The Beautiful Bailiwick of Guernsey

The bailiwick of Guernsey encompasses the island of Guernsey along with the islands of Alderney, Sark, Herm, Jethou and Lihou and, along with the bailiwick of Jersey, forms the Channel Islands. Guernsey is a British Crown dependency rather than part of the UK as such and, although protected by the UK, has its own parliament. It is located just off the Cherbourg Peninsula in Normandy (which incidentally I did not realise until last week is called Normandy after the North men, or Norse men, Viking invaders who settled there).

Mark had not flown in almost 20 years because of the severity of his flying anxiety, so we thought the short (45 minute) flight from Bristol to Guernsey would be a good way for him to get back in the saddle, so to speak. Mark was brilliant and had no problems at all flying and the journey was a breeze…and then we landed in Paradise!

Mind you we soon realised we were not in Kansas any more Toto, so to speak. The post boxes are blue and the telephone boxes are yellow!

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We stayed at the Granary in St Pierre du Bois, in a beautiful self-catering apartment above the family’s home. It is is set in three acres of land in the Quanteraine Valley, bordering the Silbe nature reserve and overlooking a pretty watermill. We were made to feel so welcome – from the board at the driveway to the Guernsey goodies provided in the kitchen, and even a box of chocolates on our last evening.

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The Granary

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Behind the apartment is a steep path through a little wildlife garden to a view point, appropriately called ‘the top of the world’. It is a haven for bees and butterflies and the view is breathtaking – particularly at sunset!

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green hairstreak

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After several days of sightseeing and lots of walking, it was lovely to allow ourselves an afternoon to sit by the Summer house, opposite the reservoir, watching the ducks, reading our Kindles, photographing butterflies and swinging on the little swing seat, before a short walk down to the beach (and a fabulous piece of apple pie from the Guernsey Pearl opposite Fort Grey!)

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We arrived early afternoon on the Saturday, unpacked and walked along the valley to St Peters to stock up on supplies, and were already in love with the island. On the Sunday morning I woke early, as I tend to do, and at 05.30 set off to photograph the lanes and hedgerows – a mistake as it turned out, as knees gave up later in the day after walking up and down hills in St Peter Port (or ‘Town’ as we were calling it by the end if the week, like regular locals). With the nature reserve on our doorstep as well as the lanes criss-crossing the island, we were treated to lots of flora and fauna.

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We saw lots of run-down glasshouses, taken over by nature

This island was full of butterflies dancing everywhere, but they were a little camera shy…I did my best, but even Mark – the most patient photography-widower in the world – did get cross with me at one point; just one butterfly photo too far!

run down glasshouse taken over by nature

run down glasshouse taken over by nature

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We saw this wall pennywort everywhere – and the bees love it

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The boundary between wild and cultivated seems to blur, with the hedges full of honeysuckle, roses and even nastutiums.Guernsey June 2014 - 125

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Love turning a corner and finding a view of the coast

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this rose was actually in the Granary garden – so beautiful!

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the Granary garden was a picture – a riot of colour contrasting with the natural areas

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red admiral

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we saw lots of borage at the roadsides

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Moorhen

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reed reflections at Silbe nature reserve

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Mark got good use from his new binoculars

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an upside down meadow brown

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amazed at the shade of blue of some of the hydrangeas

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speckled wood

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yet another red admiral

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Apologies for the number of photos, but I keep this blog mainly as my own keepsake…and there’s lots I want to remember! Coming up…coastline and St Peter Port.

 

7 Comments

Filed under places to visit

7 responses to “The Beautiful Bailiwick of Guernsey

  1. Kath Hamper

    need to get the butterfly pics early in the day, before their solar batteries are fully charged; they get too quick later on! ooh, Guernsey cows!!

  2. Simone

    Looks stunning. Gorgeous photos as always!

  3. Jonathan

    Hi Sue & Mark,
    thanks so much for sending through the link to this – your pictures are absolutely brill – we loved looking through them. I loved the run down greenhouse especially!

  4. OK, that settles it. I really need to go to Guernsey.

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