The Channel Islands includes a hidden gem which is a captivating combination of flora, fauna and fortifications. Why not head for Alderney to find out more?
The island of Alderney has all the winning ingredients. Just 3kms wide and 5kms long, situated in the English Channel off the Normandy Coast, it has a fascinating history, stunning scenery, beautiful beaches and excellent cuisine. In fact, the island is renowned for its larger-than-life lobster and crab and gourmets have the opportunity to test their taste-buds during the annual Alderney Seafood Festival in May.
With more than 50 miles of walks and paths taking you across commons, beaches, along the cliffs and around town, the best way to discover Alderney is on foot. You can also take a boat â¨trip to see the abundant bird life on the island and its nearby islets, including puffins, pulmars, guillemots and peregines.
Whatever your interest, you’ll find it here. Fascinated by history? Get an insight into the island’s past at the Alderney Museum. Prefer to shop until you drop? Alderney may be a small island but it offers the dedicated shopper a wealth of quality goods at bargain prices.
Head to the pretty cobbled streets of the town of St Anne, which are lined with boutique-style shops boasting a fine array of goods – from kitchenware to knick-knacks. Here, VAT-free shopping opportunities abound and you will find jewellery, perfume, electrical goods and quality clothing particular bargains to take home.
If it’s sport that floats your boat, head up to the island’s sports ground that overlooks the harbour. Alderney has a strong cricket team and past opponents were occasionally surprised to see England legend â¨Sir Ian Botham lined up against them. He had a holiday home here, along with other famous residents such as author Elizabeth Beresford, Beatles producer George Martin and actress Julie Andrews.
You can enjoy your own island retreat in anything from luxury hotels to Victorian fortresses and the old Lighthouse Keeper’s cottage. Plus, getting there couldn’t be easier, with access to the island by air and sea with frequent scheduled direct flights from Southampton and Guernsey, and with â¨connections from Jersey (via Guernsey).
For further details on visiting Alderney, tel: (01481) 822811; www.visitalderney.com