Let’s move to… the island that brought us ‘The Guernsey Literary Potato Peel Pie Society’
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Film adaptation of bestselling book, ‘The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society’, puts life in the Channel Island of Guernsey in the spotlight.
Stunning homes, rolling countryside, the sea air and a dramatic coastline; just a few of the highlights of Guernsey celebrated in Mary Ann Shaffer’s bestselling novel ‘The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society’. The film adaptation, starring Lily James as the lead Juliet Ashton and featuring a host of Britain’s most well-loved stars, was released on 20 April and has led cinemagoers to ask, ‘Where is Guernsey and what exactly is a Potato Peel Pie?’
A portrait of a post-war island
Set in 1946, Juliet Ashton strikes up a friendship with ‘The Guernsey Literary Potato Peel Pie Society’. She soon becomes fascinated with the island and its inhabitants, who endured five years of occupation by the German armed forces after their invasion in the summer of 1940. When Juliet visits the island, she is bowled over by its beauty.
‘The harbour, with the town traipsing up steeply to the sky, must be one of the most beautiful in the world.’ Out of town, Juliet describes the countryside, ‘There are rolling fields, but they end suddenly in cliffs, and all around is the moist salt smell of the sea.’
Times have changed; but Guernsey’s beauty remains
“The location Juliet describes is incredibly familiar to people living and working in Guernsey,” says Andrew Carey of Locate Guernsey. “Although Guernsey has moved on in every sense since the 1940s, what hasn’t changed is the natural beauty of the island referenced in the book and film and it is a huge part of the lifestyle islanders enjoy.”
Just 40 minutes by air from Gatwick, Guernsey is now a base for global financial services and creative and digital industries, and is striving to become a FinTech centre of excellence. Carey continues, “The opportunity to work in some of the most innovative business sectors in the world leads businesses and individuals to move to the island and – as we’re already outside of the EU – our jurisdiction offers stability in Brexit uncertain times.”
The lifestyle on offer is a major factor in attracting people to move to Guernsey, according to Carey. “Just 15 minutes after leaving the office, you can sink your toes into our clean, golden sandy beaches.”
Global business, stunning scenery and unique architecture
The area in which the book is set is a perfect example of countless breath-taking spots on the island. Carey says, “La Bouvee is not far from St Peter Port’s bustling shops: on a clear day, you can spot the coast of France and a stroll along the cliff path will lead you to Marble Bay, a secluded, rocky cove where you can take in the view across the sea to our sister islands Herm and Sark.”
Set against the backdrop of beautiful views, a number of incredible homes are available to anyone looking to move to Guernsey. In the book Juliet Ashton praises the island’s properties, saying, “they built beautiful homes and impressive public buildings…their architectural splendour still shows through.” The house that Juliet stays in is a perfect example of a traditional ‘Guernsey Long House,’ “It is…wonderful. Two storeyed, L-shaped, and made of beautiful blue-grey stone. It’s slate roofed with dormer windows and a terrace stretching from the crook of the L down its length. The top of the crooked end has a windowed turret and faces the sea.”
Traditional homes with state of the art amenities
When it comes to property today, there is something for all tastes whether you’re looking for a traditional farmhouse surrounded by fields and close to cliff walks or a modern penthouse apartment overlooking the harbour in the heart of bustling St Peter Port. Guernsey’s Director of Planning Jim Rowles says the island’s architectural style is truly unique.
“Guernsey’s vernacular architecture was influenced by ideas and fashions from France and over the 19th and 20th centuries, local architecture became increasingly influenced by the UK. Whatever the period of development, the ideas have been applied using our local crafts and materials. Guernsey’s architecture is therefore distinctive and unique, and reflects our culture – always willing to accept new ideas and apply them in a way that best suits the island.”
A look at the homes on offer with local estate agents confirms the scope of property available. Approximately 7% of Guernsey’s properties – around 1,600 – are on Guernsey’s Open Market register which is for any families, businesses and individuals arriving from the UK or overseas. With an attractive tax regime, including no VAT, Inheritance or Capital Gains Tax, new arrivals can take advantage of a tax cap of £50,000 a year for a maximum of four years, should they buy a property for more than £1.5m.
Alongside the financial benefits, it’s the lifestyle which seals the deal for most people relocating. “People really can have it all when they relocate to Guernsey” says Carey. “The island of the film has moved on in leaps and bounds, but what remains is a beautiful, safe, unique and accessible island which is firmly open for business. We are quite sure the film will lead more people to discover our little slice of paradise.”
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Take a look at some of the latest properties on offer in Guernsey here: Guernsey movie property details
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