Weather in Guernsey, Channel Islands
Guernsey is the second largest of the Channel Islands nestling off the coast of Normandy and enjoys one of the best sunshine records in the British Isles. Although only a short hop from Jersey, the bigger neighbour, Guernsey is definitely its own island.
Guernsey is part of the southernmost archipelago in the British Isles. As a result it has a milder climate with around 2,000 hours of sunshine every year.
The Channel Islands enjoy the most sunshine of all the British Isles and summer temperatures are very much the same as in some parts of southern England. Just like in the UK, changeable weather is the order of the day, and visitors can expect a mixture of bright skies, clouds and rainfall at any time of the year. The local climate is tempered by its maritime position and does not suffer the extremes of temperatures found in more landlocked areas. Thanks to the shelter offered by their neighbours France and Jersey, Guernsey escapes the worst of the winds often associated with offshore locations.
Winters are generally mild, and to some, Guernsey shows its best side outside the main tourist season when the islands beauty can be best enjoyed without the crowds. Over 100 miles of coastline is the setting for sandy beaches and dunes, secret coves and rock pools, rugged harbours and endless, beautiful cliff walks. Inland, each island has a country heart that beats to the rhythm of the seasons. Sleepy lanes, private gardens, nature reserves and migrating birds are just some of the natural treasures waiting to be discovered and, with 449 flowering plants recorded in January alone, the island is in bloom all year round. Wild flowers fill the hedgerows and cover the cliff tops too.
However, visiting Guernsey is enjoyable at any time of the year, even though the best months to travel are May to September. These months see an average of eight hours of sunshine a day. The hottest months are July and August, with average temperatures topping 20C.
Guernsey people enjoy their free time. Being an island, with a warmer climate than the UK, much time is spent outside; on the beach, walking the cliffs, island hopping or eating ‘al fresco’. Many of the island’s unique festivals and shows are held outside, including Garden tours, Spring walking festival, Sunday concerts in Candie Gardens, the Rocquaine regatta, Victor Hugo music festival, the Torteval Scarecrow trail and of course, the Battle of Flowers.
Guernsey’s best known export is tomatoes but most of the freesias, carnations and roses that are sold in the UK come from Guernsey. Many plants and flowers that could not survive in the UK are able to thrive in Guernsey. Make sure you visit the sub-tropical woodland garden and lake at Saumarez Manor with many exotic species including the Guernsey Lily, a nerine that’s indigenous to South Africa. Local legend says that the original bulbs were washed ashore from a Dutch ship, wrecked whilst en route from Japan. Orchids too benefit from the mild climate and are cultivated in fields and meadows with guided walks available in the Spring.
The warm weather also provides the rich pastures for the golden Guernsey cows with their distinctive strawberry blonde colouring and rich, creamy milk.
Guernsey’s temperate climate
Compared to the rest of the British Isles, the Channel Islands enjoy
- Warmest summers
- Mildest winters
- Highest sunshine record
- A year-round mild climate