St. Peter Port Walking Tour with Castle Cornet Visit
St. Peter Port, Channel Islands
- St. Peter Port: It's the capital of the Bailiwick of Guernsey, sits just 30 miles off France's Normandy coast, and has been doing brisk port business since Roman times.
- Cornet Castle: This ancient harbor fortress boasts a long and bloody history, and has the weaponry to prove it. Also, spectacular panoramic views of town and sea.
- Complimentary refreshments: Once you've survived the Castle tour, you'll be ready for coffee and something sweet. Like, say, gache, a Channel Island fruit bread.
About this St. Peter Port tour
"Guernsey." The name doesn't conjure images of free-ranging smugglers, crooked pub-keepers, or Nazi squads – more a contented cow. But on this tour, you're going to discover how Guernsey and its capital city, St. Peter Port, have much more history with mayhem than with heifers.
Our guided walk begins pleasantly enough, with a cobblestoned stroll of the harbor – where you can almost still hear the din of the passengers, porters, privateers, and outright pirates who made their way through this port in its heyday. Long-known as the best anchorage in the English Channel, St. Peter was also known for turning a blind eye to the legal ownership of the goods that crossed its quays. Your GoBe guide can share many a tale about this mischief.
From here, the town's steep-climbing lanes and passageways look inviting, but we have a rendezvous with a less tranquil spot: Castle Cornet. That's it, out at the harbor's mouth, with the enormous walls, well-oiled cannons, and seriously dank dungeons. Yet, in an ironic touch, also with no less than four lovingly-tended gardens. Go figure.
We'll tour this sprawling 800-year-old complex (home to five separate museums), and listen to a narration that brings it vividly to life. Or, more accurately, to death – since that was often the main business here. By siege engine, musket, crossbow, cannon, Mauser, or just by slow rotting away in the dark holds below.
Afterwards, to lighten things up, we can talk about the Black Death that harbor rats carried with them as they scurried around town in the 1300s. Half of Guernsey’s residents endured horrific pain and grotesque disfigurement – then died. Like we said, a history of mayhem.
War is hell, but this is crazy
Guernsey's seen its challenges over the centuries, but none more absurd than its long occupation during WWII. Technically owned by the Crown but not supported by its military, when the island was invaded by Germany in 1940, no defense force was here to stop them. So the Nazis dug in, fortified, and stayed here – for five years. By the time liberation came (11 months after nearby Normandy), nearly everyone was starving, including the occupiers.
Please meet your expert guide on your cruise ship pier. Your guide will be carrying a sign with your name on it.
Subject to sailing time, you may wish to remain at Castle Cornet to independently explore the excellent museums, or you can return towards the center of St. Peter Port for shopping.
There is approximately 2 miles of walking over uneven terrain and cobblestones. This tour is not wheelchair accessible.
Walking Tour, Scenic, Cultural, Food and Wine
Beverage & Snack
Tour Participation Requirements
This experience is rated moderate. Full participation may require extended periods of walking over even and uneven surfaces, steep terrain and/or water activity in a slight current. There may be steps, inclines, cobblestone surfaces, and extended periods of standing. Participants with physical limitations should take this into account.
Suitable for all ages.
Full refunds issued for cancellations made 7 full days prior to the date and time of requested services. Cancellations made within the 7-day and 72-hour window will receive a 50% refund of purchase total. Purchases are non-refundable inside of 72 hours.
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