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Guernsey’s capital St Peter Port is a beautiful and historic harbour town less than five minutes away from the Bella Luce, and the boutique shops of it’s small but characterful Old Quarter are a fantastic place to browse away a few hours.
St Peter Port has origins as a pre-Roman trading post, and it is still the island’s commercial centre. Set into the hillside behind the harbour, the pedestrianised High Street, which sits one street back from the seafront Esplanade and runs parallel to it, features a mixture of British high street chains and banks interspersed with local shops, cafes and restaurants. The High Street becomes The Pollet as it heads North, and along here there are several jewelers and fashion boutiques as well as the wonderful Indica Interiors, which sells a variety of homewares, books, gifts and cards over two floors.
At the southern end of High Street, on the inland (western) side, you will find St Peter Port’s Old Quarter; several narrow streets and lanes including Commercial Arcade that are lined with boutique and specialist stores such as La Maison de Champagne. When the weather is nice the bars, cafes and brasseries set chairs outside and it is the perfect spot to sit and enjoy a spot of people watching.
The southern boundary of the Old Quarter is marked by the Market Square and Market Hall, a beautiful historic building that is now a small shopping centre. Every Friday the square comes to life with a fresh produce and street food market called Fresh Friday, featuring the best of Guernsey’s local producers from 8.30am – 2.30pm. It’s the perfect place to see so many of Guernsey’s local artisan food producers in one place and to taste some of their wares. Market Street runs alongside the side of the Market Hall and then turns uphill into Mill Street and Mansell Street. The climb up the hill away from the town centre is well worth the effort as there are a number of galleries and antique shops where you can uncover some wonderful local treasures.
Because items in Guernsey only have local taxes applied and there is no VAT, many products are priced extremely competitively when compared to mainland Britain. That said, St Peter Port’s wonderful range of independent shops are reason enough to spend a morning or afternoon wandering around the town’s centre; browsing, window shopping, and stopping here and there to sit and watch the world go by over a coffee.
Images courtesy of and copyright Guernsey Market Place