A practical foreign exchange and currency guide on sending money and travel to Guernsey
What's in this Guernsey currency guide?
The second-largest island in the Channel Islands, Guernsey has gone to great lengths to change its sleepy backwater image, and it’s working. Flatter and less dramatic-looking than Jersey, Guernsey has some stunning beaches, particularly along the north coast, rugged cliffs in the south, and a lively, compact capital of St Peter Port.
There’s more to Guernsey than offshore banking and cream teas: there are Neolithic graves, Victorian forts and German fortifications to explore, adventure sports such as coasteering and rock climbing are on the rise, the north coast is excellent for watersports, and St Peter Port lures visitors in with its great dining scene. Like the rest of the Channel Islands, it is not part of the UK, but nonetheless it feels resolutely British. Yet due to its proximity to France and its quirky laws and customs it has a very unique feel to it.
UK currency can be used in Guernsey, but Guernsey’s own notes and coins are not accepted outside of Guernsey so make sure you change your currency before leaving. Each ATM will state whether it dispenses British or Guernsey pounds, so if you pay attention you can avoid picking up much local currency if you want to avoid that There are plentiful ATM machines in St Peter Port and at banks in outlying parishes. No VAT is charged on Guernsey.
Guernsey is largely flat and a pleasure to cycle around. Numerous rural lanes are designated Ruettes Tranquilles, where the speed limit for cars is 15mph and priority is given to cyclists, and there are designated cycle lanes in town and along the coast. You can rent bicycles from outlets in St Peter Port and also along Guernsey’s north coast.
The bus network covers all the island’s parishes and major attractions. A Guernsey sightseeing route, The Guernsey Vaeux (numbers 91, 92, 93), goes all the way around the island, allowing visitors to get off at various attractions. The flat fare is £2 for all journeys of any distance on all routes; children three and under go free, older children pay the flat rate. There is also a range of travel passes: from £4.50 for a one-day pass, to £38 for a seven-day family pass, good for two adults and up to three children.
Main international car rental outlets have branches at the airport, as does the local Value Rent a Car. Scooters and motorcycles can be rented in St Peter Port. Speed limits on Guernsey vary from 12 to 15mph in town to 25 to 35mph elsewhere. There are many narrow county lanes with passing places and blind corners. In fine weather, motorbiking or scootering around Guernsey is hugely enjoyable, plus parking is easier.
Along with traditional beach pursuits such as swimming, windsurfing and rock-pooling, there has been a growth in adrenalin-fuelled activities such as sunset abseiling, cliff face rock-climbing or coasteering explorations. In an effort to draw more tourists, Guernsey has been attempting to change its traditional image as a somewhat sedate, sleepy backwater, best known for offshore finance and Guernsey cream teas. In the unlikely event you tire of the coast, Guernsey has monuments ranging from eerie Neolithic tombs to Napoleonic towers and World War II bunkers and tunnels − potent reminders that the Channel Islands were the only the parts of the British Isles occupied by German forces.
Guernsey may be the most densely populated of the Channel Islands but it retains quaint rural lanes, fine sandy beaches and miles of spectacular cliffs in the south. The island has one of the largest tidal movements in the world, with waters retreating twice a day to reveal large expanses of golden sands and lunar-like seascapes, pierced with rocks and reefs.
Tasty Walks is a series of 20 self-guided walks which make the most of the very best the island has to offer – its stunning scenery and fabulous food. Whether it’s the rugged south coast cliff paths, the long sweeping bays of the west or uncovering the historic past of the island’s capital, the island has much to offer in just 25 square miles.
The below comparison table makes it easy to find the best exchange rates and lowest fees when you want to make a Transfer or Spend Pound Sterling.
The British pound (ISO: GBP) is one base unit of sterling – that being the name of Britain’s currency – and is subdivided into 100 pence.
Contributing to around 13% of all foreign exchange deals, the pound, or sterling, is the world’s fourth most traded currency.
Reputedly, sterling is 1200 years old. It is said that Anglo-Saxon traders used silver pennies in the eighth century called ‘sterlings’, 240 of which would equal one pound in weight.
Due to its membership of the European Union, Britain could have adopted the euro as its currency upon its introduction in 1999, however the British government opted against this because it wanted to retain monetary policy independence and because it perceived euro adoption as offering only small economic benefits.
In recent years, the most significant event to affect sterling’s valuation was the UK’s vote to leave the European Union on June 24th 2016 – a day on which the exchange rate for GBP/USD fell by as much as 11%.
In the past two decades, the pound’s highest valuation against the dollar occurred in November 2007 when GBP/USD reached 2.1161. Its lowest value came in October 2016, three-and-a-half months after the historic ‘Brexit’ vote, when GBP/USD reached 1.1905.
The British are more focussed on their currency exchange rate than are the citizens of most other countries, along with perhaps the Australians and Canadians. This is may be due to the open and trading nature of the UK economy and also due to their love of travel to the nearby ‘continent’ and further afield.
The pound sunk in September to 1.34 against the greenback but has recovered into October near 1.36 after Boris called the army out to drive the fuel trucks.
The outlook for the pound for October is very uncertain due to rising inflation, slowing growth and unemployment, the combination of which could create a nightmare scenario for the Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee.
OFX predict the GBP could range between 1.33 – 1.38 USD in October.GBP-USD Outlook
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