Guernsey is located around 30 miles from the North West Coast of France in the Gulf of St Malo, and approximately 70 miles from the South coast of England. Guernsey, or, more correctly, the Bailiwick of Guernsey, includes several smaller islands including Alderney, Sark and Herm. The Bailiwick is fortunate to lie within the Gulf Stream and therefore has a milder climate than mainland England. Frosts are rare and there is an average of 2,000 hours of sunshine per year.
Despite being closer to France, Guernsey is a British Crown Dependency. This means that the island is not part of the United Kingdom but a possession of The Crown. Thus, while the mainland is responsible for the defence of the bailiwick, the island can self-govern and as a result makes its own laws and sets its own budget.
Together with the Bailiwick of Jersey the islands of Guernsey form the Channel Islands.