Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Plenty of Treasures on This Island; CLAIRE MILLER Hops on a Plane to Visit the Island of Guernsey in the English Channel

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Plenty of Treasures on This Island; CLAIRE MILLER Hops on a Plane to Visit the Island of Guernsey in the English Channel

Article excerpt


HETHER sunshine or showers, a summer break in Guernsey offers plenty to do.

WI arrived there, having taken advantage of Flybe's new summer route from Cardiff (there are other regional departure points), to beautiful blue sky and sunshine - perfect beach weather, and plenty of sandy beaches and sheltered coves for those who fancy sunbathing and paddling and a Guernsey ice cream cone to boot.

For a different view of the beaches, set off along the footpaths that run around the coast of the island. The ones in the north give you the chance to walk down to beach level and then up again to the cliff top with stunning views.

If you want to get about at a faster pace, or you've worn out your legs with all that hiking, the island's bus service is regular, runs routes all across the island, and a single fare anywhere is just PS1. On an afternoon tour of the island, I stopped at Rocquette Cider for a look around their orchards and a sip of crisp, fruity cider. The farm's tours give visitors the opportunity to find out more about the cider-making process, take a walk around the site, and then, most importantly, sample some of the ciders, apple chutneys, fruit liqueurs and apple juice made at the farm.

Good food and drink is in plentiful supply around Guernsey. As well as spotting some of the famous Guernsey cows, you should make time to stop by the Golden Guernsey Goats, where you will find goat's milk and a variety of cheeses on sale. You could also pick up more locally grown and produced fare from the many 'hedge veg' stalls dotted along the lanes, selling off garden gluts.

Eating out is popular, and booking recommended at many of the restaurants, including the three at my base for the trip, Fermain Valley Hotel.

For dinner on my first night, I headed for the recently opened Buho, which offers tasty Mexican street food, and cocktails and dulce de leche churros that are worth a dessert stop at least. Other options are the Rock Garden Steakhouse and the contemporary Ocean Bar and Grill.

As well as plenty of great food, including an excellent breakfast, the four-star hotel also offered comfortable accommodation in a beautiful setting overlooking Fermain Bay, with landscaped gardens to walk through.

My second day in Guernsey was less bright and sunny - more damp, grey and drizzly. But if you're liable to be getting wet anyway, heading out onto slightly choppy seas in a kayak makes sense.

A kayak tour with Go Guernsey along the coast from Havelet Bay near St Peter Port starts with mastering the basics of paddling, including turning and stopping, before heading off around the cove to spot dramatic rock formations, cut-off coves, and some of the local wildlife, including some very non-plussed seagulls.

If the thought of getting your feet soaked doesn't appeal, then there are plenty of indoor things to do when the weather isn't feeling particularly summery. …

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