Tips and tools for travel bloggers…

I am by no means an expert when it comes to the best tools for travel blogging but it can be a bit daunting when you first think about setting up your own blog, so I thought I would jot down a few tips and tools to get started.  Through trial and error these are my trusty go to tools when I’m travelling and when I’m at home editing my work and blogs.
If you are thinking of getting into the world of blogging and want a few suggestions then read on, hopefully I can help…


I originally set my blog up through WordPress, a free blogging platform with the option to upgrade to payable services. It is easy to use and allows you to view your blogs daily stats.  Choose a name and in a few simple clicks you will have the basics ready to go.  I’ve read a lot of tips from other bloggers and articles on social media while building up my blog and in terms of social media presence you should be posting ideally at least 2-3 times a week.  I am guilty of not doing this!  At the moment in all honesty I am only posting once a month.  In terms of personal goals this is something I want to improve on.


Nice clean images are key to making your blog appealing and attractive to your readers I mix up cameras when I’m out and about….
iPhone: I’ve got to say the camera I use the most is the one on my iPhone.  I recently upgraded to the iPhone 6 and the image quality is really good.  With the options of panoramic, video and time-lapse it can do so much.  I also love that it is discreet, if I am somewhere I don’t want to draw too much attention to the fact that I am taking photos then this is perfect.
Canon 550d: I love this camera!  It takes great quality images and is fantastic for capturing long exposures.  Compared to the iPhone you obviously really do notice the difference in image quality.  I must confess, I’ve not used this camera as much as I should have.  I have no excuse, as my husband Matt is a photographer!  I tend to put it on automatic settings having not got the confidence to play around with it just yet.  Mine is actually a Rebel, the American version of the 550d.  After doing some research I discovered that there are different variations of this camera sold in different countries and these equivalents can often work out cheaper, like the one I bought.  It is essentially the same camera, just a different name.  So if you are on the hunt for one it is worth checking out these different versions.
GoPro: I love the GoPro too; the wide-angle provides really cool images.  It is small with very durable housing which is also waterproof and can be used in all sorts of different situations to capture all your adventures.  I have mounted mine on the front of my surfboard in Barbados, taken it snorkelling with turtles on the Great Barrier Reef, snowboarding in  New Zealand and in a helicopter on a glacier trip.  It is perfect for all-weather situations.  The GoPro also has video mode and time-lapse.  There are all sorts of accessories available for it including long-range remote controls and mounts for a ton of different activities including for bikes and surfboards.
I couldn’t live without my MacBook Air.  I have the 11-inch model; it is perfect for travelling due to its  small size and being so lightweight.  Macs are generally more expensive than a PC laptop but well worth it in my opinion as having had PC laptops in the past I have found the life of my Mac has lasted a lot longer (so far!) than any of the other laptops I’ve had before, making it a very good investment.
Hard drive:
A hard drive is vital for storing and backing up images and documents.  They are great for when you are on the move too as you can buy very compact ones.  iCloud storage is also useful for backing up data.
I also have an i-Flash HD Drive, which allows you to transfer images, documents and videos between devices.  Of course iCloud does this too but the i-Flash drive can be used to transfer between PCs as well.  It’s a nifty little gadget perfect for transferring instagrammed images from my phone to my Mac and a handy storage device too.
Evernote is brilliant for keeping notes in one place.  It has the ability to create separate folders or ‘notebooks’ to keep everything on the same subject together.  You can add images and sound clips to notes, share notes via email, Twitter, Facebook and many more as well as exporting notes onto your device.  I couldn’t live without out it now.


Notebook and pen:
I love nothing more than putting pen to paper, especially if I am at work, as I can’t just whip out my Mac in the galley on an aircraft!  It’s also good for giving your eyes a bit of a rest from the glare of your laptop screen.  I often find I put all my thoughts and scribbles down on paper first before heading to my Mac, it somehow feels more creative and seems to get my thoughts flowing.  Even with all the modern technology of today there is nothing quite like a good pen and pretty notebook.
Social media:
Social media platforms are fantastic for sharing your work, searching for travel inspiration, chatting with other like-minded bloggers and sharing travel tips and inspiration.  I use Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook and Vimeo to promote my blog and chat about all things travel.  Using hashtags is key when posting on social media channels; it helps to get whatever you are mentioning noticed.  My favourites are #traveltuesday, #wanderlustwednesday, #beachthursday and #frifotos.


Travel bloggers:
As well as reading about other bloggers travels and adventures I also love learning from them…these are a few of my favourites…
Jayne Gorman over at Girl Tweets World has some fantastic inspiration and how to guides on blogging and social media, I love her honest approach and have learnt a lot from her.  She has a whole section on her website dedicated to blogging, definitely worth checking out.
Young Adventuress has a marvellous guide to becoming a travel blogger: So you want to be a travel blogger, do you?
A Lady in London, Julie Falconer has written a very helpful book: Blogging basics: How to create a successful blog and build a loyal following.  I went to a class of hers at the Traverse travel blogging conference in 2013 (more on this below) and took a lot of very useful information away with me on blogging and how to use social media.
Monica Stott has some brilliant advice on travel blogging over at her blog The Travel Hack.
Wanderlust magazine have some very handy articles on blogging I particularly like this one: Get paid to travel – become a travel blogger.
Mollie Makes have a magazine on all things social media, I love magazines like this. I  have been blogging for a couple of years now but there is still a lot more to learn especially in such an ever-changing industry.
A great way to delve into the world of travel blogging and to meet other bloggers and brands is to attend conferences.  Traverse host awesome travel blogging events.  I attended Traverse 2013 in Brighton, not only did it arm me with heaps of information on improving my blog but it also gave me the opportunity to meet fellow bloggers, get an idea of how to potentially make money from my blog, improve my confidence and inspire me to develop my blog further.
Anything I’ve missed? What are your tips and tools for blogging? I would love to hear them…


Swimming with dolphins in Mauritius…

With an early pick up from Port Louis at 6am and fighting jet lag I really struggled to get out of bed, but arriving at Black River just in time to watch the sunrise made the early start well worth the struggle!  Hopping into a boat and cruising out to the open water, the silhouetted landscape of Le Morne and the surrounding coastline looked stunning.  Being on the water at that time of the morning was so calm and tranquil.  As the boat slowed down we all fell silent in anticipation, watching and waiting for dolphins to appear.  A few soundless moments passed and then as if by magic five or six fins gracefully popped up and disappeared again.  With masks, snorkels and fins already on our guide instructed us to get in, hastily I dropped myself into the water and put my head straight under.  I was so surprised to see three Bottlenose dolphins swimming in a circle right underneath me.  They were a lot larger than I had expected them to be, in fact they were huge!  I swam in a circle above them, it felt like they were inspecting me as much as I was them and playfully they continued in a tight circle below.  In a split second they shot off, I followed as quickly as I could but even with fins on I found it almost impossible to keep up.  So, it was back on the boat and on to another location to see if we could spot them again.  Further along the coast we found some Spinner dolphins, smaller than Bottlenose but just as speedy!  Jumping in the water I caught a fleeting glimpse as they shot past and into the deep blue.  Back on the boat more Spinners appeared in the distance propelling themselves out of the water and spinning around in mid-air, definitely living up to their name!  Getting to see these beautiful creatures in their natural environment was amazing and knowing they were there of their own free will even better.  As the sun continued to rise the dolphin sightings lessened, I presumed they were in the bay for feeding perhaps and as the morning progressed had moved further out to sea.
Next it was time to head for shore and onto a new venture, a catamaran boat cruise.  There is nothing quite like relaxing at sea with a beer in hand watching fishing boats sail by.  Anchoring up alongside a reef gave the perfect opportunity to discover more of the local marine life.  Crystal clear waters and vibrant corals inhabited with all sorts of colourful fish made for a great snorkel.  After an active morning a barbecue lunch was the perfect treat followed by a shoreline stroll along the tiny island of Ile aux Bénitiers. Cruising back into the harbour it was time for more relaxing and one last beer…
Things to know:
  • The trip was booked through JPH Charters.
  • I was picked up from Port Louis at 6am (the early start is definitely worth it) and dropped back to the hotel around 4.30pm.
  • The cost of the trip was around £60 and included swimming with dolphins and the catamaran cruise, this came with unlimited drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) and lunch.
  • Take a towel with you as these were not supplied.
Swimming with dolphins in the Indian Ocean was an unforgettable experience, if you are planning a trip to Mauritius this is one activity to add to your must do list.
Here’s something other things I really recommend doing in Mauritius:
A day of adventure in Mauritius: Waterfalls, Grand Bassin and Le Morne
11 things to do in Mauritius


Exploring the backwaters of Bangkok…

I absolutely love Bangkok and have visited this vibrant city three times in the last few years.  I realised that I’ve never blogged about my experiences in South East Asia so thought I should put pen to paper, so to speak and get writing….
The first time I arrived in Bangkok was on my honeymoon in 2010, I wasn’t an immediate fan of the place; it felt so busy and noisy and quite overwhelming.  Although once I got used to my new surroundings that all changed and now I can’t stop going back!  The second visit was in 2013 on the way to Australia and the third coming back from New Zealand in 2014.  It is the perfect place for a stopover to or from another destination and definitely eases the jet lag by breaking up a long journey.  On the last visit Matt and I decided to leave the hustle and bustle of the streets behind and explore the many waterways and khlongs of the city.
We had used the river taxis plenty of times before and loved seeing the city and temples from the water so decided to take a trip on a longtail boat.  Strolling along the Chao Phraya River we chose not to book through a tour company but a lady with a small stand by the water.  We paid her 1000 baht for a one hour trip.  (Now thinking about it I am sure we could have haggled and got this slightly cheaper…but I guess you live and learn!)  The boat and driver were on the pontoon ready and waiting to take us exploring.  Although perhaps a bit on the pricey side for a trip in Bangkok, we did have the boat all to ourselves.  Buzzing along the river going against the fast-moving current I peered down at the murky waters carrying along water hyacinths and waved at passing boats, some transporting tourists others full of cargo.  We had a lovely driver; he didn’t speak any English but the language barrier wasn’t a problem.  He pointed out beautiful temples and interesting buildings along the way and made us feel quite at home.  Longtail boats like the one we were in have a very distinctive engine noise, very loud and rough sounding!  It may sound silly but that rough and loud noise really reminds me of Thailand and conjures up a lot of happy memories.
Cutting along a side water we left the busy main waterway and slowed down as the khlong narrowed and a whole different world emerged, we passed by wooden houses on stilts and people in boats going about their daily routine.  I loved observing these communities on stilts, people fishing from their front door, dogs on porches and corner shops full of supplies.  We passed two ladies paddling in a small boat, dressed in their best clothes and hats.  They really stood out to me giving me a new perspective of people’s lives in Bangkok, a very different one to that I had already experienced around the city.  It seemed more of a majestic, slower paced, simple life compared to the hustle and bustle of the Bangkok streets.  I snapped a photo of them, it is still one of my favourites today.  Back on the Chao Phraya a few ladies selling souvenirs from their boats greeted us.  Others were selling bread, confused as to why, our driver pointed out the huge amount of catfish moving around in a frenzy nearby a pontoon waiting for their food.  It was a bit of touristy thing to do but fun to feed them none the less!  Continuing along the river system we passed the Royal Barges Museum and beautiful temples and shrines full of colourful detail.
Back on dry land we felt a bit peckish so bought a snack of fresh fruit on sticks from food stalls near one of the piers and then decided to jump back on the water, this time on the tourist ferry to Wat Arun.  This temple is one of my favourites in Bangkok and is right on the edge of the river.  It is covered in beautiful mosaics, the ornate detail is incredible. This temple can be climbed, it is extremely steep but the hike is worth it as the views of the city from the top are fantastic.  The temple is lit up at night and looks golden against the darkness of the sky, it’s worth finding a spot on the opposite side of the river to watch the sunset and the the temple light up, beautiful!
My tips:
  • If you are planning a trip to Bangkok I definitely recommend exploring the waterways.  To get your bearings Nancy Chandler’s map of Bangkok is a must buy.  This beautifully illustrated map has become my trusty guide to the city, it is full of detail and great for finding your feet in this crazy metropolis.
  • Haggle for the price of your boat trip, it maybe that the trip price is a set one but it is always worth a try.
  • When visiting temples make sure that arms and legs are covered as a mark of respect.  If you don’t have your own long sleeves and trousers you can usually rent garments for a small fee outside temple buildings.
  • A trip to a floating market is another must do water based activity in Bangkok, something I have not done yet but is on a future itinerary. has some good recommendations.
Matt put together a short video of our morning on the backwaters, hope it gives you the feel of this very special place…

An alternative day out in Orlando…

I had a trip with work to Orlando last week, with two nights there and a lovely crew we planned an alternative day out to the usual shopping and theme parks that Orlando is associated with.  Don’t get me wrong, I love nothing more than shopping in America and Universal is one of my favourite theme parks but once you’ve done them it’s so nice to see what else this part of the world has to offer.  So, we hired a car through Alamo and picked it up from the airport.  Collecting our paperwork we were shown in the direction of the parking lot and told to pick a car from the style we had chosen, the keys were already in the ignition of the cars so we made our choice and jumped in!
It might not be everybody’s cup of tea but we headed to Orlando Gun Club to have a go on a shooting range.  This is something I had not done before and it was actually a lot of fun.  We were a bit apprehensive at first but we were looked after and had some tuition to start us off.  We chose our guns; bullets and targets were shown the ropes and then left to have a go ourselves.  It cost around $30 each including tuition.
Our next stop was Kissimmee, I had heard a lot about the area but never visited it.  I have to say Kissimmee is a lot smaller and sleepier than I expected it to be; it was so nice to see a different area of Florida.  We stopped off at the historic downtown area walked a short distance to the lakefront park and had a drink at the 3 Sisters Speakeasy bar.
We finished the day off with dinner at the Cheesecake Factory it is my favourite place to eat in America, and you guessed it they serve a lot of delicious cheesecake!  I had a seared tuna salad with a glass of wine, a tasty and tactical move so that I could fit in dessert!
Next time I visit I would love to go surfing at Cocoa Beach and take an air boat ride through the Everglades, I still have so much of Florida to explore!
If you have any other recommendations on things I should do in Florida I would love to hear them…


A weekend adventure in Amsterdam…

Amsterdam is a fantastic place for a weekend getaway and 48 hours is plenty of time to discover everything this cultural city has to offer.  Plus it is only short flight from the UK so you can be exploring before you know it!
First things first it’s very easy to navigate your way from the airport into Amsterdam, with a 20 minute train journey to Centraal Station.  Once checked in to your hotel head out and explore, the Jordaan neighbourhood is a great place to stop off for a coffee or even a beer.  While in this part of town pay a visit to Anne Frank’s house.  Step through the hidden doorway and see where Anne and her family hid from the Gestapo during WWII.  It is an incredibly humbling and emotional experience, especially if you have read Anne Frank’s diary.  Tickets are €9.
Next, stroll along one of the many canals, explore the quaint streets and wonderful architecture. Look out for the narrowest houses, the smallest one can be found at Oude Hoogstraat 22 and is just 2.02 metres in width and 5 metres deep!  Hire a bike or take a boat ride and really get into the heart of the city.  The Canal Bus stops at all the major tourist spots, making it a great way to see the sights.  In the evening try some traditional Dutch cuisine.  Moeders restaurant in the Jordaan neighbourhood is popular with locals and a very quirky place to dine.  Order a tasting plate to sample all sorts of Dutch delights.
On day two I recommend visiting the Van Gough Museum, it holds a huge collection of his paintings over three floors.  Entry to the museum is €17.  The opening hours are 9am – 6pm daily and 9am – 10pm on Fridays, plenty of time to discover everything this fascinating museum has to offer.
If shopping is your thing then make your next stop the streets of the Western Canal Belt.  Vintage shops and chic boutiques line the pretty streets and are perfect for souvenir shopping.  An unusual market worth a peruse is Bloememarket, a floating market selling plants, flowers and herbs and a great place for taking those all important holiday snaps.
The Red Light District may be thought of as seedy but being one of the things that Amsterdam is famous for it is worth a visit.  Take a guided tour or stroll around by yourself, it is one of the oldest districts in Amsterdam with some great architecture and tiny cobbled streets.
Indonesian cuisine is a popular meal choice in the city and comes from the Dutch colonisation of Indonesia.  I love  Rijsttafel, a selection of Indonesian dishes that are ideal for sharing and Blauw restaurant is a great place to experience it.  Reserve a table before you arrive as it can get booked up fairly quickly.
Finally, round the 48 hours off with after dinner drinks at Dam Square and watch the world go by.  Cheers!

Australia and New Zealand adventure…

Today is the day that Matt and I are off on a big adventure and I have just come out the other side of what I can only describe as ‘packing hell’!!  My bag is finally zipped shut, with me sitting on top of it and I am now ready to fly to Sydney tonight!  I have had to master the art of packing for all seasons, which means a bikini, Ugg boots and everything in between!  As well as attempting to pack as lightly as possible for three weeks of living in a van.  I feel quite proud that I’ve achieved what seemed like almost the impossible when I started this morning!
I can now relax and move onto our very exciting trip, I’m thrilled to announce that Matt and I are collaborating with the lovely people at Jucy, an awesome campervan company for our ‘international roadie’ where we will be spending five days in Australia and then ten on New Zealand’s South Island.  We hired a Jucy Van last year in Australia, you can check out our previous adventures here: Planning a road trip on the East Coast of Australia.
We don’t have any firm plans yet but we do have a rough outline of where we want to stop and what we want to see.  We are planning everything from surfing, to snowboarding and glacier trekking.  I’ve also heard a lot about Fergburger in New Zealand so I’m going to have to try one of those!  Skydiving may also be on the agenda too, as long as I can build up enough courage that is!
Our travel plan goes something like this:
23rd August: London – via Singapore – Sydney = 22 hours(!)
25th August: Sydney – Brisbane = Pick up our Jucy van and head to the Sunshine Coast and Glass House Mountains. (5 nights.)
31st August: Drop off our van back in Brisbane and fly to Christchurch.
1st September: Pick up Jucy van in Christchurch. (10 days.)
10th September: Say goodbye to our beloved van and fly back to Sydney.
11th September: Sydney – via Kula Lumper – Bangkok. (2 nights.)
13th Bangkok – London.
As you can see its going to be an action packed few weeks and I can’t wait to get out there, explore, get lost and find cool places!
Follow our adventures here on my blog, Instagram and Twitter.  I will also be tweeting and instagramming using #jucyworld.
If anyone has any recommendations for things to see and do on the Sunshine Coast in Australia and South Island NZ, I’d love to hear them. 🙂
See you down under!

All aboard the big green bus: Glamping in East Sussex

Posing outside the Big Green Bus
As I mentioned in last weeks post Gone Glamping I turned 30 on Thursday!  It was a four-day celebration including a meal out with friends and family and a pub lunch the following day.  The main event was a stay on The Big Green Bus with Matt and our lovely friends Sam and Graham.
The bus is parked in an idyllic location in private woodland in East Sussex, complete with decking, bench and a fire pit plus a wood fired hot tub.  We had planned to light it on my birthday evening and toast marshmallows but unfortunately it rained!  (Nevermind, after all this is the British weather in August…it can’t always be sunny!)  Reached via its own gated footpath it is very private.  Surrounded by peaceful countryside with lots of walks, a pub within strolling distance and Brighton a 20 minute train journey from the nearby town of Lewes, it was all we needed.  Gilly and Jed who own the glamping site have some lovely dogs, Mollie, Poppy and Katie.  All three popped by the bus to say hi every now and then.  The bus is currently relocating, check back for an update on its new location soon.
A lovely welcome of prosecco and chocolate brownies awaited us.  Matt and I instantly felt at home in this unique and quirky space, it had such a fantastic light and airy feel to it.  I excitedly skipped around the bus exploring every nook and cranny and fell in love with it!
The bus started its life in 1982 (which makes it older than me!) and is now owned by Adam who has lovingly restored and turned it into the most amazing glamping retreat.  You can follow the build from start to finish on George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces.  I found out about the bus from this Channel 4 TV series last year and loved the quirkiness of it.  I also stayed in the beach hut featured on Amazing Spaces in April for Matt’s birthday.  Read about it here: Beach Hut Living.  Adam has done an amazing job and kept a lot of the original fixtures and fittings, from the drivers cab, the old seat cushions re-upholstered in a lovely bright green, railings, a stop button, and lots of the original signs.  It was strange to think while having a shower or laying in bed about all the people this bus must have transported over its many years in service!
So let me give you a guided tour…The galley kitchen had everything we needed including an oven, fridge, sink and plenty of storage cupboards full of utensils, pots and pans.  The area at the front of the bus that would have been used to store luggage has been turned into a cupboard/pantry which was full of not only all the kitchen utensils and crockery you could ever need but also all the essentials like tea, coffee, sugar, oil, pasta and much more.
The lounge area came complete with a log burner, due to the unpredictability of the British weather as I have already mentioned, it rained on and off and was slightly chilly in the morning, so lighting it up first thing just took the edge off until the sun decided to show up.  The back seat gave a whole new meaning to sitting at the back of the bus and the window seat above was very comfy.  Adam has used some ingenious space-saving ideas such as a wooden cover on the back window, which also doubled up as the table with the legs stored behind the seats.  This gave extra room to relax in between meals and also being able to put the ‘table’ over the back window at night made it more private.  Behind the stairs sits a very neat wet-room and toilet with ample space to have a good shower.
My favourite area was upstairs at the front of the bus, this ironically was my favourite place to sit when I used to catch the bus to school.  Adam has kept two of the original seats and turned this part of the bus into a very comfy corner to relax in.  It was the perfect place to sit with a morning cuppa or evening drinks and gaze out across the field and surrounding woodland.  I also loved the little touches such as the union jack cushions, collection of books, and the set of draws with all sorts of board games in.  Following the corridor round led to two bedrooms big enough to fit double beds in and at the end some very spacious looking bunk beds.  I had two cosy nights sleep in the very comfy beds.  There was plenty of room for the four of us to leave our bags upstairs on the bus too.  I should also mention that the bus has electric and hot water.
I woke up on the morning of my birthday to blueberry pancakes and Sam gave me thirty presents to open!  We then drove to Lewes and caught the train to Brighton, had lunch at Plateau and walked on the pier.  After a few hours we made our way back to the bus where there were more surprises for me!  Cupcakes and champagne followed by an amazing dinner, I have wonderful friends as well as a wonderful husband!  After dinner we got the log burner going and played some board games.
We had a fantastic stay in a lovely peaceful location, everything about the bus was perfect, it was immaculately presented and had a lot of thought involved from the décor to the comfort of guests.  It was such a brilliant way to celebrate… turning 30 hasn’t been so bad after all, I think this has quite possibly been my best birthday yet!

Gone Glamping…

Somewhere in the middle of the Sussex Downs in the rolling countryside sits a glamping field and in that field sits The Big Green Bus…that’s where I’m heading tomorrow for my 30th birthday celebrations!
Turning 30 is pretty exciting and I wanted to do something different, so celebrating with my best friends and husband Matt, combined with a stay on this quirky bus seemed to be the perfect answer!  The bus has three bedrooms upstairs, a lounge area, kitchen and bathroom, very cool!  It was featured on Channel 4’s TV series George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces.  The same program I saw the beach hut on which I booked as a surprise earlier this year for Matt’s 30th.  This is proper glamping and I’m so excited!  I will report back in full and tell you all about it next week…
Here’s the full write up of my birthday trip: All aboard the big green bus….


Biking The Bermuda Railway Trail…

On Tuesday I was in Bermuda with the whole day free before flying home, wanting to do something different from my usual visit to the beach I decided to hire a bike and go exploring.  I chatted to the hotel concierge who suggested the Bermuda Railway Trail.  Stretching across the whole of the island it is a wonderful way to explore this stunning archipelago.  I only covered three of the eighteen miles of track but came across some lovely spots.  The track is well signposted and has information boards along the route explaining the history of the railway.  Meandering through tropical woodland, past pastel coloured houses and along Bermuda’s beautiful waters there is so much to see.  I got a little bit lost at one point but with the help of a few friendly locals I got back on the right path.  I imagined that being an old railway line it would be a straight track, but was surprised to find in parts it to be quite a work out cycling up and down hills and peddling through some deep gravel.  So, on that note I would recommend wearing decent footwear, as I struggled at times in my flip-flops!  Water and suncream are a must too.  I throughly enjoyed my day exploring a little part of Bermuda by bike, next time I go back I will get back in the saddle and explore some more!
My previous blog post on Bermuda was all about food…check it out here: Brunch in Bermuda.

Five things to do in Jersey…

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.

Jersey War Tunnels - Museum of the German Occupation in World War II, based around the underground hospital Ho8. For further images of Jersey War Tunnels contact Natasha Egre, The Refinery, Tel: +44 (0)1534 720200, Email:


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.

La Corbière Lighthouse


5. La Mare Wine Estate
For something a bit different take a trip to the La Mare vineyards.  Although this is predominantly one for the adults, there are also activities for children such as a play area and the opportunity to meet the estate’s miniature ponies Bubbles and Fizz.  Join a guided tour of the winery and sample Jersey wines.  Explore the orchards, vineyards, visit the chocolate factory and purchase some tasty souvenirs as a memory of your time on Jersey.

Domaine - Dry Oak White Wine, La Mare Wine Estate