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Expert guide to St Peter Port

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St Peter Port Guernsey is the island’s stunning capital, it is full of rich history and delicious eateries. If you are staying here for a relaxing holiday you may be wondering, what is there to do in St Peter Port? Our insiders’ guide reveals all the best places to see, eat, stay and shop as well as some unobvious hidden gems to find. The small town is completely compelling, displaying an abundance of charm and history. The steep cobbled streets go up the hillside and are dotted with unique speciality shops and boutiques. A lot of the places to stay in St Peter Port have exceptional views over the town and look out towards the beautiful east coast. The delightful harbour has plenty of things to see and do, so take a look at our recommendations below for some inspiration!

12 reasons to discover St Peter Port, Guernsey

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1. Explore Castle Cornet

The remarkable 800-year-old castle sits proudly at the southern point of St Peter Port harbour. Explore the battlements with your little ones and learn about the history of the island. Admire the picturesque views of the east coast and on a clear day, you will be able to see the islands of Herm, Sark and Breqhou. Within Castle Cornet lies four period gardens, creating a wonderful horticultural experience. There are also five museums to explore!

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2. Stroll around Candie Gardens

The Victorian Candie Gardens offer gorgeous views of St Peter Port harbour as well as the nearby sister islands. Within the gardens, you will come across the beautifully restored greenhouse which is home to a wonderful collection of Guernsey Lilies. There is also an impressive statue of Victor Hugo that was first exhibited on 7th July 1914 to commemorate his generosity during his exile to the island. There are several incredible lawns, flowers and fish ponds throughout the grounds for you to discover.  

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3. Discover Victor Hugo’s Hauteville House

Hauteville House used to be the home of Victor Hugo, he was a French literary writer that was banished from France and acquired the home in Guernsey in 1856. There are 5 floors to this mammoth house all of which you will be able to explore on your visit. The house is entirely furnished and decorated by Hugo himself and is reflective of his creative mind at the time. A variety of well-known masterpieces were written here including The Legend of Ages, Théâtre en Liberté and of course one of the greatest novels of the 19th century, Les Misérables.

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4. Admire the Guernsey Tapestry

The Bailiwick of Guernsey Millennium Tapestry displays 1000 years of history within 10 embroidered panels. Every panel explores the history of one century and uncovers major events that have helped make the island what it is today. There are audio guides available to help explain the history displayed on each panel. The volunteers are also more than happy to talk through the history of the stitches, as many of them helped stitch the tapestry when it was created. The tapestry was worked on by residents of the Bailiwick in 1995 to celebrate the millennium. The masterful artwork is displayed in a purpose-built gallery in the Dorey Centre.

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5. Watch a show at St James Concert Hall

St James Concert Hall is a former garrison church that is frequently used for a variety of performances, recitals and concerts. From comedy shows to musical performances there is a range of shows that will appeal to everyone’s different tastes. The beautiful building was converted in 1985 after it was no longer in use by the residents of Guernsey. The hall is situated on College Street by St Peter Port. To see upcoming events, please visit St James’ website.  

 

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6. Appreciate the artefacts at Guernsey Museum & Art Gallery

If you are an art fanatic, the Guernsey Museum & Art Gallery is a must-see! The museum is located within Candie Gardens and The Rona Cole Art Gallery holds over 200 incredible paintings. Notable local artists include William Toplis, William Caparne, Paul Naftel and Peter Le Lievre. There is also a collection of natural history, archaeology and geology artefacts to explore. Throughout the year there are also a variety of different exhibitions displayed.

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7. Learn about the past at La Valette Underground Military Museum

For things to do in Guernsey, St Peters Port, La Valette Underground Military Museum should be added to your list. The museum focuses on Guernsey’s military history, specifically World War One and the German Occupation of the island during the Second World War. The museum is situated in a complex of tunnels, built by German forces as fuel storage for their U-Boats. The exhibitions, memorabilia and displays are not to be missed!  

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8. Visit the sister island of Sark

Travel with Sark Shipping for a day trip to the isle of Sark, the ferry runs throughout all months of the year from White Rock at St Peter Port to ensure there is a connection between the two islands. Whilst you are there, we recommend visiting La Coupee, a narrow isthmus that connects Big Sark to Little Sark. We also suggest visiting the ring of stones at Sark Henge as well as Grand Greve, one of Sark’s beautiful sandy beaches. If you fancy taking a trip back in time, you can even take a horse and carriage ride around the island.

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9. Visit the sister island of Herm

Sail with Travel Trident for a trip to the spectacular island of Herm. The natural location offers exciting wildlife, crystal clear waters, delicious eateries and breathtaking walks. There is also a selection of cosy cottages and luxury hotels on the island if you wish to extend your trip from Guernsey. In just 20 minutes you can reach Herm from the Weighbridge Clock Tower at St Peter Port and the service runs 365 days a year.

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10. Settle down for some Afternoon Tea

For a quintessentially British day out, enjoy a delicious afternoon tea at Copenhagen Restaurant in Hotel De Havelet. With terrific views of St Peter Port and Castle Cornet, there is no better way to relax the day away. Whether you are celebrating a special occasion or enjoying a treat, a civilized get together in a stunning location is incomparable. There is also prosecco afternoon tea available if you rather have some bubbles with your scones.

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11. Hop on The Petit Train

The Petit Train, otherwise known as Victor, offers a fun sightseeing trip around St Peter Port. The adorable white land train is extremely popular amongst tourists and is great entertainment for all the family. It is the perfect thing to do with the kids and it departs from Albert Pier, opposite the Town Church every day from Easter until the beginning of October. The trip lasts about 35 to 40 minutes.

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12. German Naval Signals HQ

This incredible site is a restoration of the original bunker and used to be the headquarters for the German Naval Commander of the Channel Islands during World War Two. The signal HQ was accountable for the radio traffic to and from Germany and other islands. If you are passionate about history and technology this is a must-see during your stay in Guernsey. The German Naval Signals HQ is situated in St Jacques, St Peter Port.

Eating out in St Peter Port Guernsey

If you love fresh, locally produced food that fuses British and French dining, then you’ve come to the right place. St Peter Port restaurants offer an endless selection of cuisines and we can guarantee that you will find the perfect place to settle down for a mouthwatering meal here. For the highest quality food, there is a selection of fine dining options available, perfect for a big celebration! Take a look at our recommendations below for where to eat in St Peter Port.

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Fresh Seafood

There is a large selection of seafood restaurants to try and there are some of the best places to eat in St Peter Port as the coastal waters are home to an assortment of fish. Whether you are after oysters, scallops, bass or mackerel they are bound to taste delicious because they flourish in the moderate waters.

The Boathouse is situated right on the harbour waters and because of its setting they specialise in fresh seafood. The nautical restaurant serves the most delicious seafood dishes throughout their main menu and specials. Another incredible terraced restaurant is Pier 17 as they are inspired by fresh and seasonal ingredients. From their lobsters to scallops, their seafood is truly exceptional. 

The Catch Bistro & Bar is a small restaurant that overlooks the harbour, they aim to sell the freshest seafood from the local waters and beyond. Their menu is full of a large selection of different seafood and we recommend checking out their blackboard for the catch of the day!

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Cosmopolitan Cuisines

Guernsey is more cosmopolitan than ever before, and St Peter Port serves for everyone’s unique palette. Whatever cuisine you are after, we can guarantee you will find a restaurant that serves the food you love. If you want to dip your toes in French food, Le Petit Bistro is the place to go, the authentic restaurant serves the freshest local produce as well as local rabbit, pigeon and seafood. If Indian food is more up your street, you can’t miss Sitar. This Indian restaurant is one of the best Indians on the island, it will not disappoint. If you would rather enjoy your meal from the comfort of your own home, they also serve takeaways.

La Piazza serves the most incredible Italian dishes, providing you with all the pasta and pizza you could ever dream about. The traditional restaurant also has a fantastic outdoor area making you feel as though you are eating al fresco in Rome. For a hearty steak, the Red Grill House and Cocktail Bar is the place to be. You will not be disappointed after having a mouthwatering rib eye or sirloin here, their grill blackboard also displays the day’s cuts and the different sizes of steak available.

The Terrace Garden Café is very popular for a spot of lunch after shopping along the high street. Their unique panoramic café specialises in Thai food as well as typical café food which you can enjoy al fresco on their terrace. The Thai street food served here is also delicious! If you are after traditional Chinese cuisine, China Red is a one of the best Chinese restaurants in St Peter Port. It’s a must-visit thanks to their large menu and extensive selection of alcohol.

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Fine Dining

For an exceptional dining experience, Le Nautique is situated in the heart of the stunning capital and is one of the best places to eat in St Peter Port. The remarkable a la carte menu offers world-class cuisine and a vast array of options, to ensure there is something for everyone. The Chef Recommends section on their menu is constantly changed to incorporate seasonal produce and their fish is caught daily from Guernsey’s waters.

The Old Government House Brasserie is located in a five-star hotel at St Peter Port and their food reflects just that. The classic seasonal ingredients are remarkable, so make sure you pick something from their daily specials or, for the ultimate experience, from the chef’s choice menu. Don’t miss out on their extensive wine list and enjoy a glass whilst catching up some friends.

La Fregate Hotel & Restaurant offers one of the finest views in Guernsey, the perfect place to enjoy a deliciously prepared meal. Naturally, the menu is full of delightful seafood and fish from the local waters and the chefs use seasonal and local produce wherever possible. La Fregate takes pride in its exceptional wine list which has been carefully accumulated to be enjoyed by all.

Places to stay in St Peter Port

There are plenty of comfortable hotels in St Peter Port, Guernsey for all types of holidaymakers. From budget, to boutique, to complete opulence, there will be a place to stay in St Peter Port that caters for your needs. Whether you are a solo traveller, couple or family we have all the best options covered.

Hotels in St Peter Port

Self Catering in St Peter Port

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La Retraite Self Catering

The dog-friendly self-catering apartments are situated right next to Candie Gardens and are ideal for those who want to feel more at home rather than a guest. Either of the two self-catering apartments is the perfect spot for a week away with the whole family. There is parking, Wi-Fi and TV/DVD players provided to help keep the kids entertained.

 

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La Collinette Hotel Cottages & Apartments

For a home from home experience, La Collinette’s 7 cottages and 7 apartments will help make your holiday perfect. They comprise of one twin bedroom, one double bedroom, bathroom, large lounge/dining room and kitchen. The lounges open up to the pool terrace, balcony or on to the lawns. The main hotel facilities are also available to guests during their stay.

B&B’s & Guest Houses

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St George’s Guest House

This sweet guesthouse is situated only a few minutes from the hustle and bustle of St Peter Port’s centre and stunning marina. The tranquil family-run guest house has picturesque views of the coastline as well as the neighbouring islands. Amenities include free Wi-Fi, seasonal breakfast basket, en-suite, flat-screen TV, in-room dining and tea/coffee facilities.

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Les Cotils

The reputable Le Cotils is an elegant Victorian house with breathtaking views overlooking the islands. There are 28 bedrooms available with a choice of single, double or family rooms. The surrounding 12 acres of gardens and grounds are exceptional, providing you with the perfect place to relax and admire the beauty of the island.

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The Yacht Inn

The Yacht is an excellent B&B in St Peter Port and is right in the centre of it all. Situated on the South Esplanade, it doesn’t get more central than this. It has remained an inn since 1854 and the luxurious B&B steps out onto the seafront. Dogs are also accepted here at a charge of £10 per night.  

 

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The Marton

This guest house is in a slightly quieter residential area of St Peter Port on Les Vardes. All rooms are en-suite and are equipped with a TV and hospitality tray. There are single, twin, double and family rooms available. Guests are also welcome to use the facilities of their sister hotel, The Pandora which is just a 2-minute walk away.

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Shopping in St Peter Port

St Peter Port, Guernsey is a shopper's paradise. On the hillside parallel to the Esplanade, you will find the pedestrianised high street. It is easy to find as there is brightly coloured bunting weaved across the shops. The high street is the main shopping area in St Peter Port and offers an array of shops ranging from recognisable UK high street brands to unique boutique and gift shops. It is ideally located, as it is very close to the main harbour by the ferry terminal.

The high street becomes Le Pollet when heading north and here you will find gorgeous jewellers and boutiques. There are limited tacky tourist shops and a lot of high-quality independent businesses with low-priced goods. You will be able to find your essentials at the likes of Boots and Co-op but also pick up some interesting pieces at the local aesthetic craft shops. The streets are spotless and twist through the back lanes of St Peter Port.

 Market Square also offers a variety of shops such as Feel Unique, New Look, Sports Direct to name a few. Every Friday there is a street food market and the square has incredible fresh produce on sale from the best Guernsey local vendors between 8:30 am and 2:30 pm. The Old Quarter of St Peter Port has a fantastic selection of restaurants and cafes as well as a fabulous mix of specialist and independent shops. For designer wear and fashion boutiques head to Commercial Arcade and Mill Street. 

For the most mouthwatering chocolate, you can’t miss Ben Le Prevost Chocolatier, the chocolates are exceptional and beautifully well made. Step back in time and enjoy The Victorian Shop and Parlour at 26 Cornet Street. It is the perfect place to stop if you are heading to Hauteville house as there are a selection of Victorian gems, surprises and old-fashioned sweets.

There is no VAT in Guernsey and only local taxes are applied, both UK and Jersey currency can be used. Prices for high-street goods in St Peter Port are typically lower than in mainland Britain, however, there are also wonderful independent shops that should not be missed. 

Hidden gems in St Peter Port

We have scoured St Peter Port for the best hidden gems, from cafés to historic monuments our recommendations will keep you entertained on your trip away. Our secret treasures reveal some of Guernsey’s special history and the most favoured places to eat and drink by locals. Escape the tourists and explore the island like a true resident with our unique recommendations of places to visit in the capital!

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Walking tours

Walking tours are the best way to explore St Peter Port and Guernsey. Choose from a huge selection of walking tours on different topics including the German Occupation along with spookier aspects of Guernsey's history. For more information on the best tours in Guernsey visit our guide

 

 

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La Vallette Bathing Pools

The four Victorian bathing pools are great for a refreshing dip and offer a fantastic view of the islands. They are safe and contained making them the perfect place to go with the whole family. The pools were frequently used by the Impressionist painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir and the Victorian writer Victor Hugo.

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White Rock Café

If you want to feel like a local, we recommend having a delicious fry up in the company of resident fishermen and harbour workers. The traditional café is located near St Peter Port’s ferry terminal and are celebrated by the locals for their ‘Big Breakfast’. The café is open every day between 5:30 am and 2:00 pm, ideal for the early birds.

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Cast Iron Pissoir

For a weird and wonderful hidden gem, head over to Guernsey’s only working and Victorian male toilet. The rectangular cast-iron urinal is situated at Le Bordage, St Peter Port.

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Victoria Tower

Borrow a key for 30 minutes for an exclusive climb up a historic monument and enjoy remarkable views over St Peter Port Harbour and Castle Cornet. The key is available from Guernsey Museum in Candie Gardens during normal opening hours.

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Freshly brewed coffee

Guernsey has a huge selection of cafés that can be enjoyed for a relaxing break or a spot of lunch. For a host of cool, local coffee houses offering coffee and pastries we recommend visiting Taylor’s, Woodies, Café Emilia, Dix Neuf, Coco, Bella to name a few.

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British Isles’ oldest post box

On Union Street, at the top of St Peter Port, you will find the oldest postbox in the British Isles. Most of the post boxes except this one were transferred to different postal museums or replaced. This unique 1853 postbox is red, whereas all the others on the island are blue, and is still in use today.