Located in the English Channel and just 31 miles from the Normandy coastline, lies the gorgeous island of Guernsey - a self-governing little community which is brimming with history, great food and exquisite vistas. And the best part is, it takes just one hour to get there by air from London Gatwick.
Being so close to the UK, Guernsey's seasons run in-line with ours, so the best time to visit is from April to October when the weather is brighter. This is also when the island really comes alive – think long walks along rugged coastlines, kayaking through turquoise waters and a night-life that could put any mainland city to shame.
Bed and Breakfast in Guernsey
The fabulous La Barbarie Hotel, near the south coast, is a cosy inn-style stay, with friendly staff and lovely terrace to enjoy a home-cooked breakfast.
There's a swimming pool on site for anyone who fancies a lazy day and reception can help with cycle hire if you fancy exploring the nearby country lanes. Ten minutes of pedalling and you'll find yourself at what feels like the edge of the world, overlooking the vast blue sea.
Where to eat in Guernsey
Head to Mora at Saint Peter Port for dinner and you'll be spoilt for choice. We had the fillet of sole filled with prawns, buttered spinach, grape and pistachio sauce – and came out with a big thumbs up. For a local steak dinner, book a table at Red where the cocktail bar opens at 5pm.
History and culture in Guernsey
There's a lot to learn about the Channel Islands, so make sure to stop off at the amazing Guernsey Tapestry, which tells of the complex local history in ten embroided panels. The nearby German Occupation Museum explains the island's hard-hitting wartime stories.
The great outdoors in Guernsey
It may be a small island, but Guernsey is all about the fresh-air fun. Local adventure expert Ant Ford Parker from Outdoor Guernsey is the man to call if you fancy investigating the coastline by kayak – and trust us, there's nothing quite like navigating rocks and coves while paddling the calm waters. Most trips start from the idyllic Petit Bot beach, which means you can get the essential sunbathing in too.
For a particularly special adventure, jump on the Travel Trident ferry from Saint Peter Port to the island of Herm, which is just three miles away. There are no cars here and a leisurely stroll around the whole island takes just two-and-a-half hours. It's worth the trip, not least for the silky white sands at Belvoir Bay.
For more information on Guernsey, visit visitguernsey.com Aurigny flies from London Gatwick to Guernsey from £77 return. aurigny.com
Rooms at La Barbarie Hotel start from £118 per night including breakfast. labarbariehotel.com Kayaking with Outdoor Guernsey is £30 per person (under 16s, £15) for 2.5 hours outdoorguernsey.co.uk
FINDING RELAXATION & OLIVES IN PUGLIA, ITALY
10 FOODIE TRENDS YOU NEED TO KNOW FOR 2014
MORE TRAVEL IDEAS