Channel Islands questions
Replies: 11 - Last Post: Sep 1, 2012 8:39 AM Last Post By: battybilly
Aug 15, 2012 1:41 AM
Channel Islands questionsHey Everyone,
I'm in Brighton at the moment, working my way west and tomorrow I'd like to go to the Channel Islands for a bit. My questions are:
Is it easiest/best to leave from Poole or Portsmouth?
Do I need a car there? I have one, but if it's a complete waste to ferry it over then I will park on the mainland and go as a pedestrian. If the car will really come in handy then I'll suck it up and pay the high fare.
Which Islands and sites are the most interesting and how much time would you recommend that I allot?
Aug 15, 2012 3:33 AM
Aug 15, 2012 5:29 AM
2The thread doesn't seem to have gotten bumped, but here it is: http://www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntree/thread.jspa?newPost=true&threadID=2236263
Any information concerning the Channel Islands would be greatly appreciated.
Aug 15, 2012 5:59 AM
3As well as options of ferry as pedestrian, ferry with car, there's also the option of flying - you'll have to check, but there may be flights from any or all of the following SE / S / SW England airports: Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, Southampton, Portsmouth, Bristol etc, so you could fly from one and back to another.
You do realise that there are several Channel Islands? Jersey and Guernsey are the biggest, with Alderney, Sark and Herm, smaller, but still considered "main". Visitors are no permitted to bring cars to some islands, but usually distances are so short that people walk, with luggage moved by tractors and trailers or similar arrangement.
So, you need to decide which island(s) you want to visit in order to make your decision about whether or not to take car. Bike hire once you get there might be more useful.
Aug 15, 2012 6:18 AM
Aug 15, 2012 6:20 AM
5Also consider Southend airport. I'm flying from there to Jersey next week, £60 return... Rent a car while you're there,,, cheap as chips...
Aug 15, 2012 9:03 AM
I really prefer not dealing with getting on a plane. I loathe security checkpoints and having to deal with the whole process of flying, by contrast I really enjoy being on the water so a ferry ride is really preferable to me.
I just checked and it seems the trip is much shorter from Poole, so I'll leave from there. The return trip with the car is 255 (Poole-Guernsey & Jersey-Poole), as a pedestrian it's 100. I think that after factoring in leaving my car in a parking lot in Poole, it makes sense to just bring it with me. Also from Guernsey-Jersey it's 55, so I will have my car on the two larger islands and if I decide to go to the smaller ones then I'll do without.
I know there are 5 islands, not two. I figured that I would arrive and take it from there. At the very least I wanted to see Guernsey and Jersey, but I'll go to the smaller ones also if it's worthwhile and time permits.
Appreciate the advice from everyone.
Any tips on where to stay? I don't need anything fancy, especially considering how much I'm spending to get there. But if anyone has stayed somewhere they really liked, please share.
Aug 15, 2012 9:08 AM
7You know there are security checks for ferries, and customs, too, as Channel Islands are not part of EU (European Union)?
Only time I've been to Channel Islands, we slept onboard yacht on overnight voyages each way on sailing course from Solent.
Aug 15, 2012 9:50 AM
Is it easiest/best to leave from Poole or Portsmouth
It's easiest to leave from Southampton Airport.
Very cheap fares (FlyBe) - and a flight time of about 45 minutes.
There's no great need to rent-a-car, but I prefer it to the very slow and uninteresting bus routes.
Aug 27, 2012 1:57 PM
9Even if you've got hold luggage, flying from Southampton can often be the cheapest and definitely the quickest. The process of getting through security is very quick - last week going to France I arrived an hour before my flight and went through security in about 8 minutes. I waited for about 30 minutes in the lounge and went straight on to the plane. I must add that I've had much longer waits at ferry ports.
When I've got lots of luggage then going by sea is desirable; but if only one case (15 - 20kg) or hand luggage only then there's no contest - look at the air option.
Sep 1, 2012 8:29 AM
10Figured I'd give an update of what I ended up doing.
I do have to admit that flying would have been easier in the end. Driving around Guernsey and Jersey is stressful because the roads are tiny, but it did give me the opportunity to explore. Also, the CondorFerry organization leaves a lot to be desired and the queue to get into the ferry takes ages.
I spent 3 nights in Guernsey initially, then two nights on Sark, followed by two nights on Alderney, one more on Guernsey and then three nights in Jersey.
Guernsey: Beautiful Island, St. Peter Port is beautiful, but really small and there isn't much to do. The hiking just outside of town is beautiful though. The rest of the island has some amazing beaches though and it's well worth exploring.
Sark: Really quaint, great dirt paths, best explored on a bicycle (reserve one in advance if you can). I really enjoyed biking around and it's a very tranquil place. I didn't have the best weather there, but I still enjoyed it immensely. The path to little sark is not to be missed.
Alderney: I really liked it here. The people were amazingly friendly and the island itself is very beautiful. The main street (Victoria st) is a tiny little thing that's half empty, but it contributes to the charm of the place. You won't see very many tourists, but that makes it all the more interesting. St. Annes Guesthouse was a great place to stay.
Jersey: I stayed in St. Mary, which is a bit outside of St. Hellier where everything is happening, everything being a relative term. Elizabeth Castle is well worth exploring, and make sure you stay for the reenactments. The volunteers are very good and make it a memorable experience. The war tunnels give a nice flashback into what life was like during the war, certainly worth spending some time there. I have to say that I preferred the other islands, but Jersey was well worth seeing.
I missed Herm, as the day I was planning to go was pretty ugly, so I bailed on it.
Anyway, thanks to everyone for the advice. The Channel Islands were well worth visiting.
Sep 1, 2012 8:39 AM
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