The Channel Islands seem a million miles away across the ocean, but in fact, they’re just a hop, skip and a jump on a boat from Southampton, and are the perfect location for a caravan holiday.
The Channel Islands are relaxing, beautiful, and almost Caribbean if you get the right weather. But it’s not just about Jersey and Guernsey, but the lesser-known, littler islands are worth your time too. Here’s our guide to exploring them.
Lovely landscape of Jersey
Alderney is the third largest of the Channel Island , but at only three miles long by one and a half wide, it’s really not very big at all. But this only adds to its magic, and makes it all the more remarkable just how much bang for your buck Alderney has.
The main attraction here are the feathered wildlife who soar in the sky; puffins, gulls, gannets, fulmars, guillemots, plovers, terns, and razorbills all thronging on islets, beaches and cliffs around the island.
History is the other draw to Alderney, with Roman ruins and the remains of a fort built by Henry VIII all being of exceptional interest. But the most significant of all the landmarks on this small island date from the Victorian times, when the British covered Alderney in 18 forts, to dissuade the French from invading.
Sark is a world apart from everything modern. This, the fourth largest of all the Channel Islands, has taken itself back in time; there’s a ban on vehicle traffic, and the local government comes via an old-fashioned (and rather controversial) island parliament.
Geographically, Sark is quite different from the other islands too, as it mostly consists of steep cliffs which level out across a flat plateau of grass to a steep cliff on the other side. This means that there are only a couple of beaches, although the ones that are here are beautiful. Visitors can travel Sark by one of three ways; by foot, by bike, or by horse drawn carriage. You may be lucky enough to hop onto the back of a tractor pulling a trailer, but that’s as motorised as things get here.
Along with cars, there are no streetlights here, meaning that the night skies positively shimmer with sequins when the sun goes down every night. You can stargaze here with the naked eye, without the need for a telescope.
You won’t even find a bicycle on Herm, let alone a car. But you don’t need either, as such a small spaces are best discovered by foot, so that you don’t miss anything.
Here is just three miles off of Guernsey , and can only be accessed via ferry or private boat. Most visitors just stay for the day, but Herm really comes into its own at night, when the day-trippers have returned to the main island and peace descends. At dusk you’ll share the empty paradise-like beaches with oyster catchers, skinny dip as the sun sinks into the watery horizon, and skip through quiet pathways as the stars begin to shine.