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10 little known facts about Guernsey

St Peter Port cobbled streets

St Peter Port’s cobbled flower filled streets

Donkeys, fairies, witches and the smallest chapel

  • Sarnia is the Latin name for Guernsey and the Nerine Sarniensis, or Guernsey Lily, is a symbol for the island.
  • When needed, the anthem for the island is Sarnia Cherie.
  • Another symbol for the island is the donkey, often used to haul goods up the steep cobbled streets in St Peter Port.
  • Jersey people think the donkey is a symbol due to the stubbornness of the residents! In return, Guernsey dwellers call Jersey dwellers, crapnauds, or toads.
  • Guernsey possibly has the smallest chapel in the world – The Little Chapel. Decorated with pebbles, colourful broken china and shells, it was designed by a French Monk in 1914. It’s free to enter and is maintained by donations.
The Little Chapel

The Little Chapel

  • Over 80 cruise ships visit St Peter Port each year.
  • Pronounced ‘pooks’, Channel Islanders think they are descended from ‘pouques’ – or fairies. Visit the Table des Pions, or Fairy Ring, where legend has it that fairies, witches and elves met. The last reported fairy sighting on the island was in the early 1900’s!
  • Stories of witchcraft are also rife on the island. Many houses have a witch’s seat jutting out from the house gables in the belief that if you gave a seat to a passing witch, you would be free from evil spells.
  • Les Miserables was completed in Guernsey when author Victor Hugo sought exile there. The author bought and decorated the eclectic Hauteville House, which can be visited.
  • The 2nd oldest tennis club in the world can be found at Kings in Guernsey. Champion player, Heather Watson was born on the island.
Le Creux ès Faies

Le Creux ès Faies Megalithic passage tomb

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About the author

Posted by Christina

Christina's early memories include boarding a plane to visit Kuwait at the age of two and taking big family holidays in Scotland, Cornwall and France. After enjoying time teaching in London and Holland and marrying into a family spread from Ireland to the Channel Islands and America, it is no surprise that along with husband Julian they trekked around the world when three of their five children were small. Christina now runs the family company and writes and helps with the Travelsmith web and social media sites. Email: christinaclark@travelsmith.co.uk