Jersey, Channel Islands
An Antipodean travel company serving World Travellers since 1983
Jersey, Channel Islands
A tour of Jersey introduces the visitor to the largest and southernmost of the Channel Islands, the island of Jersey The channel islands are an archipelago which sits in the English Channel. Legally known as the Bailiwick of Jersey, the islandis a self-governing dependency of the British Crown, not administered by the United Kingdom. The closest of the Channel Islands to France, Jersey is a fascinating blend of French and English culture on a beautiful and verdant island whose capital is St Helier.
The history of the strange legal status of the Channel Isles begins in the Middle Ages, when Jersey and the other islands were part of the Duchy of Normandy, whose dukes went on to become the kings of England from 1066. After Normandy was lost by the kings of England in the 13th century, the title of Duke of Normandy was surrendered to France, but the Channel Islands remained attached to the English crown.
In the intervening years, Jersey and the other Channel Islands became home to privateers fleeing the law in Britain and France. Jersey also played an important role in the English Civil War, remaining loyal to the King. After the execution of his father, King Charles I, Charles II was crowned in 1649 in Saint Helier .
Jersey’s loyalty to the monarchy would shape the history of the distant colonies in the New World. Charles had been granted the region between New England and Maryland in the United States, which he then gave to his brother, the Duke of York and the future James II. James then gave the colony to two friends who had remained loyal during the Civil War, Sir George Carteret and Lord Berkeley of Stratton. In honour of Jersey’s loyalty, the province was named New Jersey.
Jersey also gave its name to jersey, a close-fitted and machine knitted garment, mostly associated with football jerseys; and the jersey cow, bred on the island and renowned for its ultra-creamy milk. Though Jersey cows can now be found around the world, the best products are still found fresh on the island of Jersey.
Jersey is also a great launching point from which to explore the rest of the Channel Islands – Guernsey, Sark, Alderney, and Herm. Guernsey, Sark, and Herm can each be reached on a day trip by ferry from Jersey, as can the charming town of St. Malo on the French mainland. This tour of jersey is part of the tour of Normandy, Brittany and England offered by Odyssey Traveller.
Articles about the Channel Islands published by Odyssey Traveller:
- Channel Islands: Wildflowers, Potato Peel Pie and Rebels.
- Walking Tours for Active Travellers: Tips for Seniors
For all the articles Odyssey Traveller has published for mature aged and senior travellers, click through on this link.