A Disappointing visit to Guernsey

During half term we spent a week in France, travelling there and back with Condor Ferries. On the way out we had an impromptu stop in Jersey and loved exploring the island and on the way home we had arranged to stop and stay overnight in Guernsey so we could explore and see what it had to offer.

I pride myself on writing honest blogs of both things we review and our days out and I have to admit that our visit to Guernsey was a complete disaster and really disappointing.

We arrived in Guernsey at 10pm at night as our initial ferry had been cancelled due to the weather and we had to take the Condor Clipper. Lets just say the four metre waves made us all feel a little queasy, with Sebby suffering the most and we were all please to get on to dry land. After a few problems checking in, we settled into the Grisnoir Guest House to get a good nights sleep. That was probably the highlight of our stay.

Hubby has been to Guernsey before, albeit 30 years ago, and had a plan of where he wanted to take us, with the Little Chapel being top of his list. We had breakfast and left the guest house around 10am so we could make the most of the island.

We found the Little Chapel just 5 minutes from where we were staying, but sadly it was closed for essential maintenance and covered in so much scaffolding that you could not see anything.

Little Chapel
Image Credit: Shutterstock.com

Never mind we thought as we had seen a sign for the German Military Underground Hospital, so we headed there instead. We arrived, parked and unloaded the kids from the car, crossed the road to the entrance to find it was closed.


In hindsight I should have checked the website first, but I had looked at Visit Guernsey and just made a list of things we had wanted to see without drilling down for further details. I then started looking for things we actually could do and found that ALL attractions were shut until the middle of March – even Castle Cornet!

It wasn’t even 11am and we had to find something to entertain the kids for 6 hours in howling winds and driving rain!

We happened upon Rocquaine Bay which was surrounded by bunkers that the kids to run across, or head down the stairs to the beach where we looked for shells and did some rock pooling.


We roamed the beach for a good hour before the weather drove us back to the warmth of our car and headed off in search of something else to do.

We found a few Forts to explore, but they were mostly closed off to the public so we just wandered around the outside of them before getting in the car to find the next one.


By now it was nearing lunchtime so we headed back to St Peter Port in the hope that as it was the main town, it would have something open to do.

Sadly we were wrong.

There is no doubt that St Peter Port is pretty but shops don’t open on a Sunday and the whole place was deserted. We wandered around, looking in windows before deciding to see if we could at least see some of Castle Cornet.


We wandered along the port wall to the lighthouse at the end, but that was as close to the castle we could get. In the summer months when it is open apparently they have a noon day gun which I can only imagine is a real spectacle to see.

At this point I am afraid we admitted defeat. It was obvious that Sebastian was not well and all he wanted to do was sleep so we headed to the Ferry terminal and sat in the car waiting for the check-in to open.

I can imagine that Guernsey is a beautiful place to visit in the summer, but my advice to anyone thinking of a break out of season is to avoid at all costs.

38 thoughts on “A Disappointing visit to Guernsey

  1. LydiaF says:

    We’ve had similar experiences in Spain. We’ll drive to a town only to find the attraction is closed, either for the season or for siesta. For adults the solution is to head to a bar for something to eat, and then a walk around the town, but I can imagine it can be pretty boring for young ones.

  2. Charly Dove says:

    Oh Kara that’s such a shame, sounds like there is so much on offer there too. We’ve not been to Guernsey before so it will be nice to see what’s open in the warmer months. I’m a bit like you though, I would have thought everything would be open!

  3. Oh huni, what a shame! I’ve never been to Guernsey but always wanted to, I take note of what you say – definitely a summertime thing then! X
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  4. Globalmouse says:

    Oh dear, what a shame….especially after your ferry journey there! Hope you get to experience another side of it sometime!
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  5. Candace says:

    Guernsey is one place I have never been but would love to visit. Such a shame nothing was open. Perfect excuse for a return visit
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  6. Janine says:

    Thanks sounds really disappointing. Especially the fact the you made an effort of staying in a guest house and hoping for a great day the next day to spend. That’s the down side of the winter season unfortunatel .

  7. Oh no, what a shame! Guernsey has always been on my list of places to take Boo as I’ve long been intrigued by it. Will definitely plan a visit in the summer!

  8. Sonia says:

    Oh dear how disappointing. It looks like an incredible place to visit in high season x
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  9. Jen says:

    Oh what a nightmare! I have never been. I live in part of the world where a lot of things close on a Sunday and on a Wednesday afternoon. It is somewhere I would love to visit, but I will make sure that it is in the summer and not on a Sunday
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  10. Oh no that really does sound like a bit of a rubbish day, It looks freezing too ! I bet that it is a lovely place to visit during the summer when everywhere is open though xx
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  11. Ickle Pickle says:

    Oh what a shame – I guess being a Sunday didn’t help either. I have never been. What a disappointment. Kaz x
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  12. Oh no! I can’t believe everything was closed! What a disaster!

  13. Oh no it’s such a shame everything was close, may the website should have been a bit clearer! I have never been but I would really like to go
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  14. Ninja cat says:

    Such a shame !

    We’ve had this before on a coach trip to Cromer on a Wednesday as they still observed half day closing .
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  15. Steph says:

    After all that travelling, it’s such a shame that nothing was open! I’ve never heard of anywhere like that, tbh – the odd attraction, yes, but the entirety of Guernsey is a bit nuts!
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  16. Helen Neale says:

    What a shame everything was closed, it looks like a nice place.
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  17. Rachel says:

    Oh I am sorry you had what seems to be a wasted journey hunnie and I hope Sebby is feeling better x
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  18. Zara says:

    That is such a massive shame :(. I’ve never been but if I were to book it would likely be in ‘off’ season so I guess we would be experiencing the same. I’m glad you still found something to do but it must have been really frustrating! If I ever go I will be very mindful of the time of year we book now!
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  19. Sonya Cisco says:

    Am amazed nothing was open seeing as it was half term – I will definitely remember to save any future visits for the summer months!
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  20. Emma Shilton says:

    Oh gosh, what a shame. We’ve never been but would love to go one day. Will definitely bear it in mind now to go in season rather than out of it. I’ve heard it is beautiful though and is somewhere we would love to go.

  21. Oh no! I’m so sorry nothing was open and so you had abit of a wasted trip. The German hospital museum seems really interesting, I’d love to go and explore that xx
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  22. Fozia S says:

    Oh no such a shame that everything was closed! What a disappointment!
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  23. Joanna says:

    Oh no what a shame that most places were shut. Do u think u’ll go again in season?
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  24. Life as Mum says:

    Oh no! Such a shame. That’s the only thing, some places are only good in the Summer 🙁 Shame!
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  25. Amy says:

    Oh no!! That’s so awful, it’s happened to me a few times in wales.. Everyone goes in summer so I like to go when it’s quieter..too quite though.
    I hope you go back though, I’ve heard it’s beautiful when it’s all up and running xx
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  26. oana79 says:

    We were offered ferry tickets for Guernsey and Jersey last spring but upon research, I realised there wasn’t much we could do, even during the Easter break, so we decided to not detour our trip to France via Guernsey. Sounds like we made the right choice and I am sorry you guys didn’t get to enjoy much of it! Maybe in the summer, as you say!xx
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  27. Sorry to hear that your trip to Guernsey wasn’t a success. I’m always amazed at how many touristy places close during the winter months and guess it’s best to do some online research first.
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  28. Joni Clowrey says:

    That’s a shame – it’s hard keeping kids happy in the rain at the best of times! Sounds like you were quite organised with your research just had a bit of bad luck!

  29. What a shame. Since moving to Devon we’ve started doing a lot more research before we go on days out. So many attractions are closed out of season. I had grand ideas of visiting places while they were quiet. It turns out they are so quiet they can’t afford to keep going all year round. We’re off to Jersey in April and were advised not to go before then because more would be open from Easter.
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  30. Zoe Forde says:

    Aww I’m so sorry you had a disappointing trip! The little chapel does look stunning, but I do hate when you visit somewhere and one of the best attractions is closed. When I was in Copenhagen over midterm we realised the Tivoli Gardens (one of the biggest attractions) was closed until April. So disappointing. Holidaying over midterm is definitely harder than you might think. I know we felt like we should have done more research on what was in season x
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  31. such a shame. How random that the sights close for such a while?
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  32. Jennifer says:

    Oh dear what a shame 🙁 I’ve never been to Guernsey but I’ve heard good things and would love to visit one day, I’ll bear your experience in mind when thinking about the time of year to visit!
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  33. I’ve never been to Guernsey but I’d be sure to visit in the summer if I do!
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  34. It is a shame when things are closed out of season but if they don’t get visitors it becomes a vicious circle – nothing is open so no one comes ! It looked bracing on the beach – to say the least x
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  35. Vicki says:

    Oh what a shame the shops were closed. Guernsey looks beautiful. I have never been but would love to visit!

  36. Ness says:

    What a terrible shame. How short sighted of them not to open for half term. Our half term was a week earlier than the rest of the country and we had this problem as well. I guess for some places it’s hard to find staff just to open up for one week. It really puts you off a place if the first time you visit it is awful. I did get excited by the photo of the blue postbox though!
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  37. Emma says:

    Oh no! I went on a school trip to Guernsey and have fond memories of the chapel and Castle cornet. What a shame everything was closed x
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  38. That’s such a shame, it’s nearly 40 years since I visited Guernsey but I fell in love with the place and have always wanted to return. My parents and grandparents went there for their respective honeymoons. My parents returned to celebrate their silver wedding there too. I’m presuming it’s very much a sleepy little island until the hoards descend for the summer and that these days we are just so used to everything being open on Sundays we take it for granted. I know my SIL and BIL were on a cruise over Christmas and New Year and had a similar experience on one of the Caribbean islands where their ship docked for the day – it was Sunday and no where was opened other than a church!
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