Guernsey, Channel Islands
For Book Lovers
A few years back, it seemed like every second person was galloping through the pages of "The Guernsey Potato Peel and Literary Society," set on the Channel Island of Guernsey during World War II. Fans of that novel will find that Guernsey—far sunnier and warmer than England, and just two-and-a-half hours away by boat—has changed little since the 1940s. While the island remains “loyal to the British crown,” it is, in fact, much closer to France than England. It is also a major off-shore tax haven, which means that it is both prosperous and pretty (as in well kept).
The tourist board happily provides maps for fans of the novel, enabling them to visit off-the-beaten path places that they’ve read about. Less bookish visitors can hike nearly 30 miles of cliff paths above the sea, stroll past fields filled with Guernsey cows, and explore gardens bright with flowers. If you can’t actually make the trip, you needn’t worry. The film version of the novel, directed by Kenneth Branagh and starring Kate Winslet, will debut next year. Best advice: If you do go, try to add on a visit to the tiny island of Sark, the smallest of the Channel Islands— totally car free, and rich with fields of wild flowers.