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23 of the best things to do in Guernsey with kids


Despite being just a short flight or ferry ride from the UK, the Channel Island somehow stay under the radar for family holidays – but with so many things to do in Guernsey with kids, here’s why they should be firmly on your wishlist.

View down to Belvoir Beach on Herm with turquoise water and boats in the distance - one of many great things to do in Guernsey with kids

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Once part of France, they’re now a Crown dependency – part of the British Isles but not the UK, so you get a unique mix of influences, as well as an atmosphere that’s Guernsey’s alone.

And with smaller islands including Alderney, Herm and Sark to explore too, some little-known wartime history, some of Europe’s most beautiful beaches and a chilled out vibe, it makes the perfect easy getaway.

Beaches

With curving sweeps of pale sand and the clearest turquoise water, you could happily spend most of your holiday on the beach – there’s a whole section on the best beaches in Guernsey on the tourist board’s website but here are a few family favourites to start you off.

On the coastline of Guernsey alone, there are a whole string of lovely beaches where kids can build sandcastles, swim in the sea, go rockpooling, or take part in various water sports like kayaking and paddleboarding. 

Cobo Bay is one of Guernsey’s most popular family-friendly beaches, with soft white sand, crystal clear waters, and rock pools at low tide. The beach is easily accessible via a slipway and has a range of amenities nearby, including a cafe, chip shop, pub, and tearoom. 

My daughter looks out over the white sand of Cobo Bay to the turquoise and blue sea - one of the best beaches on Guernsey with kids

Not far away horseshoe-shaped Port Soif beach has calm waters which are great for families, with sand dunes sheltering the beach itself. There’s a kiosk to get food plus toilets here.

Or Vazon Bay is the largest beach in Guernsey and another popular spot for families. There’s plenty of space for little ones to play on the sand and splash in the waves, while older kids can enjoy the huge range of watersports, including surfing. There are plenty of facilities around here as well, including places to eat.

For a slightly more peaceful and secluded experience, Petit Bot is a lovely sheltered bay that’s perfect for kids of all ages to swim in its calm waters – it’s worth knowing that there’s a rocky section leading down to the shore, and it does get busy in summer, so get there early. There’s a cafe here with toilets too.

If you’re visiting Herm, Shell Beach and nearby Belvoir Beach both have little cafes with toilets and water which could be straight from the Caribbean. Belvoir Beach is down a set of steps, but they’re both easy to reach and walking distance from the harbour.

My daughter stands at the water's edge on Herm with boats in the distance - one of the fun day trips from Guernsey with kids

La Vallette Bathing Pools

For younger children and less confident swimmers, the La Vallette Bathing Pools on the east coast of Guernsey offer a safer alternative to swimming in the open sea.

The unique man-made pools date back over 150 years and are naturally filled by seawater during high tide. The rock walls offer protection from strong currents and waves, while there are also shallow areas where smaller children can safely paddle and play in the water.

The pools are completely free to use, with plenty of newly-built facilities including toilets, changing rooms, freshwater showers, and a year-round cafe. 

Kayaking

One of the best ways to enjoy the coast of Guernsey is from the water, with kayak excursions to get you out onto the water with Outdoor Guernsey.

They’re suitable for age 4+, with double kayaks and child-size paddles and life vests, and the company chooses the best place to visit based on the weather and tides, so it’s less strenuous than sea kayaking can be.

We headed out from Petit Bot for a paddle around the coast, visiting a couple of small caves, discovering more about the ancient rock formations, and watching the sea birds (as well as a few patches of white water from a safe distance).

My daughter looks at the bright kayaks on the beach at Petit Bot in the shadow of a martello tower before heading out to sea - one of the fun things to do in Guernsey with kids

Expect to get wet, but it’s a fantastic way to spend a couple of hours soaking up the peace out on the waves.

You can also hire kayaks and SUPs, as well as trying some of their other activities, from stand up paddleboard outings and coasteering to land activities such as archery and high ropes.

Surfing

While not as well-known as other surfing destinations, Guernsey is a great place for the whole family to give surfing a try, with plenty of beginner-friendly surf breaks and warm water during the summer months.

Vazon Bay is Guernsey’s most popular surf spot, especially among beginners. Here you’ll find Guernsey Surf School, which offers private classes, family lessons, and various holiday/summer camps for children aged 4+. 

Once you’re feeling more confident, you can also check out more advanced surf spots on the island, like nearby Portinfer and Perelle, where you’ll find stronger swells and bigger breaks.

Go island hopping

While there’s plenty to keep you on Guernsey itself, it also makes a great base to explore some of the smaller islands which make up the Bailiwick of Guernsey.

Herm

Herm is one of the easiest: a 20-minute boat ride with Travel Trident ferries from Peter Port to Herm’s harbour, with everything on the island in walking distance. You can get around the whole island in about two hours, although you shouldn’t resist the temptation to amble and sit on the beaches.

Shell Beach and Belvoir Beach are two of the loveliest, but there are also views to soak up, wildflower-lined clifftop paths to wander, the Rosaire steps to walk down, a zen garden to find and St Tugual’s Chapel to explore. There are tours and outdoor activities to try here as well, but half the pleasure is relaxing and enjoying the beauty.

Alderney

Alderney is further to reach – you can get connecting flights which take just 15 minutes, as well as the 90-minute ferry which runs two-three times per day. Alternatively, you can book various water taxis and charter services if you prefer.

The island is home to the Channel Islands’ only working railway, the Alderney Railway and a Roman fort, as well as a lighthouse and Second World War observation tower. You can also spot wombles at the island’s museum. It’s around twice the size of Herm but still only three miles long.

Sark

Another ferry runs to little Sark, around 45 minutes from Guernsey, which runs several times a day between April and October, or you can also charter boats to take you there.

Cars are banned on the island, so apart from tractors, you’ll only find horse-drawn carriages and bikes as an alternative to walking. A similar size to Alderney, it’s perfect if you love getting outdoors – there’s kayaking, coasteering, wild swimming and walking paths galore. You can even try a donkey walk!

Island RIB voyages

One of the most fun things to do in Guernsey with kids, this made my daughter’s top three from our most recent trip to the island.

There are various different experiences to try but the Herm Explorer wildlife voyage – which we tried – is one of the best for families to start with. Just a short distance over to Herm, you can spot puffins (if you’re lucky!) between around April and June, and sometimes see dolphins as well.

You’re almost guaranteed to see seals lounging on the rocks around Herm, looking as inquisitively over to the boats as the passengers are to them, plus seabirds galore, and little towers dotted in the sea. In between the wildlife spotting, there are a few adrenaline thrills thrown in, so you’re guaranteed to finish with a huge smile on your face.

Sark Coasts and Caves will take you a bit further afield, while there’s a chance to learn about pirates and smugglers on the Legends of the Coast trip, among other options.

Walking on Guernsey

Away from the coast, there’s some beautiful countryside to explore on Guernsey as well, with family-friendly walking routes as well as more serious hiking.

The VisitGuernsey app has lots of different routes to try, with the option to filter them by island as well as easy and family-friendly options, plus trails on the other smaller islands too.

There’s everything from walks through St Peter Port to help discover more of the island’s history and an easy 2-mile stroll along the coast around Port Soif, to longer routes.

Keep an eye out for some of the island’s quirky landmarks as you explore too. Monkey and Camel rocks, not far from Cobo Beach, get their name because of their shape or find the Fairy Ring in the far west of the island – you can walk it from Portelet Harbour.

You can also join one of the daily guided walks around St Peter Port which leave at 10.30 from the tourist office, as well as following your own self-guided tour on a phone.

We stayed at the lovely Fermain Valley Hotel, around a five-minute drive from St Peter Port, and a great base to explore the island

View of Castle Cornet from the water, with its stone buildings and long bridge approach - a visit is one of the best things to do in Guernsey with kids

Castle Cornet

One of Guernsey’s main landmarks, the 800-year-old fortress of Castle Cornet in St Peter Port is a fun place to explore with kids and get a glimpse into Guernsey’s past.

The huge castle and its sprawling gardens are perfect for a family day out, with self-guided kids trails, regular craft events, and even a dressing up room full of medieval costumes that you can borrow during your visit. Expect wax figures bringing the history alive, while we also found games tucked away in one stone room.

Children will also love the Noonday Gun too, which is fired every day at midday by two guards in 19th century costume, often followed by live re-enactments of stories from Guernsey’s past.

Castle Cornet is also home to four museums; the Story of Castle Cornet; 201 Squadron (RAF) Museum; Royal Guernsey Light Infantry Museum and the Royal Guernsey Militia Museum, which all have themed activity sheets to keep little ones engaged.

Keep an eye out for Castle Nights during the summer as well, with live music – bring a picnic, and the night-time concerts are free to enjoy.

Guernsey Museum

Also located in St Peter Port, Guernsey Museum and Art Gallery is a fun place to find out more about the history, culture, and art of Guernsey and its people, as well as being a good place to visit in Guernsey in the rain.

The museum has plenty of interactive and hands-on learning experiences for visitors of all ages. Themed family trails and activity sheets are available to help children interact with the galleries and displays – during our first visit, there were some impressive Lego creations on display.

The Discovery Room is a dedicated space for families, with special exhibits, retro games, and traditional toys. The room also has a role-play area called The Timewarp, which is changed each year to teach kids about a different time period in a fun and immersive way.

Candie Gardens

Once you’ve finished at the Guernsey Museum, head just outside to explore the surrounding Candie Gardens.

The beautiful public gardens are set on a hillside with fantastic views down over St Peter Port, and are filled with lush greenery, colourful flowers, and winding pathways – plus a statue of Victor Hugo!

My daughter stands by the tulips in Candie Gardens with the sea visible beyond - one of the places to see in Guernsey with kids

The gardens have several small ponds where kids can watch the fish and feed the ducks. There’s also plenty of open lawn space to enjoy a picnic on a sunny day, with a small cafe serving drinks and cakes in the centre.

Victoria Tower

For one of the best views in Guernsey, head to the Victoria Tower, which looks like a giant stone chess piece, not far from the Guernsey Museum and Candie Gardens.

You can get the key from the museum during opening hours and let yourself in to climb the 99 steps up to the viewing platform which stretches the whole way around the tower, to look out across St Peter Port to the sea and inland.

Built in 1848 to commemorate the visit of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert two years before, it was the first visit by a reigning monarch to the island – apparently the Queen had an unexpected free day and ordered the royal yacht to Guernsey as she wanted to see what the Channel Islands were really like.

Red brick Victoria Tower with its observation platform for some of the best views over Guernsey for families

Sausmarez Manor

For another family-friendly slice of history, Sausmarez Manor is a stately home in Guernsey that’s known for its child-friendly attractions as well as its subtropical gardens and long history.

One family has owned the property for over 800 years, and you can hear stories from over the centuries on a guided tour of the manor house. Older children might also enjoy some of the historic house’s spookier stories on the nightly ghost tours.

The house’s grounds also feature a tea room, children’s play area, a little ride-on train, 9 hole pitch and putt, and a sculpture park filled with diverse artworks. Most outdoor activities are only available between Easter and the end of October.

Hauteville House

Victor Hugo spent 15 years of his life on Guernsey, after being banished from France in 1851 (then also expelled from Belgium and Jersey) thanks to his political beliefs.

After his book of poems, Les Contemplations, became a best-selling hit, he bought Hauteville House after falling in love with the island. It’s on Guernsey that he wrote Les Miserables, as well as other works, and you can still see inside the house which he decorated, designed and furnished himself.

While it might not appeal to toddlers, the eccentric writer had an equally memorable home so there’s plenty for older kids to appreciate, as you explore from the shadowy ground floor to the glass-roofed room on the top floor. Look out for decorations inspired by The Hunchback of Notre-Dame as you explore.

Entry to the house must be prebooked, although you can also visit the garden without booking.

The Little Chapel is one of the smallest chapels in the world and a miniature recreation of the grotto and basilica at Lourdes - one of the most unusual things to see with kids in Guernsey

The Little Chapel

The Little Chapel is one of the most famous tourist attractions in Guernsey. It was built by Brother Déodat in the early 1900s as a miniature version of the famous Lourdes basilica in France.

The tiny chapel is believed to be one of the smallest churches in the world. Covered with intricate mosaics, seashells, and colourful pieces of china, its magical, fairytale-esque atmosphere is sure to spark children’s imagination.

Batterie Mirus

The Channel Islands were the only part of the British Isles to be occupied during the Second World War, a part of history which was often little-known outside the islands themselves – at least until The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society topped the bestseller lists.

And you can still see and visit some of the gun emplacements, bunkers and tunnels built by the Germans during the Nazi occupation. As the westernmost Channel Island, Guernsey was particularly strategically important, and was fortified extensively during the five-year occupation.

Batterie Mirus is one of the four main gun sites on the island, and you can only visit it on a tour – Amanda Johns runs both public and private tours. While the enormous gun itself (taken from a First World War dreadnought) is long gone, you can still see photos of it being transported and installed, and the huge bowl of the gun battery.

But beyond that, there are a string of tunnels and barracks, as well as rooms used to operate the gun battery – from storing ammunition to the machines required. Better for tweens and teens who can appreciate the history, you can still see original paintwork on the walls of the bunker, including Nazi symbols – chilling, but a unique way to understand more of this period of history.

You can also visit the German Underground Hospital, also used as an ammunition store, the largest Second World War structure in the Channel Islands

German Occupation Museum

For older children with an interest in history, the German Occupation Museum offers more insight into life in Guernsey during the Second World War too.

The short video at the start of the museum is a helpful introduction to the Nazi occupation, if you don’t know a great deal about this era of history, plus there’s a surprising array of exhibits and original artefacts in the small museum, dating back to the 1940s.

There’s even a recreation of an occupation-era street, with life-sized models and scenes depicting life on the island during German occupation. There’s not a great deal that’s interactive, and the subject matter means it’s not ideal for younger kids, so I’d only suggest this for teens and older tweens though.

For teens with a particular interest in this period of history, the German Naval Signals HQ museum is set in an original bunker, and also worth a visit

Fort Grey & the Shipwreck Museum

Sitting on the western coast of Guernsey, Fort Grey is a historic coastal fortress that’s known to locals as the “cup and saucer” due to its unusual shape. 

The fort’s central tower is home to the Shipwreck Museum, which tells the stories of those who tragically lost their lives at sea and displays many objects recovered from local wrecks.

The museum has kids trails, activity sheets, and fun quizzes. There are also “Discovery Sacks” available to loan from the shop, which are filled with objects including a pair of binoculars, a compass, a magnifying glass, and pirate accessories.

Pirate Bay Adventure Golf

There’s an added challenge to this fun 12-hole mini golf course – pulling yourself across the water on rafts, as well as dodging volcanoes and putting through graveyards.

There’s enough challenge at Pirate Bay Adventure Golf to keep everyone on their A game, but you could also come away with a couple of holes in one. A very fun way to spend half an hour or so.

Part of Golf 19, there’s also a proper 18-hole course with lessons on offer as well as the junior academy if your kids want to move from crazy golf to the real thing.

Mini golf at Oatlands

If your kids want more than 12 holes, there’s another fun mini golf course at Oatlands – one of several family-friendly attractions at the site.

Some of the 18 holes are themed around other games – dodging bowling pins at Lucky Strike, for example – or have various tricky (and occasionally fiendish) obstacles to get around.

If you’re visiting Guernsey with toddlers and younger kids, check out Oaty & Joey’s Play Barn on the same site, another good option for a rainy day in Guernsey with kids. Don’t miss a visit to The Kiln either, with some fantastic cakes (including vegan options) and great breakfasts.

Guernsey Candles candle-making

Unleash your creative streak with a personalised hand-carved candle at Guernsey Candles – choose your own colour scheme, dip the wax and then carve your candle to finish.

There’s help on hand to get a great result, with folds, dribbles and colour blends. Almost too good to burn!

The candle-making workshop is on the right as you head in to the complex, plus you can buy pre-made candles too.

Feed the Guernsey gold goats

This rare breed of goat is as eye-catching as the name suggests – you can spot them chewing away happily in their field just off Route des Sages.

Or you can stop in to feed them as well. Head to Golden Guernsey Goats Cheese where you can pick up some feed in the farm shop for a pound (as well as some cheese, of course, and other treats).

Blonde-haired girl on a climbing wall - there are several leisure centres to try this in Dorset on a rainy day

Up climbing indoor climbing

Head to Up Climbing for another fun option for Guernsey in the rain with kids – or if you have keen indoor climbers who want to practise their skills.

You don’t need any previous experience, with sessions supervised by an instructor for kids (and induction sessions for adults), including a Traverse Wall that you climb sideways – while it is 2.4m high, you don’t have to be more than 30cm off the ground if you’re not keen on heights.

There are also nine high ropes walls , which are 5-7m high, as well as bouldering walls to try. There are even toddler sessions for age 2+.

Prebooking is strongly recommended, especially if you are a novice, to ensure there’s an instructor free for the session.

Iris & Dora art studio

Create your own perfect souvenir of Guernsey at the Iris & Dora art studio on Ruette Braye, just outside central St Peter Port, by painting your own piece of pottery.

Children are welcome, and there are a couple of options including acrylic paint – ideal if you don’t have time to wait for your pottery to be fired (or your kids can’t wait to take their creation home). Prebooking is recommended during school holidays or on rainy days, although you can just drop in – and there’s outdoor painting if the sun shines.

View of St Peter Port harbour and the colourful buildings behind on a sunny day in Guernsey with kids

Where to eat in Guernsey with kids

The islands are generally very family-friendly so you won’t be short of places to eat in Guernsey with kids, including plenty of beach kiosks and cafes for a relaxed snack or meal. These are a few of our other favourites:

The Rockmount

Known as The Rocky to locals, the pub is only a short distance from Cobo Bay, with some fantastic food – there’s seafood galore (from a Guernsey crab sandwich to mussels, seafood sharing plates and more) plus a kids’ menu, traditional pub favourites and some very tempting desserts.

Booking is recommended – The Rockmount is a fair size, but unsurprisingly popular. There are also outdoor tables, although they are on the road.

Crepe Maison

A fun place to grab a bite to eat in St Peter Port, there are traditional Breton galettes as well as crepes, with both sweet and savoury options on the menu at Crepe Maison.

If you don’t fancy a crepe, there are also cakes and ice cream, plus charcuterie and cheese boards as well as sandwiches.

The Kiln

One of our favourite places for brunch or breakfast, The Kiln also has delicious cakes (including vegan options) while lunch options include burgers, sandwiches and salads.

There’s a children’s menu as well, plus some outdoor tables for when the sun is shining. Great to combine with a visit to the play barn or mini golf course too.

Crabby Jacks

If you want a guarantee of family-friendliness, practically everyone in Crabby Jacks had kids with them when we visited. TV screens played Coco and Lilo & Stitch, there’s a kids’ menu plus it’s right near Vazon Bay.

Better with younger kids, it wasn’t one of my own personal favourites, but is definitely a popular option.

Seafront Sundays

If you’re visiting Guernsey between May and August, keep an eye out for Seafront Sundays – the seafront closes on certain Sundays with market stalls springing up along the waterfront, as well as food stalls.

We saw everything from Thai and paella to pizza and burgers, plus there was live music and various treats from doughnuts to ice cream on sale.

Disclosure: My most recent visit to Guernsey was courtesy of Visit Guernsey – I received free entry into some of the sites and attractions listed above, and paid for others myself. All opinions about the best things to do in Guernsey with kids are my own (and my daughter’s) and I’ve been a confirmed fan since my first visit to the island. This post contains affiliate links – any purchases you make are unaffected but I may receive a small commission.

Images: Little Chapel/climbing wall courtesy of Depositphotos, all other images copyright MummyTravels

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