Parishes

The island of Guernsey is divided into ten parishes. St. Peter Port is the capital and the most populated. Castel is the largest. Torteval is the smallest parish and the least populated. St. Andrew is the only parish without a coastline.

Castel

Castel is home to around 9,000 Guernsey residents and is the largest parish in terms of area. The parish plays host to two annual events, La Viaer Marchi and the North Show which includes the Battle of Flowers. It also produces its’s own regular magazine called ‘Castel Matters’. This parish is a peaceful area of the Island and has a number of popular beaches close by.

Interesting fact:
Castel has clear evidence of changes in ancient sea-levels, with trunks of an oak forest visible on Vazon beach.

Forest

Forest houses around 1,500 Guernsey residents, has large areas of open land and is also home to Guernsey Airport. The parish is also well known for floral displays that have won many Floral Guernsey awards over the years. As with most parishes on the Island, you are never too far from a beach and Forest is no exception to this.

Interesting fact:
Forest is the highest parish on the Island, with altitudes of up to 100m.

St. Andrew

St. Andrew is located in the centre of Guernsey and is home to 2,500 Guernsey residents. It’s central location means that it is the only parish on the Island to be landlocked. St.Andrew features many hills and valleys and is split in two parts, one bordering St. Peter Port and one bordering St. Saviour and the Forest.

Interesting fact:
The upper part of St.Andrew is home to The Little Chapel, one of the world’s smallest churches.

St. Martin

St. Martin is one of the most popular parishes on the Island, housing just over 6,200 residents. It offers quiet country lanes, beautiful cliff walks, stunning scenery and is within close proximity to the airport and Guernsey’s capital parish, St. Peter Port. It also has various independent shops and restaurants in the parish, but because of its location and mix of rural and suburban lifestyle, commands some of the most expensive property prices on the Island.

Interesting fact:
St. Martin has entered Britain in Bloom for a number of years, winning the small town category twice.

St. Peter Port

St. Peter Port is the capital of Guernsey and houses around 18,200 residents. The parish is home to the Island’s main harbour and a hub for local businesses, with a high street packed full of UK shops and independent boutiques, as well as a huge choice of fantastic restaurants. With it’s cobbles streets, picturesque sea front marina and historic gardens, its easy to see why St. Peter Port is considered one of Europe’s prettiest harbour towns.

Interesting fact:
St. Peter Port is home to a number of sporting heroes including Premier League footballer Matt Le Tissier and Wimbledon champion Heather Watson.

St. Pierre du Bois

St. Pierre Du Bois houses just over 2,000 residents and is the centre for Guernsey’s western parishes which include Torteval, St. Saviour and Forest. The parish is very rural, mainly countryside with a small village in the centre. The parish church is one of the most unusual in the Island, as it is built at the bottom of a small valley and the interior of the church is not flat but diagonal in appearance.

Interesting fact:
St. Pierre Du Bois is home to Lihou, a small island that can be explored only at low tide, accessible by a pedestrian causeway.

St. Sampson

St. Sampson is home to around 8,500 residents. The parish is divided into two non-contiguous sections, the bulk of the parish lying on the east coast with a smaller section lying on the west coast. St. Sampson is Guernsey’s more ‘industrial’ parish and is also home to a large harbour where many residents dock their boats.

Interesting fact:
The parish church claims to be the oldest of Guernsey’s parish churches, standing where Samson of Dol arrived from Brittany in the sixth century.

St. Saviour

St. Saviour is one of Guernsey’s most rural parishes and is home to nearly 3,000 islanders. The parish contains many protected historic constructions, World War II fortifications and is entwined by a network of small country lanes, plenty of farms and nature.

Interesting fact:
St. Saviour is home to the States of Guernsey reservoir, providing a water supply to the whole Island.

Torteval

Torteval is the smallest of the ten parishes of Guernsey and houses around 1,000 residents. The parish is home to ‘The Rocquaine Regatta’, a unique local event that takes place around Rocquaine bay every August. Although Torteval is one of Guernsey’s smallest parishes, it’s still a very popular area for Islanders to live.

Interesting fact:
Torteval gets it’s name from the Guernesiais word for ‘twisting valley’.

Vale

Vale is the second largest parish in size and is home to nearly 10,000 residents. The parish is highlighted by the beautiful sands of L’Ancresse Bay and the Royal Guernsey Golf Club, a challenging 18-hole golf course and golfing mecca. Vale is also home to the picturesque Beaucette Marina, on the north-east point of Guernsey.

Interesting fact:
Beaucette Marina was created when the British arm blasted an entrance between a quarry and the sea.

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