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The great escape


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The second largest of the Channel Islands has landscapes that inspired Renoir and white-sand beaches to rival the Caribbean. It’s welcoming fully vaccinated visitors and there are no lockdown restrictions.

Places of note The capital, St Peter Port, is a pretty harbour town with cobbled streets, Regency architecture and a medieval castle. Renovated several times due to sieges and a lightning strike, it houses four museums and has beautifully kept gardens. Victor Hugo lived at Hauteville House, near the harbour, for 15 years during his exile from France. Guernsey is a great base for Channel Island-hopping – step back in time on car-free Sark, where you can get about by horse and cart, or head to Herm for white beaches and turquoise waters.

Famous faces Julie Andrews, Jenson Button, Oliver Reed and the Krankies have all lived on the island. Renoir painted 15 pictures there during his month-long stay in 1883.

Weather The Channel Islands are the sunniest place in the British Isles, with almost 2,000 hours of sunshine each year. Spring arrives four weeks earlier than on mainland Britain.

Places to eat Le Nautique is a seafood restaurant in an 18th-century merchant’s warehouse, with views of St Peter Port’s marina. Copenhagen Bar and Grill, in a former coach house south of the town centre, takes its name from the Duke of Wellington’s favourite horse, which he rode into battle at Waterloo. The steaks, house salads and local oysters are best enjoyed on the terrace. Head to the Moulin Huet tearoom, on the south coast, for fresh crab sandwiches by the water’s edge.

1 To stay

The Fermain Valley hotel, south of St Peter Port, offers the “buzz of a city break” with lashings of seaside calm, says the Telegraph. You can walk to the beach and there’s a pool, a sauna and a courtesy car for trips to town. The hotel has three restaurants and runs weekly all-you-can-eat barbecues on the terrace in summer, with live music. Doubles from £135 a night, B&B.

2 To rent

Ideal for those seeking adventures by foot, bike or boat, this 100-year-old barn is 10 minutes from the sea and a short or bus ride from St Peter’s Port is a short drive or bus ride away. It sleeps two and there are Guernsey cattle in the neighbouring fields. From £985 for a week.

3 To Airbnb

Les Carriaux Cottage is a restored granite coachhouse in the centre of the island, 10 minutes’ drive from St Peter Port. It has four bedrooms, a garden and an outdoor pool. From £2,678 for six nights.

4 To buy

Housing stock in Guernsey is at a premium, with many homes available only to those with a connection to the island. This three-bedroom house in a quiet location near St Peter Port is on the open market. It has a garage, a low-maintenance garden and a beamed open-plan kitchen and living room on the second floor, making the most of the sea views. £995,000.