Many people may not know that the UK includes areas just off the coast of Normandy, France. The same people would be surprised by the island of Jersey-the largest of the Channel Islands - which is a British Crown Dependency (a self-governing possession of the British Crown) in that location. As a dependency, Jersey is quite interesting, as it has the power of self-determination as well as its own legal, judicial and financial systems-including currency.
Jersey has a history dating back at least 1000 years, and has served as a strategic point between England’s south coast and France’s northern coast during much of that time. It was not always an island-rising tides gave it that designation. It was once largely owned by the Dukes of Normandy. When King John lost all of his territories in mainland Normandy, he managed to keep the Channel Islands, including Jersey. Jersey has survived a French invasion and a German occupation. Jersey has adopted legal traditions influenced by Norman, English, and French law, making it fairly unique.
On multiple occasions, Jersey has considered becoming independent, but no specific attempt has been made to do so.
Sightseeing and Attractions
As an island in the English Channel, there is plenty for anyone to do in Jersey. If visiting in early August, be sure to stop by the famous Battle of Flowers festival, which features music, funfairs, dancers, street entertainers, and parade floats. Also in August is the Jersey Film Festival, showing both classic and modern films outdoors.
Jersey features delicious cooking, which is usually rich due to the island being proud of its seafood, cream, and butter. Jersey apples and potatoes are still delicious.
Sports fans can watch a horse race or catch a football or rugby match. Swimming is predictably popular, indoors and out. Surfing and windsurfing are both also popular. There is even a yearly swim organized between Elizabeth Castle and Saint Helier Harbor. Rock climbers will be happy to find great climbing opportunities along coastal cliffs. And, wildlife lovers will be fascinated by the Green lizard, whose only habitat in the British Isles is located in Jersey.