Picture by Petr Kratochvil

The largest of the Channel Islands, Jersey is surrounded by smaller islands and reefs. It has a unique combination of British and European influences, giving it a distinctive, laid-back cultural flavour of its own.

With mild weather similar to the South Coast of the UK, it’s an ideal holiday spot and boasts plenty of self-catering accommodation, from beachside apartments to holiday cottages.

 

Jersey Beach Life

Whether it’s beach life, surfing, walking and the rugged outdoors, or just enjoying the scenery accompanied by great food and drink, Jersey offers a wide variety of ways to enjoy yourself.

At St Ouen’s Bay, on the island’s west coast, wait for the golden hour, as the sun sets and lights up the view. Relax in the iconic Watersplash beach bar and diner and experience this natural display of breathtaking beauty.

This side of Jersey is ideal for surfing, with strong Atlantic swells. Swimmers should be careful with the strong currents though.

Further north, there are more sheltered bays, such as the tiny fishing harbour of Bonne Nuit, ideal for picnics. Bouley Bay’s deep waters are great for experienced swimmers, and Greve de Lecq is one of the north coast’s most popular beaches, with its rockpools, sheltered sandy expanse, cafes and pubs.

To the east is the Long Beach at Grouville Bay, a longstanding local favourite with its extended stretch of sand and children’s playground.

On the south coast, Beauport is a lovely south-facing, sheltered beach with shallow, turquoise water, while Portelet Bay is similarly sheltered. St Brelade’s Bay is popular, busy and a great family destination with its beachside activities, seaside eateries and safe swimming. Also, look out for the lovely art deco-style outdoor pool at Havre des Pas, which gets filled daily by the incoming tide.

Explore Jersey’s Heritage

Relaxation aside, Jersey is rich in historical associations and has an intriguing cultural heritage that’s well worth exploring, when you tire of the tide and the sunlounger.

A powerful remnant of the German occupation during the Second World War, the War Tunnels were dug deep into the hillside of the island using forced labour. They are now the site of a series of exhibitions that tell the story of the island’s occupation and liberation. The Jersey War Tunnels are north of St Helier, accessible by car, public transport or on guided tours.

La Corbiere is at the extreme south western point of Jersey, and it is on this rugged piece of coastline that you’ll find La Corbiere Lighthouse. The lighthouse was built in 1873 and switched on the following year. It was the first lighthouse in the British Isles to be made of reinforced concrete. At a height of 35 feet, its light can be seen at a distance of 18 miles on a clear day.

Another of Jersey’s iconic landmark buildings is its Opera House, first built in 1865, then rebuilt and reopened in 1900 following a fire. The building hosts plays, operas and ballets. It is designed with an Edwardian horseshoe-style auditorium, and its lobby has an impressive chandelier comprising over 10,000 pieces.

In the 1920s, the shipping magnate Sir James Knott created the Botanic Gardens in the grounds of Samares Manor, east of St Helier. The gardens have a glorious display of unique plant life, along with a museum dedicated to rural life.

Overlooking the harbour of Gorey, Mont Orgueil Castle was originally built to protect Jersey from French invasion some 600 years ago. With its network of towers, turrets, staircases and hidden rooms, the castle is a great place to explore, and it provides great views across the harbour from the battlements.
Whether it’s exploration, culture or sun and sand you seek, Jersey has plenty to offer, while retaining an underlying sense of unhurried relaxation.