With its cobbled streets and picturesque seafront marina, it is easy to see why St Peter Port is considered one of Europe’s prettiest harbour towns. Guernsey’s capital has been a busy port since Roman times. Upon arrival into St Peter Port after dodging the huge Condor ferry, you will be directed by the Harbour Master to raft ( when approaching from the North from UK or Alderney or Chergboug you will have to wait to get into the Marina because you have to arrive with the ebbing tide (if you get that wrong you will be going backwards as the tide is extremely strong!!). The rafts are sometimes 8 or 9 boats deep and this makes for an entertaining time! But it is all very friendly particularly when the bottles of wine come out!! Once the sill opens to Victoria Marina you will be directed to a berth….it is always busy and berthing is tight but everyone is usually very friendly and ready to takes lines to help!
If you don’t want to go into the Marina you can berth on one of the designated pontoons but you have to ask the Harbour Master. These pontoons have water on them but no electricity. If you are moving on fairly quickly you may prefer to stay on these as you are then not constrained with the tides and sill in the marina.
The marina is right in front of the shops and restaurants. The High Street has retained much of its charm with small boutiques and gift shops jostling for space alongside larger branded stores including Marks & Spencer (beware because food and wine here is very expensive). St Peter Port may be small but it is perfectly formed – shopping in Guernsey offers plenty of choice if you want to treat yourself to a new wardrobe of clothes. The many family-run businesses mean that no two shops are the same which gives it great charm.
We have tried many restaurants but our favourites are Le Nautique (right on the front overlooking the Marina, it serves exceptional seafood but it is expensive – however it is definitely worth it!) Tel: 00 44 1481 721714. Le Petit Bistro in The Pollet (about 10 mins walk from the Marina) Tel: +44 1481 725055. Pier 17 is also very good again, offering excellent seafood and overlooking the harbour right by the Marina. You will find it on Albert Pier….tel: 0871 426 4459.
You can take a bus around the island which is worth doing – when you arrive the Marina Office will give you a booklet giving times of the buses. Also a must is to take the ferry from St Peter Port to the lovely island of Herm a tranquil island of paradise which has sandy beaches and many coves. Pick a lovely warm sunny day to see it at its best if you can find one!!!!!
Also worthwhile whilst you are in St Peter Port is a visit is Sark. If you want to take your boat you need to be brave and read your charts well! On the west side of Sark, by the Gouliot passage you will find Havre Gosselin which has approx 12 mooring buoys. It is at the bottom of the cliffs and when I went there I thought it was the beautiful place I had ever been to. However, beware because there is often a swell in there – especially when it has been rough recently or the wind is from the West or South West.
Walk is up to the Pilcher monument. Quite a climb! …and in to the town. You get ashore by dinghy to a ladder / steps (Not for the feint hearted!) and then you need to tie the dinghy on a very long rope – or pull it up the steps. It is good practise to bring your dinghy up the steps at Havre Goselin, as occasionally small commercial vessels use this as a passenger landing stage and congestion of dinghies on long painters can be a hazard. However, we just left our dingy on a long rope as hauling it up would have been hard work.
St Peter Port is a great stopping off destination en route to Northern Brittany so Happy sailing….and eating!