Alderney is the third largest of the Channel Islands, located 60 miles from the south coast of Great Britain and about eight miles from France, near Cherbourg.
Alderney is not part of the United Kingdom, but belongs to the Bailiwick of Guernsey, a self-governing British Crown Dependency. This means that it is not part of the European Union, although it is subject to UK immigration laws. The small island has a population of about 2,000 people, and has a land mass of just three square miles.
Alderney is served by ferry from Dielette in Normandy, France which itself is well connected to the other Channel Islands, Ireland and England.
At just three and a half miles long and one and a half miles wide, getting around Alderney does not pose much of a challenge and many visitors get around on foot or by bike. Nevertheless, there are taxis and car hire available on the island. More than ten miles of roads link the island's main town of St Anne with the destinations around the island, and these are supplemented with a well maintained network of pathways for cyclists and walkers.
Alderney also has a train service which follows a two mile coastal route from the ferry port to the lighthouse. As well as a method of getting around the island, the railway is something of a tourist attraction in its own right, particularly due to its unusual second-hand rolling stock, which include former tube cars from the London Underground.
As a tourist destination, Alderney offers a wide range of activities, including bird watching, fishing, cycling, sailing, as well as exploring the history of the island and enjoying its spectacular natural scenery. Alderney's turbulent and dramatic history is traced through several historic buildings and monuments on the island, which offer an intriguing mix of Roman, Napoleonic and German architectural styles.
There are several guided walks and tours around the island, which really bring to life the island's culture and heritage and are popular amongst visitors.
Alderney is also considered to be a very important site for wildlife, and it is popular with bird watchers all year round. Visitors can expect to see puffins, storm petrels, cormorants and ringed plovers, and the island is also home to an unusual blonde-haired hedgehog population. Alderney's mild climate is also perfect for wild flowers, including orchids, and the cliff paths offer some amazing natural flower displays.