Peaceful, pure and the picture of paradise – Jersey is the place to be this summer
Escape the chaos of everyday life to relax beside the calming shores of the Jersey beach and revel in the beautiful sights of the island’s most precious creatures and landscapes. 9 by 5 miles wide, the island is known for its medieval castles, delicious sea food and wonderfully sunny climate. The island sits just 14km east of the French coast and, though it may be small, it is home to a wide range of ecosystems and indigenous animals unique to the island.
What to do
Perhaps the most memorable thing about the island is the sealife. The glorious bottlenose dolphins that patrol the waters are not to be missed. You may wish to take a widely offered Seafari, however local expert and photographer John Ovenden, who is passionate about the preservation of dolphins in their natural habitat, believes the best way to enjoy them is to experience them undisturbed and without commercialising the experience. John is an immensely talented nature, landscape and sporting photographer who has spent years building bonds with the island sea creatures. This article features some of his most incredible photos capturing life on the island and is a tribute to his talent and dedication to these magnificent creatures.
Comprised over 130 endangered species, Jersey Zoo is a fun and fact-filled attraction for all the family to enjoy that homes some of the most unusual creatures on the Island. The stunning 32-acre park is the world’s first ever conservation-themed zoo and more than two-thirds of the 1,500 mammals, birds, amphibians and reptiles that are homed on the grounds were bred on the park itself. And, if at the end of the day you just don’t want the fun to stop, the Durrell Wildlife Hostel and Durrell Wildlife Camp offer exclusive overnight glamping experiences set in the grounds of the park.
Jersey’s rich and varied landscape makes it the perfect place for those looking to explore. From discovering the colourful designs in the Samarès Manor Botanical gardens to dipping your feet into the waters of Jersey’s magnificent seascape, the possibilities are endless. With some of the most spectacular medieval architecture shaping the skyline, a trip to the castles of Jersey is a must on the holiday bucket list. The Mont Orgueil, Elizabeth and Grosnez castles are available to visit in Gorey, St Helier and St Ouen.
A trip to Jersey is also the perfect excuse to get on your bike and test-ride the challenging but scenic cycling routes. A perfect mild climate and varied terrain makes trail blazing this island a pure joy. There are many cycle hire shops scattered across Jersey but if you prefer to come fully equipped, the island has a diverse range of cycle routes ranging from beginner to advanced level. With the island’s reduced speed limits and stunning scenery, it really is the ideal location to discover via two wheels.
As for the adrenaline junkies and thrill seekers out there, Sports centres across the island offer a wide range of water sports and activities to get involved in. You can go wakeboarding, surfing, kayaking and jet-skiing to name but a few exciting things to get up to in Jersey! With centres set up in St Aubin, Gorey and St Brelades Bay, there is the opportunity to take on the waters in your own jet-ski, in a banana boat with the rest of the family, or enjoy a game of beach volleyball or beach football from the side-lines.
Where to eat
The Hungry Man kiosk located along the harbour wall of Rozel Bay dishes up some of jersey’s finest al fresco dining cuisine. It’s cheap and cheerful menu ranges from a good old-fashioned seaside scampi and chips to delicious homemade cakes and pastries – there’s something for all the family! The Hungry Man is a unanimous favourite amongst both locals and visitors of the island and, needless to say, it’s the perfect pit stop on your journey exploring the island.
For a finer dining experience, the Ocean restaurant comes highly recommended by holiday goers as well as locals. With a wide range of mouth-watering meals across their breakfast, lunch and dinner menus, this establishment perfectly combines all the elegant components of high end cuisine with the breath-taking views St Ouen’s bay has on offer to create a sensational dining experience.
Boathouse – At the heart of St Aubin, the Boathouse restaurant boasts a modern décor and brilliant ambiance as well as a newly refurbished upper deck perfect for admiring the beautiful landscape of jersey whilst you tuck in to your tasty meal. Its menu features meals to suit any occasion, whether it calls for a flame grilled steak or a signature seabass dish, the Boathouse restaurant is the place to be.
How to get there
Fly – With a wide range of departure locations all over the UK, you can fly to Jersey in absolutely no time. Whether it’s from Nottingham or Edinburgh, Glasgow or Exeter, a short 40 minute flight means there’s just enough time to put your feet up and enjoy a glass of bubbly before you arrive to explore the island.
Ferry – Or, if flying is not your forte, there is the option to get there by ferry. You can depart from docks in Poole and Portsmouth to head straight to St Hellier on an overnight journey or an afternoon sail.
Where to stay
Luxury – For those looking to splash the cash, £225 a night can land you a heavenly stay in one of St Helier’s most lavish manors. Equipped with fresh fruit and flowers, bespoke luxury robes and extraordinary entertainment systems, a suite at Longueville Manor provides the perfect ending to a delightful day of exploring Jersey. This five star hotel is credited for its incredibly attentive and professional service, top class restaurant menu and 18 acre grounds which home a multitude of first class facilities such as a tennis court, a croquet lawn, an outdoor pool and a detached spa with one treatment room, a fitness centre and quiet garden with a spa pool.
Mid-range – If you’re saving some of that extra cash to test the best dishes Jersey has to offer, or maybe take on some water sports on St Brelades beach, The Windmills Hotel offers all the luxuries of a pricey resort for a reasonable price. Make sure to book a seaview room for the best views over St Brelades bay, and make the most of the lovely local shops and restaurants in St Brelades town.
Affordable – Alternatively, the excellent offers on at The Maison Gorey Hotel means you can do Jersey on a budget. Located just minutes away from the nearest beach and a bus ride away from St Hellier, the hotel offers all the amenities you will need for a pleasant stay on the island at an affordable price and in an ideal location.