The Channel Islands are situated between England and France and are the most southerly islands in the British Isles. They are independent, English-speaking territories with a mix of British and French cultures. Jersey is the largest of the Channel Islands and Guernsey is the second largest. Both Jersey and Guernsey are known for their beaches, walking trails along cliffs and inland valleys, as well as their defensive castles.
They are only an hour’s boat trip away from France and both island airports have regular flights to and from many UK and European cities. Inter-island flights only take about 10 minutes. As well as their natural appeal to visitors and tourists, the Channel Islands are renowned for being an offshore finance centre with a stable economy, which provides a very attractive environment in which to live and work.
Shopping in the Channel Islands is centered on St Helier, Jersey’s capital, and is exempt from the UK sales tax of 20 percent, although there is a goods and services tax of three percent. Most of St Helier’s central shopping district is pedestrianized and visitors won’t find the massive shopping malls common in most other European hubs. In keeping with the slow pace of life on the islands, retail therapy here has more in common with mainstreet shopping, with a selection of individual shops and several department stores including Marks & Spencer, BHS, and Voisins.
Elsewhere on Jersey are shopping areas in St John, Gorey, and St Ouen, with charming boutiques tucked away in little back streets. Fashions varies between the decidedly upscale to individually-designed clothes, bags, and jewelry, and a great selection of shoe shops. Farm stores selling fresh local produce are popular across the islands, with the freshly churned butter and cream quite literally the best in the world.
ITV Channel Television – the longest-serving of the two services – provides regional programming for the Islands, including a flagship nightly news programme, ITV News Channel TV, a twice-weekly sports magazine show Report Sport, the long-running children’s series Puffin’s Place and local documentaries.
BBC Channel Islands News – an opt-out service for the Channel Islands, broadcast from the BBC Radio Jersey studios in St Helier at 6:30pm (during the first half of Spotlight) and at 10:25pm (after the BBC News at Ten) each weeknight on BBC1.
Local radio in Jersey is broadcast by BBC Radio Jersey, and Channel 103. Radio Youth FM, an internet radio station run by young people aged 12 – 24 is also active in the island and broadcasts up to 10 shows each week.
Volunteer.je connects Jersey’s non-profit organizations such as local charities, community events, sport teams, green initiatives and those who need a helping hand finding suitable and willing volunteers.
Public Holidays (2017):
Sunday, 1 January: New Year’s Day
Monday, 2 January: New Year Holiday
Tuesday, 3 January: New Year Holiday
Friday, 17 March: St Patrick’s Day
Friday, 14 April: Good Friday
Monday, 17 April: Good Monday
Monday, 1 May: May Day
Monday, 29 May: Late May Bank Holiday
Wednesday, 12 July: Battle of the Boyne
Monday, 7 August: August Bank Holiday
Monday, 28 August: August Bank Holiday
Thursday, 30 November: St Andrew’s Day
Monday, 25 December: Christmas Day
Tuesday, 26 December: Boxing Day