The Channel Islands: Places to Go and Things to Do
The Channel Islands are the European Archipelago located halfway between the UK and France. If they want to borrow a cup of sugar, it is much easier to do it from their closest friend, France. These islands are located near the coast of French Normandy. The archipelago consists of the two bailiwicks, Bailiwick of Jersey and Bailiwick of Guernsey. There were also smaller islands like Alderney, Sark, and Ham, but they are divided between the two bailiwicks. However, they are the possession of the English Crown with the independent administrations. These islands are not part of the European Union nor the UK.
They have customs relations with the EU. The inhabitants of the islands are primarily native islanders of Norman French and British Extractions. There is also a considerable number of Portuguese. People living on the island are British citizens, speak English and French, their assemblies pass the legislation on their own with the Crown granted in the Privy Council.
Bailiwick of Guernsey
Bailiwick of Guernsey is one of the Channel Islands. It has a rich history and is the home of the most exciting living habits in the world. This island will blow you away with its amazing spirit.
Just like the island of Jersey, the island of Guernsey has one of the largest tidal ranges in the world. Tides range of 33 feet is one of the largest globally, and it transforms the coastal line every six hours or so. Guernsey is well-known for its long sandy beaches. Guernsey beaches are great for families, considering that it is perfect for swimming in the high tide. In the low tide, children enjoy bathing in the rock pools.
The Oldest Post Boxes and The Witch Seats
Did you know that the island of Guernsey is the home of the oldest post box? The post box in Union Street is the first iron-made post box in the British Isles. It is also distinguished from the other boxes on the island. This box is red, while all the others are blue painted.
Houses in Guernsey have special titch seats. Almost every home in Guernsey has a small granite pedestal which is named witch seats. According to the legend, islanders put these seats for the witches to rest since they were constantly on the run. This way, they will rest calmly instead of causing chaos.
There is a myth that fairies invade the island. These mythical creatures were amazed by the beauty of the local women. This was the reason for the bloody massacre that occurred on the island and is better known as the “Red Road” because of the blood that flowed down the street. There is also a mysterious land ring on the island called A Fairy Ring. It is believed if you make a wish and make three circles, your wish will come true.
Bailiwick of Jersey
This island is not quite British nor French but has all the best from both. This tiny island is one of a kind. Tourists are lured by the historical remains, numerous museums, ancient relics, and picaresque sceneries. This island appears to be trapped in time. But, the most significant motif for island trips is the sandy beaches and unique beach outdoor activities. After all, this is the sunniest spot in the British Isles. Although it is the greatest island in the archipelago, Jersey is a diddy island with its tiny dimensions. However, 20 miles of the coastline consists of sandy beaches.
This island is specific for its tides. Believe it or not, Jersey has the largest waves in the world. When the tide is low, the island almost doubles in size and gets extra sandy beaches. If you want to experience the tide live, there are multiple ways. One of them is to walk to Île au Guerdain- also known as the Janvrin’s Tomb after a plague-ridden marine captain was buried there.
Jersey War Tunnels
Jersey is marked with the numerous remains of the five-year occupation of the German Army. These remains are built with notable credits to the enslaved islanders. These constructions are mostly Nazi shelters like tunnels and secret rooms, observation towers, pillboxes, and batteries. The Jersey War Tunnels are the most significant remnants of the war. This is a thousand-meter-long tunnel network built by enslaved islanders or slaves brought from the other parts of the country. These tunnels are 50 meters under the ground. These tunnels were used as the shelters for the Alliance’s air rides. The preserved and reconstructed tunnels are opened to visitors and symbolise oppression and though life under the Nazis.
Another activity you can enjoy on the island. Jersey is well known for its sandy, long beaches and unpredictable tides. But guess what, it has waves you can catch and surf. Jersey became the surfing hotspot with the arrival of the African lifeguards. They thought locals how it was done. The Jersey Surf Club was established in 1959, and the first championship was in 1960. Until 1968, only one out of six members of the British Surfing Team was not from Jersey.
St Helier is the island’s only town. It is a historical town with an entire treasury of historical sites and spots. St Helier is unique for its legend. Namely, St Helier was established by a monk who came from Belgium in the early 6th century. His name was Helerius, and he started to spread the dogmas of early Christianity. He ended tragically with his beheading by the Saxon pirates. According to the legend, unfortunate Helerius picked up his head and went into the sea depths. Nowadays, there is a holiday known as St Helier’s Day. This is marked with the pilgrim’s walk to the stone capel. This capel was built in the 12th century, on the rock where, according to the legend, Helerius lived.
These were more than enough reasons for you to rush and visit these islands and make unforgettable memories.