An explorer's guide to the islands of Britain

The islands are proudly independent, self-governing British Crown dependencies and sport a wealth of quirky anachronisms. English is the main language and although place names may look French, local pronunciation is very different. The islands print their own version of the British pound – it isn’t legal tender on the mainland, but you can use British money on the islands. The Channel Islands aren’t covered by NHS or EHIC cards, so make sure your travel insurance includes medical treatment. Tourist entry requirements are the same as for the UK.