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The most southerly point of the United Kingdom actually lies just off the coast of France. Jersey, one of the Channel Islands, is a charming little island with a warm welcome to offer to visitors from the rest of the UK and elsewhere.

With its quiet country roads, picturesque coastline and historic buildings, Jersey can also offer some of the best weather in Britain. Here's why you should go...

Many people are familiar with Jersey through the island's use as the setting in the popular television series 'Bergerac.' While many may have expressed reservations about the amount of murderous crime there seemed to be on that fictional version of the island, its portrayal of a small and welcoming community, set in some lovely locations, was true enough.

The great thing about holidays in Jersey is that you get all the excitement of a foreign holiday without having to change your money or learn a new language.

Not that there is no 'foreign' influence on Jersey at all. You will notice that many names of people and places have a certain French ring to them and the cuisine you encounter may also have distinctly French flavours. This is not surprising when you take into account the proximity of Jersey to France and that the islands were a focal point for French and English supremacy in the area for many years in the Middle Ages.

The presence of fortifications such as Elizabeth Castle testifies to the often turbulent history of the island. These fortifications date back to the 1590s and early 1600s when Sir Walter Raleigh was governor of Jersey. One British monarch, Charles II, took refuge here in the grounds during the English Civil War, while there is a hermitage that is said to have been the home of St Helier in the sixth century AD.

Mont Orgeuil Castle dates back to the 13th century and is sometimes known as Gorey Castle by English speaking islanders. The castle was used as a prison for some of its history and housed many political prisoners, such as John Lilburne.

More recent history has darker shadows to it. The Jersey War Tunnels are a relic of the island's occupation by the Germans during World War Two. Known as Höhlgangsanlage 8, these tunnels are now a museum and memorial to the island's war time experiences and can be reached by taking an authentic vintage Jersey bus. Built largely by forced labourers from all over the German conquests in Europe, they now provide a fascinating insight into what happened during the Second World War on the island.

A more homely type of history can be found at the Hamptonne Farm, where a museum covering three centuries of ordinary Jersey life is housed in the attractive farm buildings. Another great destination for anyone who enjoys a mix of relaxation and education is the Durrell Wildlife Park, formerly known as Jersey Zoo. Founded by the great naturalist and writer Gerald Durrell, it houses over 130 different species, many of them endangered.
Jersey is also blessed with some great golf courses, where the views from the tees across the sea are incredible. If you favour something less active, then simply exploring the beautiful sandy beaches is often enough for people. There is plenty of sea fishing on offer, as well as water sports for those who fancy their thrills a little more adrenaline charged. Flights to Jersey always end in relaxation, wherever you are flying from and whatever you plan to do.

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