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Fact sheet: The Channel Islands
Although not strictly part of the UK, the Channel Islands still make it onto our list of Great British holiday destinations.
- The Channel Islands are an archipelago off the north coast of France
- They are classed as being Crown Dependencies, meaning they are self-governing and not part of the British Isles but the inhabitants are classed as British Citizens
- The group consists of a number of islands, eight of which are inhabited
- They are split into two jurisdictions, or bailiwicks - the Bailiwick of Guernsey and the Bailiwick of Jersey
- Guernsey and Jersey are the two largest and most populous of the islands
- The official language of the Channel Islands is jointly English and French
- Jersey is the largest island at 46 square miles, with a population of nearly 100,000
- Of the two, Jersey is the closest to France; just twelve miles from the mainland
- Tourism and agriculture are big contributors to the economies of both Jersey and Guernsey, although by far the largest is 'financial services' - they are renowned for their relaxed taxation systems
- The Channel Islands are known for their unique mix of English and French cultures, with better weather than much of the UK
- The capitals of the largest islands, St Helier on Jersey and Saint Peter Point on Guernsey, are the focus for many holidays
- Post boxes and telephone boxes on Guernsey are the same as they are in the UK, except for the colour - they're blue, not red
- The other main islands of the Channel Islands are Alderney, Sark and Herm
- Sark is 'car-free' - the only vehicles allowed are bicycles, tractors, horse-drawn vehicles and battery-powered buggies for the elderly or disabled
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