There’s a lot more to Jersey than its famous dairy cows and potatoes. Five degrees warmer than the British mainland, you could be sitting on a golden beach lapped by crystal waters in an hour from Heathrow. Ideal for a long weekend break away from it all and you don’t need your passport.
Not quite French and not all British, Jersey is the largest and most southern of the Channel Islands. At just 45 miles square, the sea dominates the landscape with stunning views of the surrounding Atlantic Ocean to be had from virtually every point on the island. The coastline itself is just as compelling, with majestic cliffs, exposed bays, sandy beaches and rocky coves all easily accessible by road or on foot. The island teems with rare species of wildlife, including puffins and is threaded by hedgerows, woodland, fields and an abundance of flowers – bad news for hayfever sufferers - and lends itself to hiking, golf and watersports.
Jersey also has a strong green initiative in-place – large patches of land are protected and visitors are encouraged to get around by bike. A good way to burn off all those local sea-food dinners you’ll end up consuming.
And for such a small island, there’s a lot to do. The world famous Jersey zoo was founded by Gerald Durrell and is devoted to the protection of endangered species and their habitats. Housing an exotic collection of monkeys, it is well worth a visit. As you travel past the medieval castles and green pastures, you will notice a number of German bunkers – a longstanding tribute to the German occupation of the island in World War II. The German Underground Hospital in St Lawrence takes you through a maze of tunnels built by POWs from every corner of Europe and the walls are lined with rare photographs. A poignant monument that should not be missed.
All hotels in Jersey are subject to strict inspection and testing – 5* means 5*. For those wanting a luxury break away, Longueville Manor would be the obvious choice. A restored manor house with a Michelin starred restaurant, the manor is tasteful and elegant and sits in its own private woodland – complete with a lake and black swans.
The Rouge Boullion is a 4* hotel in St Helier, Jersey’s main town. Complete with gym and conference facilities, this would be an ideal option for anyone on business in St Helier’s financial district.
Golf fanatics should stay at the 3*Beachcombers hotel, situated in a quiet rural location only few minutes walk from the sandy beaches of Grouville Bay and the Royal Jersey Golf Club.
The Bay View guest house is a fantastic option for families. A 4* hotel presenting very good value for money (prices start at £24 per person) it is situated across the road from Havre des Pas Lido and beach. There is a comfortable TV