Island guide: the joys of Jersey

Jersey is the perfect spot for the discerning holidaymaker. Check out our guide to find out why...
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Island guide: Jersey
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Island guide: the joys of Jersey

Well, there are the stunning beaches for starters. From popular, family-friendly sweeping sands to secluded coves, Jersey has a variety for you to choose from. Surf or sunbathe at St. Ouen’s Bay, or, to see one of Jersey’s most beautiful beaches, head to Plemont Bay (pictured) on the north coast, which is only exposed when the tide is out. There are rock pools, sea caves and the sea is safe for bathing – one for all sea and sand lovers.

Beauport is another delightful beach, but it's best out of season. Being surrounded by cliffs and facing south, it can attract a crowd. St. Brelade’s Bay gets busy but don’t let that discourage you from visiting as it offers long hours of sunshine, lots of activities and sports and it’s one of Jersey’s most picturesque coastlines. Other beautiful beaches include Bonne Nuit, Gorey and AnnePort.

Aaah, the views. Take a trip to the south-west corner to discover the Corbiere Lighthouse. It's connected to the coast and when the tide is out a causeway is revealed for you to visit (but be sure to listen out for the alarm warning that tells you when the tide is rising!). On the east of Jersey lies the pretty village of Gorey with Mont Orgueil Castle (pictured) towering over its harbour – twisting staircases and hidden treasure await you inside.

There are plenty of sports in and out of water and activities available. Blokarting (wind-powered go-karting) is big in Jersey and a fun beach activity that anyone from the age of seven to 80 can enjoy! Absolute Adventures (pictured) offers sessions at £25 for an hour and 15 minutes per person.

Adventure junkies should try coasteering, which involves rock climbing, cliff jumping and swimming all in one go. The kids will love rock pool rambles, so they can discover the creatures that live in the sea. Popular water sports in Jersey include surfing, wakeboarding, kayaking windsurfing.

Eating out is a reak experience - whether you stop at a beach café or a top-notch restaurant as you’re sure to find the catch of the day and locally-sourced ingredients on the menu. Beach diners include Big Vern’s, where you can have a full breakfast and a view of the sea, and Watersplash with its Seafood Bunny Chow speciality (that's mixed seafood in cream served in a bread bun)!

Oysters, mussels, crabs, scallops, sea bass and sole are all caught off Jersey’s coast, so tasting the seafood is a must. Oyster Box on St. Brelade's Bay is one of the best places to try it. Corbiere Phare Restaurant offers reasonably priced dishes and has breathtaking views of the Corbiere Lighthouse. For fine dining, the Michelin-starred Ocean Restaurant allows you to taste the culinary delights of head chef Mark Jordan, who uses the best of Jersey’s local ingredients from coast to countryside.

From flowers and antiques to vegetables and jewellery, you’ll find everything in St. Helier’s Central Market (pictured), which dates back to Victorian times and still retains its old charm with a glass roof, pretty central fountain and elaborate pillars. The Fish Market is also fascinating and a good place to see an array of freshly-caught seafood. True shopaholics should head to Liberty Wharf for its high street stores, independent boutiques and cafés. On the island's east side is Jersey Pottery, where you can pick up some beautiful ceramics and even paint your own.

After dark most of the activity in Jersey takes place in St. Helier. Café Zephyr (pictured) at the Royal Yacht Hotel is the place to be seen and one of the few bars open until late. It has a heated outside area, a stylish interior and delicious cocktails on its extensive drinks menu. Bohemia Bar & Restaurant at the The Club Hotel & Spa has a chic drinking area and roof terrace for summer evenings. There are also plenty of pubs and bars around like the bar at The Boat House, but most close at 11pm. Clubbers can find the best places for dancing on the Esplanade in St.Helier.

There are plenty of entertaining events that take place across the island throughout the year. The Battle of Flowers is a spectacular carnival in August with a parade of floral floats, dancers and entertainers. It extends to the Moonlight Parade, where the floats are illuminated by thousands of lights to create a magical scene. Festival lovers can take to the Jersey Live Festival in September. The likes of Snow Patrol, Basement Jaxx and Razorlight have graced its stage in the past. The International Air Display (pictured) in September is a fun and free day out for all and the Christmas festival La Fete de Noue is an enchanting display of parades, street entertainment and a Christmas market.

Take a trip to Lavender Farm, where you can learn the process of extracting an essential oil from lavender. There's also the Eric Young Orchid Foundation with more than 20,000 species of orchids and the lush Gardens of Samares Manor.

Watch the sunset. You’ll get great views from La Corbiere and St Ouen’s Bay.

Marvel at Jersey’s quirky attractions – the Shell Garden houses millions of shells from all around the world, La Hougie Bie is a Neolithic tomb dating back more than 5,500 years and the Jersey War Tunnels is where you can learn about the island’s difficult history.

Enjoy the outdoors. Take a picnic in the countryside or on the beach, walk or cycle to get around and explore the island’s nature. You may spot a lizard, rabbit or squirrel along your path!

Whether you want a country manor house, a stylish waterside hotel or a cosy lodge as your base, there’s something for every guest in Jersey. The Radisson Blu Waterfront Hotel has great views of St Helier’s marina, Les Ormes’ cedar wood lodges and villas are perfect for a self-catering family trip and The Atlantic Hotel (pictured) boasts luxury, a secluded location and a Michelin-starred restaurant. L’Horizon Hotel & Spa is ideally set on the gorgeous St. Brelade’s Bay and the Somerville Hotel overlooks the harbour and pretty village of St. Aubin - so you never have to be too far from the beach!

Arrive on the island from mainland UK in under an hour by air or up to four hours by boat with Condor Ferries. EasyJet, British Airways and Blue Islands all fly to Jersey. Taxis are pricey so it's a good idea to hire a car on arrival. Hertz has a range of cars that you can pick up from the airport.
Jersey is very cycle friendly - exploring the island by bike is a great option, with many hire shops available. The Green Lanes are country roads that have a speed limit of 15 mph and are perfect for travelling around by bike or foot. The island is also a walker’s paradise, with dramatic cliff tops on the north coast, sandy beaches on the south coast and the interior’s woodland providing a varied landscape for your feet!

Sitting in the Bay of Mont St.Michel, 100 miles south of Great Britain and just 14 miles from the west coast of France, Jersey is neither part of the EU or the UK. It has a distinctive atmosphere all of its own, and offers a unique culture. With its deserted coves, luxurious hotels and gourmet food, its delights are not to be missed...

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