A compendium of information about Guernsey which we hope will be useful to visitors – and perhaps even islanders.
Guernsey is about 64 square kilometres big (25 square miles), and is divided into 10 parishes: St Peter Port, the commercial centre of the island, St Martin’s, Torteval, St Saviour’s, Castel, Vale, St Sampson’s, St Andrew’s, Forest and St Peter’s. The total population is roughly 59,000.
The island’s main bus station is situated at South Esplanade, just along from the Town Church. Check timetables carefully since many routes do not extend after the evening rush hour. There is also a shuttle service from the Airport.
Caravans cannot be imported into Guernsey, but there are a number of camp sites for tents. Try Fauxquets Valley site, tel 01481 255460, La Bailloterie, Vale, 01481 243636, or Vaugrat Site, tel 01481 257468. For Herm bookings call 01481 722377 and for Sark, 83 2186.
Guernsey is one of the cheapest places in Europe for car hire – and the added bonus is the low price of fuel! There are nine hire car companies, including major operators like Hertz, Europcar and Budget.
The island enjoys 1800-2000 hours of sunshine each year with an average yearly rainfall of 91.5 cms. While Guernsey is usually the hottest spot in the British Isles during the summer, it can get very cool in the evening. But be careful to use plenty of sunscreen in the daytime, particuarly up until 3 p.m. Children should always wear shorts and T shirts – even on cloudy days, because they can still get burned by the strong UVA UVB rays – even when the sun is not out.
Guernsey uses the British pound, although it produces its own notes and coins. You can spend English cash in the island, but you cannot spend Guernsey money in the UK. All the major UK clearing banks are represented on the island and have cash points available in Town, St Sampson’s and at the Airport Opening Hours: LloydsTSB 9.30 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. Mon-Thurs, 9.30 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. Fri. Royal Bank of Scotland 9.15 a.m. to 4.45 p.m. (except Thursday, when it opens at 10 a.m. to 4.45 p.m.) HSBC 8.30 a.m. to 3.30 p.m. Mon to Fri. NatWest 9.00 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. (except Wed 9.30 a.m. to 4.30 p.m.) Co-Operative Bank 9.30 a.m. to 5p.m. Mon-Fri. No Saturday opening. Opening hours refer to St Peter Port branches.
Roads are narrow and some road systems will be unfamiliar to UK motorists, namely the island’s filter in turn system. This is indicated by a yellow criss cross box painted at a junction. At these intersections all directions have equal priority. You must only enter the junction in turn with other vehicles. You must not enter the box unless your exit is clear.
The maximum speed limit on the Island is 35 mph, dropping to 25 mph or below in some areas.
Parking is still free, but when parking in a time restricted Disc Zone area you must use a parking clock. Hire vehicles have them but if you have brought your own vehicle you must go along to the Police Station to purchase one. The largest town car parks are found at North Beach, Albert Pier and Crown Pier. Most of the town parking is subject to a two hour restriction or less. If you wish to park for longer, for example, if you wish to take a day trip to one of the other islands, then it is advisasble to take a bus, or use the park and ride service, which runs from Footes Lane.
Visitors returning to the UK are allowed to take the following duty free goods: 200 cigarettes or 100 cigarillos or 50 cigars or 250g tobacco. 1 litre of alcoholic drink if over 22 percent volume, or 2 litres if below and 2 litres of still wine. Age 18 and over only. Perfume, 66cc/ml toilet water 250cc/ml gifts, souvenirs and other goods to the value of £136.00, but not more than 50 litres of beer.
The Police, Ambulance, Fire Brigade and Lifeboat can all be called on 112 or 999. Their headquarters can be reached as follows – Police: 725111
The island’s harbour offers ferry services to the UK, France, Jersey, Sark and Herm. The terminal also offers full customs, hire care, information and taxi services.
If tourists have any problems or queries they can go along to the Tourist Board’s new Information Office opposite the Crown Pier, St Peter Port. Tel 723555. The office opens seven days a week during the high season. Mon to Sun 9.30 to 12.30 p.m.
Or take a look at the Tourist Board website.
The States of Guernsey Police Force (tel 725111) have a well run lost property department. But do nofify your bank and the police if you lose your cheque book or credit cards.
All the national newspapers and periodocals arrive in the island by air at around 6 a.m. daily, weather permitting.
People with any disability are invited to contact the VisitGuernsey at PO Box 23, St Peter Port for a free Access in Guernsey publication. This is a well researched booklet giving details of special amenities in the island, information of where to stay and where to eat and location of RADAR toilets etc. Disabled drivers may park anywhere for two hours if they have the orange parking badge displayed on their vehicle.
Guernsey operates its own postal services. Most island post offices are open Monday to Friday 8.30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday 8.30 to noon. Town offices are in Smith Street and Commercial Arcade. For further information call the Post Office HQ on 726241.
Most shops open six days a week from 9a.m. to 5.30 p.m. all year round. Only certain shops open on Sundays.
TAXIS AND CABS
There are a large number of cab companies listed in the Guernsey telephone directory and ranks are situated at the Weybridge Clock Tower (near the bottom of St Julian’s Avenue), and alongside the Town Church in the town centre, as well as the Airport terminal.