Remnants of the medieval Dukedom of Normandy, the Channel Islands are self-regulating Crown Dependencies of the United Kingdom, in other words, they do what they bloody well want! This means they print their own Pounds which are valid nowhere else (though luckily the British Pound is acceptable currency to the islanders), and they are not part of NHS. On top of this they are not just one Crown Dependency, but two, each with its own set of laws, taxes and legislatures. There is the Bailiwick of Guernsey and of Jersey, and to complicate matters more the Bailiwick of Guernsey is separated in three more separate legislatures, Guernsey itself, Alderney and Sark!
So what do they have in common? Well, they all speak English, they all are fiercely independent, they all enjoy a subtropical climate thanks to the warm currents of the Gulf of St. Malo, they are all very beautiful. And they were all occupied by the Germans during the Second World War, the only British soil ever occupied by them.
From Saint Helier on Jersey to Saint Peter Port on Guernsey, from beautiful Alderney to tiny Herm, from hiking to sunbathing, from Norman castles to German bunkers, you are bound to be greeted by un-British like sunny weather and warm temperatures.
Make the most of it and hop on over!
Highlights from Channel Islands
- Victorian Saint Helier on Jersey is a good place to start with Elisabeth Castle, The Royal Square and much more
- Further down along the coast Gorey has another formidable castle, the Mont Orgueil
- Inland La Hougue Bie is a burial mound topped by the Norman chapel of Notre Dame de Carté
- Swim at one of the many sandy coves in Bouley Bay
- To learn about the German occupation visit the German Occupation Museum at Saint Ouen’s Bay
- Stroll around historic Saint Peter Port on Guernsey with its 12th century Town Church and Castle Cornet
- Bike or hike the coastline of Guernsey visiting the Martello Towers, ruins of castles and spectacular cliffs
- Take a ferry to Sark Island, and walk to Little Sark to take a dip in the Bath of Venus and the Pool of Adonis
- Visit Alderney with its French air, picturesque harbour and beautiful cliffs
- Enjoy the beaches on tiny Herm Island
Hints and Tips for Channel Islands
- If you don’t need a visa for the United Kingdom than you won’t need one for the Channel Islands.
- Guernsey is known for its good food.
- There are both ferry’s and flights to Jersey and Guernsey, so plenty of ways to get there.