The Charms of the Channel Islands
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The stunning Channel Islands dot the sea between England's south coast and France and boast some of the most beautiful beaches the UK has to offer. Discover the absorbing histories and incredible scenery of Guernsey and Jersey.
We meet at London Waterloo today, where we board the train to Bournemouth, a vibrant Victorian seaside resort town. Our base here for 2 nights is the 4-Star Cumberland Hotel, boasting a lovely seafront location.
On Day 2, we transfer by coach to Corfe Castle, a quaint Dorset village famous for its striking castle ruins of the same name. With a rich and fascinating history dating to the 10th century, the castle was the site of the murder of Edward the Martyr, a young medieval king of England. Enjoy some time at leisure to explore this charming, quintessentially English village before a short journey on the Swanage Railway. This heritage steam railway travels through the pretty scenery of Dorset, as well as the impressive ruins of Corfe Castle, on a picturesque line which first opened in 1885.
Arriving in the coastal town of Swanage, we have some time at leisure to soak up the scenic surroundings. With a lovely sandy beach, independent boutiques and delightful cafés, there is plenty to occupy our time. Afterwards, we transfer back to the hotel for dinner.
After breakfast this morning, we transfer by coach to Southampton airport for our flight to the beautiful island of Guernsey, where there have been human settlements since 5000 BC. Our hotel is the 3-Star Peninsula Hotel, which has excellent views across Grand Havre Bay, a particularly scenic bay whose name aptly means 'haven'.
On Day 4 we discover the delights of Guernsey with a half day tour. The island once belonged to France, but was put in control of the Normans, who then took over England, thus the island changed hands. One of the most famous sights on Guernsey is Castle Cornet, which was once a tidal island before its natural bridge was cut off from the mainland. The castle has been used as an important fortification throughout history, becoming a Royalist stronghold in the Civil War, despite Guernsey itself supporting Parliament.
Your afternoon is free to explore Guernsey at leisure, or relax at our hotel.
We board the ferry this morning which takes us to Herm, a tiny, car-free island east of Guernsey. We have a day at leisure to soak up its nostalgic charms and relaxed atmosphere. With amazing sandy coves, a rugged coastline, attractive shell beach, rich history and abundance of beautiful natural scenery, this is a truly wonderful place to spend the day.
We take a ferry back to Guernsey, arriving back at our hotel in time for dinner together this evening.
After a morning at leisure, we transfer to the port for the ferry to Jersey, an island with a long and, at times tumultuous, history. Jersey is the largest of the Channel Islands, and is surrounded by blue waters and fringed with pristine, golden beaches.
We transfer by coach to our hotel on the island, the 4-Star Pomme D'or Hotel in St Helier, Jersey's capital, located just a few minutes' walk from a lovely beach and overlooking handsome Liberation Square.
On Day 7, we discover Jersey today with a full-day tour of the island, travelling by coach to uncover its many highlights. Our tour takes in a number of alluring bays, including St Aubin's Bay, St Ouen's Bay, and St Brelade's Bay, home to perhaps the island's most popular beach. We visit the iconic La Corbière Lighthouse, purportedly the most photographed spot on the island, and the gorgeous Grève de Lecq beach, where we have free time to grab lunch. This afternoon, we make visits to Gorey harbour and the Jersey Pearl Centre, where we see an amazing collection of marvellous pearl jewellery, made of pearls sourced from local pearl farmers.
We step back in time to the sombre days of World War II today, paying a visit to the underground war tunnel complex built when Jersey was under Nazi occupation. The occupation lasted from 1940 until the very end of the war, and the tunnels were built using slave labour from prisoners of war from all around the world. They were used by the German infantry to protect themselves from Allied air raids, and in 1943 was converted into an emergency hospital.
On our fascinating visit, we have the chance to learn all about the history of the island under the rule of the Nazis, and the brave resistance shown by the Jersey nationals at the time.
Enjoy a morning at leisure after breakfast today, before we transfer to the airport for our flight to Southampton. From here we travel by rail to London, where our tour concludes.
Provisional departure and return times, where available, can be found together with our dates and prices by clicking on the 'Prices & Availability' button. We write to all booked customers approximately 10 weeks prior to the start of their tour to advise the exact departure and return time for their particular group.
An escorted experience and all travel arrangements
Comfortable accommodation in your destination
Delicious meals included
Exciting excursions and free time to explore
Please note: This tour may be suitable for reduced mobility passengers, please call for further information.
Discover turbulent histories and incredible scenery of Guernsey and Jersey