Jersey forms part of the Channel Islands, sitting in the English Channel only 14 miles from the coats of France. It offers a unique blend of British and French influences resulting in an island that’s close to home but miles away. With a flight time of just over 2 hours, you can board conveniently in Aberdeen and be in Jersey in time for a late dinner by the sea. Imagine a week of waking up to views of sea and sky, with the promise of bright and breezy beach walks in Jersey’s sunlight. Or finding a choice of spaces to unwind from bars and restaurants to beach cafes, natural swimming spots to sanctuary-style spas to relax in. Relax, revive, revitalise, this is the motto of any visit to the beautiful island of Jersey.
Just nine miles by five, Jersey’s size makes it easy to fit plenty into a week’s holiday. With history on your doorstep, heritage sites to seek out and miles of beaches and bays to explore, the hardest thing is deciding how you’ll spend your time. Explore, experience and take time to relax in Jersey’s fresh sea air and rich natural landscape. Choose your own island experience from boutique hotels, beachside guesthouses and hotels alive with entertainment.
You’re never more than 10 minutes from the sea and with 43.5 miles of stunning coastline around the island, there is always a beach that will be a perfect fit for the activities you have in mind and the special people you take along for the adventure. The south coast beaches offer the perfect conditions for building a golden sandcastle and enjoying the clear shallow waters with your family. St Brelade’s Bay offers the classic sunbathing spot while Portelet and Beauport have sheltered hideaway coves. For the more active there is St Ouen’s Bay spanning the west coast and flanked by white dunes and frequented by surfers and walkers. It also offers the most perfect summer’s evening sunset spot. And there are of course the tiny harbours along the north coast where hidden sheltered bays like Bone Nuit and Rozel emerge from the undulating cliffs high above offering walkers points refuge and cafes full of cream teas.
Jersey has a long and varied history from the mammoths of the Ice Age to the more recent WWII Occupation. There are some great attractions that tell the island’s story throughout the ages and here are a few of the best:
The Coin Hoard, Le Hougue Bie
In 2012 two metal detecorists found the world’s largest ever Celtic coin hoard and the largest ever collection of these high status objects ever found in Europe with nearly 70,000 coins and eleven gold torques plus a good amount of fossilised bugs and beasties. Examples from the collection are on display at the site of La Hougue Bie, in itself one of the ten oldest buildings in the world.
Mont Orgueil Castle
Mont Orgueil is one of the world’s finest examples of a medieval castle. It stands tall and proud over the beautiful fishing village of Gorey as it has for the last 800 years. While you explore the castle, take in breath-taking views of the French coast as you delve into the network of staircases, towers and secret rooms to discover hidden treasures.
Jersey War Tunnels
The Channel Islands were the only part of the British Isles to fall into enemy hands, when they were occupied by German forces between 1940 and 1945. Many of the coastal military zones and inland sites are still visible to this day. One of best ways to hear the real stories of Jersey during the German Occupation is in the Jersey War Tunnels Museum. There you will discover a story you will never forget – the hardship, heartache and heroism in the words of the people who were there. One of the best ways to get there is by vintage bus with an historical commentary en-route.
As a small island famous for its food, Jersey’s bursting with flavour from abundant local produce and rich creamy milk to seafood straight from the island’s clear waters. From beach cafes to chic restaurants, farm stalls to village delis, Jersey is packed with amazing eating experiences to add an authentic local flavour to your stay. Just bring a healthy appetite and you’ll be in holiday heaven.
Take advantage of this food heritage and treat yourself to a meal at one of the island’s leading restaurants. From the gastronomic magic of a Michelin-starred menu at Bohemia or Samphire, to the simple perfection of freshly caught Jersey lobster by the sea at the outdoor BBQ at Faulkner Fisheries in the wind swept St Ouen’s Bay.
Walking in Jersey can be as relaxed or as energetic as you are. From a gentle stroll along the flat and wide St Aubin's Bay promenade, to an invigorating hike up and down the cliff paths of the north coast, there is something to suit everyone. For a truly unique walking experience, time your visit to coincide with one of Jersey Walk Adventures’ regular ‘Moon Walks’ across the fascinating south coast seabed. The tidal range in Jersey is dramatic, and seabed walks must only be undertaken with a qualified and professional guide.
Jersey has a great selection of high street favourites in and around St Helier’s pretty main street, King Street, and many of these offer VAT free shopping. However, leave yourself some time to wander through the traditional and colourful Central and Beresford Street markets and beyond and you’ll find yourself lost in a criss-cross of streets with independent boutiques and local shops where you can pick up unique souvenirs. For more quirky finds, head around the bay to St Aubin where antique shops, local markets and art galleries offer plenty of treasure-hunting opportunities.