If you are planning a holiday to the Channel Islands this summer, but are struggling to choose which one to visit, let us help you, as each one has its one unique character to tempt you. Situated around one hundred miles from the UK, and described as the sunniest place in the British Isles, the Channel Islands feature an eclectic mix of French and British influences, unspoiled landscapes, stunning beaches and historic landmarks.
The most visited island is Jersey, with Guernsey a close runner up, but you can also take trips to Herm, Sark and Alderney. Each island is uniquely different, and depending on what kind of holiday you want, can offer a relaxing get away, or an insight into a cosmopolitan lifestyle. So let’s look at each island in more detail:
Jersey is the largest of the Channel Islands and feels like an island of contradiction, as the lazy beach life contrasts with the cosmopolitan city life and the stunning coastal walks. Head for the beaches and feel the sand between your toes and the fresh sea breeze in your hair for some peace and relaxation, or check out the north and east coast for rock pools teeming with marine life.
Jersey has everything you need for a family holiday – safe, clean beaches, country walks, a temperate climate and guaranteed long hours of sunshine. There are magnificent castles, fascinating wildlife and adventure parks, museums, beautiful private gardens, art galleries, potteries and local crafts.
Jersey also has a rich war time heritage with tales of the past in the form of war tunnels and rural museums. There is the excellent shopping centre at St Heliers complete with pedestrianised streets and a mix of well-known High Street stores and small local shops.
I love Guernsey, it is like a miniature island, with everything scaled down, even the streets and country lanes. Imagine roads with only one lane, telephone boxes in bright yellow, country walks with overhanging trees that lead onto a secluded beach, and that is the beauty of Guernsey.
The first thing you see when you arrive in Guernsey is the island’s capital, St Peter Port, a beautiful picturesque seafront marina, and considered one of Europe’s prettiest harbour towns. Historians who want to learn about the islands culture and past should head to the Guernsey Tapestry at the Gallery in St James Concert Hall, visit the beautiful Candie Gardens or explore Hauteville House, home to French writer Victor Hugo.
Ramblers will love Guernsey as there are some stunning coastlines, with cliffpaths, sweeping bays and rural paths, allowing holiday makers to discover Guernsey’s ever-changing countryside.
If you want to get away from it all to a peaceful retreat that is filled with natural beauty, then the tiny island of Alderney is the perfect holiday destination for you. Combining a rich palette of wild flowers, wide open green spaces and unique birds; stunning scenery comprising of soft golden sands and hidden sweeping bays, this really is a paradise for those seeking a sanctuary from life’s stresses and strains.
Alderney is the third largest of the Channel Islands and is just one and a half miles wide and three and a half miles long. There are only two thousand residents living on the island, with their own government and a thriving economy.
Imagine a paradise comprising of white sand beaches and crystal turquoise seas but only a short plane flight away? Then you must be thinking of a visit to Herm, the Channel Island that is located just 3 miles from the coast of Guernsey and measures just a mile and a half long and half a mile wide.
Herm has been described as totally unspoilt, with no cars, no crowds and no pollution, and is the ideal place to relax and rejuvenate. You can visit Herm for just a day, or stay for longer in one of the self catering cottages.
Go back in time where there are no cars, lorries or buses, only tractors, bikes or horses and carriages. The pace of life is leisurely and relaxed. Visitors to Sark choose to either walk to the harbour up to the village, or they can grab a seat on the “toast-rack”, the tractor-drawn bus. Whatever you decide to do on your day at Sark, it will be leisurely paced and peaceful, and you will take away the memories of a wonderful bygone age.