Bit confusing this, but the Channel Islands are neither officially French nor British or part of the EU. An archipelago just off the Normandy coast of France and 90 miles south of Britain, they are possessed by the English Crown and inhabited by English-speaking citizens.
Whoever they belong to, they are very pretty – stunning beaches, coastal walks and ancient monuments. Divided into two British Crown Dependencies: the Bailiwicks of Jersey and Guernsey, they are an uncommon fusion of English and French living.
The French flavour is present in the languid beach and country lifestyle enjoyed by the Island group, the abundant seafood dishes and festivals such as Jersey’s annual ‘Battle of the Flowers’ – a spectacle of flower-festooned floats, musicians, dancers and entertainers providing a tremendous atmosphere and much jollity.
And Britons love the Channel Islands for its ‘home away from home’ environment – played out in the sunniest and warmest corner of the British Isles. Apart from beach-lounging and eating, there are water-sports to try a variety of leisure pursuits such as hiking, cycling and golf. Perfect for those seeking a quiet, outdoor-oriented holiday.
Culture vultures will find the Channel Islands’ rich history mapped out in museums, historic buildings and traditional events around the main towns of St Helier (Jersey) and St Peter Port (Guernsey). There’s a lot to see - the islands were the only part of the British Isles to be occupied by the Germans during World War II and the poignant underground German hospital in Jersey can be visited to this day.