Jersey is a great place to visit for a family holiday or a short break, with plenty of activities to keep everyone busy. Beautiful beaches, quaint seaside towns, castles, lighthouses and lashings of fudge, Jersey is a little gem. Part of the British Isles and the largest of the Channel Islands, it can be found in the English Channel fourteen miles off the coast of France and 100 miles south of the UK. Jersey is easily reached from the UK in around thirty minutes flying time or by ferry from Portsmouth with a crossing time of around eight hours. Flying is probably the best option if you are only on a short visit. Once on Jersey hire a car or jump on a bus, at only five miles long and nine miles wide it’s easy to navigate around the island. Here are my top five must do’s…
1. Spend the day at the beach
Jersey is full of glorious beaches, St Brelade’s Bay is the perfect spot to relax and catch some rays. This beautiful sheltered bay has calm waters and an extensive stretch of pristine sand. Stroll along the promenade with an ice cream, build sand castles, go for a refreshing dip or relax with a good book. There are plenty of cafes and restaurants lining the promenade and some great walks around the bay too. For an adventure Plemont Bay has a waterfall, caves and rock pools to explore, along with crystal clear waters to swim in. Check the tides before you go though as the beach disappears at high tide. For a little more action head to St Ouen’s for a surf or paddle boarding lesson, this five-mile stretch of beach is backed by windswept sand dunes and has plenty of Atlantic swell. There are surf schools at the beach offering lessons and equipment hire. For a seaside snack visit The Hungry Man, a quirky food kiosk on the harbour at Rozel. Crab sandwiches bacon butties, hot chocolate, and scones are just some of the treats being served up, making it the perfect end to a lovely day at the seaside.
2. Discover Jersey War Tunnels
The war tunnels are a must visit on holiday in Jersey, they run for over 1km under the island and were built using slave labour during World War II when Jersey became occupied by German forces. Explore the tunnels and learn about their history from nearly five years of German occupation to Liberation Day in 1945. Admission to the tunnels costs £11.50 for adults and £7.50 for children.
3. Explore St Helier
St Helier is the capital of Jersey and has a huge variety of activities to entertain the whole family. Elizabeth Castle was constructed in the late 1500s this magnificent fortification sits on a rocky outcrop in St Aubin’s Bay. Accessible on foot at low tide or by the amphibious castle ferries, which operate throughout the day at low and high tide. Built to protect Jersey and St Helier harbour the castle has an exciting history. While at the castle watch the Mid-day Parade and cannon firing, climb the battlements for incredible views, discover bunkers and take a look at the various interesting exhibitions detailing the history of the castle. Entry costs £13.05 for adults and £9.70 for children and includes the ferry ride.
Back on dry land, hire a bike and cycle along the three-mile stretch of seafront promenade to the lovely fishing village of St Aubin. Stop for a well deserved break at one of the many kiosks and cafes along the way, I recommend an ice cream made with Jersey milk, delicious! If you fancy something a little less taxing then catch Le Petit Train from Liberation Square in the town centre. There are three different trains, Terence, Lillie, and Major Pierson. A commentary of all things Jersey can be heard on the journey to St Aubin.
4. La Corbière Lighthouse
Don’t forget your camera on a visit to the lighthouse at La Corbière, the dramatic coastline is picture perfect and has some great spots to watch the sunset. An important part of Jersey’s maritime history the light can be seen on a clear day from 18 miles out at sea and has saved many a vessel from the rocks along the coast. Check the tide times, as the lighthouse is only accessible at low tide. Book onto a tour and climb the staircase to the lantern room.