Guernsey Travel Tips

Tucked between the UK and France, Guernsey is a leading holiday destination for British tourists. With such close proximity to the UK mainland, the Channel Island makes it easy to enjoy a spontaneous trip with minimal travel time. Plus, as a British dependency, Guernsey has no immigration requirements for UK citizens, uses the same currency and even drives on the same side of the road. Whilst Guernsey has an air of familiarity, it is beneficial for any tourist to understand the island prior to visit and our Guernsey travel tips outline all of the essential information that you may need to know.

Guernsey Facts

Guernsey is a beautiful island with a rich history and charming aura making it a delight for all who visit. A melting pot of British and French influence, the island has perfect positioning to reflect the best of both cultures yet British tourists will find it extremely easy and convenient to holiday on Guernsey.

Where is Guernsey?

The Channel Island of Guernsey is located at the heart of the English Channel. It is approximately 70 miles south of the UK coast with the French coastline approximately 30 miles east. With such close proximity to the UK, flights from multiple UK airports have journey times of one hour whilst ferry services are also quick and easy. The island’s location also makes day trips to neighbouring Channel Islands and the French coast convenient with short travel times.

Travelling to Guernsey

Visitors to Guernsey can arrive either by air or sea with regular flights from multiple UK airports plus ferry services from Poole and Portsmouth. Several UK airports offer daily flights to the island with my flight times under an hour. Ferry sailings have a longer journey time but offer the benefits of travelling with your own vehicle including unlimited luggage allowance and the option to travel with a pet.

Travelling around Guernsey

Guernsey is very easy to navigate whether you choose to drive or opt for public transport. Thanks to ferry services offered by Condor Ferries, visitors from the UK can explore Guernsey in their own vehicle or alternatively, those travelling by air can arrange car hire on arrival. Car hire is available at the airport and in St Peter Port. In Guernsey, driving on the left and the island is extremely well signposted.

If you choose not to drive on the island, Guernsey has a frequent and reliable bus service operated by CT Plus for affordable travel with great connections across the island. Multiple taxi firms also operate on the island and you can download the Guernsey Taxi app to book a vehicle or receive a quote.

Guernsey Weather

Guernsey’s weather makes it an ideal destination to visit throughout the seasons. The island of Guernsey is blessed with a mild climate boasting sun-soaked summers and moderate winters. Whilst not a great distance from the UK, Guernsey receives longer and dryer summers than the mainland making it the perfect destination for a holiday of warmth and sunshine. Throughout the winter months, temperatures and conditions are a lot milder than the UK with minimal snow or cold blasts. Although conditions are typically more favourable than the UK, weather can be temperamental and it is crucial to be prepared for all types of weather when visiting the island.

Guernsey Currency

The pound is used across Guernsey making it extremely easy for British tourists with no need for currency conversion or mental maths. However, if you are using cash on the island, it is important to note that Guernsey utilises two versions of the pound. The Pound Sterling, GBP, is accepted across the island but Guernsey also has locally issued banknotes. The Guernsey Pound is the same currency as the GBP and holds the same value, however, it is important to be aware that the Guernsey Pound is not considered legal tender in the UK.

Whilst you can easily use the Guernsey Pound and also the Jersey Pound across the Channel Islands, these banknotes are not recognised as legal tender for use in the UK. It is important to be aware of this before leaving the island and ensure that any Guernsey Pound banknotes are exchanged for GBP notes. You can do this at any bank or currency exchange on the island.

You will find at ATMs that many have two separate cash points, one dispensing Pound Sterling and one dispensing Guernsey Pound. The cash points are easily identifiable and whilst UK tourists can use either, it is advised to opt for Pound Sterling to save any hassle in exchanging any unused money before departure.

Guernsey Languages

The national language of Guernsey is English, an additional convenience for UK visitors. Road signs, menus and all other information will be displayed in English whilst the majority of island locals are fluent with English as their first language. Guernsey French is also used by some island residents and you will find that some signposts and other information is displayed in French in addition to English.

Guernsey Tourist Info

It is easy to assume that all that applies to the UK applies to Guernsey but there are some differences that are beneficial for visitors to know.

Guernsey Visitors’ Information

Guernsey has no immigration requirements for UK and Irish Citizens. As part of The Common Travel Area, residents of the UK, Ireland, Channel Islands and Isle of Man have freedom of travel. This domestic travel allows you to visit Guernsey without a passport. However, valid identification will be required to board a plane or ferry but other forms of identification are permitted. It is advised to check accepted identification with your airline or ferry operator prior to travel. Visitors to Guernsey from outside the UK or non-UK citizens have alternative immigration requirements.

Guernsey Time Zone

Guernsey’s time zone is Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). This puts Guernsey in the same time zone as the UK with no need to adjust any clocks or watches. Guernsey also follows the UK with time changes converting to BST in the summer months. 

Guernsey Phone Networks

Guernsey has its own phone networks and UK networks do not extend to the island. Calls, texts and data usage by the majority of UK networks are considered as international whilst on the island and it is important to be aware of charges or have an overseas data roaming plan. As an alternative, you can pick up a local sim card to use during your time on the island.

Guernsey Plug Sockets

The island has UK 3-pin electric outlets so there is no need for UK visitors to travel with plug adaptors. Visitors from other destinations however, such as Europe or the US, will need UK adaptors to use electronics in Guernsey.

Tourist Healthcare in Guernsey

As a self-governing island, the NHS does not extend to Guernsey, however, a reciprocal healthcare protocol is in place between the Channel Islands and the UK. Should you require emergency treatment or healthcare whilst visiting the island, it will be free in most circumstances. However, non-urgent treatments will incur a charge. Although emergency healthcare is free for UK tourists, it is important to have valid and comprehensive travel insurance in place to cover all possibilities.

Guernsey Bank Holidays

Guernsey primarily follows UK Bank Holidays but also has some independent Bank Holidays that visitors may need to be aware of. It is important to check public holiday dates at prior to your visit to be aware of any holidays that may conflict with your visit.

In addition to UK Bank Holidays, Guernsey also has the following national public holidays:

  • May 9th – Liberation Day

Guernsey Disability Guide

Guernsey is an extremely accessible island making it a terrific holiday destination for anyone who requires extra assistance. The accessibility in place across the island allows everyone to enjoy stress-free travel.

Guernsey Airport Accessibility

If you are arriving in Guernsey by air, Guernsey Airport has many things in place allowing you to navigate the airport process with ease. Step-free access is available throughout the airport, accessible toilets and induction loops are located throughout and wheelchair hire is also available. You can also obtain sunflower lanyards from the Customer Service Information Desk if you may require extra support for a non-visible disability. The Guernsey Airport website also has a Guernsey Airport Travel Guide available to download created in collaboration with Autism Guernsey to help passengers prepare for their flight.

If you require airport assistance, it is advised to inform your airline at least 48-72 hours before your flight. Accessible taxis are also available from Guernsey Airport.

Guernsey Ferry Terminal Accessibility

If arriving in Guernsey by sea, the ferry terminal has access ramps that are wheelchair friendly for passengers not travelling by car. Condor Ferries also feature accessible toilets and lifts throughout their vessels. Passengers who require special assistance should inform the ferry operator no later than 48 hours before departure.

Guernsey Public Transport Accessibility

Guernsey’s public transport service operated by CT Plus offers accessible travel on all services. Wheelchair ramps and a wheelchair space are available on all buses whilst all can be lowered to the curb for easy boarding. A Guernsey Accessibility Card is available to all who may need additional assistance from the driver throughout their journey in any capacity. Cards are available from the bus terminus kiosk and are a way to discreetly tell the driver the level of assistance you may require.

Accessible Parking in Guernsey

All public parking in Guernsey is free with a Blue Badge and Blue Badges from all European countries are accepted on the island. Disabled parking is available across the island. Some on-street parking and car parks are disc zones requiring you to use an approved parking clock and disc zone signs define the permitted time frame for parking.

Accessible Car Hire in Guernsey

If you are planning to hire a car to explore Guernsey, both Enterprise and Hertz can provide hand controls and steering knobs for vehicle hire at no additional costs whilst local car hire company Wheeliz specialises in adapted cars with ramps.

Accessible Taxis in Guernsey

Many taxi firms across the island have accessible vehicles within their fleet with trained drivers to assist. The accessible vehicles have been specially adapted to allow wheelchairs and their drivers are certified to provide necessary assistance. Accessible taxis are available from taxi ranks, including at the airport, and are also available to pre-book. It is advised to pre-book your taxi in advance to secure an accessible taxi and avoid possible long wait times. You can pre-book directly with the firm or by downloading the Guernsey Taxi app.

The following taxi firms are licensed for accessibility:

  • Ashley’s Taxi Cab
  • Bazza’s Taxi
  • Harvey’s Taxis
  • Lambourne Taxis
  • Pattaxi
  • Premier Cars

Pattaxi is the only dedicated wheelchair user taxi service on the island with exceptional service and guaranteeing an accessible vehicle.

Accessible Beaches in Guernsey

Guernsey is home to a diverse range of beaches, many that offer step-free access and several with additional accessibility. Pembroke Bay is arguably the most convenient and accessible beach on the island. This beachfront has on-site parking, slipways to the sand, accessible toilets and beach wheelchairs available for hire. Vazon Bay is also a great option with accessible toilets, parking and slipways.

Guernsey Beach Wheelchairs allows everyone to enjoy a day by the sea. Three beach wheelchairs are available for use at Pembroke Bay including a child/small adult chair. Bookings can be made online and it is advised to book as far in advance as possible to secure a chair. They are free to hire but donations are welcome to support the project.