With its evocative cliffs, cobbled lanes, rugged bays and lively restaurants and bars, Guernsey has long held a reputation as the most romantic of the Channel Islands. Such is its stature in all things romance that even the French flock here – following in the footsteps of great authors like Victor Hugo, perhaps. With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, where better to visit than this gorgeous isle in the English Channel? Stay at the Old Government House Hotel or the Duke of Richmond and enjoy a perfect romantic weekend in Guernsey.
St Peter Port
One of the prettiest harbours in the world, St Peter Port is lined with brilliant boutiques, independent shops, and homely artisanal wares. At night the sky becomes perfect for stargazing as winds usher gentle wafts of samphire and fresh seafood across the bay, creating the perfect scene in which to steal a kiss.
During your time in Guernsey, make sure to catch a sunset on the island’s west coast. Such are the views that even locals reach for their cameras when the light starts to bid a smudgy adieu. For those who fancy going the extra mile, head to Cobo Bay and its famous fish and chip shop. Alternatively, book a table at the seafood restaurant Crabby Jacks – perfect for those who prefer to enjoy their sunsets from the luxury of a seaside terrace.
Standing right in the middle of Guernsey, the Little Chapel is evidence of what one man energised by love can achieve. Built entirely by Brother Deodat in 1914, it may (at 9X5 feet) have humble proportions, but it’s so undeniably cute and cosy it’s hard not to take several romantic snaps by its weathered stones.
Sometimes adventure is better eschewed for a little intimate indulgence. And what could be more indulgent than a traditional Afternoon Tea? Old Government House Hotel is the best place to enjoy the delicacies of this celebrated custom, which can be sampled in the Sir John Coward Lounge, or during finer weather, outdoors in The Olive Grove.
Built to honour Queen Victoria’s visit in 1846, the tower is nowadays more famous for Victor Hugo’s antics. This is because the French author used to meet his mistress up its narrow staircase upon nightfall. Petting wasn’t the only thing the pair seems to have got up to, however. Try to find their mischievous graffito – enshrining their names forever in stone.
Packing several museums, a noonday salute, some historic gardens, as well as a café that offers stunning views of neighbouring Herm and Sark, couples love to retreat to the safety of Castle Cornet. Once, a key part of the Channel Islands’ defence, nowadays most lovers come to watch the boats sail by, munch on a picnic, take a snooze on the lawns or smell the delights of the herb gardens.
Explore each of these romantic locations from the luxury of Old Government House Hotel & Spa, the only five-star hotel in Guernsey, and a place most guests consider a home-from-home.
Image Credits: St Peter Port Harbour © iStock/MCranmer. Sunset Guernsey © iStock/Christ2766. Detail of Little Chapel © iStock/Harald Biebel. Afternoon Tea © iStock/clubfoto. Victoria Tower © Visit Guernsey. Castle Cornet © Visit Guernsey.