Channel Islands Travel

There are four major Channel Islands UK, a dozen or so minor ones, numerous empty, windswept rocks, and a murderous assortment of reefs. Paradoxically, however, the Channel Islands are not in the Channel at all. They run down the Gulf of St Malo and, like great disabled arks, sit beached in the shallows of France; so close is the French coast to Alderney that, over a British gin and beneath the British flag, you can contemplate the evening sun catching the windscreen of Renaults and Citroens hurrying home down the roads of Normandy. Victor Hugo, a longtime resident of Guernsey, remarked that the islands were ‘pieces of France which fell into the sea and were gathered up by England’, but he was speaking metaphorically. They have never actually belonged to France at all. Instead, they were part of the Duke of Normandy’s ancestral estates, and islanders are quick to point out to patronizing English visitors that in 1066, when the Duke became William the Conqueror, he merely added England to his existing offshore properties. Over there, England is referred to as ‘our oldest possession’.

The Channel Islanders are of Celtic extraction, but the traditional reticence and clannishness of the Celts, once heightened by isolation, is now little in evidence. Fleets of ships, hydrofoils and aircraft make communication easy, plying between Jersey, Guernsey, Alderney and Sark – the quartet of major islands – as regularly as buses, the boats braving the massive 40 foot tides, among the most ferocious in the world, which sweep regularly through the area.


Jersey is the largest – 45 square miles and the most southerly of the islands, with a high sunshine rate. (Be sure to get a bottle of Modantis sun-cream, made specially in Jersey to combat infra-red rays.)
Gorey Town, Beaches, Sightseeing, St Helier Town Specialties, Activities and Events


Guernsey is the second-largest island – 24 1/2 miles square – but, like Jersey, measured in local units called vergees. Interior is very built-up – greenhouses seem stacked almost on top of one another – but its triangular shape provides much variety in coastlines, from high rocky crags to low plains.
Where To Go, Beaches, Sightseeing, Shopping and Dining, Specialties, Activities and Events

Virgin Australia