The English Channel

There are many bodies of water all around the world. Rivers, oceans, lakes, streams, ponds, and even puddles.

These areas range in size from a puddle the size of a dinner plate to the giant vast ocean.

Each ocean, every river, and every lake and stream has its own name. One interesting body of water is called the English Channel.

If you are interested in learning some interesting facts about the English Channel, you are in the right place. Keep reading for a list of fun facts.

English Channel Facts for Kids

  • The English Channel covers an area of approximately 75,000 kilometers which equals about 29,000 miles.
  • There are islands on the English Channel all of which are owned by the UK even though they are less than 50 kilometers (about 31 miles) away from the French Coast. There are quite a few islands. There is Sark, Alderney, and Chausey just to name a few.
  • The deepest part of the English Channel is located to the north of a place called Guernsey and is around 180 meters deep with is a bit less than one mile. 180 meters equals around 591 feet.
  • The first person to successfully make a solo swim all of the way across the English Channel was Captain Matthew Webb in the year 1875. The swim took a total of 21 hours and 45 minutes. During the swim, Captain Webb was stung by jellyfish all the while fighting against strong currents.
  • Since Captain Webb’s swim across the Channel in 1875 there have been quite a few other people to make this accomplishment. In the year 1988, an 11-year-old boy made the swim. While it took Captain Webb over 21 hours, it only took the young boy a little under 12 hours.
  • Another amazing accomplishment regarding people swimming the channel came in 2014 when a 70-year-old Australian man made the swim in only 13 hours.
  • One of the most famous events to take place on or near the English Channel was the Miracle of Dunkirk. This event took place in the Summer of 1940 just off of the French Coast. There was a movie that premiered in 2017 all about this event. The title of the movie is Dunkirk.
  • In the year 1909 Louis Bleriot, a French Aviator became the first person to fly across the English Channel. The flight took only 37 minutes and Mr. Bleriot received 1,000 pounds as a reward for his achievement. This amount of money (1,000 pounds) equals $1,326.10 in US dollars.
  • During the Second World War, the islands of the English Channel were occupied by the Germans.
  • The narrowest point of the English Channel is the Straits of Dover measuring only 33 kilometers which is equal to about 20 miles.
  • Before the 1700s the English Channel did not have an official name. That is to say that it did not have an official English name. The Channel has had many names, in many languages throughout history.
  • There is a tunnel under the English Channel that connects England and France. Travel via this tunnel takes around 35 minutes from one end to the other. Around 50,000 people use this tunnel every day.


Question: What are the other names that the English Channel as been called throughout history?

Answer: Narrow Sea, British Sea, Mare Angelica, Oceanus Gallicus, and Mare Britannicum

Question: Approximately how many ships arrive in the English Channel every day?

Answers: 500

Question: In what year did the Channel Tunnel open?

Answers: 1994

Hopefully, this has been as an educational adventure sailing down the English Channel, learning amazing facts all along the way!