We were given ferry crossing and accomodation in return for writing this post. All opinions are honest and our own
Guernsey is somewhere that up until this year lived in my childhood memories. My maternal Grandad took me on holidays to the channel island every year until he sadly passed away when I was 8. This photo is one of the only ones I have from those Channel Island holidays.
It’s a photo of my Grandad and it was taken by me when I was about 5 years old. 1 photo and a million memories. We usually used to stay in the St Martin area of Guernsey at a hotel called Greenwoods which, I believe, is now a residential care home.
The hotel was white with green shutters.
It had a bar area with a cockatoo which occasionally spoke and a sitting room with board games. It was at Greenwoods that I learned to listen to my Grandads advice (there was an incident with a créme caramel).
Every holiday we would drive to the ferry port or the airport in his blue vauxhall cavalier called Vicky. The Everly Brothers would be playing loudly while we sang along. My Grandad would pack a box of sugarcubes which was a treat for me and any horses we would encounter. We would spend the week having cake and milkshakes in the cafes of St Peter Port and playing on the beautiful beaches. I would write postcards and always visit a nursery so I could send carnations home to my Mum.
I have a lot of wonderful memories of Guernsey
So, when I was asked if I would like to return to the island with my own family, I jumped at the chance. It was really easy to organise because you don’t even need a passport to travel to the Channel Islands from the Uk.
On our way
We were all really excited about sailing to Guernsey on the Condor Liberation. So excited in fact that it didn’t even cross my mind that we might not be great on boats. We were assigned what must have been the best seats onboard. Right at the front with stunning panoramic views.
Of course when it came to it we were all (except MrG) really quite seasick. It was such a rookie mistake not to have picked up sickness tablets – especially on such a rough crossing. Luckily because the crossing was so rough it appeared that most of the other passengers on the Liberation had the same sea sickness problem so we all chucked up together. Nothing much bonds a group of strangers as well as an experience such as this.
What an ice breaker..
Our seats were generous and as you can see we had lots of space to stretch our legs. We were seated in the Horizon Lounge section of the Liberation, right at the front of the vessel. The Horizon Lounge has a secure key code entry and lovely recliner seats. Each seat has a power supply and high speed wifi is available to purchase. The Horizon Lounge has superb views and it’s own bar. There was a great selection of food available on the Liberation but to be honest none of us could face it!
The crossing from Poole to Guernsey was around 3 and a half hours long and I had worried about how I would keep a 4 year old entertained for such a long time. I needn’t have stressed though, the children have a little area just for them with a television showing children’s movies. Moose made good use of this area as did many of the little ones onboard! As well as the children’s area we also explored the 2 outdoor decks and of course the duty free shop.
Back on dry land
Once we arrived at St Peter Port it was nice and easy to get off the liberation. We were all impressed with how quiet the Liberation was during the crossing and even more so with the staff. They looked after us all really well and made the whole journey an enjoyable (if not wobbly) experience.
We later learned that there was an issue with the stabilisers and one of the engines on the Liberation so I am sure that usually the crossing is a lot smoother.
During our stay we were being hosted at The Peninsula Hotel which had everything we could need for our 2 day stay including a fabulous dining room and bar and an outdoor swimming pool.
There is so much to do on Guernsey. We were pleased then that Visit Guernsey had provided us with a pass for some of the local attractions.
A weekend is not long but I knew I wanted us to visit the Little Chapel and to explore St Peter Port during our stay. We were lucky to be able to visit Fort Gray as well as a couple of the beautiful beaches over the course of our weekend too!
Would we do it again?
The answer here is an easy yes. Guernsey and the rest of the Channel Islands have tons to offer families. It was so lovely to be able to revisit places I had only seen as a child and experience them as a parent this time. It was nice to see my children getting so much enjoyment from simple pleasures. Over the 29 years since I last visited I was expecting a lot to have changed. Some has, of course. But much is just as it was when I was there with my Grandad. Except of course that now I have a LOT more photos.