Interview with Amanda Johns for Virtual Bunch
Amanda Johns is a Silver Accredited Tour Guide, a member of the Bailiwick of Guernsey Guild of Accredited Guides, and a Committee Member of the Channel Islands Occupation Society (Guernsey Branch).

Born, educated, and a lifelong resident of Guernsey, Amanda has a deep local connection spanning many generations on her father’s side.

Whether you’re on a short visit from a cruise ship or enjoying an extended break for a few days or more, Guernsey offers a plethora of activities. Amanda will be delighted to guide you through this enchanting island, ensuring that you make the most of your time.

In our conversation, we asked Amanda about the tours she offers, sought recommendations for must-read books about Guernsey, and were also curious to learn about her most rewarding moments as a tour guide.

Please can you share a bit about your background and experience as a tour guide?

My background is in offshore finance with a degree in Business and Finance, qualifying as a Chartered Banker and Accounting Technician, working in this area for around 25 years.

I qualified as an Accredited Tour Guide in late 2017, and in late 2018 an opportunity came for me to step away from finance, so I took the plunge out of my comfort zone and started my tour guiding business, Tours of Guernsey. I have been tour guiding now for over 5 years, from tours for just one guest, to a day when we had 100 guests on tour.

I am very lucky, I have a great group of Accredited Tour Guides I can call upon to assist me with these busy days. I specialise in WW2/Occupation related tours, volunteering with Festung Guernsey has inspired my interest in this extremely important period of our history, and it also allows me to visit their private sites with my guests.

What motivated you to become a tour guide?

I signed up to the pre-bronze training course more to enhance my knowledge of Guernsey, never thinking that I would ever become a tour guide. I enjoyed the course, so continued with the bronze course and then onto the Silver course.

At that time, working full time in finance, tour guiding was going to be more of a hobby, however I enjoyed the tours and meeting so many people, that when the opportunity came to step away from finance in 2018, it was perfect timing to set up my business.

One of Amanda's favourite cliff top views, photo credit: Amanda Johns

One of Amanda’s favourite cliff top views, photo credit: Amanda Johns

What are the types of tours you offer? Additionally, is it possible to book a private tour or request a custom-made one?

We offer some fixed itineraries for walking and vehicle public tours, such as our popular Highlights of Guernsey Tour and Town Walk and Castle Cornet tours. We also offer tours at WW2 locations, including private sites managed by Festung Guernsey such as Batterie Mirus and Batterie Scharnhorst, that are not usually open to the public. All public tours are detailed on our website, and can be booked easily online.

If guests are looking for bespoke itineraries, we can customise to their interests and preferences. I have a PSV license therefore can drive up to 7 guests, if more than 7 guests, we have great relationships with on island coach providers, and can accommodate any size of group.

If you were to describe Guernsey in five words, what would they be?

Beautiful, Friendly, Historic, Relaxing, Safe

Who is your favorite Guernseyman to talk about on tour?

To be honest, I don’t speak about any particular Guernsey people, I enjoy talking about our beautiful island, and enhancing guests knowledge of our unique history.

How do you make your tours unique for people?

Tours can be completely tailored to guests requests. Many guests travel to Guernsey from overseas with family connections, so they wish to see houses where their ancestors lived and the surrounding areas. I have arranged for guests to view family documents at the Islands Archives and Priaulx Library. One family wished to renew their vows at a church which was built by one of their ancestors, and another family wished to scatter ashes at a location very personal to their family. We can also arrange private visits to various locations around the island.

The Little Chapel, photo credit: Amanda Johns

The Little Chapel, photo credit: Amanda Johns

What have been some of your most rewarding moments as a guide?

There are so many to mention. Of course the amazing reviews that I receive from guests is so humbling. The fact that guests have taken time to write the review, many still whilst they are on holiday, and their personal comments are fantastic and so rewarding to read.

On one occasion I had a small group of ladies from the USA, who due to COVID had waited a number of years to visit Guernsey. They had read the book, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, and wished to visit the locations that inspired the author. One lady in the group had an illness that made it difficult for her to walk at times. Due to the delays she thought that she may never be able to come to Guernsey, and to see her face when we arrived at Jerbourg, was extremely emotional for everyone.

To help make this one-in-a-lifetime experience for her a reality was extremely rewarding. On another occasion, I had guests for whom I arranged a private tour to Batterie Mirus. They had been visiting Guernsey for over 20 years, and had always wanted to explore inside. It was so rewarding to see their faces from the moment we viewed the outside of the emplacement, and then also viewing the labyrinth of tunnels and rooms inside.

To be honest, every tour is rewarding, meeting people from so many backgrounds and from all around the world is such a great experience. Being able to show them around our beautiful island is such a privilege, and to see their reactions is just amazing, I always say I have the best job in the world!!!

What is your favourite book about Guernsey / The Channel Islands you would recommend to our readers?

I enjoy reading any books about the Occupation of Guernsey, especially diaries from that time. The People’s Messenger and My Case Unpacked are excellent. I would also recommend The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, whilst this is mostly fiction, it is fact based, and is written is such a different format (by way of letters).

What are some of your favorite places to visit or activities to do on your home island?

Another difficult question as I have so many favourite places to visit. I enjoy taking guests to anywhere which is Occupation based, such as The German Occupation Museum and The German Underground Hospital. At the Museum I like to point out family connections to some of the exhibits. I love walking along the cliffs, the views are spectacular from so many different places. As I like to take guests to my favourite cliff top view points, I will not mention them here as I this is a surprise for when we are out on a private tour.

Inside The German Underground Hospital, photo credit: Amanda Johns

Inside The German Underground Hospital, photo credit: Amanda Johns

If individuals are interested in booking a tour with you, where can they make reservations?

If guests wish to book a private tour, they can email me on and we can discuss their requirements. For public tours, guests can book via our website

Amanda volunteers with Festung Guernsey who are a not for profit organisation, maintaining and restoring various WW2 sites around the island for many generations to view. They are an extremely hard working small group of enthusiasts, who give up so much of their time on a voluntary basis to ensure that this important part of our history is never forgotten. With no regular government funding, they rely on guests taking tours where part of the ticket price is donated, and some ad-hoc contributions to assist with the restoration and maintenance costs. For more information on the fantastic work that is undertaken, please visit their website or follow them on Facebook for regular updates.