St Peter Port, the main town of Guernsey, has an appealing town centre, made all the jollier by the presence of some brightly coloured buildings in some of its main streets. The busy harbour is reached by the narrow ‘gunelles’ or alleys which lead down to it. Cornet Rock, reachable by a breakwater and bridge, has been the site of a succession of castles, the first having been begun in the 13th century. The present-day castle is open to visitors and houses a number of museums, including a Maritime Museum and a Militia Museum. Another attraction for visitors is Hauteville House, which was occupied by Victor Hugo following his exile from France in 1851. It was here that he wrote Les Miserables. He went first to Jersey, but settled in Guernsey after falling for the island. He is commemorated by a statue in Candle Gardens.
Like Jersey, Guernsey suffered a period of occupation during World War II. The island’s liberation took place on 8 May 1945, when an Allied task force headed by HMS Bulldog arrived off St Peter Port. Scenes from this event, including a march past by British troops in front of the British Hotel, can be viewed on the BBC “In Pictures” website. A few days after the liberation, the press reported on a “great convoy of mercy” as food and other supplies were brought to the island.
For events on the island through the year, see here.
Map of the area.
photo © 2008 Alistair Young | more info (via: Wylio)