The Channel Islands
lie in the English Channel, off the French coast of
Normandy, and comprise two baliwicks ,the Baliwicks of Guernsey and
Jersey, which in themselves encompass many other islands or islets all
with an idiosyncratic character of their own. The Channel Islands as a
whole have a total population of 158,000.
The islands are British Crown Dependencies but are not part of the UK.
They are administered locally, making their own laws. Due to their
stable government, proximity to both the UK and Europe and their low
income tax rate, the main islands have become centres for financial
services. On Jersey alone, the financial services sector provides 50% of
GDP and 60% of government tax income.
Both bailiwicks enjoy unspoiled scenery due to strict planning laws.
Sprawling fields, sandy beaches, rock pools and dramatic cliffs teem
with wildlife here. The sea has always been an important part of life
on the islands from seafaring of the past to diving, surfing and
sailing of today.
Due to its English links and proximity to France, there is a blend of
cultural highlights on the islands; examples are the different dialects
still spoken by a small percentage of the islanders dialects which
range from the Jerrais of Jersey, to the Guernesaise of Guernsey, and
other island dialects in between. Cultural sights range from the WWII
battlements, to the house of exiled French poet Victor Hugo, to
picturesque harbor towns.
The climate in the Channel Islands is mild and sunny and life here is mellow.
Living in the Channel Islands