastly easier these days to know what you'll encounter on the ground.

I'll mention the places I especially enjoyed in Jersey last year, and you can compare them to what you've uncovered for Guernsey.

The War Tunnels: excellent memorial/museum explaining the use of slave labor to build Nazi fortifications. I thought it was both informative and touching.

Erich Young Orchid Foundation: small but with glorious displays. Worth seeking out if you enjoy flowers, but it takes a good bit of time to get there by public transportation, and you'll be in and out in less than an hour for sure.

Jersey Zoo: Founded by Gerald Durrell, it focuses on endangered species. Not super-huge, but it takes quite a bit of time to see it.

La Hougue Bie: prehistoric site with small museum.

Botanic Gardens at Samares Manor

What those all have in common is that they are not right in St. Helier, so they take time to reach unless you plan to rent a car (which I didn't do but would recommend for the short time you have). Also out of town is the Mansell Collection, which I skipped because I have no interest in motor racing.

The Jersey Museum is co-located with the Visitor Center downtown.

Where are you going after you finish up on the islands, and how are you getting there? I'm not sure I'd split my time if I had only three nights to spend in the islands, especially if I was going to have to return to Guernsey before moving on. On the other hand, if you are departing from Jersey, if obviously makes sense to do some sort of split.

What's the precise timing?

Posted by
3104 posts

Just a side note: If you're not familiar with the books written by Guernsey resident Molly Bihet (A Child's War, Reflections of Guernsey, Occupation Life) you might want to look them up. See also her web page

Posted by
392 posts

When are you going? Soon? There's always a weather risk if you opt for Island hopping. Can I ask why you have chosen to go so that we can better advise. Having been to Sark 6 years running as a youngster I might be prepared to let you share my Island but I need to know your intentions! 😉

Posted by
6 posts

A small group of us is interested in visiting Guernsey and we are trying to decide the best and most cost conscious method to get there! Any suggestions? Also, it appears that more islands than just Guernsey are places of interest. Obviously, we are just beginning our research and any suggestions are welcome!

Posted by
24844 posts

Jersey has at least as much to see as Guernsey. Sark is tiny and most people would just do a day-trip there. I haven't been to Alderney or Herm.

There are flights into Jersey, at least from the English side, by EasyJet and perhaps others. I was able to get a last-minute ticket to London-Luton at a non-exorbitant price in August 2017. I haven't checked on flights to Guernsey. Within the islands, I think ferry would be the way to go.

However, the reason I bought a last-minute airline ticket was that my ferry from Jersey to Guernsey and Poole, England, was canceled for three days running. Two of my five Channel Island ferries (across two trips decades apart) were canceled, so I advise caution if planning to visit the islands on a tight timetable. I have no idea to what extent flights in that area are affected by weather, but there was nothing too dramatic going on at the time of the 3-day cancellation. The ferries I took were very large; it's possible that the issue wasn't actually weather.

Posted by
720 posts

Sorry just saw this as have been away!

Guernsey is the ideal place to island hop.
The Little Ferry Company does day trips to Alderney (2,000 people) which was a Todt camp during the Occupation, its a beautiful island with stunning beaches. Sark Shipping do the link to Sark (700 people) a unique island, no cars, only bikes, tractors and horse and carriages, perfect for walking, yes you can do it as a day trip and a lot do, but I would recommend staying the night, so you can enjoy the peace when all the day trippers leave. Its also a Dark Sky Island, the first in the British Isles. Herm (70 people) is a very easy day trip with travel Trident, a stunning island, no cars, bikes or horses, just peace, beaches that get mistaken for the Caribbean, you can easily walk round it in a morning then have a swim in the sea. Sorry have not really ever been to Jersey, when you live on a small island just off the coast of France, you don't tend to go to a similar island! But remember going to Gerald Durrells Zoo when I was at Primary School and it is quite rightly world famous.

Heritage Festival is on from 19th April (Good Friday) till May 9th (Liberation Day), so there will be loads going on. Victor Hugo's House should (fingers crossed) be re-opened, after its 18 month restoration, he lived here for 15 years while in exile from France. He wrote 'Les Miserable' here as well as 'Toilers of the Sea' a love letter to the island he called home.

There is also the Occupation Museum, which is a great way to under stand that period, lots of information on how the islander coped as well as what guns were used where.
But the Occupation isn't the only piece of history that happened here, we have been between two waring nations for centuries, and you can learn all about it at the Guernsey Tapestry which takes you through the last 100 years (embroidery only the way the story is told!), Castle Cornet (though one of the museums, there are 5 there, will be closed next year) and The Guernsey Museum at Candie Gardens.
May is also a fantastic time for spring flowers, they tend to bloom over here a few weeks earlier than in England, so I would definitely recommend getting out and walking the cliff paths in the south west corner, lots of cliffs and steps, but absolutely definitely worth it. You might also be here for Spring Walking week, guided walks explaining the history, flora, folk-law etc of the island.

Getting round the island, buses are easy and cheap, £1 a ride. But also don't forget its a very walkable island, it takes me one and a half hours to walk from Town to Vazon on the West coast. When you are on the coast don't forget to visit the beach kiosks for fantastic home made cake! My favourite is at Rousse. Cars can be useful, but if you are not used to driving on the left you might find it a little un nerving, as the roads are very narrow often with granite walks on each side, also we have filter in turns which they don't have in the UK. If you do go for a car, my tip would be keep it for the country side as parking in town can be tricky and so it is a lot easier to get the bus.
Also go and see The Little Chapel, Dehus Dolmen, Lihou Island, Naval Signals Head Quarters, Folk and Costume Museum, Fort Grey Shipwreck Museum, Sausmarez Manor......think you might need more than 3 days

Posted by
273 posts

Is that 3D portrait of the Queen still being displayed in Jersey?
I'm interested in that island because I found an ancestor in my tree from there, from St Ouen in the late 1600s. A lot of history there, I'd bet.

Posted by
8293 posts

I am surprised to see no mention of the book "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society".

Posted by
720 posts

I would recommend 'Island Madness', brilliant book, same subject, better all round in my opinion!