This castle sheltered King Charles II in the English Civil War, before being fortified under German occupation in World War II.
Since the late 1500s, the imposing Elizabeth Castle has reigned over the rocky tidal island just west of St. Helier. It rises above St. Aubin’s Bay, with its battlements and gunfire demonstrations serving as reminders of Jersey’s military history. Tour the castle to understand its extensive past, including its time sheltering a monarch from parliamentarians. Piece together its surprising history via reenactments and exhibits.
Wander through the hidden rooms, halls and passageways in the castle, using an audio guide for context. Pick up a guide book and read about the complex’s eclectic history. It was named for Elizabeth I and constructed on the site of a ruined abbey. Charles II lived here during the short period in the 1600s when England had no monarchy.
Clamber up the battlements and scurry between the turrets and bunkers. Be amazed by the Midday Parade with its cannon show. The War and Peace display and Granite and Gunpowder exhibit trace the island’s military past.
As well as the castle, discover the other attractions of the islet. Appreciate the glorious vista of St. Aubin’s Bay and the rest of Jersey from the summit of the islet’s Mount. Visit the St. Helier Hermitage, where St. Helier himself is said to have lived in the 6th century.
Enjoy hot beverages and snacks in the café and buy souvenirs from the gift shop. Back on mainland Jersey, take photos of the castle, a historic beacon standing tall on its tiny island.
When you pay for your castle visit consider a deal that includes a boat ride across. Kids and students get discounts, while children under the age of 6 have free access. The site is open from mid March to early November from morning through late afternoon. Parties and corporate events can be organized in the castle.
Elizabeth Castle stands on the tidal island of l’Islet just off the coast of St. Helier. Access it via a causeway from the main island at low tide or cross the water in an amphibious ferry.
Nearby sights include Aqua Splash, the South Hill Gardens and the Waterfront Gardens.