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Channel Islands
I visited some islands in summer 1991

Link to Photogallery of the Channel Islands

The Channel islands consist of two relatively large islands Jersey and Guernsey - and three small islands Alderney, Sark and Herm and numerous islets and stacks. However, even the largest island, Jersey, has a maximum length of only 14 kilometers, a size of only 116 square kilometers and a population of 88,000 people. Like the Isle of Man, the Channel Islands are Crown dependencies, have a high degree of autonomy; they are not part of the United Kingdom and are not represented in the British Parliament. In fact, the Channel Islands are the remnants of the Duchy of Normandy. The islands consist of two "bailiwicks": Jersey equals one and Guernsey equals the other. Herm, Alderney and Sark are dependencies of Guernsey.

The climate is, of course, not very different from the rest of north-western Europe. However, the winter temperatures are a bit higher because of the proximity of the Gulf Stream.

The landscapes of all islands consist of hills, pastures, beaches, coastal cliffs, colorful villages and extensive tidal flats. Military monuments, from medieval castles to Nazi bunkers the islands were occupied by the Nazis between 1940 and 1945 can be seen at many places. The north coast of small Alderney only some six kilometres long - is dotted with forts from the late 19th century.

People, economy
The average income of the about 150,000 people is far above the average of the United Kingdom. Huge revenues are derived from mass tourism and offshore banking but the traditional income sources of fishing and agriculture have not vanished completely.

Travel and tourism
As the islands are top tourist resorts, they can be reached in many ways from France and Britain, by sea or air. There are even direct flight connections with airports in other countries. The official tourist website for Jersey is and the one for Guernsey and its dependencies is . Useful is also .

Island list

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Photos and articles are 2005-2020 Alex Ritsema