Crown dependencies are three island territories off the coast of Britain that are self-governing possessions of the Crown.
These are the Bailiwick of Guernsey, the Bailiwick of Jersey and the Isle of Man.
They do not form part of either the United Kingdom or the British Overseas Territories but are considered “territories for which the United Kingdom is responsible”, rather than sovereign states. As a result, they are not member states of the Commonwealth of Nations or the European Union. They have their own democratically elected parliaments and their own laws, setting their own budgets and levels of taxation.
Each island offers its own natural beauty and quality of life, but many consider Guernsey – the smallest in size – to be the prettiest.
Guernsey offers an exceptional quality of life amidst beautiful countryside, rugged coastlines, sandy beaches and, courtesy of the Gulf Stream, a mild climate.
The island is English-speaking, although many road and building names contain a certain element of French; France being its nearest neighbour. The currency is the same as the UK, the pound sterling; Guernsey also prints its own money – the Guernsey pound note can be found adorning the walls of bars and cafes worldwide, as something of a rare currency to treasure.
Family life on the island is much-valued, with an island wide ethos of community and doing things together. For example, during the summer months, when the island is full of tourists all vying for their place on the golden white sands and clear blue seas, there are festivals and community events. Children can get dressed up for the summer shows – the west, south and north all bring a funfair element – whilst the Rocquaine Regatta, held on the beach, includes interactive events for all ages.
Schooling on the island is of the highest quality, with a great selection of pre-schools, State schools and private schools.
Sport is much revered on Guernsey and the plethora of sporting clubs is testament to that. From the popular “Try-A-Tri”, to swimming clubs, to walks around the island in aid of chartable causes, all interests are catered for. It is rare to go for a drive at the weekend and not pass cyclists, walkers and sea swimmers, all enjoying the best of Guernsey’s natural beauty.
For an island of just 62,000 people, Guernsey punches well above its weight when to comes to the stunning landscape. The rugged cliffs are home to a variety of bird life, flora and fauna. Guernsey even has its very own clematis specialist, who has won the gold award at the Chelsea Flower Show for the last 20-or-so years!
Benefits of living in Guernsey
- Excellent quality of life
- Very high standard of living
- Short and easy commute between the office and home
- Low speed limits and no real traffic jams
- Safe and friendly environment to bring up children
- Real community orientated feel and many opportunities to get involved
- Very low crime rate
- Free parking across the island
- Easy access to France for the weekend or for a holiday
- Variety of nearby smaller islands to visit just off the coast of Guernsey – great for weekend entertainment or breaks
- Wonderful array of sports activities available
- Much to see, enjoy and/or participate in on the cultural front
- VAT free shopping – electronic goods and jewellery especially are much more affordable in CI
- No monthly council tax to be paid on properties in Guernsey, just an annual Parochial rate which is MUCH lower than the UK’s council tax
- Easy access to the beaches and a wonderful variety of water sports on the door step
- If you are into fishing or boating, Guernsey is the ideal place
- Great variety of very good restaurants
- Guernsey offers the opportunity for a real outdoor lifestyle with the coastal walks being very popular
Although Guernsey is a dependency of the British Crown and English speaking, you need to anticipate that it is very different to the UK with unique rules and regulations. Rather recognise it as a foreign country, anticipate and embrace the differences and enjoy the opportunities it offers.
This article was written by Julie Todd at Quintessential Relocation Consultants