Welcome to Channel Islands
These islands have been a dependency of Britain since the Norman
Conquest in 1066, and English is the official language, but there
is no doubting that the character-filled Channel Islands are also
flamboyantly French. Hardly surprising since they are situated just
off the north west coast of France, about 90 miles (145km) south of
The clutch of five islands is very small, their total area
adding up to less than 80 square miles (207 sq km). The largest,
and most visited are Jersey and Guernsey. The other three are Herm,
Sark and Alderney.
The laid back beach and country lifestyle of the island group
reflects the French factor in this unusual Anglo-French fusion,
most of all in the cuisine, particularly the seafood dishes, and
jolly festivals such as Jersey's annual 'Battle of the
For British holidaymakers, in particular, the islands provide a
comfortable 'home from home' vacation station in the sunniest and
warmest corner of the British Isles. Apart from lovely, scenic
beaches where abundant watersports are on offer, there is plenty of
history and heritage to explore and discover in the main towns of
St Helier (Jersey) and St Peter Port (Guernsey). Museums, historic
buildings and traditional events map out the islands' colourful
past, including its more recent military and maritime history as
the only part of the British Isles to be occupied by the Germans
during World War II.
Hiking, cycling and golf are also enjoyable leisure pursuits
well catered for on the islands, adding to the well-deserved
reputation of this twin-cultured destination as an ideal choice for
a quiet outdoor-oriented holiday.
Information & Facts
English is the official language, though visitors will be
astonished by the variety of regional accents.
The currency is the pound (GBP), which is divided into 100
pence. ATMs are available in all towns and Visa, MasterCard and
American Express are widely accepted; visitors with other cards
should check with their credit card companies in advance. Foreign
currency can be exchanged at bureaux de change and large hotels,
however better exchange rates are likely to be found at banks.
Travellers cheques are accepted in all areas frequented by
tourists; they are best taken in Pounds Sterling to avoid
Local time in the United Kingdom is GMT (GMT +1 from last
Sunday in March to Saturday before last Sunday in October).