Guernsey Channel Islands."
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Guernsey Channel Islands

Although Guernsey is geographically closer to the Normandy coast of France, the island comes under the British Crown. This is a question that often puzzles visitors to the island, and the answer dates back to 933 AD when he Channel Islands became part of the Norman realm. When in 1066 William of Normandy became William I of England, his Duchy of Normandy including the Channel Islands became part of the combined realm of England and Normandy. When King John lost most of the Duchy of Normandy, the Channel Islands remained loyal to the English crown. The French influence can still be found today with many of the street names being French, and indeed many of the islanders' surnames carrying a French touch. However, the mother tongue is English, and although Guernsey issues its own coins and notes, the currency is sterling and English notes are welcomed!

Guernsey is the second largest of the Channel Islands, measuring 9 x 3 miles with an area of approximately 25 square miles. Within this small area the visitor to Guernsey will find very varied scenery, ranging from pretty country lanes with granite cottages, and kiosks with honesty boxes selling flowers and vegetables to the craggy cliffs at Pleinmont, and the long sandy beaches on the west coast of the island.

Guernsey is very fortunate that its temperate winters, warm summers and excellent light quality means that its climate is ideal for flowers and plants. Wild flowers can be found at any time of year, and during the Spring months, the cliff walks abound with colourful flowers. There are also parks and gardens for visitors to explore.

Guernsey is very proud of its excellent selection of restaurants, and the quality and value provided. On a Guernsey holiday, visitors can choose from haute cuisine in some highly accredited restaurants, as well as great value set menus in many bistros and hotel restaurants. The island prides itself on the fresh Guernsey fish and seafood that is often to be found on offer, including crab, lobster, sea bass, oysters, sole and brill.

With flights to Guernsey available from many provincial airports, as well as Gatwick, Stansted and Manchester, the island makes a wonderful destination for a short break stay as well as a longer holiday. Many sports and activities are on offer for those who enjoy an action packed break. In the summer months many water sports are available - guests can try their hand at wind surfing, scuba diving and sailing. The island has two 18 hole courses, as well as a 9 hole par three course. Guernsey also has an indoor tennis centre, 10 pin bowling, squash and badminton courts and riding stables from where visitors can enjoy a leisurely hack around the country lanes, or the more experienced rider can take a gallop across the beach.

Visitors spending a longer holiday in Guernsey, can also enjoy a day trip to one of the other Channel Islands. Herm and Sark are just a short boat ride away from St Peter Port. Herm is just one and a half miles long by half a mile wide, but boasts two glorious beaches. Shell Beach, aptly named because it is made up of millions of shells and Belvoir Bay, a favoured spot for families.

Sark, a little larger than Herm, offers quite a contrast with a rugged coast line and spectacular cliffs. No cars, buses or motorbikes are allowed on Sark, so the visitor must make their way on foot, on push bike or on horse and carriage.

A Guernsey holiday can also include a trip to Alderney, Jersey or even a day trip to Dinard or St Malo in France.