Play by Parish: ten things to do in Guernsey’s ten parishes
From Oaty and Joey’s Playbarn to surfing on the West Coast of Guernsey, there really is something for everybody to enjoy in Guernsey. Why not see the best of what Guernsey has to offer whilst also exploring all ten of its Parishes?
- Surfing in the Parish of Castel: Calling all adventurous water babies to Vazon Bay for some surfing! A sweet summer swell awaits beginners and can range up to more advanced surfing in the winter months. Equipment hire and qualified beach Lifeguards at Guernsey Surf School offer their expertise to keep you safe and happy. Pop into Vistas Beach Cafe afterwards for a hot chocolate or ice-cream to top the day off.
- A dream-come true for family, in the Parish of St Sampson: Oatlands Village is a family retreat offering something for everybody. Enjoy a spot of lunch at the popular Kiln Restaurant and Café or browse amongst some of Guernsey’s independent shops, including Guernsey’s very own Willy Wonka: Rebecca’s Chocolates. Come rain or shine, Oaty and Joey’s Playbarn at Oatlands Village is a must to visit, where a real aeroplane G-JOEY is also exhibited. From ten-pin bowling to trampolining, The Play barn also houses one of Britain’s largest playframes.
- Return to nature in the Parish of Forest: This Parish is not just called Forest for any reason. As you wind down a wooded valley, the trees make way to a sheltered bay and tea-rooms. At low tide the beach is laid with fresh sand and rock pools galore, a perfect place for children to hunt for little sea creatures. If cycling, it’s certainly more fun going down than up!
- A tiny sanctuary in the Parish of St Andrews: The Little Chapel is thought to be the smallest of its kind….in the world. Originally built in 1914, the chapel was once demolished because the Bishop of Portsmouth had not been able to fit through the doorway! The chapel we see today has stood for well over 100 years and is decorated with shells and coloured china from around the world. It represents a miniature version of the famous Basilica of our Lady of the Immaculate Conception at Lourdes, France.
- Bluebell woods, lunch and stunning beach in St Martin’s Parish: Head to The Beach Café at Fermain Bay, for lunch, and try the Guernsey crab sandwiches. Build up an appetite by walking there on wonderful cliff-path, past Fort George, through the lush bluebell woods and end up at one of Guernsey’s prettiest coves.
- Victor Hugo’s house in the Parish of St Peter Port: You may not be ‘museum mad’ but prepare to be mesmerized as soon as you step foot into the former residence of Victor Hugo, acclaimed as one of the greatest French writers (Les Misérables and The Hunchback of Notre-Dame). Hauteville House, in bustling St Peter Port, belongs to the City of Paris and the house is a work of art itself, designed wholly by Victor Hugo. A truly bizarre, yet magical, home offering an insight into his genius.
- Old forts and shipwrecks in the Parish of St Pierre Du Bois: Connected by a raised causeway, the Guernsey Shipwreck Museum in Fort Grey, on a small tidal islet that was built to defend Rocquaine Bay during the Napoleonic Wars. Fort Grey is affectionately known, locally, as ‘The Cup and Saucer’, but you will find more remnants of old wooden ships here than you will any cups, or saucers for that matter.
- Reach out for Herm, from Vale Castle: The Castle, perched above the north east end of the islands coast road, offers crystal clear views of Herm and Jethou, giving the sense that it is within swimming distance. Don’t be fooled, however, it’s a long and dangerous swim. The castle dates back to the 15th century and remains of further fortification by the German troops can be seen, to this day.
- Reserve yourself for nature in The Parish of St Saviours: St Saviours Reservoir is a particularly stunning place for a sheltered inland walk on days where the coastal breeze becomes a little too much. The Millenium Walk will lead you through a woodland nature reserve where you can take a complete break from everything and even spot local wildlife. Pack your binoculars!
- Fairy rings, stunning beach and fresh crab in Torteval: Travel through hedge-banked roads, to the most south-western point of the island, and you will come across Portelet Harbour.Think picture-perfect: this bucket and spade beach awaits with a kiosk serving fresh crab sandwiches. Stroll along the dramatic coastline, hugged by a pine forest and discover the island’s famous Fairy Rings. In local folklore you can walk around these Fairy Rings three times whilst making a wish – which will come true!
From jewellery, gifts, toys and crafts to your pet’s favourite treats, fresh flowers and homemade chocolates. Pop by for a browse…
Healthy dishes throughout the day from the Kiln Restaurant or opt for something more child-friendly at Oaty’s Diner…
Truly a place that children don’t want to leave with a multitude of indoor and outdoor activities including one of the UK’s largest play barns…