On our natural history tours, discover that Jersey was not always an island. In fact, it was only about 7500 years ago that Jersey was connected to France by a low ridge of hills stretching towards the south-east before being cut off by rising sea levels after the end of the last ice age. Indeed, this was the last of about twenty occasions in the last three million years that sea levels have risen and fallen dramatically.
These changes in sea level have exposed a geological past putting Jersey in the middle of active volcanos as well as millions of years of erosion to create the landscape with which we are familiar. The flora and fauna here, both land and maritime, are in many cases rare elsewhere as a result of that past and the Island’s geographic position benefiting from the warmer air of the Gulf Stream.
The prehistory and archaeology of Jersey are also fantastic! From the Neanderthals, through the Neolithic, Bronze and Iron Ages, Jersey has many ancient sites which will inspire awe and wonder. Why and how did our ancestors built and leave us with reminders of their presence thousands of years ago. What was Jersey like before the Gallo-Roman period two thousand years ago when people had a much closer connection to the natural environment.
On our general history Discover the roots of Jersey’s modern history in the Norman period when as part of the Duchy of Normandy, it was ruled by monarchs who were not only the Dukes of Normandy, but also the kings of England. And when King John of England lost continental Normandy, but managed to retain the Channel Islands, a new front-line was drawn on the European map which was a battlefield or threatened with invasion for the next 650 years.
This period of conflict had a lasting impact on Jersey in that needed to be governed in a way which took account of these threats. There was also a requirement that the people of Norman stock should retain their allegiance with the English Crown. Our laws are correspondingly different from those in Britain, as the Channel Islands had never been incorporated into any county or part of England or later Great Britain. That later fact, together with our unique history, our loyal but resilient citizens and our geography, have created the Jersey that we enjoy today.
Our history and archaeology tours cover the whole of Jersey’s history, and being more general in nature, are suitable for all, whatever interests you may have.
Natural History and other general tour options
Summary: All you ever wanted to know about Jersey, but were afraid to ask! Half Day PrivateTour.
Summary: A tour emphasising the natural history of the Island, its scenery and a little bit of history thrown in.
History Alive’s and Jersey Military Tours are devised in a way to give our guests an overall and enjoyable experience which means that we won’t always follow the same route or stop at all the above locations. This also gives us the ability to make changes either to take advantage of, or to mitigate against, factors such as weather or other delays which might affect timing. On full day tours, we stop at lunch times where refreshments/food can be purchased, and on all tours, we will stop as necessary for refreshments and comfort breaks.
Our Tours are a combination of a coach tour and exploring the sites on foot, so please refer to the Level of Fitness required to enjoy these Tours on the relevant tour page. For that, and for what’s included in these Tours and Prices, as well as Pick-Up points for the Tours, please see the Information sections on the relevant tour page.