The 2016 Channel Islands Heritage Festival

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The Channel Islands Heritage Festival is a tribute to the fascinating history, local customs and natural beauty of a group of small islands in the English Channel.

Launched in 2015 as the first pan-island festival celebrating the archipelago’s shared cultural heritage, the Channel Islands Heritage Festival returns from Friday 25 March to Tuesday 10 May with a nautical theme for 2016.

Just a short hop by plane or ferry from the UK, the Channel Islands – Jersey, Guernsey, Alderney, Herm and Sark – each have their own centuries’ old seafaring stories to tell; from famous shipwrecks to wartime naval heroes and tales of pirates and buccaneers.

The six week festival will see special events and activities at significant maritime and nautical sites, when coastal castles will be brought to life, doors will be unlocked for exclusive visits, and themed guided walking, cycling, bus and boat tours will showcase the best of the Islands’ historic coastlines.

Mont Orgueil Castle, Gorey Harbour

Mont Orgueil Castle, Gorey Harbour

Highlights of the festival include:

The 150th anniversary of Victor Hugo’s classic Toilers of the Sea, which was set in the Channel Islands where Hugo spent 15 years in exile from 1855. Inspired by the Islands’ relationship with the sea, close communities and dramatic seascapes, the classic is now aptly part of the Channel Islands’ celebrated maritime heritage. Why not soak up the atmosphere by visiting the fishing port, Portelet in Guernsey that inspired the tale and the house where the great French author penned the classic?

Visit the Jersey: Ice Age Island exhibition, the oldest and yet the newest exhibition at the Jersey Museum that will shed new light on Jersey’s significant Ice Age Past.

Ice Age exhibition

Neanderthal, at Jersey’s Ice Age Island Exhibition, Jersey Museum

Jersey also will launch the National Park in 2016, which has been years in the making, protecting the natural environment that Jersey is so privileged to enjoy, for future generations of visitors and locals. This has been in part thanks to work carried out by the National Trust which celebrates the 10th anniversary of its coastline campaign.

Coastal National Park

Beauport Bay, Jersey

There is always something to see and do during the festival, morning, noon and night. Experience a morning stroll with one of our knowledgeable local guides, a lunchtime kayak trip or learn a new skill on one of the History at Night photography workshops or a Heritage on Tap evening pub talk with a glass of wine or beer in hand – the list is endless.


Elizabeth Marina, St Helier, Jersey

A must-see event in 2016 for all ages, capture the spirit of the Islands’ history and plan a short break to the Channel Islands Heritage Festival.

Don’t wait for heritage to come to you, jump up and grab it with both hands.

For more information, visit

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