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Bailiwick of Guernsey

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Bailiwick of Guernsey
Quick Facts
Capital Saint Peter Port
Government self-governing British crown dependency
Currency Guernsey pound sterling (GBP) equivalent to other pounds sterling from Jersey, England, Scotland, Northern Ireland & at par with Isle of Man, Gibraltar & Falkland Islands pounds. Problematic acceptance in UK
Area 78km²
Population 64,587 (July 2002 estimate)
Language English, French, Norman-French dialect spoken in country districts
Religion Anglican, Roman Catholic, Presbyterian, Baptist, Congregational, Methodist
Electricity 230V, 50Hz (UK plug)
Country code +44 1481
Internet TLD .gg
Time Zone UTC

The Bailiwick of Guernsey is a group of islands in the English Channel, part of the Channel Islands.


  • Guernsey Island - smaller than Jersey and pretty, with a smaller town but less open countryside than Jersey.
  • Alderney - highest number of pubs per head of population in the Bailiwick, and with a lot of accessible open countryside. A centre for e-gambling.
  • Sark - had the last feudal government in Europe and no cars motorcycles or trucks
  • Herm - a tiny, lovely island off Guernsey where Guernsey people go for a day out.
  • Jethou a tiny island off Guernsey with a handful of houses on it.
  • Lihou - a tiny island off Guernsey reachable by a tidal causeway where there are interesting monastic ruins.
  • Burhou - a tiny island off Alderney. A bird sanctuary where the former farmer's cottage can be rented from the Alderney Government.
  • Brecquou - a privately owned island owned by two brothers (the Barclays) who are reclusive billionaires.
  • Les Casquettes ("The Caskets") - small group of rocky islets formerly inhabited by a lighthouse keeper, now uninhabited and the site of an automatic light.


  • Saint Peter Port, Guernsey Island
  • Saint Sampson, Guernsey Island
  • Saint Anne, Alderney


The islands of Guernsey and the other Channel Islands represent the last remnants of the medieval Dukedom of Normandy, which held sway in both France and England. The Channel Islands were the only British territory occupied by German troops during World War II.

Get in[edit]

The Bailiwick can only be reached by plane or boat.

By plane[edit]

Guernsey airport has flight links to

Aurigny links the Bailiwick to destinations including: Gatwick, Stansted, East Midlands, Southampton, Bristol, Grenoble, Alderney and Manchester.

BlueIslands operate year-round Guernsey services to and from Jersey and Southampton.

By boat[edit]

Ferries run from St Peter Port to the UK, France and other Channel Islands. There is a conventional ferry year round from Portsmouth, and high speed catamarans from Weymouth and Poole in the summer with a less frequent service in the winter. The conventional ferry runs in all weather, the catamarans can be delayed or cancelled by high seas.

  • The UK - Portsmouth, Poole, Weymouth
  • France - St Malo (year-round), Dielette (summer only), Granville (summer only, infrequent)
  • Jersey
  • Sark
  • Herm

The two ferry operators between the Channel Islands and the UK/France are Condor Ferries and Manche-îles Express.

Get around[edit]

There are no trains in the Bailiwick except a spur on Alderney; roads are small but not busy. No island is very big, so a bicycle is a good way to get around.

Alternately there are hire cars, taxis and a frequent bus service during the day available on both Guernsey and Alderney - other islands have no motorcycles, private cars or buses. Buses cost £1 no matter where you go on either motorised island. Most roads have no pavements and the few that do can legally be driven on by motorists. It is also legal to not wear seat belts whilst in the back seat of a car. Traffic in Guernsey and Alderney moves on the left-hand side of the road, just like the United Kingdom.

The other Channel Islands can all be reached by ferry from St Peter Port. Jersey and Alderney can also be reached by plane.


Overwhelmingly English is spoken, but Norman-French Guernesais is taught in schools in a bid to preserve it.

Buy[edit][add listing]

The Guernsey pound (£) is in a currency union with the United Kingdom (GBP) and all pound sterling notes are accepted wherever they were printed. Guernsey banknotes can be exchanged at par at all banks in the sterling area (including the UK) but many retailers in England are suspicious of them in the same way they are sceptical of sterling banknotes from Northern Ireland, Scotland and Jersey. Consequently, its less hassle if you make sure you leave with Bank of England notes. ATMs generally describe which currency is being dispensed - 'Local' or 'English'.


Financial services - banking, fund management, insurance, etc. - account for about 55% of total income in this tiny Channel Island economy. Tourism, manufacturing, and horticulture, mainly tomatoes and cut flowers, have been declining. Light tax and death duties make Guernsey a popular tax haven. The evolving economic integration of the EU nations is changing the rules of the game under which Guernsey operates.

Eat[edit][add listing]

see the individual island articles for listings

Most international cuisines are represented with, not surprisingly, fresh local seafood taking centre stage.

Summer in the Bailiwick is all about al fresco dining, with long cliff top lunches and leisurely gatherings at old farmhouse restaurants.

Guernsey’s beach kiosks are a gastronomic odyssey in their own right.

Picnics are also popular. For the ultimate spontaneity, pack fresh French bread and cheese, local tomatoes and paté and a bottle of wine and head for the cliffs. There’s a view from a bay or winding path that really is yours alone.

There are no fast food restaurants in Guernsey.

Drink[edit][add listing]

see the individual island articles for listings

There are lots of pubs to be visited all over the islands, in St Peter Port the pubs are easy to find and are mostly along the waterfront. Laska's has an enormous list of cocktails and is a popular spot. Start here and work your way north along the waterfront, ending at the taxi rank.

Try a Guernsey cream tea.

Sleep[edit][add listing]

see the individual island articles for listings


There are plenty of opportunities to learn in Guernsey with everything from ceramics to surfing on offer. If you, or your child, want to try something creative while visiting there is a good gallery with art workshops in the older area of town. The Gallery is at the top of a cobbled hill (Mill Street) which goes up from the old markets. There you can sign up for pottery, mosaic, painting and photography workshops. There are also plenty of fun and unusual things on offer for children.


The Bailiwick of Guernsey boasts low unemployment, good salaries and low taxes, so they are attractive places to work. However, it is difficult to get permission to live and work there (easier if you are in a profession that the islands seek to attract, particularly in international finance).

The islands of Guernsey, Alderney and Sark each have their own employment policies which are in addition to, and stricter than, employment and immigration rules in the UK. To work in Guernsey, you need to be eligible to work in the UK (ie., have British or EU citizenship or a British work visa) or get immigration permission from Guernsey Border Control (which requires your employer to sponsor you). In addition, you will need a valid "right to work" document from Guernsey's Housing Department -- effectively a work permit which also restricts which type of housing you can live in; these are usually arranged through your employer. Affordable housing is limited in Guernsey; it is a good idea to start looking online for housing which fits your right-to-work housing conditions and your budget before you arrive, so that you do not end up stuck in a hotel for months looking for something suitable.

In Alderney, if you are a British or European citizen then you generally need a work permit from the States of Alderney to work there. If you are not a British or European citizen then you need to apply for a work visa from the British Government. Unlike Guernsey, in Alderney there are no housing restrictions on guest workers. Alderney has almost no unemployment and has suffered a steep population decline in the past 10 years, particularly among young families, so it is probably easier to get a work permit in Alderney now than in past years.


  • Nl-flag.png Netherlands (Honorary Consulate), PO Box 253, Martello Court, 01481 751 276/600 ().  edit
  • It-flag.png Italy (Honorary Consulate), Montechiari, Petit Axce Lane, 01481 243759.  edit

Stay safe[edit]

Stay healthy[edit]

Guernsey has some of the most intense sunlight in the world during summer, noticeably more than the rest of Europe, so sunscreen is vital!


Don't refer to the UK as "The mainland" when in Guernsey. The UK is not the mainland of Guernsey.


Get out[edit]

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