Guernsey - where the living is pretty damn easy
The world is a different place since we last visited Guernsey in the summer of 2014. Then, we celebrated its proximity to the UK, its laidback lifestyle and the relaxed nature of its residents—‘less showy than Monaco; not as Home Counties as Jersey,’ we said. Fast forward 24 months, and the twin unsettling plates of international terrorism and increased interest from HMRC on tax arrangements for the wealthy are shining a torch on islands like Guernsey.
For a long time, the island has been criticised by some for being like England was 30 or 50 years ago; now, that time warp—in which children can grow up free to roam without fear, houses and cars are left unlocked and life is lived largely outdoors rather than glued to a PlayStation—has a certain attraction.
Whereas, once, the island was known as a place for retirees, now, wealth generation is happening earlier and more families are moving to Guernsey. Cast your mind back to a classic country childhood, in which children rushed out of the door in the morning, clutching a packed lunch, and weren’t expected back until teatime—we reveal how that unfettered, free-spirited experience can be replicated on the island today.
This year brings a crop of interesting houses to the market on Guernsey, including a fort with planning permission to be transformed into a spectacular design-led home, as well as a number of special houses that haven’t come to the market in 20 years. In addition, we talk to agents about what’s driving the market in 2016.
One of the most common complaints of modern life is the lack of hours in the day. With the advent of smartphones and remote working, the lines between work and home are forever being blurred, but one thing that Guernsey can give back is quality of life. When the commute is reduced to minutes rather than hours, we find out what leading lights on the island do with all that extra spare time.
Finally, despite its rather diminutive size, don’t assume for one minute that you’d get bored on Guernsey. From crabbing and kayaking to cocktails and classic cars, the concierge at the foremost hotel on the island reveals his top tips for making the most of time out on the island.