With the daily demands of work and life ever increasing, the chance to get away on a short break is something we all treasure. We went over to Jersey in the Channel Islands to discover just what it had to offer for a few days escapism.
With a flight time of less than an hour and East Midlands airport so nearby to Leicestershire you can be out of your house, on the plane and landed in Jersey in no time at all! FlyBe run daily flights to the island and we were lucky enough to manage the journey in just 50 minutes!
Arriving in Jersey is such a strange concept; the money is English, the plugs are English but the street names are French. It’s like being in another country but with none of the hassle. Travelling along the beautiful coastline from the airport though, you’d soon think that you were on further shores than the UK’s own Channel Islands.
Situated just 14 miles off the coast of France, Jersey enjoys a sunny climate and the beaches rival those around the Europe. There’s excellent shopping in the capital St Helier, where swanky rooftop bars overlooking the harbour mix with traditional pubs and cafés serving jersey cream teas.
For our stay we were based in the town of Grouville at the Beachcombers Hotel, which offered us the perfect base for exploring the island. The hotel is perfectly situated for travelling between St Helier and other popular locations such as Gorey and St Martin. Comfortable rooms and a great breakfast choice set us up for the days of travelling around the island and had we had more time I’m certain we’d have had a dip in their outdoor pool too!
One tip when visiting Jersey – make sure you hire a car. The island is only 9 miles x 5 miles and a car will make it far easier for you to get around and see the real gems of Jersey, which could otherwise be missed!
On our first night we visited Gorey Pier for dinner, which was soon to become by favourite place in Jersey. Overlooked by the impressive looking St Orgeuil Castle, Gorey Pier is home to a range of lovely restaurants, which offer beautiful views over the harbour with the castle as an imposing backdrop. The Dolphin Restaurant comes highly recommended by us for lovely fresh seafood at reasonable prices! Be sure to book in advance though as other restaurants in the area including Feast and The Paper Fig were fully booked for the evening. A beautiful meal followed by a walk around the softly lit harbour makes for a very romantic setting!
Onto more sightseeing we spent the following morning in the capital of St Helier, looking around the shops and the harbour. The shops present a great mix of your favourites from home – Next, Marks and Spencer and Top Shop along with a number of independent stores with quirky gifts. If you’re taking the trip with a loved one, why not stop by the Jersey Pearls shop and treat them to some beautifully set Jersey grown freshwater pearls?
If shopping isn’t your thing, don’t worry! There’s plenty for you to see and do too. Another thing that Jersey is fascinating for is war history. The island was occupied by the Germans during World War II and there’s a wealth of information and sites to visit to learn more about it. A must visit place for this is The Jersey War Tunnels, which guides you through the story of Jersey during the war as you walk through a real underground hospital which was built by the Germans during the 1940s. If you pick up a Jersey Pass you’ll receive free entry in many of Jersey’s top tourist attractions and The War Tunnels is included in that. During the trip we also visited the Military Museum, which is housed in a former German bunker that formed part of Hitler’s Atlantic defence. With such a fantastic range of memorabilia it really brought the bunker to life and is hugely educational, so worth a visit. Additionally, it’s located right on the beautiful beach at St Ouen so you can make an afternoon of it.
With Jersey’s size being so easy to navigate it makes planning far easier as it’s so simple to nip between tourist attractions, beaches, hotels and restaurants. It makes for such a relaxing break as anywhere you want to visit is within a reachable distance.
Jersey is truly a destination to recommend to the whole family. For couples that are looking for that intimate short break away with great food and relaxing walks, for families looking to keep the kids entertained with educational tourist attractions, or for friends looking for shopping and beaches; Jersey will suit all of you.
And the best part? All of this is on your doorstep. As the flight took off from Jersey Airport at 3.10pm we walked through the front door in Leicester at 5.15pm.
FlyBe offers regular flights from East Midlands Airport with full timetables available from HERE.
For further information on Jersey, activities and special offers, please visit www.jersey.com or call 01534 44 88 00. For The Beachcombers, please visit www.beachcombershotel.co.uk or call 01534 875 236.