Guernsey — Shopping and Leisure
The shopping isn’t particularly great on Guernsey, and although the island is lauded for its VAT-free status, a local tax is imposed on certain goods. Some luxury items may be cheaper than within the UK, but merchandise is typically imported especially food, so prices are often a bit more.
St Peter Port has the best shopping in Guernsey, featuring well-known UK street brands like Marks & Spencer, as well as off-the-beaten path boutiques and crafts shops. High Street parallels the Esplanade, a long, pedestrianized street with all sorts of interesting shopping. Also labeled as Le Grande Rue, this street also has some pleasant eateries and pubs and is great for wandering around and people-watching.
The Old Quarter of St Peter Port—a few minutes southwest of High Street on foot—is especially good for antiquing and souvenirs, and there are many interesting boutiques and jewelry stores here. Head to the Commercial Arcade and Mill Street for arty shops and designer-wear. There is also shopping at North Quay and at some of the beaches like Vazon, but by and large, serious shoppers should start and finish at St Peter Port.
Special items produced on Guernsey include local pottery—plates, pots, mugs—jewelry, woolen Guernsey jumpers, and candles. Guernsey cider is not exactly a keepsake, but is worth sampling on a break from your shopping escapades, as is Guernsey Cider cake.
Shopping hours are relatively short, typically from 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Tourist areas will see shops stay open on Sundays with limited hours.