Jersey is one of the Channel Islands, situated in the English Channel, in very close proximity to France. Even though the island is only 9x5 miles, it is the largest of the all the channel islands and its coast is an amazing 48 miles long.
Jersey is a very 'cute' little place, despite it being the largest of the Channel Islands. There is a hint of french culture, this will have alot to do with its close proximity to France. Jersey is very much upper class and those wanting to take a break there, beware it is not cheap. I think this is due to the island wanting to attract the wealthy and not wanting 'just anyone' to help with the economy. There are alot of fish restaurants about, as of course alot of fishing is done in Jersey (dont forget the 48 miles of coastline). People are very polite in Jersey especially when it comes to driving. I noticed alot of people would 'give way' to you, whereas in England - not so much! This was very nice actually and of course this meant that you would have to return the favours and let people out too.
Jersey is definately located in a prime location. Situated south of England and in very close proximity of France. It gets the best of both worlds really and is sunnier than England all year round, due to it being closer to the Equator. It is easy to get to and there are a large number of flights in and out of the airport each day.
Getting to Jersey
The cost of getting to and from Jersey is not so bad, as there are many low cost airlines, such as EasyJet, Flybe and BMI Baby that operate flights almost daily. You can get to and from Guernsey (Jersey's biggest competitor) using Aurigny or even the Condor Ferry, which both take a short time and is not too expensive.
There are a vast range of accommodation is Jersey, ranging from 2 star hotels to the very luxury 6 star hotels. There are also a huge choice to choose from when it comes to self catering apartments also. All of the hotels, whether it 2 star or 6 star all offer something to remember your trip by.
Things To Do
There are a number of activities to take part in whilst in Jersey. It is such a beautiful place, so why not go for a walk. Jersey has many walks in which you can do, whether it be self-guided or a charity walk. There are even what they call 'green lanes' where you can take in Jersey's natural beauty, its architechual history and its traditions. The green lanes exist is all but two areas (Trinity & St. Saviour) of Jersey and can be identified by a 'Green Lane' road sign.
There are a number of attractions you can visit when in Jersey, including the Channel Island Military Museum, Elizabeth Castle, Jersey Goldsmiths, Jersey War Tunnels, La Mare Wine Estate and many more!
Going out to restaurants and bars is very popular in Jersey and the food is of very high quality.
Even though I was only in Jersey for one night and I was on business I thoroughly enjoyed Jersey, apart from the racial (I am chinese) interrogation I seemed to get at BOTH ends of the airport.
When I got off my quick (50 minute) EasyJet flight I had no bags to collect so went straight through security. I was stopped by two officers who asked what i was doing in Jersey, how long I was there for, who I had meetings with etc. I answered all questions and thought it was just a routine check. As I looked behind to see if anyone else had been questioned - nope!
On the way from Jersey back to Liverpool Airport, I was stopped and asked if I had any liquids. I said no and he asked to check my bag. As he was checking 2 ladies walk through and I asked them whether they were going to check them. He replied no and said he knew they didnt have any liquids! Whats more is that after I had been check I was allowed to go through and I was behind the two ladies who then pulled out their bottle of perfume (liquid) and also a small lip gloss (liquic again)! I was appauled to say the least, but thought Im not going to make a fuss, I do want to get back on that plane!
Like I said above, I had a good time in Jersey and drove around the beautiful island and could have done so all night long. The one way system in the city is abit confusing especially if you dont really know where your going. The weather could not have been better though. I went end of June 09 and I was even sweating at one point! I had my evening dinner at St. Aubins in a small restaurant called the Bon Viveur Restaurant overlooking the sea and decided as I was in Jersey, I would have the Jersey Plaice. It was a very meal and the atmosphere was great.
After dinner I went for a drive around the very cute and charming island. The sun was shining and Glastonbury was playing on radio 1. I ended up taking some pictures at Le Hocq Tower, which I still have on my phone! After being charmed by the island I decided to retreat back to the Monterey Hotel, which was nicely furnished and had excellent facilities. Indoor and outdoor swimming pool and gym was a few to name.
Overall a good place but could have done without the hassle at the airport.
Jersey is the largest of the five Channel Islands and is well known for its beautiful countryside and pristine beaches. The island which is 45 sq miles with 44 miles of coastline can be easily explored by foot, car, cycle or bus.
We decided to take a short break to Jersey recently and found that one of the best ways to get to know the island is cycling and walking. The island seems to be designed for cyclists and walkers. The Green lanes which were introduced to provide safety are an intricate network of 50 miles of country lanes where walkers, cyclists and horse riders are given priority over cars. Hence the speed limit on the Green Lanes is 15mph. The green lane links the beaches, places of attraction and is a useful guide for first timers in Jersey. Using St.Helier, Jersey's Capital as our base, we cycled and walked with the Green lane as our guide to many of interesting places in Jersey.
The beaches are never too far away in Jersey. St. Aubin's Bay, a popular stretch of sandy beach starts from St. Helier Harbour to St. Aubin's Harbour. The waters in St. Aubin's Bay are also a hot spot for water skiers and windsurfers. I was told that the sandy beach in St. Aubins' Bay is ideal for building sand castle. The other beaches in Jersey include Beauport, an area of secluded and protected coves, ideal for sunbathers wanting to get away from the crowds. For surf enthusiast, the Atlantic waves from St Ouen's Bay are provide one of the best surfing experience. Besides enjoying popular beach activities like water skiing, jet ski and fun boat rides, walking along the beach against the golden ray of the sun as it sets in the horizon is both breathtaking and serene.
The Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust is a major landmark in Jersey. Founded more than 50 years ago by naturalist Gerald Durrell, the conservation trust is famed for its work in saving and breeding endangered species. The Trust is located in an area of landscaped parklands and water gardens. Among the endangered species are a gorilla family of five lead by a silverback called Ya Kwanza, three generations of Sumatran Orang Utans and a Madagascan gentle lemur community. The animals live in large open spaces with environment created to be as close to their natural habitat. Some of the endangered species like the Mauritius Kestrel have been successfully conserved and bred and will be returned to Mauritius to re establish a new community of Kestrel. The Conservation Trust is opened throughout the year except on Christmas Day. The different types of admission charges are available from the website;
Elizabeth Castle build during the 1500s is a historical monument in Jersey. The castle was built on an islet in St. Aubins' Bay and for over 300 years, it have been used for military purpose. Inside the castle are three permanent exhibitions, War and Peace, Granite and Gunpowder and the Jersey Militia. The castle is open daily in summer and access to the castle by the amphibious ferry adds a novel start to the visit.
Jersey War Tunnel formerly known as The Höhlgangsanlage 8 (Ho8) was built by the Germans as their defence against the Allied forces when they occupied Jersey during World War Two. The tunnel was built by forced labours and the terrible conditions and suffering of the slave labourers are portray in a sculpture entitled 'Silence', currently standing on the grounds of the tunnel. The displays in the galleries tell the story of evacuation, deportation, captivity and siege, to eventual liberation of Jersey.
For lovers of Sea Shells, the Shell Garden is a paradise. Imagine a garden filled with stunning display of dolphins, doves, sea horses, mermaids all made from shells. Started by Colin Soudain in 1957, shells are continuously added to the largest shell garden in the world. The combination of colourful flowers as they dance to the backdrop of the beautiful sea shells makes the Shell Garden a delight to be in. There is even a shop selling handmade shell craft. For more info about hte Shell Garden, visit http://www.jerseyshellgarden.com/
Mont Orgueil Castle is one of the best preserved castles on the island. The dramatic castle which was built in 13th century, towers over the Gorey. There are many things to see in the castle. At the end of each winding stairs are displays depicting the practices and lifestyle of the medieval inhabitants. From witchcraft to more than 50 exhibits, Mont Orgueil Castle is definitely the place to appreciate the history of Jersey. Beside exhibits, I enjoy watching re-enactment of Jersey's medieval history by the Living History team and the spectacular eagle flying demonstration. Mont Orgueil opens daily from 18 March to 2 November.
Our walking and cycling holiday in Jersey was a delight. We took our time to explore this beautiful island. The published guides from the tourism board are very useful and informative. There is never a moment where we are at a loss of what to do. The 3 days in Jersey was definitely well spend and we are going back again for more.
WELCOME TO MY FAVOURITE HOLIDAY DESTINATION!
Jersey is situated just 12 miles off the north west cost of France. I have spent many a happy holiday in Jersey and thought it would be nice to share my experience with others who may wish to visit in the future.
~~~ A Little Background Information ~~~
Jersey, together with the other four main Channel Islands of Guernsey, Herm, Sark and Alderney, was originally ruled by the Duchy of Normandy, but came under British rule in 1066. The islands are renowned for being the only part of Britain to be occupied by the Germans during the Second World War. Jersey is rich in history dating back centuries, and there is a particularly large amount of wartime memorabilia which is always popular with tourists.
~~~ What Kind Of People Visit Jersey? ~~~
Jersey caters for more or less everybody. However, it is not the kind of place you would want to go on an 18-30 holiday or a stag weekend, but visitors of all ages will find there is always something there that suits them. There are beaches galore for children who like nothing more than spending a day building sand castles. Couples of all ages can experience the Island's abundance of attractions and the elderly often enjoy the guided coach tours around the island, together with the pristinely kept parks.
~~~ So What Kind Of Attractions Are There? ~~~
As I mention above, Jersey is full of attractions which cater for everybody of all ages. I have listed below the places I think are well worth a visit on the island:-
This is one of the few zoos of the world which concentrates on the preservation of endangered species. The zoo was started by the late Gerald Durrell over forty years ago. Once a certain species has been taken off the 'endangered' list, the zoo no longer exhibits it. There are many talks given on the various species and it is advisable to get to each one early as they fill up pretty quickly.
There is a large restaurant situated within the zoo which offers a wide selection of sandwiches, cakes, pastries and cooked meals.
There is also a gift shop offering a wide range of souvenirs.
This is a must for first time visitors to Jersey. Basically, you are taken on a journey through the history of the island. You enter the building through a courtyard. Once inside, you are met with various displays reflecting life in Jersey over the last hundred years, together with an interactive film of Jersey through the decades, dating back to 1900. The interactive part just consists of pressing a button to select which decade you want to view.
The highlight of Living Legend is a show called 'The Jersey Experience'. This is well worth a visit, though may be a little frightening for younger children. You are taken on a trip on a make-believe submarine through the various developmental stages of Jersey, including the eruption of a volcano, various wars and historical events. The introduction is narrated by John Nettles of Bergerac fame, which does tend to date it a little, and the rest of the story is taken up by holograms - yes, holograms. A very different way in which to tell the history of the island. A word of warning : BE PREPARED TO GET WET!
Living Legend has a very large gift shop (naturally) together with a decent restaurant.
Whether you want to purchase anything, or just watch while the pottery is being made, the Jersey Potteries are well worth a visit. You can watch the whole process of the pottery being made from start to finish. For anyone with children, there is a 'paint your own pot' room called Glaze Craze in which little ones can paint a pot and then take it home.
There is a very large shop within the potteries where you can purchase the goods made on the premises, and there is also a small exhibition of discontinued lines dating back over the last 30 years. I would warn you that the prices are quite high. I bought some coasters which cost in the region of £5.00 each but then they rely on tourists willing to pay this much just to take home a keepsake.
For anyone interested in this kind of sightseeing while on holiday, this is a great experience because you get to walk out to sea across a stone walkway. The castle was built just off the coastline of St Helier. However, you have to get your timing right with the tide. If you stay a little longer than expected and the tide comes in, you can either swim back or get a little boat back to shoreside - namely a 'duck'.
The castle has numerous exhibits situated in the Guardroom such as the usual medals, rifles and uniforms.
German Underground Hospital
(Now known as Jersey War Tunnels)
First time visitors to the island should not miss this. Built into the hillside, the hospital was built by slave labourers during the German occupation in the second world war. There is a fair amount of film footage and interviews with people who lived on the island during the occupation. When you pay your entrance fee, you are given a mock identification card of a specific person who was living on the island at the time, and on entering the restaurant, the walls are covered with photographs of these people. The idea is that you find a photo of yourself on the wall and discover your fait.
But remember - even if you visit in the heat of summer, take a jacket because it is freeeezing down there. Remember you are hundreds of feet underground.
There are many other attractions on the island which don't really need an explanation, but which ones you decide to visit depends entirely on personal preference. Here is a little taster:
*Eric Young Orchid Foundation (you get to see where orchids are grown)
*Jersey Pearl (basically a big shop selling pearl jewellery)
*Jersey Gold (same as Jersey Pearl except they sell gold instead)
* Mont Orgueill Castle (another castle with good exhibits and guided tours)
*Jersey Lavender Farm (see the process of lavender cultivation)
~~~ What Are The Beaches Like? ~~~
In a word - EXCELLENT! The beaches in Jersey are essentially little bays and coves. None of your Magaluf here! My favourite is St Brelade. Very similar to the south of France and a great beach for the kids. For those wanting a quiet sunbathing session, try Rozel. Any budding surfers out there? Well, THE place to surf is St Ouens Bay. It even holds international surfing competitions.
~~~ What Excursions Are Available? ~~~
Whilst visiting the island, you will see many notices advertising various trips. The most popular is a day trip to the second largest of the Channel Islands - Guernsey. I am unable to comment on Guernsey as I have never visited, but I have been told that it is a lot quieter than Jersey and not quite as much to do there.
For those wanting a trip with a difference, take the catamaran over the Sark. Here, everyone travels by horse and cart or bicycles, as motor vehicles are not allowed on the island.
Trips to the islands of Herm and Alderney are also well advertised, together with day trips to France.
~~~ What You Need To Be Aware Of ~~~
For anyone taking a car over to Jersey, or thinking of hiring one, the speed limit is 40 m.p.h. It may seem slow, but a lot of the roads are so narrow you can't really go much faster than that. However, a lot of the locals certainly don't abide by this limit!
It is advisable to avoid visiting the island when the Battle of Flowers is taking place in August. Although I believe this is a magnificent event, the whole island seems to be taken over by it and you will find hotel prices soar at this time of year, if you are lucky enough to get a reservation in the first place.
Jersey has its own currency. However, if you are travelling from the UK, there is no need to pay a visit to the Bureau de Change as they will accept English currency. However, by the end of your stay, you will have a pocketful of Jersey change - and they still use pound notes too!
There is no VAT on goods bought in Jersey. So fill your boots and get spending!
~~~ Finally ~~~
If you've made it this far, I would just like to thank you for reading my 'mini-brochure' of Jersey. I hope you found it useful for any potential future holidays.
~~~ Ooh yes, nearly forgot - My Claim To Fame (sort of) ~~~
I actually watched a scene from Bergerac being filmed in the middle of St Helier one year. Yes, I am old enough to remember the original series, and yes, I am sad enough to admit it!
(Also on Ciao - matthewsmum)
Jersey brings very fond memories for me as a child. My dad has always been a big fan of visiting Jersey as he has friends there and loves taking photographs of the different coaches that travel around the Island. Jersey is in the British isles. It is part of the Channel islands. The other islands are Guernsey, Alderney, Sark and Herm. I have visited the others and I find Jersey the best. I have visited Jersey many times and will always be a big part of my life. My very first holiday was to Jersey and I will always remember the fond memories.
I have been to Jersey recently but found it to be very expensive. It is very easy to get to Jersey. You can get there via ferry or plane. It is such a lovely place and whoever goes will not be disappointed. Jersey has so much to offer and had such wonderful surroundings. The beaches are great and tourist attractions are well worth a visit. I usually stay in the capital of Jersey which is called St Helier. At the present moment Jersey frequently tops the sunshine record for Britain.
Jersey has changed a lot through the years due to renovation and them closing different attritions. I found this very disappointing as there were lots of places that I really wanted to visit again but I found them not to be there and there just being waste ground. A lot of hotels have closed. I think it is mainly due to the actual cost of holidays in Jersey. The nicest hotels that are open at the moment are most properly the following :-
* Club hotel du France
* l'horizon and
* The Grand
I have visited all three of these and found them to be of exceptional standard and the staff are always very friendly and welcoming.
I will begin now to tell you about some of the attractions still open to the pubic and are well worth a visit ......
* JERSEY WAR TUNNELS- This was originally called the underground hospital. This place is amazing. The whole thing is underground in a huge tunnel that was originally made by the Germans as a hospital. The place is like a museum that holds a lot of Jersey history . Jersey holds lots of relics from the German occupation during the second world war and is the only part of the channel isles to be occupied by the Germans. This hospital is very interesting and shows the Germans cared for their soldiers during the war. The place has different types of equipment and uniforms. The statues and models are very lifelike and every bit tells us the story of the second world war. Jersey also has a lot of different bunkers on the island which you can visit which I also find very interesting.
* THE JERSEY ZOO- This zoo is totally different from any zoo I have visited. This zoo was founded by the author Gerald Durrell on 26th march 1959. The zoo is situated in 31 acres of landscaped parkland and water-gardens. The whole zoo is there to care for endangered animals and help prevent animals becoming extinct by setting up breeding programmes etc.
The zoo is unlike other zoos as it lets animals hunt for their own food as they hide different items which encourage animals to hunt for their food. I really like how the monkeys are wild around the zoo and left to swing freely in the trees over head. There are over 50 nest-boxes positioned around the grounds, which are used by a variety of birds including barn owls, kestrels, swallows and martins. Other animals which are commonly seen within the grounds are the red squirrel, bank vole, and the short-toed tree creeper, which is not found in the UK. A big story that happened at the zoo was on 31st August 1986. A small boy of 5 fell into the gorilla enclosure and the leader of the tribe named Jambo actually comforted the boy by stroking his hair and stopped other gorillas from attacking until help arrived. The boy was unharmed and remained safe with the gorilla. Unfortunately Jambo died on September 16, 1992.
* THE LIVING LEGEND- This is properly my favourite place to visit. The living legend is the home of a show entitled "the Jersey experience" This is breath taking. You are led across a draw bridge to watch a show in a large cinema that tells you all about the history of Jersey. The show is full of holograms and special affects. At one point you actually feel the rain on yourself and the wind blowing through your hair. The whole show is fantastic and leaves you feeling very surprised and highly educated on the history of Jersey. On the grounds there are also 2 crazy golf courses each with 18 holes. The courses has lakes, mini mountains etc all on the course These are great and the perfect way to end a very interesting day.
Jersey also has varius places to shop like the Jersey Pearl and Jersey gold. These places are wonderful and full of treasures to buy and look at in my case as they are very expensive.
Some placed that I miss that are no longer at Jersey are :-
* The Butterfly gardens- this place was lovely a huge place full of wonderful butterflies flying around. I found this place very magical as a child and will miss it dearly.
* Micro world- This was the home of the smallest violin. This place wasn't very big but it was totally amazing. There were loads of microscopes to look through showing all different tiny things, including a nest of eggs that was made on top of a single strand of hair or the whole of the lords prayer written on one grain of rice. I think Micro world was bought out and moved elsewhere.
Jersey has many coach tours and these places I have mentioned would be included on many of them. If you would like to spend more time at one place the buses are very good and they run quite frequently.
The Jersey beaches are wonderful, here is a list of some of my favourites:-
* GREVE DE LECQ- This as to be the best beach I have ever visited regards to having the best rock pools. The rock pools are huge and as a child I would quite happily spend hours with m net searching for crabs and small fish. The beach is lovely and the walk to the beach is nice.
* PLEMONT- This is my personal favourite. This beach has huge caves for you to explore. I couldn't believe that it actually had a waterfall on the beach. This was just wonderful. The view is just amazing. The only downside is the amount of steps you have to walk down to get to this beach. You also have to be careful and check the tide times as you could quite easily get stranded.
* ST OUENS- This is Jersey's surfing beach. This is a big sport in Jersey and a popular beach for the local residents.
* ST BRELADES BAY- This beach is lovely and full of golden sands and nice views.
Jersey is also famous for Gorey Harbour this place is really nice it has an imposing castle called Gorey castle that stands right over it. I think the castle is lovely though and well worth a visit at night when it is all lit up. Another castle that you can also visit is Elizabeth castle.
It is worth visiting Jersey in August too as on the 2nd Thursday of August every year they hold a wonderful festival called "The battle of the flowers" this includes an amazing display of floats which are full of fresh flowers. Its like nothing you have ever witnessed and will leave audiences speechless. The Battle of flowers ends with a huge firework display and is well worth watching.
When I was younger I remember travelling to Guernsey on a small plane called "Joey" This plane was very small and yellow. Im not sure if this plane is still in use but I loved it as a child. I can remember the air hostess giving me "Joey the plane" books where Joey saves the day in every book and has lots of exiting adventures. Im sure I have these books somewhere.
Jersey has a lovely market full of fresh food like fish and vegetables. The town is also great. There are various shops to visit. I think Jersey have some wonderful perfume shops. Jersey also has a nice park called "The Howard Davis Park" this place is huge and full of fresh flowers and lovely surroundings.
I would love to live in Jersey but the living expenses are ridiculous. No one would be able to afford a house there unless the won the lottery I think. So for now I will just carry one visiting and enjoying the lovely experiences and memories Jersey had already given me and the ones that I haven't yet uncounted.
We chose to go to Jersey as we felt it had something for everyone. My daughter is 4 and though loves the idea of sitting on a beach making sandcastles would probably be bored if we spent all day doing it.My husband would definitely be bored after a while.
The beaches are long and clean and it is lovely just to walk along the beaches collecting shells.
We went to 2 castles Elizabeth Castle and Gorey castle we also went to the war tunnels.
We went to Elizabeth castle via the puddleduck which was fine,it's a lovely castle to potter around, there is a parade where my husband was roped into and they also fired a cannon. The Germans built lots of concrete bunkers at the castle which men find really interesting. There is a beautiful beach here, when you walk you sink about 4 inches into the sand.
Gorey castle is in a lovely town with a very cheap and cheerful cafe. I can't remember the name but it by Poundworld. We had cheese & pineapple toasties with curry chips. Sounds very weird but after 4 days of full English breakfast it was just what we fancied.This castle goes on for ever, I wouldn't want to do it on a very hot day. Lots about Sir Walter Raleigh. It was closed for 5 years while they did some work. They seemed to have spent the time making sculptures, my 4 year old who usually likes castles did get bored with this one.
The war tunnels are interesting worth a visit but is hard to explain to a little one about the war. She couldn't understand why someone had made a dress out of some curtains, as she thought the curtains were more practical and she would regret it come bed time.
I would recommend catching the bus. Timetables are available at St Helier bus station they seem to run everywhere every 20 mins. Even my husband who has never caught a bus thought they were good.
Great holiday would recommend
I'm sure everyone in the UK knows where Jersey is located but for all of you folks who may be as ignorant as me at first , Jersey is one of the beautiful islands which belong to the Channel Islands group which are located kind of south of England ( and the rest of UK I suppose ). Jersey is apparently only 7 miles from the coast of France but belongs to the UK. The language spoken is English ( although two ladies in a cake shop spoke what sounded like French ...that's the only time I heard it) and the currency is British Pound as well as local currency. You will often find yourself being given change back in both forms of money.
OK, I have to explain my ignorance a bit here. I am not from "here" that is from UK, I have only lived here for 4 years and unfortunately I am sometimes learning where places are as I go along. On this occasion I went as far down as Channel Islands and now I know where to find them on the map! Ok, I am being a bit sillly and I have heard of Channel Islands before but I was just not too sure where exactly they were located...
Now, back to the actual trip.
I went to Jersey on a sort of long weekend break, 4 days exactly. We have arrived by plane which takes about an hour from Doncaster airport. The Jersey airport is located in the western part of the island and is very easily accessible by local bus from St. Helier which is the capital of the island. It is also very accessible the other way of course. The buses run quite often which is about 20-30 minutes. The airport itself is quite nice and has a coffee shop and a duty free for the last minute shopping. Although duty free in Jersey seems an oxymoron as they have no tax anyway.
The island of Jersey itself is not very big. I don't know how long exactly it takes to drive through it lenghtwise but based on my experience on the bus, I can imagine it being no more than 45 minutes. It takes about 20-25 minutes to get from bottom to top of the island which I did couple of times ( on the bus again so it probably takes less in a car). The town of St. Helier is located on the southern part of the island, close to the eastern side. It's the largest town on the island and apparently a financial centre which I understand owes a lot to the tax free situation. I originally thought it would be a nice idea to rent a car to go around the island, even for a day but my friend didn't bring her driving license but not to worry! There is a bus going in every direction from the St. Helier central bus station. They have a very helpful bus information office located there but you can work out a lot by yourself just by using a map and checking the bus schedule in the info office. The buses are relatively frequent and run on time from what I have experienced. It costs about £1.60 to get across island.
Before I have made this trip, I have read the average temperatures are 17-19 degrees Celsius in the summer but we were very pleasanly surprised when we arrived to a temperature of 26 degress at the end of May! We had slightly less warm weather for the next 3 days, which was about 18-21 degress with one exception when it rained and it was quite cold. But that did not damp our enthusiasm and we set out for the beach every day as soon as we saw it was going to be a sunny day. And it was a lot warmer on the beach anyway. Jersey has a lot of beautiful beaches as assured by my friend who had been to the island last year for 10 days. We have been to two beaches outside of St. Helier and there is something for everyone. Our first beach trip was to Greve De Lecq which is a small but popular cove on the north side of the island. There is a bus that goes there directly and its a great place for an all day visit as it has a coffee shop, toilets, shop with beach toys and inflatables, rental of beach chairs etc. So although it's small, it has everything you need if you have not brought your own food etc. There were not that many people on the beach itself but there were couple of bus loads of tourists who were strolling around but nevertheless we had a great day there. The beach is surrounded by rocks and hills and feels very secluded in a way. Another place we have been to is St. Brelade's Bay which is a much larger beach again with shops, toilets and I expect it attracts larger crowds when it gets really warm. But again it was very picturesque with rocky hills on both sides. I have also been to a beach in St Helier just at the bottom of the town which is on or at St Aubin's Bay but I was not really impressed as it did not seem like a real beach for sun lounging. Everyone was sitting on some kind of stone steps . It's nice if you just want to sit in the sun for a bit but not so great for a day out on the beach. It did not seem like a good place for swimming altough the map shows you can swim there. One thing to look out for there is a little display of sand sculpture in an enclosed area near the beach. There are couple of people working on those sculptures and they are quite fun to look at as they had a Simpsons family and some kind of a tree spirit. Donations are welcome apparently.
Besides these few beaches there are several others on each side of the island. I think there are some beaches which cannot be directly accessed by public transport and they are very small but they may be just the thing for those people avoiding any crowds whatsoever.
I must be honest here that I have not done any tourist attractions while on the island and I am somewhat ashamed of this as I usually will do few touristy things but I was just after a relaxing holiday on this occassion and really did not want to waste any time when it was warm. However, I can confirm there are plenty of things to do. There is the Elizabeth Castle in St.Helier which is located right by the above mentioned beach at the bottom of the town. I don't know how it's normally accessed but I know you can have a ride in one of those half car/half boat things which cost £5 for a return trip. The entry to the castle is on top of that and from what I have read, the whole thing costs about £11 including entry. There are also Jersey War Tunnels a bit inland for people interested in WW2. The entry is about £8. I know all these things but have not managed to go there ! There is Jersey Museum right next to the bus station and plenty of other small and large places of interest. Maybe when I am there next time I will manage to visit them. I should add I was also on a budget and sometimes these attractions are a bit pricey. The one thing we have done which seemed like a good idea was Jersey Fair which was located in Trinity, north side of the island and was basically a fair with animals, shops with French cheese and wine, dog show , medieval display and other things which we did not get to see as it was freezing ! But it was fun for what we saw and I would certainly spend more time there on a much warmer day.
Now, restaurants and shops in general. St. Helier looks like a European town and alhtough Jersey is supposed to be home to many rich people, the town of St. Helier did seem a bit run down at times but it was still very pleasant and it was interesting to see the architecture. The town has many shops and boutiques from M&S and Boots to smaller shops. I guess the fun begins when you have money and you can start shopping as there is no tax but my budget did not allow me to do any of that and I have limited myself to few edible souvenirs like fudge. I'm not sure if Jersey has a reputation of being expensive for food but I found couple of places to each which were quite budget friendly. I can certainly recommend a place called Henley's in town centre for lunch or even all day breakfast for about £5. Dinner places range from £7-8 to more expensive ones but then just like everywhere, it's just a question of having a bit of a look around. We had dinner once at an Italian place called Bella Italia and it was not bad. We had few dinners at our hotel, Norfolk Lodge Hotel as they had a very reasonable deal for 3 course meal and coffee/tea for just over £10. Our hotel cost £35 per night per person to share a twin room and service was very good although hotel could probably use a bit of an upgrade from what my friend described as a 70's feel ( both decor and service).
I have not done any clubbing or much of drinking (well, except a bit in the hotel ) so I can't comment on the entertainment value. It did not seem the sort of wild place with people being drunk on every street corner. But then you never know. Our hotel was full of elderly people and families and I can't say the entertainment such as a man with accordion was exactly to my taste...but there are several pubs and bars if you want to have a night out.
Well, I think that about covers it. All I can say I would love to go back to Jersey again one day. Hotels are not very cheap so I may look at self catering next time. The island is beautiful and it's amazing how small it is. I would probably recommend a car if you will stay outside of St. Helier but still, if you are close to the beach, this may be all you need. Definitely a wonderful place to go to even for a short break. And it's cheap to get there. If you want to avoid all the fish and chips and lager atmosphere, go to Jersey for a relaxing holiday.
P.S. Nice cows...once you find them
This will not be an up to date ‘fly on the wall’ op, as I haven’t been back to Jersey since 1995. Although I will endeavour to inject a lot of facts and a little bit of history here, this is essentially my opinion on an island that I love. My memories of this idyllic island stretch back a long way, and may be a little bit biased, as I was fortunate enough to be born on Jersey, and then spend the first three years of my life there. However, I will try to portray an objective opinion. The Island itself is 45 miles square, and is the largest and most Southerly of the Channel Islands. The Channel Islands, were the only British soil to be occupied by the Germans during the second World War. Jersey consists of 12 Parishes, which I suppose is similar to counties on the mainland (UK), only on a smaller basis. The names of the parishes are as follows: · St Helier · St Brelade · St Saviour · St Clement · St Martin · St Mary · Grouville · St John · St Peter · St Ouen · St Lawrence · Trinity Jersey is normally renowned for it’s, pretty Jersey Cows (producing wonderful – high calorie, creamy milk) and also potatoes and tomatoes. It is also famous for sandy beaches and clear blue water. It is said to be a fisherman’s paradise and believe it or not there are green valleys running through the middle of the island. It is ideal for a range of holidays, from camping to luxurious hotels. The capital of the island is St Helier, which appears be the place where most people stay. It is probably, the most liveliest place on the island, although that should not detract from other places e.g. Harve Des Pas and St Brelades. The last time we stayed on Jersey, we stayed at Harve Des Pas, which I must say, I preferred to St Helier, as we were overlooking the beach and were only ten minutes walk from St Helier and its shops, pubs, ni
ghtlife etc. Harve Des Pas (which is slightly east of St Helier), does have some of it’s own entertainment. The last time I stayed there this included a nightclub and live music in one of the pubs. A trip around the island can be made quite comfortably within a day, and there are a number of coach trips available. A great deal of information can be obtained from these ‘trips’, but they do make a point of stopping at places where you may be enticed to part with your well earned cash. However, if you do not have a car, I would highly recommend one of these ‘trips’. I thoroughly enjoyed the one I went on, and even saw and learnt things that I didn’t know already. Personally, I would prefer to either take a car or hire one for a few days whilst there. What is there to do on Jersey? Jersey is a volcanic island, and in my opinion, because of that the eastern side is very different from the west. The Eastern side is supposed to be excellent for fishing, and sandy beaches on this side are rather extinct. However the east side of the island is well worth a visit. I will now try to give you a brief journey of beaches around the island, in a westward, or anti clockwise direction, and then list other places of interest. Firstly, Portlet Bay - this used to be a favourite of mine when I was a youngster. The view overlooking the beach is wonderful. Depending on the tide, there is either a tiny island just off the coast, a tiny island with a sandy pathway to it, or ultimately there is an island off the coast, which in true childhood fantasy style, can be reached by the sandy path, which is just visible beneath the sea. This is not a beach for the ‘unfit’ person, as there are 100’s (perhaps a little exaggeration) of step’s down to the beach. And yes you do have to walk up them again, to come back. But there is the most wonderful sight greeting you when you have
finally mastered that last step – a pub! Even to those that don’t drink alcohol, it is still a very welcoming sight, for a cold drink of anything. I think the pub is called the Portlet Inn, and it used to have seven bars (and may still have). My next stop is St Brelades. This was always an extremely popular beach, but not really one of my favourites. However, I always go there at least once during any visit to the island. To me it seemed a little bit too overrated. Although I have never stayed there, it is said to be one of the more popular places to stay, outside of St Helier. Onto St Ouen, which is sometimes known as the ‘five mile beach’ – because it supposedly is – not that I have measured it. It encompasses luscious white sand, coupled with deep blue sea and waves that make it a surfer’s haven. However there have never been many amenities there during the daytime apart from a shop or two, and perhaps a few café’s. The famous Lobsterpot restaurant is at the northern end of St Ouen beach. Personally I have only ever been inside to look at the menu – it is a little bit on the expensive side, but one day!!! To the North of the Island is Greve de Leque, which is another of my favourite beaches, and I’ve never really known why – it just is. As a child I found it very strange and intriguing that to sunbath on a normal beach you faced the sea, however on this beach you had to have your back to the sea! It made for some wonderful photographs, with the sea in the background. There are a few shops there and at least one pub – which used to be called ‘The Prince of Wales’, and might still be. Other beaches: St Aubins Quaisne Plemont Bay - apparently better than St Ouen’s for surfing Green Island - which is probably more used by locals, and is on the eastern side, bordering the volcanic side
of the island. Further Attractions: Jersey Pearl: In the Parish of St John. This gives an insight into the way pearls are harvested, and yes there are pearl items in abundance to buy. I would say that this is not an not an absolute must visit, but worth a look if time prevails (the Jersey Pearl is incorporated in a lot of the coach tours around the island) The Jersey Experience This as I remember it is a great day out for the family, and the ultimate is the Living Legend itself, which provides lots of ‘special’ effects, and tells the full story of Jersey, and how the island itself actually originated. There are many places to eat and drink. Fort Regent In St Helier. This can be reached by cable car, steps or through the carpark and then a lift. Great for families, it has a swimming pool, and many other amenities. Jersey Pottery I never go to Jersey without visiting the Jersey Pottery. That does not mean that it is a ‘must see’. It just is for me – especially the shop. They also have a restaurant and café there, and the ‘order of the day’ is usually seafood, although there are lots of other choices. However, although I drool over the thought of dressed crab etc, I have not ever eaten there. I normally find the nearest pub and I have had a wonderful pub lunch, which is much, much cheaper. Gorey Castle This, is definitely worth a visit. The sight from the top is wonderful. It’s a long time since I have been inside the castle, but I remember it being very informative, and it’s certainly a must for the view. Gorey harbour itself has many shops café’s and pubs. German Hospital Underground This is a place that each individual needs to decide for themselves whether to visit or not. It is sombre and sad, and in essence is a grave for many Russians, who helped to build it. One tip when visi
ting is to take something warm with you, as it is really cold in there. It is not a guided tour, so you are free to spend as much or as little time there as you want to, but, be warned it can be extremely depressing. The advantages of holidaying in Jersey are: No passport is needed, they are English speaking, British currency is used (although they have their own Jersey £ notes, £5 notes etc, which are not accepted in mainland UK) and water can be drunk straight from the tap. The disadvantages of holidaying in Jersey are: I would love to say none, but there are some. Firstly it is expensive to get there and then it can be expensive to stay there. It is not as inexpensive as it used to be for food, drink, shopping etc. Although I do not have any children, and am therefore not that experienced in this subject, I do feel that perhaps, there would not be enough entertainment available to keep children occupied. Finally a real ‘must see’ The Battle of the Flowers Words do not do justice to describe this event, so I will not even try. However, it cannot be left out. In essence, it is a parade. The predominant features are the ‘floats’ covered with masses of flower heads. The ‘floats’ are often very large/long lorries, which will be covered all over with flower heads, and will need guidance via mobile phones – ‘walkie talkies’ I think in years gone by - to direct them. The flowers are painstakingly fixed to the ‘floats’ one by one. I won’t go into detail here as The Battle of the Flowers deserves an op to itself. However, one of the biggest must see’s on the island, is the Battle of the Flowers museum. Only then can you try to imagine how exquisite this event is. Most coach tours incorporate this museum within their tour. For those that
have actually reached the end of this – thank you, and I hope you now have some insight into the island of Jersey.
More than spuds and cows! Although I was in Jersey to work earlier this month, I still feel that my 10-day stay on the Island gave me a good feel for the place. ~ ~ Background ~ ~ Jersey is 90 miles from the South Coast of England and 14 miles from France. It is one of the Channel Islands, along with Guernsey, Alderney, Sark and Herm. Formerly a volcanic island, the isle now covers 45 square miles and has 20 beaches around its perimeter, many in secluded bays. Unlike Monaco and Gibraltar, I found there was little evidence of lavish portrayals of wealth - even though this does exist among the residents of the Island. During my stay, from reading local newspapers, I was unaware of any crime. Locals are friendly and approachable, and in the country parishes they can be heard speaking the local language, based on Norman French dialect. The French influence is also evident in the street names. Some Islanders still live off the land and their main crop is Jersey Royal Potatoes that are available from early April. When our plane came in to land at St Peters Airport, a mass of silver plastic sheets were visible adorning the south facing hill slopes. These covers protect the potatoes from frost and harsher weather. Although Jersey belongs to the British Isles it has its own system of government, together with its own laws and taxation. Since 1940 the basic and only rate of income tax has remained at 20%. The Island is split into twelve states or parishes and each had its own church. A brief run down of these parishes follows: ST OUEN Northwest State with spectacular walks along its coastal paths and within the 'Les Mielles' National Park. Home to the Woollen Mills and Grosnez Castle. ST MARY Northern State. A quiet country parish set in Woodland within easy walking distance to the North Coast. Home to the vineyards and Jersey Gold that sadly wa
sn't open when I visited! ST JOHN Northern State home to Jersey Pearl and boats the highest viewpoint on the island. ST LAWRENCE Central State. Home to two major tourist attractions: The Living Legend and The German Underground Hospital. TRINTY Central State. Picturesque countryside leading to Bouley Bay and the cliff tops. ST MARTIN Northeastern State. Mont Orgueil, the ancient castle at Gorey Harbour was built here in the 12th century and was once home to Sir Walter Raleigh. It was the primary defence fort against invasion until the 16th century when Elizabeth Castle was built. Very gorgeous old castle overlooking a harbour area - beautiful! ST SAVIOUR Eastern State. From what I saw of this part of the Island it was the area that housed the schools and was more built up than anywhere else on the island, with the exception of St Helier. ST HELIER South Capital. Over 50 busy restaurants and bars. St Helier is also the main shopping precinct for the island. This yacht marina and ferry terminal opens out into Liberation Square that is the base for the tourist information unit and also faces the main bus depot. St Helier's main square mile has 3 parks, 2 museums, Elizabeth Castle and a market. GROUVILLE South Eastern state. With a magnificent sandy bay it's home to Jersey Pottery and the Royal Jersey Golf Course. In my opinion the pottery was not a patch on Poole Pottery but it was still interesting enough to walk around. ST CLEMENT Southern State with it's own bay that attracts large tidal flows over the vast expanse of brown rocks. There are Danger signs warning visitors to take extra care when walking along the beach. ST PETER Western State. Mainly countryside and the original Green Lane area. St Peter is 5 miles from St Helier and the airport is based here. When first arriving in Jersey, my initial impression was n
ot good as I think I had the Bergerac ideal in my mind and St Peter does not live up to this. ST BRELADE / ST AUBIN South Western State. Last but not least this is my favourite part of Jersey and I would love to return here in the summer to see the beautiful bays under sunlight. I think it is the most visually appealing part of the island. St Aubin is Bergerac town with a scenic village and harbour. Previously this area was the main port but is now primarily a fishing harbour. Lanterns trace the route of the promenade going back to St Helier and provide a romantic feel in the evenings. Blue sea and golden sand at St Brelades Bay, which is overlooked by it's church, are particularly appealing and I was often drawn here, even lunching at the lovely Landmark Inn, just off the main coast road. ~ ~ Travel ~ ~ SEA Condor Catamaran sets sail from Weymouth and Poole and costs from £40 per person. This boat travels at 35 knots per hour and gets you to Jersey in just under 4 hours. Alternatively a traditional ferry departs from Portsmouth at a similar cost. Facilities on board include duty free shopping, air conditioning, kids play area, lounge seating areas and restaurants. I have often seen the Condor passing through Sandbanks / Poole Harbour and would love to try it but four hours does seem a long time. AIR Direct flights are available from many UK airports. Flights from Gatwick coast from £89 per person return and the journey length is between 35 and 50 minutes depending on the weather. I would recommend a window seat on the outbound journey as the planes often fly over Portsmouth or Southampton with great views. Please consider that fog in the winter months can stop planes arriving and departing from the island. On the day I was due to depart the morning planes were all delayed and no newspapers were available on the island. The problems began easing at around 11am. The airport
at St Peters is still being refurbished but is still spacious and efficient. The need to sign a foot and mouth declaration had been removed since my last visit. HIRE CAR Numerous hire car firms operate from the airport with a typical daily rental fee of £23 for a Ford Focus. Be aware that if you use Falles then you will be required to take a minibus to the hire car depot to collect the vehicle, which can be a bit much after the journey. Petrol on the island is cheaper than on the mainland at under 60p per litre. Car parking is on a pay and display basis, using prepaid scratch cards which are bought from newsagents, petrol stations and hotels. So ensure that you've bought a supply of scratch cards before parking in those elusive car park spaces! Another tip would be to become familiar with the road sign for 'Filter in Turn' that appears at merging roads. There is no right of way at these junctions and drivers literally take it in turns to pass. The maximum speed limit on the island is 40mph, but often this is reduced to 30mph or 15mph in Green Lanes. BUS Main bus station is based in Liberation Square, St Helier, with buses to all parts of the island. Timetables are available from the tourist information office. Explorer tickets cost £5.25 per day or £22 per week for adults. WALK / CYCLE The Green Lane Network gives priority to pedestrians and cyclists with cars in these roads restricted to 15mph. Blue signposts aid navigation and I felt that these were better than the normal road signs, and I relied on them to help my tour of the island when in the hire car ~ ~ Currency / Documents ~ ~ Sterling is used on Jersey, but banks issue English notes and the locally produced Jersey notes. The Jersey notes and coin are only legal tender on the island, although a UK mainland bank would change them up for you upon your return. Any Jersey coin in your possessio
n at the airport can be deposited into the charity collection water fountain. LINK network cash machines are scattered around the south of Jersey and accept most major debit and credit cards. UK residents do not need to take a passport with them to enter Jersey. I would strongly recommend that medical advice be sought before travelling, perhaps in conjunction with a travel insurance policy, as consultations with doctors are not free. ~ ~ Accommodation ~ ~ There are no caravan sites on Jersey and therefore the import of caravans and motor homes is forbidden. The Open House 2002 brochure (see details later) lists all the accommodation available and indicates whether it is in a countryside, coastal or town location. Below is the number of places listed in each category: 2 x 5 Star Hotels 7 x 4 Star Hotels 44 x 3 Star Hotels 35 x 2 Star Hotels 18 x 3 diamond guest houses 24 x 2 diamond guest houses 6 x 1 diamond guest houses 19 x Self Catering 4 x Camp sites ~ ~ Tourist Attractions ~ ~ I've listed many of them under the different states above and maps of the island are freely available and I'd recommend you grab one of these. The places that appealed to me most were: South Coast Cruises from the Esplanade, St Helier. £12 per person gets a 2 and a quarter hour boat cruise along 15 miles of the south coast taking in Elizabeth Castle, Dead Man's Bay and Corbiere Lighthouse. We also spent three hours at the German Underground Hospital, one of Jersey's most important historical landmarks which houses an exhibit to remember the 5 years of German occupation of Jersey during the Second World War. A recent refurbishment at a cost of £1.5million means exploration of the maze of tunnels within the St Peter's Valley is well worth a visit. Entrance fee is £6.50 and a guidebook cost £3.50. Other
tourist attractions include The Occupation Museum, Jersey Zoo, Jersey Pottery, Elizabeth Castle, Wildlife Reserve, Maritime Museum and Bergerac Tours. The port of Gorey also acts as a ferry terminal for boat day trips to Normandy (don't forget your passport for this though!) ~ ~ Shopping ~ ~ Purchases in Jersey are VAT free but often a surcharge is added for transportation costs. For example Marks and Spencer sandwiches cost more than the price printed on the packet! Jewellery, Tobacco and Alcohol are all items that were noticeably cheaper. ~ ~ Mobile Phones ~ ~ Pay as you go phones do not work in the Channel Islands. Other types of mobile phone may need to be set to international roaming. In the South East of the island I had to dial +44 as if phoning from abroad watch this as calls become very expensive! ~ ~ Festivals ~ ~ May Jersey Food Festival May Wildflower Weekend July Garden Festival August Battle of Flowers SeptemberInternational Air Display ~ ~ Recommendation ~ ~ Many places were closed during my visit this February and although the scenery was beautiful I would prefer to have seen the views under the glow of the summer sun, perhaps whilst sitting on a bistro veranda supping a nice long cool drink! Once a full tour of the island had been made, there was not an awful lot more to see. I would return to Jersey, but because of this experience I would prefer a long weekend on the isle as opposed to a fortnights break. ~ ~ Cost ~ ~ Hotel De France and daily expenses £1100 for 9 nights Flights and Hire Car £350.00 Quite expensive seeing as I was working for seven days with minimal extra cost! ~ ~ Sources of Information ~ ~ Open House Guide Jersey Hospitality Association TP: 01534 721421 Fax: 01534 722496 Email: ho
email@example.com Jersey Tourism www.jersey.com Liberation Square St Helier Jersey JE1 1BB TP: 01534 500777 Fax: 01534 500808 www.jersey.com www.jerseyhols.com www.travel2jersey.com www.jerseyartsfestival.com
Last year hubby and I decided that we would go to Jersey for a week, as at that time I was still not comfortable with flying. We wanted to feel that we had been "abroad" (even though Jersey is part of The British Isles) but without going too far. As I am a teacher, we obviously have to plan our holidays around the school holidays, so we opted to go during the Whit half term: 26th May to 2nd June. BOOKING We got a number of brochures from Travel Choice, and picked a few hotels which looked to our taste, and went back to the travel agents. We chose the Mayfair Hotel, because it seemed to have all the facilities that we would need, and by booking with Travel Choice before the end of January, we also got the evening meal thrown in for the same price as Bed and Breakfast. Booking was straight forward, and the staff were very helpful. TRAVELLING You can get to Jersey by air from most airports on the Mainland. We opted to fly from Gatwick, on a British Airways flight. Unfortunately, even although we booked very early, we had to take an evening (6.30) flight, as the earlier ones were already booked. Being the bank holiday Saturday, as you can imagine the flights were all running late, and it was close to 8.30 before we took off. However, the flight was smooth, we got a complimentary drink, and were in Jersey less than an hour later. You can also get to Jersey by ferry or Catamaran from Poole or Weymouth. My parents travelled on the Cat the year before, and said if they went again they would go by air next time. Some people we met had come on the ferry, and said that even in the good weather, the sea had been quite choppy, and they were not relishing the journey back. I suppose the mode of transport one chooses depends on personal preferences. I personally, even though I don't particularly enjoy flying, prefer to use that method purely and simply for the time it takes. I can think of nothing worse
than being stuck on a ferry on a choppy sea, and know it's going to be another 4 hours before I can get off the thing! WHERE TO STAY There are numerous hotels of all shapes and sizes all over the island. Some are grouped together, whilst others are isolated in their own grounds. There are seaside hotels and country hotels. You have a choice of B&B's too, and at least one holiday camp. You need to decide, before you book, whether you want to be in the centre of things, or would prefer a more rural, quieter setting. We chose to stay just outside St Helier, the capital, within easy reach of the coast, the shopping centre, and all the other amenities, but not right in the midst of things. As it turned out, for us it was the perfect choice. PLACES TO VISIT One of our favourite places was the Howard Davis Park, on the outskirts of St. Helier. Here, you could sit peacefully in the rose gardens, sunbathe on the extensive greens, wander round the churchyard at the rear of the park, where a clarion of bells rang a different tune each hour, or have a cream tea in the very nice cottage cafe, hidden behind the trees. There is a bandstand, where concerts of all sorts take place. Whilst we were there, the Cwmbran Male Choir (all of them plus wives!) were staying at the same hotel as us, and performed in the park one lunchtime. It was lovely sitting with a picnic, listening to their voices ringing out. The Jersey Gold factory outlet is also worth a visit. Here, they sell gold items at a fraction of retail prices. I did my entire Christmas shop for the ladies in the family whilst there! The German underground hospital has been completely refurbished as a museum, and shows very clearly the way things must have been during the German occupation. For the best beach on the island, St Brelade's Bay would take some beating. You can hire deck chairs and umbrellas etc., there are two or three good
class hotels, and a very nice coffee shop here. The sand is beautifully clean, and sea bathing is safe. In the week we were there, I don't think we managed to get completely round all the shops in St. Helier. There is an undercover market open daily, as well as the usual big retail shops we get on the mainland. But we found the bargains tucked down the side streets rather than in the centre of town. Numerous small jewellers, all seeming to specialise in individual things can be found if you look for them. My favourite was a shop called Ziggy's, close to the bus station, which specialised in amber. Christmas shopping continued! The one day coach tour that one can take almost every day is well worth doing if it is your first visit to the island. That way you can pick out the places you would like to visit in more detail later on during your stay. For that reason, I would suggest that if the hotel you are staying at are doing this tour early on in your stay, book it. If not, you can book at the Bus Station in St. Helier. There are many more attractions to see on Jersey, including the numerous underground bunker entrances, and wartime fortifications which still remain all round the coast. It gives a chilling picture of what things must have been like during the German occupation. Right in the middle of the island, there is a small pottery that specialises in jewellery. We walked here, after having visited the Gold outlet and the leather warehouse, and although exhausted, we were glad we did it. You can watch a video of the history of the ceramic making, and purchase some very unusual, and sometimes limited edition items. HOW TO GET AROUND 1) You can hire a car. However, Jersey is not that large, and if you have a car, the temptation is to drive round, see as much as you can, and to a certain extent waste a lot of time on wheels. When I'm on holiday I don't particularly want to spend most of it sittin
g in a car. And if you're going to use it purely to get from A to B, then to my mind it is a waste of money. 2) Organised coach tours. We just did the one. On the first day we did the island circular trip, which gave us a glimpse of most of the island, including a visit to a quaint little house and garden which had been completely decorated in sea shells and pebbles. There are daily trips from most hotels to the underground hospital, the Gold Factory, the Pearl warehouse, and any other place you want to visit. We did not use them however. 3) This was because it was so much easier taking the bus! The bus station was within a 10 minute walk of our hotel. Buses left regularly for all destinations, over the entire island, AND ran to timetable! So you were not tied down to one coach time. Fares were very reasonable. You could get to the other side of the island and back for £3, or buy a day ticket for £5, which gave you unlimited bus travel. Weekly and monthly tickets were also available if required. 4) Walk! Yes, why not? Inland, there are many walkways which are prohibited to traffic, keeping the walker safe, and providing an enjoyable network of paths down which to explore the island. When we were there, we had to take heed of the warnings to keep off the land where livestock might be, due to the foot and mouth outbreak over here, but other than that, access was unrestricted. THE PRICE Jersey is not a particularly cheap holiday, and apart from jewellery, is not particularly cheap for purchases. There are a few tax-free shops, for purchases like perfume and wine, but it was no cheaper really than the duty free shops at the airport. We paid approximately £400 each for half board in a 3 star hotel in the Whit half term (May). However, deals on-line would probably be less expensive. I would opt for half board if you can, because eating out (although we didn't do this) appeared to be quite pricey. So WHY JERSEY
? We would certainly go back to Jersey. Admittedly we had glorious weather, but there is a lot to see and do, and we only touched on the surface during our week there. Also, it was easy to work out the money side of things: they use the same as us! However, it was disconcerting to be given change in pound notes, not coins! Jersey is clean, and the people are very friendly. There is some crime, but not a great deal. Also, we (both my hubby and I) like island holidays. Yes, Jersey is quite large, but it is still an island. If you haven't given it a try, and don't mind paying a little bit extra, then give it a go. You won't be disappointed. We weren't.
Jersey is a fantastic place for a holiday. Firstly as it is counted as part of the UK, you don’t actually need a passport to go there from England. Secondly for all those nervous fliers out there (this includes me!), the flight time is extremely short – around 35-35 minutes depending on the weather. If you are lucky to fly into Jersey across the Island when the weather is good, then you will get the most amazing view from the plane. All the fields look like a big patchwork quilt lit up by glorious sunshine. The view from the aircraft was stunning. The most amazing thing about flying into Jersey was clearing both airports in record time. We flew from Gatwick to Jersey and once we arrived at Jersey we literally landed, collected our luggage and left the airport all in 5 minutes! How many airports could boast that! I was stunned by the ease of it all! Another great thing about Jersey is the weather which is absolutely beautiful. We went in May and it was very hot and sunny. For some reason, the sun is very strong in Jersey and you need to take adequate precautions with sunscreen to avoid burning if you have fair skin. Fortunately my skin is fine in the sun, but I did cover up with a long sleeved T-shirt on a couple of days to avoid prolonged sun-exposure. I would recommend taking long sleeved t-shirts for children too. We got a taxi from the airport to St Helier where we were staying. St Helier is the capital of Jersey and where most of the action and life on the Island is. It is a very nice place to stay, but I didn’t find that there was a huge amount to do in the town other than shopping, eating out or going to the beach. I can’t comment on the nightlife as I didn’t find any, but having a small toddler means that I couldn’t really do any clubbing even if I had found any! BEACHES There is a beautiful sandy beach in St Helier, which is ideal for children and sunbathers. If you walk further down
towards the next village, then you will find a huge expanse of golden sand. One word of caution watch out for any oil on the beach from the boats, as I got it on my clothes and it never came off! As far as I remember this beachfront is the best on the Island. We saw other beaches when we went towards Gorey, but these were mainly rocky and not really good for relaxing on. SHOPPING The shopping in St Helier wasn’t much different to going shopping in any major British town. Big names like BHS, Boots, Mothercare, Claire’s Accessories and Marks & Spencer were there. It certainly didn’t look as exclusive for shopping as I had expected. I even remember there being a pound shop! Although there is no VAT on the goods, I didn’t find the items any cheaper than back in the UK and the cost of living was about the same as in London. The cost of importing goods to the Island is probably to blame. One thing that I can highly recommend is to visit the charity shops in St Helier. Having noticed a large amount of very cheaply priced and excellent condition items in the window of a charity shop near to our hotel. I had a look in and I found out where all the other charity shops were in the town. There are a large amount of rich people in Jersey and they tend to discard items of clothing etc. in excellent condition. I actually bought a suitcase from a charity shop and filled it over the course of a week with fantastic brand new condition clothes and toys, which we took back to England with us. We had travelled very light so we had plenty of spare luggage allowance to use up, but despite this, we still exceeded our luggage allowance by 10kg. We got away without paying any excess baggage though because we flew back to England in the middle of the week and the plane was nearly empty! (This was a big relief!) SIGHTS AND ATTRACTIONS IN ST HELIER & NEAR BY Jersey has an interesting history due to the fact that it was occupied by Germans i
n World War II. On the Esplanade, which is the road right on the sea front, there is a very small “Occupation Museum.” It’s not very large, but it’s very informative. You pay about £3.50 to enter and it’s full of artefacts from the war and they also show a video about the occupation history. The museum isn’t spectacular, but its worth a visit to gain an idea of Jersey’s past history. Something that is really well worth seeing is the German underground hospital. If you walk to the bus terminal, which is not very far from the occupation museum, then they have a very good information office in the bus garage that will help you as to which bus to take to get the Underground hospital. It’s not very far from St Helier and will cost about £1.20 bus fare each way. The German Underground hospital is a huge underground tunnel system built during the war. The plan was to use it as a military hospital, but it took so long to build that the war ended before it could ever be used. It is full of genuine items left behind by the Germans and contains an extensive history of the wartime situation in Jersey. It was sealed up after the war until only very recently. Now the site also has a huge visitor centre with a coffee restaurant and modern facilities. It is definitely very highly recommended and makes for a very interesting afternoon out. There are other tourist attractions in St Helier, including “Puddleducks” – aquatic vehicles which drive over to a small fort across from St Helier or if the tide is in, the vehicles behave like a motor boat and float across to the fort. There are also 2 motor trains, which go round St Heliers. One goes round the town and the other one goes along the route of the original train track, which was dug up in the war and never replaced. The motorised trains are really best for children. The driver seemed also to be using the train to advertise the other attractions o
n the Island – a lot of not so subtle hard sell to visit other related attractions! Having said that, it was quite enjoyable and something to do! VISITS TO FRANCE As you may realise, France is very near to Jersey and St Helier has a terminal where high-speed ferries cross the Channel and you can visit France. Having never been to France before, I decided to go. I had packed my passport, as you need it to get to France! There are a choice of about 3 ferry operators, so check the sailing times and the prices for the best deal. The crossing costs about £30 for a foot passenger and takes about an hour. St Helier is 40 miles from France and on the day I travelled, the crossing was very smooth. We landed in St Malo, Brittany, which is a very historic town and made for a very interesting day out. The Ferry leaves around 9am and returns around 5.00pm although the times vary with the seasons. You have plenty of time to go shopping, eat out and buy souvenirs and it makes for a very pleasant day trip. EATING OUT There are loads of restaurants all over St Helier so you will be spoilt for choice on where to eat. We ate extremely well on our holiday! Everything is available from McDonald’s & Burger King (yes, they are there too!) & Pizza Express. There are lots of private restaurants too, a lovely fish and chip restaurant where we had fried & battered Salmon instead of cod, several Chinese restaurants and lots of other more upmarket restaurants. There were lots of pubs too, but we could only visit the ones with outside seating because we couldn’t take our little son inside! Anyway, Jersey makes for a lovely quiet family holiday. It’s not a place for a wild time, but if you are after a fairly cheap holiday with fantastic scenery, lovely weather and good clean beaches – then Jersey is ideal. I thoroughly enjoyed it and would definitely go back for another short holiday.
We have just returned from seven days in Jersey and must go back there at some time - soon. It was so relaxing, we stayed in St Helier at the Metropole with half board. Hotel was spot on, food excellent, staff friendly and ever helpful, rooms spotless. The weather was superb, sunny for the most part with the odd shower now and again, but it makes a change from constant sun I think. We hired a car for three days for £70 or thereabouts and explored the island at liesure. There are so many features to describe I would need a book to tell you about them all, but here are some. Beaches, yes, there are several good ones and never did I see one crowded. You could simply take your pick where you wished to soak up the sun. Clean sand, unpolluted and sheltered areas if you needed them. Coves, loads of them and very picturesque, you could take ages to explore these if you wanted to. Places to visit, wow, Lavender Centre was a must, fragrance in a bottle but you could walk the lavender fields and see as well as take in the scent. The Zoo was fantastic and had a main theme of conservation. They re-introduce caprive spieces back into the wild after successful breeding and this is their aim. They have some Echo Parakeets of which there are only 40 or so left in the world. No visit to Jersey is complete without a visit to the German Underground Hospital, A huge complex of wartime tunnels. Full of history and - oh, you just have to see it. There are countless forts and WW11 fortifications dotted all around the island and the best way to see them is simply by driving around and discovering them yourself. Driving is a pleasure, a rare comment nowdays, but nevertheless true. Drive at 25 or even 30 mph and you will not be pressurised by other motorists to move over, go faster or blast you with the horn. Quite the opposite, people drive courteously and give way for you if you
need to pull out into the road. There is none of the rush asscociated with city life at all. Just about all shopping is done in St Hellier, there is nowhere else. Other areas have the small corner shop and that is about it. Oh, and the shops close at 5:00pm. Night life is limited to the pubs and similar but I think a drive to a pub inland might be good. All in all a brilliant holiday and only 50 minutes flight from Leeds Bradford. We will go again Oh, the cost? £350 per person for seven days half board.
I went to Jersey about 4 years ago for the first time. I was about 13 and it was the furthest id ever been on holiday before! So as far as I was concerned - we were going abroad! (Which I know is not strictly the case....but hey - you cant blame a girl for trying!!) We sailed from Portsmouth (I think!) on the fast ferry...which was great in itself. Because id not been on such a long journey before! (Good job I dont get sea sick I suppose!) Firstly id advice anyone considering going to any of the Channel Islands, to definately travel on the fast ferry. As even though it was fast, it still took about 4 hours, maybe more, cant remember. Also Id advice anyone to go on an early morning sailing, as common sense tells you - if you sail at 12 noon you've wasted a day of your holiday! The only disavantage of sailing early is having to get up early. We live in Wales, and so seen as we needed to get down South by something like 5, but had to be an hour early so about 4...we were absolutely shattered by the time we got onto Jersey! That had to be the worst part of the holiday. As id not experienced anything like that before - I just hadnt realised what it does to your brain! I didnt know whether I was coming or going, or what day it was! Normal I know, but at the time it was well weird! Having said all that id do it again! After sleeping for a few hours, and then realising that it was still the Saturday! I started enjoying the holiday! Now onto Jersey itself. Its the largest of the Channel Islands, and its the furthest South. Not far off France, so the weather is much better than in Wales! (Or it was for the fortnight we were there). The weather was beautiful. Infact id not experienced weather so hot! It got to 31'C at one point....just that little too hot but cant complain! We didnt have rain at all and it was beautiful every single day. Infact it was the first (and only!) time ive come back off a holid
ay and had people comment on my tan!! I got comments like "wow, you're brown? Where did you go this year?" Hehe! Never had that before...not had it since either but there we go! Now onto the attractions of the Island. You simply HAVE to visit the Zoo. Now im a serious animal lover - so no matter where we go on holiday - I just have to drag my parents round another Zoo! But it is worth a visit. Its a brilliant Zoo. Other than that I can remember going round some kind of Nazi War time thing (dad's idea!) Now I cant moan...I did drag them round the Zoo. I was only 12-13 ish...so I really didnt want to go down this tunnel to see all about the war. Having said that people really seemed to enjoy it (including my dad) and I have to confess...it wasnt AS boring as you'd expect. Its a bit depressing, but it is educational...and theres a good cafe there!! - one tip if you do decide to go there....take a coat. It was gorgeous outside. So me and my shorts, and t-shirt - nice and warm - 29'C ish outside....absolutely fleeing inside! Honest!! So take a coat just incase!! We stayed in a hotel in St Helier (which is the capital of Jersey). Its a lovely town. Nicely layed out, some decent shops. Good cafe's aswell! I advice anyone to try the shops on the front (try them all because I cant remember which one it was!), and try the cafe's upstairs...the sausage rolls in one of them are to die for....honestly!! It was my first "abroad" experience (well only...as yet!) as people in shops do speak French and you drive totally differntly to here (not for people who like to go over 30mph!) - and also dont bring a caravan - you're not allowed them there!! The only disadvantage with Jersey is the fact that there isnt really THAT much to do there, for example one thing we noticed was the fact that there were no arcades to go into. So maybe if you've got younger kids its not ideal. All in all its well worth a visit. Hope you get the weather!
I went to Jersey a few years ago now but it is a place that I would love to return to. It is a very small island and you can basically see the whole island in a day by car, but there are many places to visit that will keep you entertained for hours. One such place is called the Shell Garden where, as the name indicates, everything is made out of shells (a miniture church etc) - really beautiful. I went there on a family holiday and we stayed in St. Helier's. This is perhaps the best place to stay! The weather is slightly better than that of England - we went during the first part of summer. The island has a French influence which makes a short break slightly different from just travelling somewhere in England. Ofcourse there's VAT-free shopping to be done over there so remember to take your money with you! Flights and accomodation are not really expensive - i'm sure your local travel agents or online travel sites will be able to show you a few deals. If you enjoy seafood you'll find some lovely little cafes that do wonderful seafood salads at a very reasonable price... If you're looking for somewhere to go for a weekend break I would suggest you try Jersey. I just wish I had the time and extra money to return there!
"Have you got any armaments?" was the question that greeted us as we stepped on Jersey soil for the first time - certainly a novel greeting in a holiday destination! Jersey, of course, has a reputation as a playground of the rich, upper-class and famous. And judging by the shiny BMWs; Landrovers and sports cars that were lined up alonside our battered Cavalier on the ferry, that reputation was not misplaced. As we alighted on the island Jersey Customs and Immigration officers seemed to think all their birthdays and Christmases has come at once! Owing to a recent 'outing' with local joyriders our Cavalier was more battered than usual; I was wearing a Dead Kennedys t-shirt and my partner and I had strange coloured hair - we stuck out like a proverbial sore thumb and the glint in the eyes of the uniformed officers as a dozen of them waved everyone else past was unmistakeable. The question about armaments drew a rather blank look from yours truly; 'have you brought any firearms - like guns?' the officer helpfully continued. When he received a reply in the negative the questioning turned to drugs - and an astonishingly painstaking search of the car ensued. Some two hours later the officers were most disgruntled to have found nothing more incriminating than an old cigarette lighter - but they had the last laugh on the weirdos who had dared to venture to their salubrious island - they gave us completely the wrong directions to our hotel! That little tale rather says soemthing, I think, about the tone of this island; a territory which demands you have at least 10million in the bank before it'll even consider letting you live there. But that doesn't make it an unsuitable holiday destination for anyone looking for an easy, accessible, relaxing or interesting vacation - far from it. My reason for wanting to go here was to visit the Jersey Wildlife Trust in Trinity. Founded by dear departed
naturalist Gerald Durrell some 50 years ago; this haven for endangered species really is a model of how all zoos could, and certainly should be. I've been there a dozen or so times now and I think it's a must for all wildlife lovers - there are species here, such as the Madagascan aye-aye that can't be seen anywhere else (in fact your chances of spotting one even in Madagascar are pretty remote!). There are numerous species, from the gorgeous and friendly lion-headed tamarinds to the massive gorillas that romp in a huge open compound - all are there because they are in danger of dying out; all are involved in careful captive breeding programmes to try and ensure their survival. So what else is there in Jersey? SHOPPING With no VAT Jersey is a shoppers' paradise. Even mundane goods (I always stock up on Woolies plimsols for example!) are cheaper than the UK mainland; while the well-off nature of many residents and visitors ensures shops are well stocked with exclusive designer goodies - albeit of the 'classic' variety. Jersey is not the place to buy your cutting edge Versace! STAYING THERE On one trip we 'treated' ourselves to a stay at the De Vere Grand Hotel. Don't bother. It's overpriced and nothing special. And some of the food is quite, absolutely, atrocious! Other stays have seen us in mid-priced hotels none of which stand out for being especially good or bad. There's not much in the way of bargain-basement accommodation and the few camp sites are quite expensive. The best deals for bargain hunters seem to be the package deals featuring local b&bs. GETTING AROUND You need a car. The capital, St Helier, doesn't have enoguh attractions for more than a weekend and you really don't want to miss some of the breathtaking scenery around the island. Having once negotiated Jersey's very very narrow roads in the Cavalier, I now always hire the smallest ca
r I can when I visit the island. Handy when it comes to parking too - which is a mjaor problem in parts of the island (make sure your accommodation includes parking if you stay in St Helier). STUFF TO DO Jersey is an absolute dream for people who enjoy walking; hiking and beautiuful scenery. If you go out of the main season you will have some remarkable beaches and coves all to yourself. (Budgie owners - take plastic bags - many beaches are covered with the skeletons of cuttlefish - you could stock up on a lifetime's worth!) There's also a whole host of historical sites and attractions including the 11th Century church at St. Brelade, Grosnez Castle at St. Ouen and Mont Orgueil Castle, apparently a favourite of Walter Raleigh, at St. Martin GETTING THERE Planes are plentiful from many UK airports; ferries are the cheapest and the catamarans offer a mid-priced, quicker, alternative. You don't need a passport. Further info: www.jerseyhols.com is a very comprehensive resource (albeit written in such dull terms that I'm not convinced they actually want any tourists - did we really want to know all about their electricity stations?) Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by Jersey on my first visit and it remains one of my favourite spring/autumn get-away-from-it-all destinations
Do you fancy a holiday but do not like the thought of sitting around the airports for hours on end? Then why not visit Jersey, one of the Channel Islands. The flights are short from your nearest regional airport. The welcome you receive on your arrival is wonderful. The Island caters for all age groups and offers something for everyone. Being closer to France than England the weather is much milder and their sunshine rate is excellent. There are all types of accommodation on offer from 5* hotels to self -catering apartments and campsites. The key word is ‘cleanliness,’ the Island seems to pride itself in being a litter free zone with the residents taking pride with their properties displaying many floral areas. Shopping can be a lot cheaper than here as there is no V.A.T. Jewellery, watches perfume and electrical items can all be found at excellent prices. For those of you who enjoy their nightlife there are many pubs, clubs, discos etc to try and for those who prefer a quieter life they are many options available for you too! If you have a family a wonderful hotel that I would not hesitate to recommend would be ‘The Merton Hotel’, a Seymour hotel offering something for everyone. Our family have returned to it for the last 5 years and each year it seems to offer something better than the last. The food is something to dream about and the aquadome is exceptional. All in all I would advise anyone looking for either a short break or more to give Jersey a try, it certainly hasn’t disappointed us yet.