The Channel Islands
Just a shade over 60nm from the Solent, the sunny Channel Islands are packed with historical and navigational interest in almost equal measure.
Just a shade over 60nm from the Solent, the sunny Channel Islands are packed with historical and navigational interest in almost equal measure. Home of the infamous Swinge and the Alderney Race they are the perfect place to practice your pilotage under the skipper’s watchful eye, but there’s plenty to see and do if you’d rather let us take care of all that. Raising Alderney after the Channel Crossing is evocative of ancient mariners raising land after time at sea and from this point onwards the islands are a delight. St Peter Port in Guernsey usually features but the true gems of the Islands; Herm, Sark and occasionally Iles Chausey are what we go for.
Our Channel Islands Adventure Cruises offer an exciting way to retreat from modern life – with many secluded anchorages as well as lively and historical towns to explore and experience. The area consists of five main islands;
- Alderney – often the first port of call since this is the closest of the islands to the UK, Alderney is just 1.5 miles wide and 3.5 miles long. Best explored by foot there are over 50 miles of designated walks including cliff top walks, stretches of sandy beaches, wildlife and history on offer. The main town of St Anne’s offers cobbled streets and a variety of boutiques, shops, restaurants and cafes.
- Guernsey – St Peter Port, the island’s capital, is a bustling harbour town with plenty of low duty shopping as well as bistros cafes and bars. The island boasts 28.5 miles of spectacular cliff top paths, plus numerous bays, rural lanes and common land. There are many secluded bays to anchor in and the waters are clear and fantastic for swimming. Guernsey’s temperate climate and variety of habitat makes it an ideal place for many species of bird to nest or visit, as well as providing a home to rare, semi-tropical species of plants.
- Herm – a perfect location for a lunchtime stop, Herm is a beautiful and unspoiled island offering the opportunity to watch flocks of terns, puffins and migratory birds whilst enjoying the natural splendour of the island with its stunning array of plants and flowers.
- Sark – 3 miles long and 1.5 miles wide Sark stands approximately 350 feet above sea level and offers outstanding views of the other islands and the French Coast. There are no cars on Sark, and the pace of life there is relaxed, far from the hustle and bustle of modern life. There are plenty of beaches and cliff top walks to explore with an abundance of wildflowers and seabirds, as well as caves and tidal pools.
- Jersey – Although the island covers an area of 45 square miles, it’s the sea that dominates the landscape, with stunning views of the surrounding Atlantic Ocean to be had from virtually every point on the island. The coastline itself is just as compelling, with majestic cliffs, exposed bays, sandy beaches and rocky coves all easily accessible by road or on foot. St. Helier is an excellent shopping centre with pedestrianised streets and a mix of well-known High Street stores and small local shops. The attractive Victorian vegetable market and fish market, cafes and restaurants provide a relaxed ambience.
We have also (when the weather has been kind) visited Les iles Chausey – the only French Channel islands. Consisting of over 300 rocks and islets at low water but only 50 or so when the (quite considerable) tides are up, the main island plays host to a hotel, restaurants, a fort, beautiful white sandy beaches, a chapel built in 1840, and a fishing village and is more reminiscent of the Isles of Scilly than the other – more developed Channel Islands further North.
Whichever islands we visit, an adventure cruise to the Channel Islands is always a delight!
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