Channel Islands — Shopping and Leisure
Shopping in the Channel Islands is centered on St Helier, Jersey’s capital, and is exempt from the UK sales tax of 20 percent, although there is a goods and services tax of three percent. Most of St Helier’s central shopping district is pedestrianized and visitors won’t find the massive shopping malls common in most other European hubs. In keeping with the slow pace of life on the islands, retail therapy here has more in common with main street shopping, with a selection of individual shops and several department stores including Marks & Spencer, BHS, and Voisins.
Elsewhere on Jersey are shopping areas in St John, Gorey, and St Ouen, with charming boutiques tucked away in little back streets. Fashions varies between the decidedly upscale to individually-designed clothes, bags, and jewelry, and a great selection of shoe shops. Farm stores selling fresh local produce are popular across the islands, with the freshly churned butter and cream quite literally the best in the world.
The Channel Islands are a hub for artists, potters, weavers, and other creative types, with locally made crafts including paintings, housewares, and decorative ceramics making for great souvenirs. An unusual reminder of these lovely islands is a pack of Jersey Lily bulbs which, once planted and blooming, will conjure up memories of a magic vacation. Both Jersey and Guernsey are home to a few fascinating antiques stores where the staff are happy to guide buyers in selecting a uniquely collectable souvenir of their stay.