The Channel Islands and adjacent coast of France
The two major islands are Jersey and Guernsey. They make up 99% of the population and 92% of the area.
List of islands
The permanently inhabited islands of the Channel Islands and their population and area are:
There are also several uninhabited islets. Four are part of the Bailiwick of Jersey:
These lie off Alderney:
These lie off Guernsey:
(See also List of islands of the Bailiwick of Guernsey)
In general the larger islands have the -ey suffix, and the smaller ones have the -hou suffix; these are believed to be from the Old Norse ey and holmr, respectively which means island and islet.
The Chausey Islands
The Chausey Islands south of Jersey are not generally included in the geographical definition of the Channel Islands but are occasionally described in English as 'French Channel Islands' in view of their French jurisdiction. They were historically linked to the Duchy of Normandy, but they are part of the French territory along with continental Normandy, and not part of the British Isles or of the Channel Islands in a political sense. They are an incorporated part of the commune of Granville (Manche). While they are popular with visitors from France, Channel Islanders rarely visit them as there are no direct transport links from the other islands.
In official Jersey French, the islands are called 'Îles de la Manche', while in France, the term 'Îles Anglo-normandes' (Anglo-Norman isles) is used to refer to the British 'Channel Islands' in contrast to other islands in the Channel. Chausey is referred to as an 'Île normande' (as opposed to anglo-normande). 'Îles Normandes' and 'Archipel Normand' have also, historically, been used in Channel Island French to refer to the islands as a whole.
The very large tidal variation provides an environmentally rich inter-tidal zone around the islands, and some islands such as Burhou, the Écréhous, and the Minquiers have been designated Ramsar sites.
The waters around the islands include the following:
- The Swinge (between Alderney and Burhou)
- The Little Swinge (between Burhou and Les Nannels)
- La Déroute (between Jersey and Sark, and Jersey and the Cotentin)
- Le Raz Blanchard, or Race of Alderney (between Alderney and the Cotentin)
- The Great Russel (between Sark, Jéthou and Herm)
- The Little Russel (between Guernsey, Herm and Jéthou)
- Souachehouais (between Le Rigdon and L'Étacq, Jersey)
- Le Gouliot (between Sark and Brecqhou)
- La Percée (between Herm and Jéthou)
The highest point in the islands is Les Platons in Jersey at 143 metres (469 ft) above sea level. The lowest point is the Atlantic Ocean (sea level).