The Islands' unique geographical position sets the scene for a fascinating heritage. With evidence dating from Neolithic times, the island has been pivotal in battles between the UK and France as well as being an important port for international imports into the UK.
The Bailiwick of Guernsey may geographically be closer to France but it remains loyal to the British crown, and has done since Norman times. With evidence dating from the Neolithic period, the island has been pivotal in battles between the UK and France as well as being an important port for international imports into the UK. Today the island is independent and self-governing.
The Bailiwick of Guernsey is part of the southernmost group of Channel Islands that make up the British Isles. The islands sit in the Bay of St Malo, less than 30 miles from the French coast.
The Channel Islands enjoy more sunshine hours each year than the UK. As a result, a variety of plants and flowers thrive in our parks and gardens that may not survive the harsh winters in the UK.
With its milder climate, local residents make the most of the outdoors and, with beautiful beaches and cliff paths, island-hopping to its neighbouring islands and eating 'al fresco' during the summer months.
The Bailiwick's crown dependency status means it has been able to foster a lower tax rate for residents. This has led to many offshore banks, fund managers and insurance companies establishing offices in the Bailiwick. While the traditional industries of flower growing, fishing and dairy farming have largely been overtaken by the finance industry, each still plays an important part, contributing both to the varied economy and to the island's character.
St Peter Port
With its cobbled streets and picturesque seafront marina, it is easy to see why St Peter Port is considered one of Europe's prettiest harbour towns. Guernsey's capital has been a busy port since Roman times.
Steeped in history
Castle Cornet has stood guard over the town for 800 years. Once cut off by the tide, it now provides a spectacular backdrop to the town as well as staging theatre productions and musical events. St Peter Port's centrepiece is its beautiful church, which is believed to be the closest church to a pub in the British Isles. If you want to learn more about the island's history, head to the Guernsey Tapestry at the Gallery in St James Concert Hall, wander through the beautiful Candie Gardens or explore Hauteville House, home to French writer Victor Hugo. If you would rather just take it easy, explore the boutique shopping, then sit back and relax with a coffee or bite to eat and watch the world go by.
Guernsey has a story to tell around every corner, down each alley and tucked away in its forts and castles, ruins and ancient tombs. Much of the island's history is told in our museums and there are information boards at many heritage sites throughout the island.
Guernsey culture has been molded and carved out over the centuries and adapted to fit in with modern life. Visible from the coastline of Europe, its Anglo-French influences are still evident from local surnames to road names and even our local language, Guernésiais.
Eating & drinking
The Bailiwick of Guernsey really does have something for everyone when it comes to food and drink. Islanders are passionate about their food and it's not hard to see why - rich in natural ingredients from both the sea and land, Guernsey, and its food, has a unique flavour.
Whether its fish and chips watching the sunset over the west coast, al fresco dining at a Parisian-style cafe, a cosy pub lunch or afternoon tea, a beach kiosk snack or fine dining, Guernsey is ready to serve when it comes to eating out. The capital St Peter Port has a huge choice of restaurants with an international flavour and lively pubs and bars to soak up the atmosphere.
Throughout the year, the calendar is packed full of food events and festivals. The good food doesn't just stop in Guernsey though, a short trip to one of our sister islands of Herm, Sark and Alderney will be sure to delight the senses.
Events & festivals
From farmer's markets to summer shows, food festivals and town carnivals, Guernsey is ready to entertain you. Outdoor concerts and productions utilise the very best locations with both Candie Gardens and Castle Cornet offering a unique atmosphere and breath-taking backdrops.
Floral Guernsey Festival Weeks and Walking Weeks in both spring and autumn offer visitors a change to explore the island on foot with the help of a guide. There are weekly markets and rural rambles, summer shows and food festivals, but for a real Guernsey day out visit on 9th May and experience Liberation Day.
For more information on Guernsey please see Visit Guernsey.