After leaving the underground military museum we continued retracing our initial route out from St Peter Port as we made our way to the most prominent sight when we’d been approaching Guernsey‘s capital city, Castle Cornet.
Simply by keeping the water on our right side as we walked we hugged the shoreline past the harbour area, attractive under the sun and light haze of the day.
Castle Cornet was built in the first half of the 13th century. Originally, Guernsey was part of the Duchy of Normandy so following on from William I’s successful conquest of England in 1066 it and the other Channel Islands were ruled over by the king of England. That changed in 1202 when the French king declared Normandy forfeit and seized it from King John. Over half a century of battles took place over the disputed region until King Henry III signed the Treaty of Paris in 1259 which gave up the Normandy region except for the Channel Islands. Invasions of Guernsey continued, though, for centuries with the island and the castle (most of the time) changing ownership between the French and English numerous times and having its fortifications steadily improved as the years passed.
The castle was one of the most irregular structures of its sort that we’ve visited. Buildings inside its walls were at different levels, of different designs, and there seemed to be not a lot of thought to its planning, evidence of the way in which it had evolved its defences since first construction. Making our way around, therefore, involved a lot of going over parts of the castle’s interior several times looking for areas we’d missed. Fortunately, Castle Cornet is not too large and this was no major hardship.
Views from the topmost areas of the castle were lovely thanks largely to the lovely weather we had during our day in Guernsey. It was particularly nice to look out and see our cruise ship, Sapphire Princess, and the steady run of tender boats taking people to and from the island.
There were several museums and some small gardens in the castle grounds which were pleasant if not exactly incredible. For the very reasonable entry fee, though, Castle Cornet is definitely worth a visit if you’re in St Peter Port.