Saint Peter Port is the capital of Guernsey. One of the most beautiful harbor towns in all of Europe and has been a busy port since the age of the Romans, and today it is beloved for its picturesque seafront marina and cobbled streets.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Guernsey is during months May, June, July, August, September and October when the average temperatures are perhaps a little cooler than preferred but still a pleasant. If you don’t mind bringing a coat, you might also enjoy visiting Guernsey during January, February, March, April, November and December but average temperatures are fairly cool (between 0°C / 32.0°F and 10°C / 50.0°F).
Top Places to Visit in Saint Peter Port
1. Castle Cornet
On a small island connected by Castle Pier stands Castle Cornet, founded in 1150 but largely Elizabethan in its present form. The castle houses several museums of interest to history buffs: the Story of Castle Cornet, the Royal Guernsey Militia Museum, the Maritime Museum, the 201 Squadron RAF Museum, and the Royal Guernsey Light Infantry Museum. Guided tours are available of the castle along with its four period gardens. Other highlights include the daily noon gun salute by costumed staff, as well as the many pleasant trails that crisscross the castle grounds.
For nearly eight centuries, Castle Cornet has stood guard over the harbor and town. Five museums within the ancient royal fortress tell the story of Guernsey’s past. Each museum shares a different aspect of the story, and visitors get the whole picture by visiting the Royal Guernsey Militia Museum, the Story of Castle Cornet Museum, the Royal Guernsey Light Infantry Museum, the 201 Squadron Museum and the Maritime Museum.
3. Church of St. James
The centerpiece of the city is the church of St. James, built in 1818 as a place of worship for the island’s British garrison. Today, the church is an important part of life in the city. St. James’ Whittaker Hall hosts a variety of events, including fashion shows, concerts, lectures, dinners and demonstrations, and the on-site Guernsey Tapestry Gallery is home to the Guernsey Millennium Tapestry. Made of ten embroidered canvas panels, the tapestry illustrates over 1,000 years of local history in dazzling detail.
4. Candie Gardens
The best views over the harbor are at Candie Gardens. The restored, award winning gardens are a rare example of the style that characterized late 19th-century public gardens, and the grounds are home to the British Isles’ oldest heated glass house.
5. Victor Hugo
The island’s most famous inhabitant is likely Victor Hugo. The celebrated French writer spent 14 years in exile there, and his house remains well-preserved in its original state. Between 1856 and 1870, Hugo himself furnished and decorated the four-story home, and visitors are welcome to explore the space and the adjoining gardens by guided tour.
The city boasts a thriving independent retailer scene, giving travelers a unique shopping experience. Charming High Street is lined with small boutiques and family-run gift shops, and there is a good variety of both affordable and luxury jewelry shops. In the Old Quarter, shoppers experience an eclectic mix of craft shops selling lovingly handmade mementos and antique shops.