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Anyone live(d) in Guernsey?

(60 Posts)
TracyK Tue 12-Mar-13 18:23:59

Good things? Bad things?
me and dh in 40's with a 9yo son and dog.

Quebermuda Fri 20-Oct-17 12:35:18

We moved to Guernsey not quite two years ago (40yo, one toddler, one on the way). We are so happy we did. It is the best balance of all worlds. The salaries are good, the work-life balance is good, the "commute" is a 15-minute walk, and you can drive 10 minutes to the beach after work.

Obviously, as it is offshore, things are a bit more expensive (but taxes are much lower), and shopping and entertainment choices are more limited than onshore. But it's not like an island in the Caribbean -- there are no third world problems like food or water shortages, failing schools, fear of muggings, etc. Guernsey is safe and has a standard of living comparable with the UK.

Yes the roads are narrow and cars drive too fast, but there are many places in England like that. We don't care because we are in the car maybe 30 minutes a week. We live in St Peter Port, so our jobs, our child's nursery, our local pub, and most of our social activities are an easy walk. The drive to the beach, the park, the hardware store or the airport is 10 minutes, so why get too fussed about the roads?

The housing license/work permit regulations were confusing and annoying at first, but my family got a long-term license, so as long as we keep our jobs those rules don't bother us anymore. Houses are very expensive, but the housing market has hit a low ebb and interest rates have never been lower. Buying a house here is like anywhere: it's a long term investment -- you will get out what you put in.

There are pros and cons to every place. Guernsey is not for everyone, but it certainly works for us.

Jessiecar Sat 07-Oct-17 11:08:24

Thanks @anonykey12 just counting down the months until I can leave😩

anonykey12 Tue 15-Aug-17 10:29:51

I'm sorry you're not having a great time Jessiecar! I hope things improve for you. I too have heard some shocking comments about the Grenfell disaster last time I visited. I think Guernsey can be a HUGE culture shock to people moving over from well-populated modern areas. It was a massive (but welcome) shock to me when I moved to England and realised the rest of the world wasn't completely close-minded.

Jessiecar Tue 15-Aug-17 08:27:06

@sparklyuggs
I am white british its not against me, well apart from the massive Local/none local divide and whether people want to speak to you depend what sort of housing licence you have.
Its the horrific comments made about other ethnicities, after the Grenfell tower block fire I was absolutely shocked that in 2017 people still think like they do here. Living in London for 5yrs before here its very multi cultural and I have friends from all walks of life and ethnicities and I was shocked 😣

Sparklyuggs Tue 15-Aug-17 07:02:58

I'm sorry to hear about the racism you've encountered. Both DH and I are mixed race and it was something which bothered me before we moved but it has been fine so far. I get the odd silly comment but not much different to the people I went to university with who grew up in all white areas.

Jessiecar Tue 15-Aug-17 06:55:01

@anonykey12
If only you had posted before I moved lol. I've excused myself from 2 social engagements recently due to the horrifically offensive racist comments that I was so shocked at I had to leave.

Yes my house cheapest I could find was £1175. Electricity is 3 times the UK. Water is also ridiculously expensive. Petrol is more than London. The gyms, your looking around 50-80 a month.

Anything you want to buy from the supermarket add an extra 50p. There's no Aldi/Lidl so you are basically shopping at London Waitrose prices plus an import fee. And then it's practically died by the time you get it home.

your car will be crashed into and people drive at you, nobody understands how a roundabout works. Most cars have no door mirrors and my wheel is ruined after some idiot drove at me and I had to mount a massive kerb to avoid a head on collision.

anonykey12 Tue 15-Aug-17 00:00:12

I know this is a zombie thread, but since a few recent comments have appeared I thought I'd drop in with a local's insight for 2017.

I was born and raised in Guernsey, but I have lived in London for 3 years. Here's what I have to say:

- It is beyond expensive to live in Guernsey. Someone further up wrote that a 1 bed flat is about £750. Yeah, it's more like £1200 for a bedsit. Want to buy a house? Good luck, my family's (very average) 2 bed is around £400k, that will probably rise in a few years since 2016 was Guernsey's 'all time low' of house prices. If you're not a local, you'll have an even harder time on the open market, which is inflated so that only rich people can live here. It is literally cheaper for me to live in London zone 2.

- You'll need a car. 100%. Transport is shit, in every sense of the word. The buses are not great (although I suppose they're cheap at £1 per journey), and they're usually super crowded. There are two airlines (Aurigny and Blue Islands), both of which have terrible customer service skills and are supremely expensive. Want a last minute flight? Expect to pay £200+ return. Sometimes more. And Condor Ferries are the laughing stock of the island, so let's not get started there...

- Schools are interesting. The top notch private schools that all the children of rich people attend are Ladies' College (for the girls) and Elizabeth College (for the boys). Expect snobbery, bullying and a lot of yummy mummies in 4x4s. The pass rate for GCSEs / A-Levels is usually at 100% though because there's so much pressure. I haven't followed very closely, but there's a current revamp in education and two high schools (one alright, one not so much) are merging into one big one. The class sizes will be massive and, thus far, I have not met one person that thinks this is a good idea.

- Racism/sexism. Guernsey people will staunchly say that they're not racist. It's a lie. They're all racist. I was racist when I lived there too. It's 99.9% white people, so if you're not white you'll probably struggle to be accepted. Some people have also touched on sexism. Personally I've experienced less of this myself, but I know people who have. And in terms of LGBT, there is no scene for it here.

- Out of touch with modern society. There's a real lack of just about anything. We have few mainland shops - you'll probably import about 90% of all your wants (clothes, home decor, hobby things, you name it). These will take far too long to arrive and come with hefty shipping fees. The cinema is terrible and overpriced. The gyms are terrible and overpriced. The aquarium is terrible and overpriced. There's no zoo. There's no theme parks. The hospital is tiny and you have to go to Southampton if you want actual proper surgery. There are about 2 cocktail bars and 2 very grimy and overpriced nightclubs (so basically, night life is also a no-go).

- It has glossed-over issues. You might get hit with the argument of 'But it's so safe!!!1!' - there's an undeniable drug problem (probably spurred by boredom), car safety is TERRIBLE (seriously Guernsey drivers are the most aggressive/dangerous I've encountered and they HATE cyclists), and mental health issues are on the rise (especially among teens). Food for thought - over 50% of island university graduates (I think it was over 60% one year) choose to stay on the mainland post-graduation. This should tell you a lot about the offerings for young people. If they stay, the only well-paid jobs are in finance (and these places always accept school leavers, making your degree redundant and placing you in training with a bunch of 18 year olds). The creative sector doesn't exist.

That about sums up what I can think of off the top of my head.

I pointed out the worst things about Guernsey. There are many nice things - pretty beaches, nice restaurants if you're a foodie, strangers will smile and say hi if you go on a walk. But there is nothing that makes it a better place to live than the UK. People will bring up how crime-free it is (although drugs and sexual assault are quite rampant atm) - but, with a population of 65,000 compared 65 million in the UK, of course there is less crime!!! I am glad I had a nice childhood here, but I would never in a million years go back and nor could I afford to. Guernsey is best suited to retired millionaires with a penchant for yachting. IMO, England has so much more to offer and I love it as though I was born there.

Hope that helps someone - feel free to ask me anything!

Jazimpac Wed 02-Aug-17 13:12:50

Hello my name is jasmine and I have been in guernsey since I was born I have never moved house and I live it here it is a small island yes and their isn't much to do unless you make an effort I believe that my life on guernsey has been a fun and exciting time my farther would take me out on adventures and along with my 7 siblings we connected and had fun, you could really see the effort he would go to to make us proud of living here even thought their are no fast food places the people over here are really open to make friends and have a laugh, the housing over here is expensive but it drops down every now and then, you really have to have a holiday and see if you like it over here before moving, it's a big step for a hound kid like yours and a big step for a family too, come over and see, maybe you will like it smile just remember we still have rain and cold winds sometime we are not Paris ice but it sure is a cosey place to live with your family and will be easy to make friend all in all I hope you are able to come over and see for yourself. Thank you for your time

Jessiecar Fri 02-Jun-17 20:40:03

I have been here a month now, the island is beautiful, gorgeous beaches but I am so much worse off here, £400 worse off than I was in London. It's very very expensive.
I think you need to enjoy the outdoors and be active to enjoy living here. For me it's getting to go to the beach everyday.

Sparklyuggs Sat 29-Apr-17 15:40:33

Kazrack if you PM me I can try to help, I've been working with a few charities since moving here.

kazrack Sat 29-Apr-17 13:23:29

Hi all
I'm considering applying for a social work post and have been reading your posts which appear to be very mixed. Has anybody any experience of working within this sector? Any advice wekcome

Jessiecar Sat 08-Apr-17 05:20:44

Well London isnt cheap, the housing prices are the same plus council tax, so work out more expensive. But I should be slightly better off there, maybe an extra £200 a month.
I am going to A&E, Where abouts do you work?

FriendofDorothy Fri 07-Apr-17 22:29:03

Hi Jessicar, sounds like you are getting on well. I live on the island and work for the health service.

it's a fantastic place to live. Not cheap but an amazing place to be. Great places to walk and relax and ideal for dog walking!

I hope you settle in really quickly. Which department will you be working in?

FriendofDorothy Fri 07-Apr-17 22:28:52

Hi Jessicar, sounds like you are getting on well. I live on the island and work for the health service.

it's a fantastic place to live. Not cheap but an amazing place to be. Great places to walk and relax and ideal for dog walking!

I hope you settle in really quickly. Which department will you be working in?

Jessiecar Fri 07-Apr-17 13:21:10

I am viewing my new house tomorrow smile thanks for all the advise

Vq1970 Tue 28-Feb-17 19:03:09

I think there's also a Guernsey properties to rent Facebook page as well.

Good Luck!

Sparklyuggs Sun 26-Feb-17 22:18:35

Have a look in the Guernsey EBuy group/ GSY EBuy on Facebook. Both have properties to rent in there. Maybe a more general Facebook selling group search?

Jessiecar Sat 25-Feb-17 09:38:13

Yes I have registered with 4 but the only place they had was £1450 a month :/ :/ :/

Sparklyuggs Sat 25-Feb-17 08:48:15

Feel free to ask anything else, I'm happy to help smile

Sparklyuggs Sat 25-Feb-17 08:47:43

I was worried about that but it really hasn't been too bad so far, I think it just makes you plan a bit more.

In terms of housing have you spoken to any local agents? Or I think there might be some Facebook groups? Guernsey press website?

Jessiecar Sat 25-Feb-17 08:16:37

@Sparklyuggs Thanks so much for the help. I am looking forward to it but worried about how small the island is. Not such much in everyday living as I am guessing it's like living in a village, just in the being trapped sense. I am sure I will be fine when I am over there, it's just daunting,

I am just trying to find somewhere to live at the moment, does anybody have any tips? Everywhere I am looking at is so expensive and almost everywhere says no pets. Probably the same amount say no children :/

Sparklyuggs Fri 24-Feb-17 22:42:41

jessiecar I moved to Guernsey in October and it's been good so far. I fly back to London once a week for uni and I've only had 2 bad delays due to fog; given the horrendous train delays I had commuting into London I'm not sure it's that bad.

It is small compared to London but our quality of life is much better, food is a bit more expensive but we save on commuting costs and have more time to batch cook.

I'm GF and it's easy here, all the restaurants are excellent at catering for it and M&S, Alliance, Co-op and Waitrose all have Gf products, the only one which doesn't is Iceland but I think that's the same here.

Feel free to pm me if you want to know anything else, obviously I'm still very new but I remember the move well smile

Vq1970 Thu 16-Feb-17 22:44:43

Both fine now, thanks smile The patient care in hospital is incredible, I couldn't fault anyone. I think we are incredibly lucky with our hospital.

Cost of living is probably not that different to London in a lot of aspects. I have a friend who lives in London and we both moan about the cost of things which seem to be comparable. My step daughter moved back to guernsey after living in London for many years and wouldn't move back.

Renting is expensive but you may be entitled to a housing allowance which will have been discussed with you at interview so this might help. Great place to have a dog. You are never more than fifteen minutes from a beach, usually less. I think you can take the dog to all of the beaches during the winter months and then some become dog free in the summer so it limits you but not all of them so the dog can have a lovely swim! And you'll meet plenty of people walking their dogs on the beach.

I'm sure Ive seen gluten free ranges in the shops, we have plenty of GF people here and they don't starve!

Jessiecar Thu 16-Feb-17 22:19:58

Oh thanks for the reply, I hope you are both recovered?
I would need to rent as I have a dog. The staff i met ay the hospital seemed so nice. Much more patient focused than in London. And the pay is better than over here but i am guessing the cost of living evens it out.
I was a little concerned as M&S didnt seem to sell any gluten free products as i have food allergies but looking online it seems Waitrose do.
I would spend everyday at the beach if I could but in London the closest is hours away. Thanks for the info smile

Vq1970 Thu 16-Feb-17 22:04:40

Oh and we have 3 M&S food halls so plenty of supermarkets!

I love being able to go on cliff walks on nice days, finishing work at 5pm and being in the sea at Cobo by five past where, incidentally, there is no sewage. I swim there practically every day in the summer and quite often in the shoulder months. You can get fish and chips and sit on the beach watching the sunset. Buses are currently £1 per journey so really cheap to get around. The downside is the the buses don't run late at night and taxis are expensive.

Internet shopping is relatively easy these days. There are still some places that don't deliver to the Channel Islands but there are ways around this or you shop somewhere else.

I am well travelled and I think Guernsey is incredibly friendly. People will talk to you, if you look lost they will offer to help. Lost phones, purses, wallets etc get handed in to the police station, maybe not all the time but most of the time. I can leave my bag on the beach and go down to the sea to swim and when I come out, my bag is untouched.

We have amazing restaurants, no fast food chains like the UK but I personally like this. Yes some of them can be expensive but not all and you get what you pay for.

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