Jersey holidays

Experience Jersey

Experience [destination]

Best Places to Visit

Jersey's Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust has one mission: to save species from extinction. Founded over 50 years ago by conservationist and author Gerald Durrell, it holds a variety of species including gorillas, bears, flamingos, orangutans and boas. It is situated in the beautiful grounds of Les Augres Manor.

The Jersey War Tunnels date from WWII, when the Channel Islands, including Jersey, were occupied by the Germans. They were dug by prisoners of war who were held in appalling conditions. Set in St. Lawrence, the tunnels are thought-provoking at the very least and were never used for their original purpose of protecting the occupation forces.

The amphibious Castle Ferry is a fun way to explore the island's pleasant coastline, travelling to and from Elizabeth Castle. Whether it's on land or in the water, the vehicle offers scenic views of the coastline and there's a commentary pointing out interesting landmarks.

La Mare Wine Estate is set in a quiet corner of the Parish of St Mary. It is located within an 18th century farm house and is known for its famous Jersey apple brandy, as well as its award-winning wines. Tours include the winery and vineyards and, of course, tasting sessions.

aMaizin! Adventure Park in St. Peter is one of the most popular attractions for family visitors to the island. Children of all ages will love the go-kart track, gold mine, toboggan run, dinosaur dig and labyrinth of corn. The Barnyard is a great hit, with children able to milk a cow and interact with other farmyard animals here.

St. Aubin, formerly a fishing village, is one of the prettiest villages on the island. Set on a charming harbour, it features traditional, beautifully-kept homes and little winding streets that take visitors back in time. St Aubin's Bay is a long stretch of sandy beach which connects the harbour to St. Helier Harbour.

Jersey Maritime Museum celebrates the island's long association with deep-sea fishing and seafaring, and unusually, encourages visitors to touch the exhibits. Modern interactive displays combine with exhibits, giving a glimpse into Jersey's impressive maritime heritage. The museum is ideal for families.

Top Landmarks

Jersey's top landmarks include several castles, with Elizabeth Castle one of the best. Once home to famous mariner and explorer Sir Walter Raleigh, the castle was named after England's Queen Elizabeth I and was a refuge for King Charles II during England's Civil War. Close-by is the Hermitage, which is reputed to have been home to Saint Helier in the 6th century.

Mont Orgueil Castle looms on a headland which overlooks the sea, and has protected the island from invasion by the French for 600 years. Secret rooms, hidden stairways, towers and battlements, and a cellar hosting a witchcraft exhibition are all here and, in the summer season, falconry displays, costumed Living History events and more give a taste of the past.

Jersey Museum takes visitors through a history spanning 250,000 years. Here, visitors can also see an art display by leading surrealist, Claude Cahun, as well as a collection of his personal material.

Just offshore from St. Brelade's Bay is La Corbiere Lighthouse. Built in the 1870s, it is one of the better known Jersey landmarks. Saint Aubin's Fort lies offshore from Saint Aubin's Bay and can be reached on foot at low tide, while the ruins of Grosnez Castle are adjacent to the Le Pinacle rock - a place of worship for many thousands of years.

Entertainment

Nightlife in Jersey is centred around its main town, Saint Helier, with a good choice of pubs, bars and at least 15 nightclubs. Although Saint Helier isn't exactly Las Vegas, there's enough going on to satisfy visiting night owls and music fanatics, even if it's just an evening spent in a local restaurant and a visit to a bar afterwards.

The harbour and marina area around the Esplanade are upscale, with cocktail bars and bistros giving great sunset views, with many bars and pubs in the town offering live music on weekends. The nightclubs stay open until 02:30am, while pubs and bars close at 23:00pm.

Saint Helier has two cinemas, the CineCentre in the Hotel de France and the Forum in Bath Street, both of which screen the latest movies. The Jersey Film Festival, and theoutdoor Sure Film Festival in Howard Davis Park offer an eclectic selection of screen delights. Dining and dancing are on offer in many of the restaurants, with sports games available on TVs across the island.

Jersey Opera House in Saint Helier offers regular performances, covering dance, theatre and concerts. Its spaces include the opera auditorium, a studio theatre and a bar and cafe. The Jersey Arts Centre also holds performances and events, with the large auditorium at Gloucester Hall in Fort Regent, hosting orchestral concerts and dance spectaculars.

Dining Out

Jersey is famous for its quality seafood, most of which is freshly caught at Saint Helier's harbour. Local specialities include sea bass, plaice, lobster, crab and oysters.

The island has a fine choice of restaurants, from Michelin-starred through bistros and local eateries, the majority of which are found in and around Saint Helier. Outside the main town, fine dining outlets are found in traditional farmhouses and other heritage buildings.

Jersey's cuisine shows strong French influences, with gourmet restaurants a popular choice for locals and visitors alike. Black butter, made from cider and combined with spices like liquorice, lemon, sugar and apples, is a unique Jersey delicacy.

For serious foodies and a chance to walk off those extra calories, a guided gourmet walk is just the thing. Here visitors can explore the island's wild west coastline and stunning cliff tops of the south.

Foodies will be in heaven at the Jersey Food Festival, celebrating the island's famous Jersey Royal potato, dairy produce and stunning seafood. The event is a showcase for restaurateurs, chefs and local farmers.

Beach

The coastline of Jersey is abundant in beautiful beaches, with those set outside the main tourist areas quiet in the high season and almost deserted during the rest of the year. Three favourites are Plemont Bay, St. Ouen's and St Brelade's Bay, all patrolled by trained lifeguards from May to September. There's a huge choice of water sports here, including jet-skiing, banana boat rides, kayaking, kite-surfing, paddle boarding, scuba diving and surfing. These are also great for children's games.

Romance

Jersey is the perfect place for a romantic break with your loved one, and it's just a short journey from the British mainland. Intimate fine dining venues, luxury spas and glorious countryside and coastal locations are all guaranteed to impress any couple. For a special treat, or even a wedding, luxury hotels on the island provide unrivalled relaxation in their spas and on their private beaches. Rural bed and breakfasts in Jersey's charming heritage villages offer couples on a budget some other options. Why not take a picnic to one of the many deserted beaches or walk along scenic country lanes?

Family

Jersey is one of the most family-friendly holiday destinations in the UK, and children are welcome in most places. From beaches with endless water sports, to hotels equipped with children's play areas and pools, Jersey is a favoured among families. For safe swimming, the south-eastern beaches are best as they slope gently and the sea is sparklingly clean. Jersey's great outdoors are ideal for children who enjoy walking and cycling with their parents, while the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Park makes for a great day out.

Adventure

Jersey has a fine reputation as a base for adventure activity holidays, providing adrenaline junkies with plenty of choices for cliff and rock-climbing, caving, abseiling, surfing and even learning to fly or glide. Power boating and sailing, as well as wake-boarding and deep-sea fishing, are popular with visitors. Skydiving is an amazing thrill here, with views of the entire island and the French coast on the way down. Saint Helier and its surroundings are home to most of the adventure activity operators, and the activities take place all over the island. 

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Need to know

Need to know [destination]

Language

The British Crown dependency of Jersey has two official languages, English and French. British English is its primary language, with French spoken by many islanders due to the island's historical connection and close proximity to France. A few residents still speak the ancient Jèrriais dialect of Norman French, which is different from Jersey Legal French used by the government for official documents and laws. Over the last century, Jèrriais has become less spoken, as English becomes the main language taught in Jersey's schools - however, there is still a want amongst Jersey people to keep the language alive.

Currency

The Jersey pound (JEP) and British pound (GBP) are the official currencies of Jersey. Jersey notes and coins, however, cannot be used in Britain, so it is advisable to change currency back to GBP before travelling back to the British mainland. Currency exchange is straightforward at banks, currency exchange outlets and post offices, and ATMs are found in all towns and most villages. ATMs are often found in pairs, one marked as Jersey currency and one marked as UK currency. Many shops and restaurants will be happy to provide change in GBP before tourists head back home, while airports are less likely to do so, due to many people making the same request.

Visas

Nationals of Great Britain and Ireland may enter Jersey visa-free on production of an identity card or passport, with the Channel Islands part of the Common Travel Area that includes these islands. EEA nationals can also enter with just a passport while nationals of other countries can normally enter if they hold a UK visa.

Climate

Jersey's climate, similar to that of southern England, is temperate, with cool summers and mild winters. The four seasons of spring, summer, autumn and winter follow the same pattern as on the UK mainland, with December and January the coldest and July and August the warmest months. However, weather on the island is less volatile than on the mainland, and summer sees more sunny days on average. In high summer, daytime temperatures often exceed 25°C, and even in mid-winter, the mercury stays at around 9°C.

Main Airports

Jersey Airport, located in St. Peter parish, is seven kilometres from the island's main town of Saint Helier. It's the island's main transport hub.

Flight Options

There are a number of carriers that offer flights from Jersey Airport to London Gatwick, London Luton, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Manchester, Sheffield, Newcastle, Aberdeen and Bristol airports. There are also services to Geneva and the neighbouring Channel Island of Guernsey. The average flight time from London to Jersey is around an hour.

Travel Advice

Budget carriers serve local airports across Britain, saving the need to travel to London. Advance bookings can result in bargains, especially out of the high season (May to September) and other popular times such as spring. Discounts are at their highest during the winter months, with the exception of Christmas and New Year holidays.

Other Transport Options

Several ports along the southern coastline of Britain offer high-speed ferries to Jersey, with Poole, Weymouth and Portsmouth the main departure ports. Crossing times vary from four hours for the fast ferries from Weymouth and Poole, to 10 hours for the ferries from Portsmouth.

Getting Around

In spite of Jersey's small size, it has many paved roads, meaning visitors can explore the island's magnificent coastline with ease. Driving here is safe as well, with the speed limit across the island just 40 mph. Two major bus routes cover the island, and taxis are affordable and convenient.

Bus

Jersey's two major bus routes are numbers 1 and 15, with number 1 covering the eastern part of the island and number 15 heading west. The routes run every 20 minutes during the day, but are less frequent at night, finishing at 23:30pm. All routes run from Saint Helier Bus Station and timetables vary according to the season. Bus travel is relatively inexpensive and the buses are modern and comfortable.

Air

Daily flights are available to neighbouring Guernsey, where ferries run from St. Peter Port to the feudal island of Sark.

Car

Driving is the most convenient way to get around the island. A choice of international car hire companies, as well as local firms, can be found at the airport and in Saint Helier. Petrol is cheaper here than in the UK. Valid UK licences are acceptable, and drivers must be at least 21 years old. Jersey drives on the left, and roads can be twisting and narrow in rural areas, although all roads are well-kept and the speed limit is low at 40 miles per hour.

MAP

JERSEY`S WEATHER TODAY

Mostly cloudy °C

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AVERAGE RAINFALL (mm)

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MONTHS

FACTS

  1. Jersey's land mass increases by an astounding third at low tide. The tidal movements here are one of the largest on the planet, rising and falling by approximately 40ft.
  2. The word 'Jersey' is commonly used for jumpers and other garments, as it originates from the use of Jersey wool.
  3. On the subject of knitting, men have been banned from knitting in Jersey during August and September since the 17th century. This is because crops were often left unharvested due to the amount of farmers who would rather be inside knitting.

FACTS

  1. Jersey's land mass increases by an astounding third at low tide. The tidal movements here are one of the largest on the planet, rising and falling by approximately 40ft.
  2. The word 'Jersey' is commonly used for jumpers and other garments, as it originates from the use of Jersey wool.
  3. On the subject of knitting, men have been banned from knitting in Jersey during August and September since the 17th century. This is because crops were often left unharvested due to the amount of farmers who would rather be inside knitting.

Holiday Types