Come kitted out in your finest wartime attire and get ready to wave the British flag for Liberation Day in Guernsey. 2015 marks the 70th anniversary of the Channel Islands’ liberation from the occupying German forces during WW2, and as of the official anniversary this spring, the islands will welcome parties and celebrations to mark the occasion. In Guernsey, St Peter Port is preparing for a fun-filled five weeks of dances, activities and historical events, from 3rd April – 11th May.
The perfect place to spend your stay, The Old Government House Hotel and Spa offers the ideal opportunity to travel back in time in a building that boasts its own war history. Occupied by German soldiers from 1940-1945 as their General Staff Headquarters, the hotel was itself liberated at the end of the war. Set in the heart of St Peter Port, you’ll be within walking distance of all the major Heritage Festival happenings. Here are a few of the best ways to celebrate the 70th anniversary of Liberation Day in Guernsey.
Guernsey Guided Walks
A great way to get out and explore the island in the run-up to Liberation Day in Guernsey, visit the island’s historic war monuments on a special guided walk. The Spring Walking Festival this year will include 40 daily walks with a heritage theme to celebrate 70 years of liberation.
Tunnels at Castle Cornet
From Friday, 3rd – Monday, 6th April, explore the secret tunnels at Castle Cornet and discover the mysteries behind Guernsey’s most renowned heritage site. The exclusive tour opens up two of the original Georgian Bomb Bunkers, used during the German occupation as command bunkers.
The German Occupation Museum
Visitors can gaze upon wartime artefacts and get an insight into life in occupied Guernsey at the German Occupation Museum. From 3rd April – 11th May, the museum will open its doors for a special Liberation Day Exhibition.
Specsavers Liberation Tea Dance and Hangar Ball
Join the party on 9th May at the Specsavers Liberation Tea Dance and Liberation Hangar Ball. Transporting attendees back to the 1940’s, the D-Day Darlings will serenade crowds with renditions of classic wartime songs such as, ‘We’ll Meet Again’ and ‘I’ll Be Seeing You’. The Specsavers Liberation Hangar Ball is set to sell out quickly, with 800 people attending the themed event, which includes competitions to find the best dressed.
Victor Hugo International Music Festival
Prepare for heavenly music at the Victor Hugo International Music Festival from 4th – 26th May. To mark the 70th anniversary of Liberation Day in Guernsey, the Berlin Philharmonic Octet and violinist Nicola Benedetti will headline the three-week event.
Experience the excitement of Liberation Day itself on 9th May. The LibRock concert will be held on Albert Pier from 6pm-11pm, where a selection of musical performances will honour the official anniversary, and parades and outdoor cinema screenings will also take place throughout the day. A fireworks display at Castle Cornet will form the finale to Liberation Day in Guernsey, commemorating the annual event on this extra special year.
Header Image: Liberation Day © VisitGuernsey
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