Between 1940 and 1945, when Nazi occupying forces were in charge of the island, hundreds of slave labourers dug this 7,000 square metre underground hospital. By the time the construction was finished at the onset of D-Day, the hospital could house 500 patients. It soon got filled up with casualties from the D-Day invasion, but was abandoned after three months and efforts moved above ground when it became obvious that dark and damp conditions were not good for healing and recovery.
Guernsey’s spectacular south coast is riddled with beautiful bays, secluded coves and harbours so pretty they almost don’t look real. For the most dramatic scenery on the island, head to Pleinmont, where the clifftops are covered in thick heather before they fall away to the sea below. The view from here out to Hanois lighthouse is something pretty special, especially in the middle of winter and the elements are putting on a show.
There is always a sheltered spot at Port Soif and this horseshoe shaped beach is a firm favourite with locals who flock here at weekends. At low tide, Port Soif is perfect for clambering, exploring and rock pooling so remember to bring a bucket and a net! High tide here is a rather spectacular affair, as the turquoise waters lap the golden sand.
The Wolf Tree is something of a legend in Guernsey and hard to find even as a local, never mind a tourist. Nonetheless, The Wolf Tree can be find near La Hugette School and is said to have a wolf’s face on it. It is said that if you scratch off the face and come back minutes later, it will be intact again, all thanks to the powerful wolf spirit.
Guernsey is absolutely rammed with myths and legends. Tales of phantom pigs, snow white horses and the devil and fairy rings are out in full force all over the island. Everywhere are stone burial chambers built above ground and one of them, Le Dehus, has a ghostly face carved into the stone. Witches resting stones can be found at almost every turn and there are roads named after local werewolves.
It’s not a trip to Guernsey without eating both gach and gach malee (pronounced gosh and gosh malar). The first is a bread which is made with raisins, sultanas and mixed peel, and the other is a sweet goodness which is so bad it could clog your arteries, but is one of the most moreish pieces of deliciousness on the planet. Traditionally, it is made with apples, flour, sugar, milk and suet, then cooked for one hour and three quarters.
If you’re one of these people who thinks sunrises are better than sunsets, then get out of bed before dawn and head down to Jerbourg. This dramatic section of the coast is positively stunning and there is little better than seeing the day come in as the rest of the island sleeps over those big cliffs.
When the tide is in, get the adrenaline pumping at Havelet by taking a run, jump off the wall and into the sea. All the cool kids are doing it, after all.