Celebrate Guernsey’s Heritage


Celebrate our liberation this month as Guernsey launches a Heritage month to showcase more than a millennia of history.


This month Guernsey will showcase its incredible history in a dedicated ‘Heritage Month’ set to run from 12th April to 18th May 2014. Throughout the month there will be cultural events, talks and special museum openings culminating in Liberation Day on 9th May, just like ours. It’s ideal for culture vultures and families wanting to inject some enjoyable learning into the Easter holidays and the month is set to open up Guernsey’s history to a wide range of visitors. 


Heritage month has been launched to highlight one of Guernsey’s key strengths; its ‘outdoor museum’. The entire island is steeped in history whether it is dolmens and burial chambers from Neolithic ages, forts along the coastline from Napoleonic times or bunkers and fortifications left by the German forces on our sister island. Guernsey prides itself on the accessibility of this history as much of it is free from barriers and payment kiosks and available to climb on and walk around.


Visitors during Heritage Month will benefit from special heritage discovery passes , talks and activities.


For History

 An Evening with Dr Lucy Worsley

On 18 May, TV presenter and historian, Dr Lucy Worsley (www.lucyworsley.com) will give an exclusive talk on Guernsey’s history at St. James Concert Hall in Guernsey’s capital, St. Peter Port.


Join a WWII archaeology dig, Alderney

Throughout Heritage Month, visitors will be able to join a WWII archaeological dig at Bibette Head on Alderney; the site of some of the best preserved German defences in the Channel Islands. With its intact trenches, tunnels and armoured machine gun cupolas, the site offers a remarkable insight into the fortification of the island. Visitors will be able to clean out the heavily fortified concrete structures that formerly housed searchlights, anti-tank guns and machine guns.

Entry is £5. info@alderneywildlife.org/ 01481 823709 


Ramsar Ramble and Lihou Island

On 30 April, there will be a guided walk of the L’Eree Headland Nature Reserve and Lihou Island. On L’Eree visitors will be able to see a pre-Christian burial chamber, German trenches and a defence tower. The walk will then lead onto the tiny Lihou Island which is only accessible at low tide when a cobbled causeway is revealed. Visitors will be able to see the ruins of a 12th century priory ruins as well as incredible bird and marine life.

To book and for further details: www.gillgirardtourguide.co.ukCM13_MAY_151_fmt


For Families



From 18- 20 April, Guernsey will hold its first ‘HistoryFest’ within the walls of Castle Cornet. Over the three days, the castle will be brought to life with actors in period costumes, live action role play and interactive family activities where children can hear about hundreds of years of history and learn medieval skills.

Entry is £9.75 for adults, £2,50 for children and is free for under sevens. 


Heritage by water

Bumblebee Boat Cruises will run a series of heritage cruises around Guernsey throughout the month. These will range from a family cruise in search of pirates, a trip seeing the stunning wild flowers that grow along the dramatic east and south coasts or a look at the areas of the island that inspired Renoir.

Prices start at £20 for adults and £15 for children. www.bumblebee.gg  01481 720 200


Liberation Day

Join the festivities on 9 May as islanders celebrate 69 years of liberation from the occupying German forces. The majority of celebrations take place in St. Peter Port where locals and visitors celebrate with military vehicle parades, street entertainment and family-friendly activities. Local bands perform at the annual LibRock concert in the evening, which culminates in the Liberation firework display over Castle Cornet.  Alternatively head to neighbouring island, Sark on 10 May when it celebrates its own Liberation Day. There will be a guided walk of some of the sites associated with the islands occupation, followed by the chance to meet Chelsea Pensioners and Ghurkas.

The majority of celebrations take place in St. Peter Port where locals and visitors celebrate with military vehicle parades, street entertainment and family-friendly activities. Local bands perform at the annual LibRock concert in the evening,

To book contact the Sark Tourist Information Office on 01481 832345. Tickets cost £4 per adult and £1.50 per child.


Discovery Museum Pass in advance of Heritage Month will be automatically entered into a draw to fire the noonday gun at Castle Cornet, a daily tradition dating back to 19th century. The cost effective pass is priced at £16 and gives free entry to museums and other benefits.

To book in advance: museums@gov.gg   01481 726518CM13_MAY_131_fmt


Suggestions of key sites to visit are:


Le Dehus Dolmen Guernsey’s most atmospheric passage grave. It is perfectly preserved with a small wooden door for an entrance and there are pre-historic markings on the walls.

Castle Cornet– built in the 13th century to protect the island from intruders; the imposing and magnificent castle was originally on its own rocky islet but is now attached to Guernsey. Today visitors can explore the battlements and enjoy views from the top of the castle across to Herm and Sark.

Hauteville House- this is where Victor Hugo lived in the mid 19th century and wrote Les Misérables. The three storey house is full of secret doors and bold interiors, with bizarre furniture designed to challenge visitors.

La Valette Underground Military Museum– the museum entrance is a simple concrete lined opening in the cliffs, which leads into a complex of tunnels built by slave labourers during the Occupation. These tunnels are now open to the public and packed with military and civilian memorabilia.

Victoria Tower- the 100ft tower was erected in honour of a visit to the island by Queen Victoria and Albert in 1846. The whole structure is crowned, almost quite literally, with an octagonal lantern topped with a coronet.





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