Geographically closer to Europe than the UK, the Bailiwick is a scattered archipelago of five main islands all easily visited from Guernsey which celebrated French author Victor Hugo described as '...little pieces of France fallen into the sea and picked up by Britain...'.
People have been drawn here for more than 9,000 years, so there is a wealth of fascinating remains and relics to explore, and the islands have been fought over down the centuries because of their strategically commanding presence in the English Channel.
That legacy and a blend of French culture and English familiarity is reflected in the architecture, fortresses and fortifications around the island - making it a rambler's paradise.
Guernsey is noted for its outdoor culture - from alfresco dining to safe sandy beaches, there's something for everyone and plenty of under cover pursuits too.
Beaches, biking, countryside and cliffs, coastline and coasteering plus unique flora and fauna - the island has it all. And best of all, it's super accessible right from your door.
Beaucette CamperVans is next to Guernsey's biggest open public space, L'Ancresse Common, and gives unrivalled access to some of the best beaches, walks, swimming and eateries without needing to drive. Not only that, we're on hand to offer advice and guidance on how to get the best out of your stay.
Want something a bit more bracing than a stroll?
Other activities - ideal for the kids too - include karting at a specially designed track (over eights only), kayaking in secluded bays and exploring craggy cliffs and surfing. Want something new to try? Coasteering is an increasingly must-try exhilarating mix of swimming, climbing and rock jumping for both adults and children guided by experience instructors.
From the venelles (steep mediaeval steps) that link Town’s High Street with the seafront to La Gran’mère du Chimquière, the island’s most famous ancient monument which sits just outside the entrance to St Martin’s parish church and which, as a Megalithic standing stone as old as the Pyramids, used to be revered by locals as a holy relic.
Our campsite is a perfect base from which to explore on foot, with three heritage sites – one dating back to 3500BC – just minutes away and with easy access to bays and refreshment kiosks.
Guernsey's second town, St Sampson's, is readily accessible and we offer hire bikes and recommended routes for those who want to roam a little further afield.
The island can also be explored using your van, although some roads are narrow, and there is an excellent and cheap bus service as well. For more information click here.
Castle Cornet has guarded the safe haven of St Peter Port harbour for nearly 1,000 years and its fascinating history is told through tours, museums and displays. There are also four gardens, walks, art galleries and a well-appointed cafe.
FUN FACT: Castle Cornet was one of the last Royalist bastions in the English Civil War of 1642–1651 while Guernsey itself declared for the Parliamentarian cause. Which meant Guernsey’s ‘own’ fortification fired an estimated 10,000 cannon balls at the Town while hostilities lasted!
The other jewel in the crown is St Peter Port itself – an ancient port town with Mediaeval remnants like the original Barrier du Ville or boundary, buildings and narrow ways plus vibrant, tax-free shopping and access to other attractions.It’s well worth taking a day to explore properly and stroll to La Vallette Underground Military Museum, the former home of exiled Victor Hugo, Hauteville House, and Candie Gardens and the Guernsey Museum. One of Guernsey’s defining moments came in 1940 when the Channel Islands became the only part of Britain to be invaded by the German Nazi army. The German Occupation Museum tells the story of grim five years under enemy occupation and the privations experienced by islanders.
Island-hopping breaks can also be planned around one of the Bailiwick’s many special events. From the increasingly popular beer and cider festivals on Herm and Sark to the lively and unique Alderney Week celebrations, and a newly-introduced Channel Islands Heritage Festival that spans all four isles, there is always something exciting to see and do!
Island-hopping is also a great way to include a boat trip on your holiday, with Herm just 20 minutes away while Alderney and Sark give more time afloat, taking about an hour. Exceptional views of the Bailiwick guaranteed!
FUN FACT: Lihou is an island you can walk to! At low tide the former Benedictine Priory built in 1114 is linked to Guernsey by an ancient causeway, making it a magnet for family picnics and a swim in the natural Venus Pool formed in the rocks overlooking the Ramsar wetland nature reserve.
In fact, you and your family are likely to be spoilt for choice when trying to decide what to do while here in the island.
The official, updated list can be found here
The Channel Islands Heritage Festival
MARCH – MAY
Over six weeks of festivities celebrating the Islands’ past, focusing on the extensive maritime and mercantile history found here.
Vazon Bay, on the west coast, was recently awarded Britain’s Cleanest Beach award while Grandes Rocques, a short distance to the north, was placed in the top 10.
East coast beaches include pebbled and picturesque Fermain Bay, which can be reached on foot only, and is great for swimming and has a café, which serves restaurant quality food.
Moulin Huet, one of the island's stunning south coast bays, is trickier to access but well worth the effort, offering both dramatic backdrops and views - Renoir was this bay's biggest fan and spent a summer sketching this exact spot in 1883.
West coast beaches tend to be wide, flat and sandy, as are those on the north coast. Favourites include Cobo, Port Soif and Pembroke, which are all easier to access and have toilet facilities and a kiosk.
All are designed with walkers of all ages and abilities in mind and can be accompanied by a free downloadable audio guide, voiced by TV personality James Strawbridge, which talks you through your walk and points out places of historical importance or interest.
Maps and a transcript are also available and each walk includes cafes and restaurants, beachside kiosks and cliff top cafes to help you make the most of your journey around our island.
For more details click here
What could be better than a cliff scramble to Divette Bay at Jerbourg Point to have this narrow strip of east-facing, sunrise-hogging sand all to yourselves? Created specially to moor a boat, it’s one of Guernsey’s hidden gems.
That has to be Pip’s sausage and onion sarnie at Rousse Kiosk overlooking Grande Havre Bay, frequented by year-round swimming club members.
Guernsey has miles of walks but a favourite is a spring flower delight to the other Portelet – not the one out west – accessible at low tide only and the swimming spot in the ’30s of a disciple of self-styled magician and occultist Aleister Crowley. Time it right and the walk’s a mass of primroses, bluebells and the freshest spring green.
That’s almost guaranteed at Sausmarez Manor, St Martin’s, ancestral home of the de Sausmarez family, and part paid for through the capture of the world’s richest treasure ship. Spooks are said to be mostly friendly and some are inexplicable. Ghost Tours available.
It has to be a Wheadon’s Gin, distilled with local ingredients and served on the spot at the historic Bella Luce Hotel, Moulin Huet, by the equally historic Wheadon family, purveyors of fine alcohols in the island for centuries.
Cobo Chippy’s a legend among locals for the best fish supper AND a sunset to match. Set on the west coast, it’s the only plaice (sorry) to be for a tea-time treat.
Guernsey has two breweries both serving great drinks. Try a Lost Tourist (a charmingly hoppy IPA) from the White Rock Brewery at the Golden Lion opposite St Peter Port’s historic markets, or the local’s tipple, an award-winning pint of Breda well-hopped lager from Randall's at its brewery tap outlet, La Piette Hotel, with sea and island views and an extensive bar menu.
Fabulously fresh seafood abounds on the island - so it’s no surprise crab sandwiches are an island favourite. Get yours at the kiosk near the Imperial Hotel. Stunning views of Rocquaine Bay and Lihou Island come free.