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Lissa from Portland asked

What to see/do and how to get around?

I'm a mature solo gal rambling for a month in April/May, with a focus on Cornwall/Devon and Channel Islands... What are the MUST SEE and DOs for the areas? Also, how is driving/parking on narrow country lanes? Thanks in advance for any tip/suggestions/advice!

Guernsey (United Kingdom)   Exeter (United Kingdom)   Cornwall

1 Answer
answered first by
Mary from Leicester

Driving on narrow country lanes is absolutely fine as long as a) you're happy to drive on the left b) you're happy with a stick shift (most UK rental cars are manual...if you want an automatic make sure you book long in advance) and c) you are sensible and take your time. Drive defensively and expect the unexpected (a slow-moving tractor, a herd of cows, a large milk tanker......).

Parking on narrow lanes is not a good idea at all. Don't do it. You'll often find lay-bys (pull-ins) and that is what you should use. Never park in farm gateways. 

Cornwall & Devon are both very big counties and both Guernsey & Jerseyare large islands. All have lots of 'musts' but you don't give any idea of your interests so I'm going to assume they include historical sites & sights? So, off the top of my head:

Cornwall: Tintagel Castle, Dartmoor National Park, Eden Project, Saint Michael's Mount, some of the many prehistoric sites (e.g. Lanyon Quoit, Chysauster Ancient Village), MouseholeSennen Cove, The Lost Gardens of Heligan, Lands End Visitors Centre (not the tacky stuff, the actual place) ...and lots more......

Devon: the wonderful Medieval cathedral in ExeterExmoor National ParkDunsterPlymouth (England)Cockington Village,Kents Cavern Prehistoric Caves.........and lots more..........

Guernsey: wonderful lanes for long walks, Castle Cornet, the German Military Underground Hospital, the prehistoric tombs, Conway towers and lovely coastline of L'Ancresse, La Gran'mère du Chimquière, a unique prehistoric carving at Vale church...and lots more.......

Jersey: slightly busier with traffic than Guernsey but still with many lovely lanes for walking. Elizabeth Castle in Saint Helier, the amazing prehistoric (and later) site of La Hougue Bie, the fascinating Jersey War TunnelsMont Orgueil Castle in Gorey , the vast sandy beach running from La Corbière to L'Étacq, the vast sandy beach running from Saint Aubin to Saint Helier...and lots more....

Both Guernsey and Jersey have excellent bus services so you don't need to hire a car in order to see all the places I've listed (and more). It is unlikely that you'll be able to take a hire car from the United Kingdom mainland to the Channel Islands (which, by the way, are not in the UK) without paying a substantial premium, if you are allowed to do so at all. 

You're spoiled for choice, I'm afraid. Enjoy your planning! :-)

Comments (1)

This is so very helpful, Mary, thank you! Yes, historic sights, lovely views and good food are my priorities... And I did not know that the Channel Islands weren't UK... I'm a bit confused by the ferry schedules - why it takes so much longer (and an overnight!) to travel from Portsmouth rather than Poole. And I can't seem to get a train/bus into Poole early enough to make the ferry departure, so I guess that requires an overnight.... Ah, well - I have time, if not expansive funds. I've copied your reply into my notes and will refer to them (often), I'm sure! I'm still dithering about driving - I'd really rather watch the scenery than be white-knuckling my way around.... Anyway, THANKS so very much!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Cornwall (attraction)
  2. Devon (attraction)
  3. Guernsey (city)
  4. Jersey (city)
  5. Cornwall (attraction)
  6. Tintagel Castle (attraction)
  7. Dartmoor National Park (attraction)
  8. Eden Project (attraction)
  9. Saint Michael's Mount (attraction)
  10. Lanyon Quoit (attraction)
  11. Chysauster Ancient Village (attraction)
  12. Mousehole (city)
  13. Sennen Cove (city)
  14. The Lost Gardens of Heligan (attraction)
  15. Lands End Visitors Centre (attraction)
  16. Devon (attraction)
  17. Exeter (city)
  18. Exmoor National Park (attraction)
  19. Dunster (city)
  20. Plymouth (England) (city)
  21. Cockington Village (attraction)
  22. Kents Cavern Prehistoric Caves (attraction)
  23. Guernsey (city)
  24. Castle Cornet (attraction)
  25. German Military Underground Hospital (attraction)
  26. L'Ancresse (city)
  27. Vale (city)
  28. Jersey (city)
  29. Elizabeth Castle (attraction)
  30. Saint Helier (city)
  31. La Hougue Bie (city)
  32. Jersey War Tunnels (attraction)
  33. Mont Orgueil Castle (attraction)
  34. Gorey (city)
  35. La Corbière (city)
  36. L'Étacq (city)
  37. Saint Aubin (city)
  38. Saint Helier (city)
  39. Guernsey (city)
  40. Jersey (city)
  41. United Kingdom (country)
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