All Around Britain: Alex and Ria meet royalty in the Channel Islands

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This week on All Around Britain, Alex Beresford and Ria Hebden travel to the Channel Islands to explore Jersey Elizabeth Castle.

The castle dates from the 1590s and has defended the port of St Helier for over four hundred years.

While many castles had moats to protect them, Elizabeth Castle used the surrounding sea.

When the tide is low, which is 15 hours a day, the “duck ferry” is now the only way to reach it.

When the tide is high, a “duck tank” transports people to the castle. Credit: AAB

The Channel Islands were the only part of the British Isles to be occupied by the Nazis during World War II.

36,000 German soldiers were based on the islands, including a hundred stationed at the castle.

The Channel Islands and the Castle became a heavily defended part of Hitler’s Atlantic Wall and slave laborers were brought in to build concrete bunkers and ramparts to fortify the islands, in an effort to advance to England and other parts of Europe.

Long before bunkers and cannons, the castle’s main defense was its cannons. In this week’s episode of All Around Britain, Alex and Ria are put to work by Elizabeth Castle’s master gunner, Nigel Blake.

The couple also bow to King Charles II, who resided in the Channel Islands in 1646 and again in 1649.

Charles, who was known as the “Merry Monarch”, fled to Jersey as a teenager to seek refuge during the English Civil War.

Alex and Ria also learn about the castle’s former military hospital, the only one to survive in the British Isles and currently closed to the public.

The hospital was built in the early 1800s, when the Napoleonic Wars were ongoing and musket injuries were common.

The presenters enter the infectious room, where soldiers would be quarantined with diseases such as tuberculosis, and the house of the dead where the bodies were kept!



All Around Britain also features some of the best ‘wellness’ stories from ITV’s regional newsrooms. This week watch costumes designed for the Leeds Caribbean Carnival and meeting stonemasons restore Durham Cathedral.

Watch the third episode of All Around Britain on ITV this Sunday at 11:55 am.


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