Although not part of the South West Coast path the Channel Islands are crown dependencies whose closest British coastline is that of South West England and they are easily reached from the South West, with ferry connections from Poole and Weymouth and flights from Exeter and Bournemouth (as well as other airports nationwide). These rocky islands are a fascinating mix of Britain and France, with the Queen their head of state, English being the native language (but French widely spoken). Many street names are in French but the islands use the pound (and issue their own notes and coins) and have their own government. Moor importantly there are coast paths around the islands with a new long-distance footpath, the Channel Islands Way, taking in the coast line of the islands. These pages cover the walks around the coast of these beautiful islands.
Alderney is the third largest of the Channel Islands and the closest to both France and the UK. It is 3 miles long and 1.5 miles wide and has a population of around 2400. The west coast of the island is rocky and rugged, with high cliffs and spectacular views whilst the east coast is gentler, with numerous sandy beaches. The island also has many coastal forts all around it's coast many of which can be explored.
Herm is the smallest of the inhabited Channel Islands that is accessible to the public. It is a beautiful island with several beautiful beaches, good cliff top walks and a pretty village. The island is small, being just a mile and a half tall and half a mile wide. The north of the island has sandy beaches with heath inland whilst the south of the island is higher and rockier. The island can easily be reached by a regular boat service from Guernsey.
Guernsey is the second largest of the channel islands and is a very beautiful island. The south and parts of the west coast are rocky, mixed in with sandy bays whilst the north coast is genetler with large sandy beaches. The east coast is the most built up with St Samptson and the islands' pretty capital, St Peter Port.
The island of Sark is unique amongst the channel islands in that as soon as you arrive on the island it feels like you are stepping back in time. Cars are banned so the main transport is bicycle and horse and cart along mostly unmade roads (although there are also a lot of tractors). Like the other islands, the coast line of Sark is very beautiful with mostly rocky coastline and a small number of beaches, often with difficult access. The island is almost split into two, Sark and Little Sark, linked by La Coupée a narrow road which has been built on top of a very thin spit of land.