The little island of Alderney, with its picturesque capital, St Anne's, is the most British in flavour of all the Channel Islands. Yet, it is still only 10 miles (15km) off of the French coast. St Anne's is a delightful town of cobbled streets and colourful cottages, and its main street, Victoria, is lined with inviting shops, pubs, and restaurants.
The island was once home to a British fleet guarding the Channel. Even today its harbour, Braye Harbour, is still protected by its famed, huge Victorian breakwater. To find out more about the island's fascinating military history and its coastal forts, visit the town museum. Here, the guides embellish Alderney's captivating history by adding their own dramatic flair.
Alderney also has another uniquely English feature: retired London Underground train carriages. Today, these carriages not only transport passengers back in time, but form part of the Channel Island's only working standard gauge railway line. This rail trail encircles the island, offering the chance to view the lovely passing scenery in high comfort and at leisurely speeds. This service operates on weekends and bank holidays from April to September.
Many visitors cross to Alderney by ferry from Guernsey, Sark, and Helm. There is also an airport on Alderney, with regular scheduled connections to the UK. Once settled on the tiny, one-and-a-half-mile by three-mile (2.5km by 5km) island, holidaymakers receive a warm welcome from the tiny population of locals (about 2,000 people). Extend a friendly hand and these hospitable few will be more than happy to direct visitors to the islanders' favourite spots, starting with the beautiful bays of the north coast, like Corblets, Arch, and Saye.