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Industrial Heritage Wartime Heritage Maritime Heritage


The islands that dot the British coastline have a unique and varied heritage and are packed with fascinating landmarks that incude ancient castles, museums and stately homes which bring the past to life for many thousands of visitors each year.

Castles & monuments

Dramatically situated and crammed with history, some of Britain's finest coastal castles can be found on our featured islands.
Elizabeth Castle, which sits on a rocky islet in Jersey's St Aubin's Bay, has defended the island for more than 300 years and is the perfect place to explore the island's history. Mont Orgeuil in Gorey protected Jersey for over 600 years agains French invasion and brings history to life with a network of staircases, towers and secret rooms.

Guernsey's ancient royal fortress, Castle Cornet, has stood guard over the town and harbour of St Peter Port for nearly eight centuries. Castle Rushen, on the Isle of Man, is one of Europe's best preserved castles and where you can find out how the kings and lords of Mann lived; while at Peel Castle in the west of the island you can follow in the footsteps of Christian missionaries and Viking warriors.

Fortifications on the Isle of Wight include Carisbrooke Castle which dates from Norman times, while Yarmouth Castle, the Needles Old Battery and Fort Victoria will appeal to military historians.

Wartime History

The Channel Islands were the only part of the British Isles to be occupied by Nazi forces during World War II. The Jersey War Tunnels or Guernsey's German Military Underground Hospital and Occupation Museum are evocative reminders of this turbulent time in the islands' past. Alderney also has its share of fortifications to explore while Sark also has tunnels to be seen. On 9th May each year, the Channel Islands celebrate Liberation Day with a variety of events, parades and entertainment.

Abbeys & Churches

You'll discover a variey of historic churches and chapels scattered across all the islands. The Little Chapel on Guernsey is modelled on the shrine at Lourdes and is quirkily decorated in shells and pottery. Rushen Abbey on the Isle of Man offers an insight into Abbey life through the ages, from the 1180s to the present day.
On the Isles of Scilly the world-famous sub-tropical Tresco Abbey Garden has the remains of a Benedictine Abbey founded in 964AD.

Channel Islands Heritage Festival 2017

Sat 8 April – Weds 10 May 2017
The Channel Islands Heritage Festival is a celebration of a group of small islands with a big history.
The islands astonishing tides, rich landscapes and colourful history have always drawn people to their shores for centuries, the 2017 festival will focus on the islands heroes, myths and legends.
From the first Neolithic settlers to Norse raiders, Romans and even exiled royals, these small yet surprisingly diverse islands have had more than their fair share of adventure and adversity.
Visit their shores to uncover a wealth of stories, from tales of early seafarers to heroic accounts from the German occupation during World War II. Explore their coastlines for yourself, discover their countryside on foot, by bicycle or join a tour, visit their museums and heritage sites and experience all the drama of the Channel Islands with our programme of festival events.
Each with their own personalities, each with their own stories to tell, discover the history at the heart of the Channel Islands.
www.visitchannelislands.com  www.visitguernsey.com/event/2017-channel-islands-heritage-festival