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The Channel Islands, while located close to the northern coast of France, have been British since 1066. With their warm climate, beautiful beaches, rugged coastlines and island-life atmosphere they make a wonderful seaside holiday destination.
Jersey is the main island, and its picturesque capital, St Heliers, is the biggest and busiest port on the islands. Jersey is famed for its beaches and golf and fishing tours, but there are plenty of other attractions, such as La Hougue Bie, a 5,500 year old Neolithic burial mound, complete with archeology and geology galleries and even a World War II German bunker. Alternatively, the Hamptonne Country Life Museum, displaying 300 years of rural history, makes a great introduction to the islands’ past.
Guernsey is the second island, and also the best base for exploring the other smaller islands of Herm, Sark and Alderney. As well as offering many wonderful beaches and coastal walks, Guernsey also has a rich cultural heritage with a number of museums and historic buildings. Probably the pick of the museums is the Guernsey Museum and Art Gallery, commonly known as the Candie Museum due to its location in the grand Victorian Candie Gardens.
The beautiful and unspoiled island of Sark lying to the southeast of Guernsey features La Seigneurie, an estate dating back to 1675 that was built on the site of the 6th C monastery of St. Magloire. Sark is tranquil and peaceful, and the absence of cars and motorbikes gives it a special atmosphere. Herm and Alderney are the quietest islands and, with their lovely white sand beaches and cliff walks, are popular day trip destinations.
Jersey offers the best options for nightlife, with many bars, a handful of nightclubs and even an Opera House and Art Centre. However, for fine dining, especially seafood, both Jersey and Guernsey have a surprising array of restaurants.
Jersey and Guernsey both have airports offering connections to many UK and European cities, and the frequent ferries between the islands make a multi-island holiday an easy option.