Guernsey, Sark and Jersey: A Heritage Tour in The Channel Islands

21 - 29 Apr 2022
  • Cultural Tours

About the tour

Just off the coast of France, the beautiful isles of Jersey, Guernsey, Sark, Herm and Alderney stud the warm waters of the Gulf of St Malo. Not quite English and not quite French, these independent self-governing islands have their own character and culture. Their distinctive histories date back 250,000 years and include a period of Nazi occupation during WWII, which left a poignant legacy of war tunnels, bunkers and coastal fortifications.

This tour will explore the history and landscapes of Guernsey, Jersey and Sark with guided visits and meetings with local experts, who will provide fascinating personal insights into the islands, their history and culture. The tour is based in two independent boutique hotels, with time to relax and explore at leisure.

The warmer microclimate produces subtropical plants and many species of birds and the Channel Islands enjoy sunnier days and milder winters than the UK. Late April is a particularly lovely time to explore, with wildflowers covering clifftops, woods and verges. Combined with stunning scenery, charming old-world towns and superb local food, these islands are a literal breath of fresh air.

Your tour leader

Picture of JBT tour leader, John and Susi Richardson

John and Susi Richardson

Dr John Richardson is an Emeritus Professor of Primary Care and General Practice. He also worked for three years as an occupational physician in Northern Ireland. He has led study tours worldwide and was a medical escort to parties of war widows and veterans on journeys of remembrance for the Royal British Legion. He has also run many history of medicine battlefield tours. He has visited more than 80 countries and worked in 41 of them as a doctor. John has previously led tours for Jon Baines to China, Central Asia, India, Turkey, Central America, Ecuador and the Galapagos, Namibia, Ethiopia, Indo-China and Burma. He has also given lectures on cruises.

Susi Richardson has travelled widely across the world with John either as an expedition nurse, or as a nurse on war grave pilgrimages for the Royal British Legion, or as co-tour leader for Jon Baines Tours, or accompanying her husband on his British Army medical officer postings. Five generations of her Shakespear family served in India on her grandmother’s side, and three generations of Cooke family on her grandfather’s side, covering almost continuously two hundred years of the history of British India in a variety of roles and occupations. Susi has led a number of tours to India, in Vietnam and on cruises.

John and Susi Richardson were the doctor and nurse respectively on The British Trans Americas Expedition 1971-2; the first ever drive from Alaska to Cape Horn and the first crossing of the Darian Gap in Panama. John also led a Jon Baines Tours tour to Panama, Costa Rica and Nicaragua in 2006 with Susi. He has also acted as doctor to six sailing expeditions with service personnel and students in the Caribbean.

Need more information?

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  • Mon-Fri: 9am-5pm
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Itinerary at a glance

  • Day 1: Guernsey (Thurs, 21 April) Arrive and transfer to Havelet Hotel. At leisure in the hotel to enjoy the gardens or walk down to explore St Peter Port. The hotel has a free shuttle with transfers to the harbour. Welcome dinner at the Copenhagen Restaurant at the hotel.
  • Day 2: Guernsey (Fri, 22 April ) Take part in a walking tour of St Peter Port, including seeing the Guernsey Tapestry Gallery, the Priaulx Library, St James Concert Hall and wander through the beautiful Candie Gardens. Friday is market day and there will be time to explore the small weekly market in the square. Visit Hauteville House and gardens, the home in exile of the writer Victor Hugo.Dinner at a local restaurant.
  • Day 3: Guernsey (Sat, 23 April) Take the short ferry ride to the isle of Sark to take part in an exclusive horse and carriage tour of the island. The group will be divided into smaller groups, each on a guided tour in their own horse and carriage with a driver-guide. At leisure for lunch in one of Sark’s many acclaimed restaurants or cafés. The afternoon is at leisure to explore or take awalking tour with the guide, Elizabeth Gardener-Wheeler. Learn about the life and legacy of the Dame of Sark, Dame Sibyl Mary Collings Beaumont Hathaway DBE. Return by ferry to St Peter Port later in the afternoon. Dinner at the hotel.
  • Day 4: Guernsey (Sun, 24 April) Explore the island, driving along the coast and visiting bays, Neolithic graves and standing stones, the Little Chapel, the 19th century fortifications built to defend against the French and the 20th century fortifications built by the Germans. Lunch at an award-winning garden with craft workshop. Visit the Occupation Museum with time to explore. Continue to Sausmarez Manor and take part in a tour; learn about the real Potato Peel Pie Society, the Sausmarez family and the history of the house, including the experiences of the great aunts of Peter Sausmarez, the current Seigneur, described in the book The Second World War Diaries of Violet Carey. Enjoy a Potato Peel Pie with a glass of wine.
  • Day 5: Guernsey / Jersey (Mon, 25 April) At leisure or take an optional harbourside walk and visit Castle Cornet. Take the ferry to St Helier Jersey. (There is the option to fly at an additional cost; please contact us for details.) Upon arrival transfer to the Pomme D’Or Hotel.
  • Day 6: Jersey (Tues, 26 April) Visit the Neolithic site of La Hougue Bie with local guide Nicky Mansell, a geography graduate and teacher and specialist in the natural environment, geology, geography and prehistory of the island. Enter the tomb, visit a medieval chapel, a longhouse, the La Hougue Bie Museum and a WWII bunker on the same site. Visit the exhibition on the largest Celtic coin hoard ever found with thousands of coins and gold jewellery found in Jersey in 2012. Continue to Samares Manor and option for lunch at CocoRico, a French creperie. Wander around the beautifully landscaped gardens, developed in the 1920s by Sir John Knott. The gardens are diverse in style and include a renowned herb garden and Japanese garden. Visit imposing Mont Orgueil (Gorey) Castle, a magnificent medieval fortress overlooking the harbour of Gorey that was built in the 13thcentury to protect the island against the French, just 12 miles away. Return to St Helier and have dinner in a local restaurant.
  • Day 7: Jersey (Wed, 27 April) See St Matthew’s (Glass) Church and view the unique glass work of Rene Lalique in the church. Continue to the Village of St Aubin for a walk along the waterfront and hear of its many visitors, including Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. Drive to Noirmont Point, a commanding headland where imposing bunkers, gun emplacements and observation towers of the German occupying forces stretch along the coast. Lunch at St Brelade’s Bay. Visit the archaeological site of La Cotte, the Parish Church of St Brelade and the fisherman’s chapel. Drive along the coast La Corbière, the most southerly lighthouse in the British Isles. Continue along the coast and see the golden sands of St Ouen’s Bay. The dunes provide a remarkable safe haven to threatened species of plant, wildlife and birdlife. Drive through green leafy lanes and across the dramatic the North Coast to visit some out of the way bays and picturesque fishing harbours nestled into the cliffs on the north coast. Reach the “harbour that failed” at St Catherine where there is the option for a cup of tea and a slice of cake at the café, or one of Jersey’s wonderful ice creams. Return along the coast to St Helier via the historic harbours of La Rocque and Le Hocq.
  • Day 8: Jersey (Thur, 28 April) Stroll through Liberation Square and learn about the fascinating history of the Pomme D’Or. Continue on a walking tour of St Helier and the Victoria Harbour. Visit the harbour with Captain Brian Nibbs, Master Mariner and a past Harbour Master of Jersey, and hear about the maritime history of Jersey. The afternoon is at leisure with the option to visit Castle Elizabeth, before a farewell dinner in the evening.
  • Day 9: Jersey (Fri, 29 April) Depart Jersey or extend.

Tour cost

Cost per person sharing is £1,980

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