Wed, 20/11/2013 - 14:09
By Shauna Clapham – An idyllic pace of life, stunning scenery, pleasant climate, low crime and low tax rates and all only 40 minutes from London Gatwick.
Guernsey is a small Island of approximately 25 square miles, 20 miles north of the French coast and 80 miles to the south of England.
It offers a lifestyle and environment that combines the best of British with a delightfully French accent and is easy to get to from the UK mainland, with regular daily flights from several major UK airports, including Gatwick, and Manchester and services by sea to Poole, Portsmouth, Weymouth and northern France.
At your leisure
The Island benefits from pleasant sunny summers and relatively mild winters. Heavy frosts and snow are rare as the temperature rarely drops below freezing making it a delight for gardeners and outdoor enthusiasts alike.
Summertime is when Guernsey really comes alive and when everyone seems to take to the sea from the island’s delightful tide-washed beaches and rocky coves to enjoy fishing, sailing, surfing, water skiing or simply lazing about in the sun.
After sunset, which is best viewed from the west coast, there are countless places to wine and dine in, from elegant hotels to cosy bistros. Restaurants offer everything from traditional British pub fare to gourmet French and ethnic cuisine, all benefitting from the Island’s supply of fresh seafood and home-grown produce.
Almost every sport is catered for with the Island boasting two 18-hole golf courses, many private health clubs and a public leisure centre.
Visiting the other smaller Islands in the Bailiwick is also a popular pastime. Alderney has stunning scenery and beaches; Sark is a chance to step back in time and tiny Herm where cars and even bicycles are banned has pristine sandy beaches and makes a perfect retreat.
Looking after yourself and your family
Guernsey offers an excellent standard of health care. The government runs a specialist health insurance scheme that covers the cost of specialist medical care, and no charges are made to patients for hospital accommodation, nursing services or drug prescription while in hospital. Outside of this, residents need only meet the cost for visits to GPs, chiropodists, physiotherapists, opticians and dentists. Private medical care is also available.
The Island provides free education for pupils of all abilities and has an enviable track record in GCSEs and A levels. Primary schools age pupils will generally attend schools a short walk away and there are three schools catering for pupils with special educational needs. In addition to the States run schools there are also private fee paying schools.
Politically stable, fiscally independent
Guernsey has the right to govern itself and make its own laws and levies its own taxes.
It is not part of the UK or the EU but has a special relationship with the Common Market under protocol 3. Most Common Market Law is not applicable in Guernsey and, as a result, the Island is not required to harmonise its taxation with that of the Common Market.
Guernsey’s rate of income tax has stood at 20 per cent for about 40 years. There are no capital taxes in Guernsey. While there is no council tax in Guernsey, there is Tax on Real Property and Parish Rates but these are very reasonable and particularly low in comparison with similar rates in the UK. Excise duties are charged on tobacco, beers, wines, spirit and petrol. Again these compare favourably with the UK. There is no VAT in Guernsey.
Relocate with ease
There are no restrictions on purchasing property but because the Island has a limited housing stock, Guernsey has a unique housing control system, which also functions as a form of population control.
Properties are classed as either Open Market or Local Market. Local Market properties can only be occupied by those who hold local qualifications, while any British or EU national can take up residence in one of the 1,600 Open Market properties. If you’re interested in seeing the largest range of properties that you could move into, please contact our Open Market team.
Swoffers Estate Agents,
Estate House, Ann’s Place, St Peter Port,
Guernsey, GY1 2NU
Phone: +44 (0) 1481 720071
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