The Channel Islands are a cluster of islands located around 100 miles (160km) south of mainland Britain. Expect hidden beaches, lush valleys, tranquil lanes and dramatic coastline all basking in the warmest temperatures of any British territory. Get into the swing of island life at an easy pace, see castles, stroll past wisteria-clad cottages, then tuck into freshly caught lobster, crab, scallops and oysters.
Jersey is the largest of the islands. Its Victorian markets and the elegant shops of its capital, St. Helier, are contrasted by sandy beaches, rugged cliffs and gently rolling countryside, perfect for walking. On Guernsey, you can explore the picturesque St. Peter Port with its cobbled lanes and brightly painted yachts bobbing in the harbour. Thrill-seekers can indulge in plenty of outdoor activities, from coasteering to windsurfing. For gentler fun, try exploring its 5,000 years of heritage from castles to Neolithic burial chambers.
The islands of Sark, Alderney and Herm are like a trip to a bygone age. There are no cars or motorbikes on Sark or Herm. Travel around Sark’s winding country lanes is by horse-drawn cart, bicycle or on foot, giving it a magical, unspoiled atmosphere. The beautiful island of Herm can be explored on foot.
Alderney, third largest of the Channel Islands and a little more remote, is home to lush green countryside and a rich heritage that ranges from ancient ruins to the marks of occupation during World War 2. Here you’ll also find a wealth of birdlife from puffins to gannets.
On all of the Channel Islands, sandy beaches, flower-spotted meadows and stunning views are never far away.
Top 5 things to see and do
1. Pay a visit to Hauteville House on Guernsey, where French writer Victor Hugo lived and wrote Les Misérables.
2. After a day walking in the countryside, settle in a cosy pub on Alderney for some wine or local beer.
3. Step back into medieval times at the labyrinthine Mont Orgueil Castle on Jersey.
4. Cycle the length of Sark and take in the views, untroubled by traffic.
5. Relax on Herm’s stunning white, sandy Shell Beach.