Discovered by the Portuguese in 1419, Madeira is noted for its beauty and enjoys a warm early summer climate, with its water warmed by the Gulf Stream. The island is really the tip of a huge mountain protruding from the ocean beneath. The interior is very fertile, originally volcanic, with jagged...
The largest of the Channel Islands, Jersey is just 45 square miles and is an ideal holiday destination, situated between England and France. Catering for all tastes, there are long golden beaches, secluded bays and winding cliff paths. Its compact size makes it easy to explore, although watch out for the narrow roads.
The island consists of twelve parishes, each with something different to offer. Car hire is relatively cheap and the local bus service is very good. Private Coach Tours are easily available. St Helier is the busy main town, with a good variety of shops, restaurants and accommodation.
Other lovely areas include Gorey, with its famous pottery and stunning castle above the sea front, St Brelade’s Bay, for the long sandy beach, and Rozel Bay, a charming fishing village. There are many points of interest around the island, including Gerald Durrell’s conservation Zoo at Trinity, and the poignant German Underground Hospital and War Tunnels at St Lawrence.
Day trips are readily available from Jersey to the other Channel Islands of Guernsey, Herm, Alderney and Sark.
You can fly to Jersey from over 30 UK regional airports including Aberdeen, Ashford (Lydd), Belfast, Birmingham, Blackpool, Bournemouth, Bristol, Cardiff, Doncaster, Dundee, Durham Teeside, Edinburgh, East Midlands, Exeter, Glasgow, Gloucester, Humberside, Inverness, Isle of Man, Leeds Bradford, Liverpool, London City, Gatwick, Luton, Manchester, Manston, Newcastle, Norwich, Oxford, Plymouth, Prestwick, Southend, Southampton and Stansted.
The natural beauty of Guernsey is complemented by the leisurely pace of life and friendliness of its people. As with Jersey, there is a French feel to parts of the island, but its roots are firmly British.
St Peter Port, the lovely main town is the busiest place, with a pedestrianised shopping area and excellent restaurants along its slightly hilly centre. There is also a very picturesque harbour with a walkway out to Castle Cornet.
There is a very good bus service for getting around the island, or visitors can walk, hire a bicycle, or car. Taxis and mini-buses are also available. Interesting places include the German Occupation Museum, the Little Chapel which is made out of broken glass and china and is possibly the smallest in the world, and the Guernsey Tapestry, ten huge panels depicting the island’s history.
Call in at the excellent tourist information centre near the harbour in St Peter Port where you can view the DVD on Guernsey, and even take a free copy home.
You can fly to Guernsey from over a dozen UK regional airports including Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Edinburgh, East Midlands, Exeter, Glasgow, Gatwick, Manchester, Newcastle, Norwich, Plymouth, Southampton and Stansted – ask for further details.
Alderney, Sark and Herm
Alderney is the third largest of the Channel Islands and is a peaceful, unspoilt retreat, ideal for nature lovers. With around 2,000 inhabitants, there is a relaxed ambience to the island. St Anne’s, the capital, offers good food and accommodation. Alderney has the only railway in the Channel Islands, operated by volunteers during the summer.
Sark is truly a step back in time, as there are no cars or airport, and few roads! The only way to get around this beautiful, natural island of two square miles is by bicycle, foot, or horse-drawn carriage. A tractor-drawn trailer also operates between 6am and 10pm. A twisting coastline, stunning views and wild flower valleys make it worth the visit. There are five hotels and some wonderful restaurants on the island.
Herm is another island without cars, and is within easy distance of Guernsey. The smallest island, it is known as a beach paradise, where the stress of modern life evaporates. With a hotel, self-catering and camping, visitors can stay longer than a day. Tours around the gardens are available with the island’s head gardener.
Contact Simon at Designer Travel Tailor-made Holidays & Cruises
Photo: St. Peter Port – Guernsey (RG) – 29
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