Britain’s Best Getaways: The Guernsey Tapestry, Guernsey

“No visitor to Guernsey should by-pass this attraction” –

It all started in 1995, when the idea of the Bailiwick of Guernsey Tapestry evolved from a suggestion at a public meeting to celebrate the Millennium. The Tapestry is situated in St Peter Port and is housed in a gallery in the Dorey Centre, which is located next to the 19th century St James the Less church.

The project involved the whole community as they participated with the stitching of the tapestries – from the youngest person to add a stitch at the age of 18 months and the oldest at the age of 99 years – and it would be a lasting reminder of the Millennium celebrations. The regular stitchers – around 215 individuals – worked two hours at a time and everyone on the island had an opportunity to put in a stitch. To make it possible that everyone on the island could participate, the panels were taken to residential homes and schools. The whole project took over two years to complete.

The ten panels of embroidered canvas work at the Tapestry tell the island’s history of over 1,000 years. This makes the Tapestry also a learning environment for the island’s future generations as well as the island’s visitors. The pieces of art encourage them to appreciate, and to look more deeply into, the island’s history. Each panel covers a century and tells the story of important traditions and illustrates major events in that particular time of the island of Guernsey. The information of these important events, as well as information on culture and costume, was obtained from local historians and the archives of the Guille-Alles Library and the Priaulx Library. In addition, the crest of the Parish is stitched in each panel.

When you visit the Tapestry, you will begin the exhibition with an explanation of the design and creation of the Tapestry. An audio guide is included in the entrance fee and will explain the history depicted in the Tapestry. You will then move on to behold the ten panels in a darkened room and each panel is lit individually. There are also volunteers who enjoy talking to the visitors. Many of them are the actual stitchers, who will share with you their experiences on making the Tapestry. The Tapestry is made possible through the generosity and support of the local community and many businesses.

To take a peek at the panels, and for more information of the Guernsey Tapestry in general, click here.

Make the most out of your stay in Guernsey by staying at the Cobo Bay Hotel or the Farmhouse Hotel in Guernsey!

The Cobo Bay Hotel is undoubtedly a great find. Situated right on the sandy beach at Cobo Bay on Guernsey’s spectacular west coast, the attractive building has been designed to make the most of the intense coastal light and panoramic ocean views. On the food front, there’s a contemporary restaurant which specialises in fresh seafood & shellfish caught within the bay itself, with the menu changing daily. It provides a wonderfully relaxing base from which to enjoy the pleasures of the beach or the numerous attractions that Guernsey has to offer.

The Farmhouse Hotel is in the pretty Parish of St. Saviours and has been owned and run by the Nussbaumer family for three generations. The hotel has the quirky addition of five individually styled restaurants in a single-floored block. A wealth of food is sourced locally – sea bass and pollock are often delivered to the kitchen the day they’re caught – and the gardens here have their own supply of herbs and vegetables.

Enjoy the Guernsey Tapestry!

The Guernsey Scenery image by Nicolas Raymond and the Guernsey Coast image and St Peter Port image by Heather Cowper.