Fascinating Facts About The Guernsey Bailiwick

Guernsey may only be a few miles off the coast of the British Isles but the Bailiwick has its own distinct identity.

Below are a few fascinating facts that make the islands so special!

  • Neither a part of the United Kingdom nor the European Union, Guernsey is actually a British Crown Dependancy.
  • Spring tends to arrive around a month earlier here, plus, because of our mild winters and temperate climate many plants which require protection on the mainland can grow outside.
  • The Bailiwick has its own parliament, stamps and coins - The English £1 note was removed from circulation on the mainland in 1988. However, we still have the £1 note!
  • All of the post boxes in Guernsey are painted blue, except two;
    • One in Sark, which was painted gold for the Sark born equestrian Carl Hester who won a gold medal for dressage in the 2012 London Olympics, and a red post box in Union Street, St Peter Port. The latter is the oldest cast-iron pillar-box still in use in the British Isles.
  • Alderney is home to a very rare blond hedgehog.
  • Sark is the world’s first Dark Sky Island.
  • Victor Hugo wrote some of his best known works while in exile in Guernsey, including Les Misérables.
  • Hautville House, his home while on the island, is administered by the city of Paris and so is, essentially a part of France.
  • Along with the other Channel Islands, Guernsey was the only British territory to be occupied by Germany in the Second World War!
  • Guernsey has a speed limit of just 35 and its sister island, Sark, has no cars!
  • The Albion pub in St Peter Port holds the record for being the closest pub to a church in the British Isles ​
  • The Little Chapel is thought to be the smallest functioning chapel in Europe, if not the world. It is also thought to be the world’s smallest consecrated church. Decorated with pebbles, colourful broken china and shells, it was designed by a French Monk in 1914.