The Channel Islands are an archipelago, off the coast of Normandy. It has two crown dependencies – Jersey and Guernsey, which are also the two major islands here. It was a part of the Duchy of Normandy and located on the English Channel, between France and England. Because the pace is so unique, here are some important facts about the Channel Islands.
1- The Channel Islands are dependent on Britain and it isn’t really a country in itself. It is made up of two countries – the bailiwick of Jersey and the bailiwick of Guernsey. Yes, you may have heard of the movie – The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and it was shot on Guernsey Island.
2- The Channel Islands are made up of some smaller islands – Lihou, Jethou, Brecqhou, Herm, Sark, Alderney, Guernsey and Jersey.
3- It was part of the Duchy of Normandy and all English sovereigns, including the Queen today, play a role as the Duke of Normandy. The islands owe their allegiance to the Duke of Normandy.
4- Around 145 species of animals and plants are endemic to the Channel Islands. They also have 100 crab species, 240 types of seaweed and four million oysters in their waters. The islands have a variety of diverse natural surroundings and inhabitants of the animal kingdom.
5- Guernsey’s Little Chapel is the smallest in the whole world. The St. Andrews chapel is 16 feet by 9 feet and is covered with broken china, seashells and pebbles, making it a cute landmark to visit. So, if as a traveler, you are interested in buildings and unique sites, then do see this one.
6- Jersey has many bunkers and coastal fortifications – it is almost a part of their landscape. This is because, during World War II, the island was invaded so bunkers, castles, underground hospitals, tunnels and fortifications were built for use during the war. One can find artefacts from the war all over and things also wash up on the shores.
7- The Channel Islands were a haven for writers and poets. Victor Hugo – the renowned French writer lived in exile on these islands. He completed Les Misérables here and some more of his works were written while in exile. GB Edwards, Gerald Durrell and T.H White are some of the other renowned authors, writers and poets who called the Channel Islands their home. The islands will have enough magic and adventures for writers & readers alike today.
8- Jersey has a lot of ancient history attached to it. The local historical sites range from the time period – 4800 BC to 2250 BC and the remains can still be seen. The Neolithic sites that are found here are unique. One can still walk around the island and find the passage graves and dolmens standing strong.
9- The Channel Islands are one of the sunniest places in the British Isles. It is warmer here than on the mainland UK with 2000 or more hours of sunshine each year. So, if you want to enjoy some sunshine and the outdoors, the Channel Islands are a good spot.
10- A lot of fresh seafood is locally propagated and grown here. The Jersey island is popular for the sweet Jersey crab, which is renowned all over. The milk from Jersey cows is well known and makes really great ice cream.
11- The islands also enjoy tax sovereignty and their exports are protected by British tariff barriers.
12- Another one of the many interesting facts about the Channel Islands is that the Jersey and Guernsey residents believe that they have descended from fairies, which are known as “pouques” on the island. The last reported fairy sighting on the islands was back in the 1900s though.
The Channel Islands are an interesting place to see and live in. The culture is nice and the locals pleasant to all visitors.