Top 5 things to see on a daytrip to Guernsey

Friday, 9 March 2012 10:51 AM

It shouldn't take long after embarking on your cruises from Southampton before you reach Guernsey, a jewel of the English Channel. One of the Channel Islands, it is the perfect place to drop anchor and come ashore, as there's plenty to see and do.

If you're on family cruises, there are several intriguing sites that should fascinate your kids. To find out our top five, read on.

Saint Peter Port

The capital of Guernsey since the time of the Romans, Saint Peter Port was once a hive of industrial activity, with ships being built here while merchants traded their wares.

Like many of the Channel Islands, Guernsey is a blend of English and French influences and you will see this in its buildings, which take on elements of both Regency and Georgian styles. Some of the houses look almost as though they have been built on top of each other, as the gardens are tiered and winding alleys snake between the terraces.

Guernsey Aquarium

Taking a cruise is likely to see your kids become fascinated with all things marine-related, so treat them to a trip to Guernsey Aquarium in Saint Peter Port. The site has been situated in La Vallette Tunnel for several decades and you will be able you see a variety of displays containing everything from terrapins and toads to tropical fish.

As well as the marine life, there are also lizards that live here and twice a week you can see them being fed a meal of live insects.

Navy Signals HQ

Just like its neighbour Jersey, Guernsey was occupied by German forces during World War II. Near Saint Peter Port, you will find the Navy Signals HQ, which was used to send all radio traffic back to Germany and the other occupied islands.

This is a fascinating place to delve a little deeper into Guernsey's past, as these signals were in operation right up until May 1945 - just a few months before the conflict officially came to an end.

During the occupation, the island was heavily fortified and you will be able to see remnants of this defence in many spots around the coastline.

La Claire Mare

One of the most popular activities in Guernsey is walking, mainly because the island boasts so much beautiful scenery.

La Claire Mare nature reserve is a fine example of this. The low-lying saline wetland on the west coast is home to plenty of wildlife, including little egrets, wigeon, teal and aquatic warblers. There are also some unusual plants, which are able to thrive here thanks to the mix of reed beds, marshland and open water.

Among the most beautiful sights are the orchid meadows that bloom in May and June, attracting butterflies and other hungry insects. See how many creatures your children can spot as you stroll through the park.

Le Trepied Megalithic

Le Trepied Megalithic Burial Chamber in Saint Saviour is one of Guernsey's most ancient - and interesting - sites and is sure to intrigue younger holidaymakers.

It has a fascinating history, having been mentioned in accounts of the 17th-century witch trials that took place on the island, when suspected witches were accused of using this place as a meeting place for their covens on Friday evenings, where they would worship the devil as he sat on the chamber's capstone.

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