Taking a Cycling Holiday on Jersey may not be as straightforward as going to parts of the UK but it’s probably easier than you think. For example, taking your car, and bike, to Jersey by Ferry means you’ll get there relaxed and have the freedom to get around the island by saddle or by car.
This article doesn’t list any cycle routes as the round-trip around Jersey is about 40 miles and so there’s nothing too strenuous or restrictive, afterall, it is a holiday.
There is so much about Jersey that we’ve had to split this article in to several parts.
- History of Jersey
- State of Jersey
- Getting to Jersey
- Places to Stay
- Places to Visit
- Jersey Weather
- Car Hire
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The Jersey Tourist Board have some useful information on Cycling Holidays in Jersey but you might want to read the following first.
Introduction to Jersey
The Channel Islands are an archipelago lying between England and France, off the coast of Normandy. They are divided into two bailiwicks, Jersey and Guernsey, but also other islands such as Sark, Aldeney and Herm. None of these Islands form part of United Kingdom, but they are crown dependencies; this means the right to pass legislation belongs to its own legislative assemblies, with the assent of the crown. They are, however, treated as a part of the United Kingdom for citizenship purposes.
Jersey has been an island for approximately 8,000 years and Guernsey for approximately 6,000. The earliest evidence of human activity dates to around 250,000 years ago, where it appears that hunters used the caves at La Cotte de St Brelade on Jersey as a base for hunting mammoth (at this time, before rising sea levels cut it off from the mainland, Jersey was a peninsula, attached to Normandy).
In the Neolithic period (starting around 4,000 BC) the nomadic bands of hunters who previously inhabited the island were supplanted by settled farming communities, who built large burial monuments known as dolmens. These usually consisted of three or more upright stones supporting a large flat horizontal capstone (table) and were usually covered with earth or smaller stones to form a barrow. In many cases, though, that covering has weathered away, leaving only the stone “skeleton” of the burial mound intact. The sheer number and size of these monuments suggests a significant social organisation on the island and connections with the surrounding coasts. Indeed, archeological evidence shows the island had trading links with both Brittany and England at this time.
Little is known about the islands up until the 11th century. Roman traders and officials did visit them, but it seems that settlement was sparse. The Britons (indigenous Celtic inhabitants of Britain) occupied them around the 6th century, during their migration to Brittany. It is held that Saint Helier from Tongeren in modern-day Belgium first brought Christianity to the archipelago, in the 6th century.
The Channel Islands took their individual names, which are of Norse origin, as a result of Viking activity in the area between the 9th and 10th centuries. In 933 William Longsword, Duke of Normandy seized the Cotentin; although the Normans gained control of England in 1066, they continued to rule their French possessions as a separate entity.
The islands remained part of the Duchy of Normandy until 1204 when King Philip II Augustus of France conquered the rest of the duchy from King John of England; the islands, however, remained with King John and were described as being a Peculiar of the Crown. The islands are still officially considered a part of the Duchy of Normandy today, even though it no longer exists.
There were more invasions in the 14th century. In 1338 the French attacked and held some territory until 1345; Owen of Wales attacked Jersey and Guernsey in 1372 and Bertrand du Guesclin besieged Mont Orgueil in 1373.
During the Wars of the Roses the French occupied Jersey, from 1461 to 1468. In 1483, however, a Papal Bull decreed that the islands would be neutral during time of war. This privilege enabled islanders to avoid being caught up in wars between France and England and reap the benefits of trade with both of them; it was respected until 1689 when it was abolished by Order in Council following the Glorious Revolution in Great Britain.
During the Wars of the Three Kingdoms, Jersey was strongly Royalist, providing refuge for Charles, Prince of Wales in 1646 and 1649 to 1650, while Presbyterian Guernsey generally favoured the parliamentary cause (although it is worth noting that Castle Cornet, on Guernsey, was the last Royalist stronghold to fall, on 15 December 1651).
The islands acquired commercial and political interests in the North American colonies. Islanders became involved with the Newfoundland fisheries in the 17th century. Grateful for the help given to him by Jersey during his exile, Charles II gave George Carteret, Bailiff and governor of Jersey, a large grant of land in the American colonies, which he named New Jersey, now part of the United States of America. Edmund Andros of Guernsey was an early colonial governor in North America and head of the short-lived Dominion of New England.
History of Jersey
Jersey is a British Crown Dependency located in the Channel Islands, a group of islands located near to the coast of French Normandy. It is the largest of the Channel Islands and the port of Saint Helier is also the largest port of all the islands. However, when regarding their close proximity to France, at first glance it would seem surprising to find that they are not under the dominion of France rather than Britain. The reason for this is that these islands have a long and complex maritime history that has been shaped by their relatively vulnerable location to foreign influences.
Through history they have been subject to a number of different rulers and played an important role in historical conflicts between England and France, as well as those between England, Ireland and Scotland.
It has been estimated that about 25,000 years ago the islands were once part of continental Europe, before rising sea levels, caused by the ending of the ice age, cut them off from the mainland (of what is modern France). One of the first evidences of human activity on the islands can be found from the times of Ancient Armorica, from which many Armorican coins have been found – Armorica was an area that spanned most of modern French Brittany and Normandy.
During the 6th century, Christianity was introduced to the islands and Jersey was evangelised by Saint Helier. Other Christian Missionaries such as Magliore, Marculf and Samson of Dol also arrived on the islands. Later, in the 9th century, the coast was raided by Norse settlers and many of the islands’ modern place names can be traced back to the Norse era.A more famous historical era in the Jersey and the rest of the Channel Islands’ history was the Norman Conquest.
After the islands had been annexed in 933 by the Duchy of Normandy, William the Conqueror – William II of Normandy invaded the island and the whole of England, maintaining control for almost 140 years.
After that point, the islands became under control of the Crown but during the next few hundred years there had been attempts by the French to seize control over the islands again.
These invasions were only temporarily successful and on the whole the islands have remained an English Crown dependency (referred to as a British Crown Dependency in the modern era) ever since.
In the 17th century, between 1639 and 1651, a famous series of wars took place between England, Ireland and Scotland (known as the Wars of the Three Kingdoms). Whereas Guernsey’s loyalties lay with the parliamentary cause, Jersey supported the Royalist cause and it was here that Charles, the Prince of Wales (Charles II) was provided protection in 1646 and again between 1649 and 1650.
During the expansion of the British Empire the islands developed strong political and commercial interests in the New World (the colonies of North America). Jersey islanders worked at the fisheries of the coast of Newfoundland (an area in present day Canada) and Charles II, as a token of his appreciation for the refuge he was provided in Jersey during the Wars of the Three Kingdoms, granted George Carteret, the bailiff and governor, a large area of land which was soon to be named New Jersey ?what is now a US state to the south and east of New York City.
After the loss of the American colonies and the gradual decline of the British Empire from the 20th century, Jersey began to lose its political and mercantile importance. Later, a key event in the island’s history – perhaps the darkest of Jersey’s history, was the German occupation of the Channel Islands during World War II. The only territory of the British Commonwealth to face Nazi occupation, many Jersey islanders (and other islanders on the Channel Islands) were deported and subjected to brutal treatment in concentration camps.
Before the Nazi troops arrived, there was a substantial evacuation effort but only 6,600 out of a population of 50,000 left Jersey. During the occupation, a large number of Russian and Eastern Europeans were brought to Jersey and the other Channel Islands and became slaves for building forts. The islands of Jersey and Guernsey were finally liberated by the British on May 9th 1945, the day after VE day.
After World War II, as the evacuees returned to their homes following the liberation, Jersey sought to regenerate its local economy through tourism and immigration. Today, about one million visit the island every year, predominantly for its beautiful beaches, its turquoise seas and the fact that the island enjoys more sunshine than any region on mainland Britain.
The culture of the islands is shaped by its history: the language of the Normans was widely spoken until the nineteenth century, until the industrial revolution led to increasing Anglicisation. Throughout Jersey there are a number of French place names such as Carrefour Selous and Grouville, which symbolises the Norman influences on the island and its close proximity to the French land mass. From Jersey’s east coast, France’s Normandy can be seen when there is good visibility.
State of Jersey
The Bailiwick of Jersey, more commonly shortened to Jersey, is a British Crown Dependency but remains constitutionally separate from the United Kingdom.
The government of the UK takes responsibility for defence and international representation but otherwise the island, along with other members of the Channel Islands, is self governing but with no written constitution.
Jersey sits 160 kilometres off the south coast of England and just 22 kilometres north and west of the French coast. Measuring just 14kms by 8kms it has a land area of 116 square kilometres and has a temperate climate with cool summers and mild winters. The island is mainly flat but rises to rugged cliffs in the north. The highest point on the island is just 143 metres above sea level. The coastal area has one of the largest tidal ranges in the world with a spread of 12m.
Jersey is the largest of all the Channel Islands and has a population of around 91,600 of which around 53,500 form the workforce. Approximately 30% of the population live in the principal town of St. Helier. The majority of the people on the island are native to Jersey (51%) with Britons (35%) being the next largest group. The island also has a sizable Irish and French grouping (7%) whilst Portuguese and Madeirans make up around 6%. As a consequence, the vast majority of the population (95%) speak English as their first language. English is the official language of the island.
The island is governed by a Chief Minister who is elected by the Assembly of States. The Head of State is Queen Elizabeth II of the UK and she appoints a lieutenant governor to represent her and a bailiff. The Assembly of the States of Jersey has 58 members, 55 of whom vote and 12 of whom are senators selected to serve six year terms of office. A further 29 are deputies that are elected for three years. Other voting members include the bailiff and deputy bailiff with the three non voting members being the Dean of Jersey, the Solicitor General and the Attorney General.
Although there are two officially registered political parties on the island (Jersey Democratic Alliance and the Centre Party), all 55 voting members elected in the 2008 elections are independent.Administratively, the island is divided into 12 parishes; Trinity, Saint Saviour, Saint Peter, Saint Ouen, Saint Mary, Saint Martin, Saint Lawrence, Saint John, Saint Helier, Saint Clement, Saint Brelade and Grouville.
Each parish is led by a constable who is elected for a three year term of office. Each parish has access to the sea and is named after the principal church.
Tourism accounts for a quarter of the islands GDP. Each year over 725,000 visitors go to the island and spend around £220m whilst there. Nearly 80% of these visitors come from the UK with 11% coming from Germany and France. The island has over 13,000 beds available along with 1,250 campsite places. Over 7,250 people are employed in the tourist industry and it contributes over £10m in direct taxation.
The other principal economic contributor is financial services which has grown in recent years to represent around 50% of the islands output. The island is a popular destination for financial services since the tax rate for both individuals and corporate’s is low. The standard personal tax rate is 20% and there are no other wealth, gift or inheritance taxes payable.
Some businesses can attract a 10% tax rate on overseas earnings making the island an attractive home for offshore banking and financial services activities. The island is host to 45 banks and over 33,000 registered companies with over £186bn deposited in the island; over two-thirds being in foreign currency.
Agriculture makes up around 5% of GDP with potatoes, tomatoes, flowers, beef, dairy produce and cauliflowers being the main crops. Most is exported to the UK. The total economic Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is over $3bn making it the 159th largest economy in the world. GDP per head is £35,400 making it the seventh wealthiest state in the world.
The island has sought to control its population carefully since the end of the Second World War. There have been strict quotas on who can relocate to the island and buy property. Whilst there are no travel restrictions in place, becoming a resident is a stiffer challenge.
Essentially, you have to be employed in a required industry or to be able to demonstrate an ability to contribute to the economic welfare of the island. This usually means that any business you bring or establish must contribute to the social or economic welfare of the island and/or you must be able to sustain a minimum £100,000 tax payment to the island. This, in essence, means that you must be able to demonstrate that you will earn at least £500,000 per year in taxable income.
Property on the island is not cheap. Over the years it has matched London prices and with a steady influx of wealthy new residents, demand for quality homes remains high. Not all property is available to new settlers. Some housing is reserved for local indigenous population so as to remain more affordable.
The island is served by one main international airport and three seaports at St Helier, St Aubin and Gorey. There is 720km of paved road on the island plus a 72km narrow roadways network known as ‘Green Lanes’ where the speed limit is just 24kph.
In times gone by, the island was home to a number of well known people. Lilly Langtry, the actress and mistress to various Royal Princes, was born there in 1853.The golfer, Harry Vardon, was born in Grouville in 1870. Other famous people to live on the island include French writer Victor Hugo, authors Jack Higgins, Thomas Hardy and George Eliot. Other notable visitors included Karl Marx and Friedrich Engles between 1857 and 1885 although neither appears to have been impressed by the island.
Getting to Jersey
Taking a ferry to Jersey is a good idea on so many levels. You have none of the stress or hurry of the airport, you will have plenty of space to stretch out your legs and enjoy your journey and – perhaps most importantly – you will be able to take your car with you – giving you the freedom to move about the island, or even take a day trip to France or Guernsey, at a whim. However, unless you are lucky enough to know someone who owns a boat, you are probably wondering who is going to take you, where they go from and when the boat leaves.
The operator of all UK to Jersey routes is Condor Ferries. The bad news for anyone living in the north of England, Northern Ireland or Scotland is that they only operate from three ports – Poole, Portsmouth and Weymouth – and these are all on the south coast. The good news for anyone willing to make the drive, or those who live slightly nearer, is that there are ferries operating almost all year round (weather permitting, especially during the winter months), the only regular interruptions being the 22nd to the 26th December and Sundays (during the off-season, which runs from October to April).
The Portsmouth ferry is a conventional ferry and takes ten and a half hours to make the journey to St. Helier port in Jersey. This may sound like quite a lot, but there are amenities on board, including a bar, a restaurant and a shop, to take your mind off the journey. Then there are the fantastic views from the top deck, of England’s shoreline disappearing into the distance, the expansive majesty of the sea and then the lush green hills and forests of Jersey.
There is also the cheaper price of tickets to consider. Lastly, it also has the most consistent timetable, running six days a week (not on Sundays) all year round. Ferries leave Portsmouth in the morning at 9am and returns from St. Helier at 9pm, although these times may of course be subject to amendment by the operator.
The Poole and Weymouth ferries are actually high-speed catamarans, whisking you from England to Jersey in three hours fifteen minutes and three hours twenty five minutes respectively. Both services run six days a week during the on-season, excluding Tuesdays, which Condor uses to service the ships (and may be subject to change).
During the off-season, the Poole-St. Helier route is removed from Condor’s schedule and the Weymouth-St. Helier route is scaled down to two days of operation – Mondays and Fridays. The departure times, when there are ships operating, remain fairly constant; leaving England at 11am and returning from Jersey at 6pm, although once again these may be subject to change.
To keep up to date with the most recent time/date changes, the best thing to do is visit Condor’s webpage at www.condorferries.co.uk or by calling their automated information line on 01202 207216, which is updated with all the latest travel information.
Should you be travelling from the continent, or wish to take a day trip, Condor Ferries have boats travelling all year round between St. Helier and the beautiful medieval coastal city of St. Malo, famous for its fortress, its impressive walls, its old buildings and some of the best seafood (including local oysters) restaurants around. The boat leaves St. Helier at five to twelve, only taking an hour and twenty minutes and returning at five in the evening (or, if you want to stay the night) at eight in the morning, Thursday to Monday.
Manche Iles Express, a French company, also has regular boats running to Barneville-Carteret (a picturesque coastal commune) and Granville (a quaint harbour town) during the on-season; they do not run at all from October to April. All three of these towns are within easy driving distance of one another so, on a longer trip to Jersey, it is more than possible to take a long weekend from your time there to go and explore them (even during the off-season, just depart and return from St. Malo).
As a foot note, it is not necessary to carry a passport with you if you are taking the ferry to Jersey. The British Nationality Act of 1981 means that Jersey is officially part of the UK (with regard to Citizenship). However, considering recent security problems and especially if you’re planning to travel to France, it may be an idea to bring it with you anyway (although any photo ID, such as a driving license or any official ID issued by the government, would also suffice).
Considering the small number of ferries that go to Jersey and the fact that they only leave from ports on the south coast of England, flying to Jersey is definitely the most sensible option for the majority of travellers. Luckily for people wishing to take to the air, thanks to the balmy climate, pristine beaches and wonderful countryside, there are a large number of companies that fly to and from the island.
In fact, you can start your journey from most reasonably sized urban locale across the country; London (except Heathrow), Southampton, Birmingham, Bristol, Exeter, Nottingham, Plymouth, Doncaster, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Belfast (City and International Airports), Glasgow (International), Leeds, Manchester, Liverpool, Newcastle, Gloucester, Norwich, Aberdeen and Dundee.
Though there are many similar sized cities that don’t have flights leaving in the direction of Jersey, the large number that do – and their spread across the UK – means that you will never be too far away from an airport that services the route. There are even a couple of surprising departure destinations, such as Orkney, Castletown (on the Isle of Man) and Stornoaway.
The main operators of these routes are Flybe, BMI Baby, Easyjet, Air Southwest and British Airways. Flybe are the largest of the Jersey operators, flying to and from most of the airports on the above list. British Airways only fly from London Gatwick, Easyjet from Liverpool, whereas BMI Baby routes from Birmingham, Cardiff and Manchester. Air Southwest travels from Bristol, Oxford and Plymouth.
Some other airlines also offer seasonal flights – Aer Arann and Aer Lingus conduct flights from Cork and Dublin respectively, Jet2.com from Belfast International, Leeds/Bradford and Blackpool. If you’re interested in flying from one of the other Channel Islands, or flying between them during your visit, then Blue Islands is the company to look up.
As with all air travel, prices do vary significantly depending on demand, the location you want to travel from and fuel costs. Prices can be as cheap as £70 return (including tax), if you book in advance, shop around and are flexible on dates; that price for example is for a Flybe flight departing from Bristol in June. It can go as high as £500 return – and this is, of course, assuming you are flying economy.
When you arrive, you’ll be landing at Jersey Airport, situated in the parish of St. Peter, 4.6 miles Northwest of St. Helier. It is a modern airport, having been extended in 1976, had a new terminal constructed in 1997, a new tower built in 2009 and its Departure Hall is in the process of being updated to provide passengers with better facilities. It has a passenger turnover of over 1.6 million people a year and has a very active general aviation population, which means that if you want to go for a flight over the islands, or even have a couple of flying lessons, it is very easy to arrange.
It is located, as with most things on Jersey, in a beautiful spot overlooking the sea – and it as easy on the nerves as the view is on the eyes, having been commended for having a very quick passenger turnover rate. As for getting to and from the airport, there are two car parks (with rates of 60p/hour for long term and 60p/half-hour for short term), a drop-off zone and free parking for motorcycles and bicycles.
If you wish to hire a car, there are two car rental firms with offices at the airport (Europcar and Hertz) and a number of others nearby and a dedicated taxi rank (expect to pay about £12 for the journey into St. Helier). Lastly, there is a regular bus service (bus number 15) between Jersey Airport and Liberation Station in St Helier which travels via Red Houses and St Aubin’s Village. The airport bus stop is situated directly in front of the Arrivals Hall exit and upon your return to the airport will drop you in front of the Departure Hall entrance.
Whilst waiting for your flight, there is a Starbucks, a bar, a newly refurbished restaurant and a number of shops to keep you entertained. There are also a number of lounges, a chapel, a medical office, a post office, smoking facilities and It is all fully accessible to disabled people. In case you’re pondering whether or not to bring your laptop, there is also free wireless throughout the terminal. For full details of the airport, check out the Jersey Airport Website.
Places to Stay on Jersey
Bed & Breakfast
Jersey’s tourist industry came into its own after World War Two when British people started to venture further afield for holidays and the Channel Islands were the obvious choice, being not too far from the mainland. Hard though it may be to believe but Jersey was really considered almost to be abroad as few British people had ever ventured outside their own shores.
Now the island is a bustling high class destination with tourism playing a huge part in its income. There are many privately owned hotels on the island as well as hotel chains. There is something for all budgets and tastes from smaller bed and breakfast establishments to high end luxury hotels.
St Helier offers an excellent choice but there is also a good range of places to stay around the coast. The Seymour Hotel Group is the biggest hotel group on the island and they pride themselves on their excellent value for money. A family business, the friendliness of staff and owners is at the forefront of the business.
Seymour owns the Merton Hotel in St Ouen’s Bay which has an excellent reputation for being family friendly. A week’s stay costs just over £400 in high season. The Pomme d’or in St Helier is part of the same group and prices here start at roughly £99 per person per night. Overlooking St Aubins Bay is La Grande Vere with an excellent reputation and wonderful views and The Royal Yacht is a modern luxury hotel nearby.
For real luxury nothing beats The Longueville Manor Hotel. This 5-star hotel is both elegant and stylish. Originally a manor house and refurbished not long ago in a luxury style, the hotel has long been the subject of excellent reviews by leading travel writers and food critics. In the winter months leading up to Christmas, special offers are available. Rooms start at just under £200 per person per night and the offer includes luxury accommodation as well as champagne on arrival and most meals. Also included is Group 1 car hire.
The Observer and The Good Food Guide both recommend The Club Hotel and The Star Apollo ?both owned by Huggler Hotels. Winter breaks start from around £50 per person per night. The Royal Hotel in St Helier is owned by Best Western. A short walk from the town’s shopping centre, this attractive hotel has free wi-fi in bedrooms and public areas and you will find 4 poster beds in most rooms. There is a car park which is a huge plus when it comes to town centre locations. The hotel’s restaurant is proud to use local produce whenever possible. Rooms start from £120 for two people sharing.
The Morvan Group owns six of the island’s hotels. Take your pick from indoor leisure facilities, town or seafront locations or even award winning gardens. The Morvan hotels are proud of their hospitality and excellent reputation.
Radisson Blue, owned by the Radisson Group, offers luxury rooms in the heart of the marina at St Helier. Prices start from around £75 per person per night. Quality and a high standard is always assured as part of the Group’s promise. On St Helier’s seafront stands The Grand Jersey Hotel. Prices start from £75 per person per night and the hotel’s interior is contemporary and stylish. Near Fort Regent Leisure Centre is the Apollo where prices start from around £50 per person per night.
Situated near to St Brelade’s Church and Jersey Lavender, the Horizon & Spa has rooms from £60 per person per night. Other hotels in the area include the Golden Sands where rooms start from around £80 and the Hotel La Place, a restored farmhouse, where prices start from £70.
Also overlooking St Brelade’s Bay is The Miramar with an excellent elevated position affording wonderful views. There are charming gardens in which to relax and it is only a short stroll down to the beach. Prices are around £30 per person per night and the hotel has its own outdoor pool as well as good parking facilities.
Les Charrieres in St Peter’s Valley is considered to be excellent value for money. Prices start from about £35 per person per night in the low season upwards to a very reasonable £55 in high season. The hotel boasts an air conditioned gym and an indoor pool. Privately owned for 25 years, the hotel is conveniently situated for many major attractions as well as the island’s airport. The kitchens use local food where possible and good local fish forms part of the menu. The hotel proudly boasts a Courtesy Award awarded in acknowledgement of its helpful and friendly attitude to families and children.
Camping & Caravan Sites
Jersey, in the Channel Islands, has a mild climate thanks to the Gulf Stream. Beaches here range from wide sandy expanses on the south and west coasts to isolated coves on the north coast. Altogether this is the perfect place to go camping or to take your caravan or motorhome. What could be better than waking up to the fresh air of a Jersey morning!
Throughout the island there are some fabulous campsites where you can enjoy a holiday in some of the most stunning countryside in the Channel Islands. Of all the islands, Jersey is a particular favourite for families who enjoy camping or caravanning.
It is important to bear in mind that Jersey imposes some sensible regulations for caravans. Once on the island, caravans are required to stay on their chosen site for the period of a permit which is required to drive on the island other than the journey to and from the port. Your chosen site or tour operator will obtain the permit for you.
Motorhomes, however, have dispensation to drive round the island at will but must go back to the campsite every evening. These restrictions are not imposed with the intention of spoiling anyone’s pleasure. Quite the contrary, the island’s roads are narrow and winding and the restrictions are to ensure that there are no snarl ups and to make driving around the island a pleasant experience. Cars that tow the caravans can be used in exactly the same way as other cars meaning that you are free to go wherever you like on the island.
There are several campsites on Jersey offering a choice of places to stay and each with their own unique facilities. At Rose Farm there is a poolside bar and a restaurant with an outdoor seating area. Great food is served and in the event of poor weather there is even an internet room. In the high season Rose Farm has over 100 erected tents which can be hired and which will accommodate up to 6 people. There are 40 more pitches for those who choose to bring their own tents as well as 8 sites for caravans.
Rozel is a family owned, well established park which offers excellent value and service. Spacious pitches offer plenty of room to move around and the site is proud to boast a large clientele who return to the site every year. Rozel Camping Park is close to Jersey Zoo and the pretty village of Rozel.
The north coast cliff path starts at this point and the walks here offer spectacular walks taking in superb coastal and countryside scenery. The two main camping areas at Rozel offer 130 pitches with 120 having electric hook ups. Sixteen spaces are available for tents too. The other pitches are situated on a field slightly further up from the main site with pitches separated into groups by hedgerows. There are good facilities for both motorhomes and caravans at Rozel.
The family run Beuvelande Camp Site offers top class facilities with a licensed restaurant on site. The site boasts 150 pitches and there are 60 fully equipped tents for hire. There is good space available which allows you to park your vehicle next to the tent. Electric hook ups are provided at 100 pitches.
Jersey’s newest campsite is Bleu Soleil. There are 50 fully equipped tents to hire with some spaces left available for those who wish to bring their own tents. As a smaller site, a pleasant village atmosphere prevails making Bleu Soleil the ideal choice for those who prefer peace and quiet. A bonus is that the site is pet friendly too as long as a pet is well behaved. The site has been awarded the coveted AA’s 5 Pennants and is the only site on the island which is open throughout the year.
The beaches and surrounding countryside add to the tranquillity of Bleu Soleil which is situated in the island’s north west in the heart of countryside at St Ouen. The surrounding landscape offers the visitor an opportunity to experience a part of Jersey which has changed hardly at all over the centuries with headlands covered in heather and gorse as well as fabulous cliff walks. A short walk down a wooded valley takes you to the golden sands of Greve de Lecq. The campsite is on the bus route to the island’s capital of St Helier but a car or bicycle is definitely recommended to fully explore the island.
Jersey, in the Channel Islands, is both fascinating and different. Possibly the most diverse of all the islands in an historical and cultural sense, Jersey is the ideal choice when it comes to self catering holidays which give the visitor the freedom to explore at will. This type of holiday is ideal for those who desire a really relaxing break. Jersey seems to have an atmosphere of its own and the island often seems more French than English.
There are no noisy dirty cities on the island so a self catering break can be the perfect antidote for anyone wishing to escape from a stressed and hectic lifestyle. The pace of life is slow and gentle here and the weather is usually mild and pleasant with no extremes. Breathtaking scenery combined with rural peace and quiet are ensured. However, there is no shortage of things to do. Far from it! Whatever your choice of entertainment, all ages will find plenty of recreation and sporting activities on their doorstep. Jersey’s Tourism Department can advise on self catering accommodation including holiday cottages and they are delighted to help the visitor in any way they can.
There are many types of self catering accommodation from which to choose which can range from cottages to apartments and even countryside lodges. Some holiday accommodation on the island is found in secluded hideaways whilst others overlook vast expanses of golden sandy beach.
At St Aubin a traditional character cottage is offered for around £395 per week in low season to around £895 in high season. Situated on a farm property, facilities include barbecue area, landscaped gardens and croquet lawn. There are sea and country views. Children over 8 years old are welcome. Attractive apartments can be rented at St Martin. Comfortable accommodation is on offer in this converted farmhouse which dates back to the 17th century. The apartments sleep 4 people and prices start from around £300 per week for these apartments.
In Jersey’s capital, St Helier, Panama House Apartments offer a base for exploring the town and the island. Just 10 minutes walk from the centre of town and less than 250 metres from the sea front, the apartments are an excellent choice for a self catering holiday.
There are over 23 apartments all furnished to a high standard with excellent cooking facilities. Less than 5 minutes drive to shops and 15 minutes drive to St Helier are Beau Rivage Apartments. Prices here start from around £135 per person for 7 nights. Ideally situated with a restaurant which overlooks the sea as well as lively entertainment make the apartments an ideal choice. There is a laundry area too and kitchens all have a dishwasher and microwave. There are en suite bathrooms and good parking facilities.
With prices starting from around £150 per person per week, Les Ormes Lodges are an excellent choice. Near St Brelade’s Bay, the lodges have spectacular views across the Bay at St Ouen. There are 24 lodges with restaurant, indoor swimming pool and health club. There is 9 hole golf, indoor tennis, badminton, volleyball, rounders and cricket. There is a beauty salon and hairdresser as well as a creche which is open in the mornings. Lodges are either semi detached or detached and superbly equipped with all mod cons.
St Peter’s Apartments are situated near to the airport and within easy reach of many of Jersey’s superb beaches. A supermarket and bar are only 5 minutes walk away. There is an outdoor swimming pool with a bar and barbecue area. Children are well catered for with an outdoor play area, climbing frame and childrens’ playroom. The apartments which start at around £145 per person per week offer well equipped kitchens and a lounge with TV and video.
The nearest supermarket and bar offering excellent meals are only a five minute walk. The accommodation has varying styles from which to choose including modern style apartments as well as rustic accommodation with wood beams and floors.
Beausite Apartments are part of a hotel complex and prices here start at £220 per person per week. The apartments are on the edge of Gorey village. The Royal Jersey Golf Club is right opposite the site. The Beausite Hotel facilities are available in the price and these include the hotel’s indoor pool, charming gardens and health suite. These high class apartments have fully equipped kitchens as well as parking spaces.
From around the 1950s, Jersey’s tourist industry boomed. Many of the original hotels built in the early years have since been demolished to make place for modern, stylish hotels. Most hotels on the island are situated in Jersey’s capital, St Helier, although there is also a good choice of coastal hotels, in-town hotels or countryside hotels and there is a wide range of prices from budget hotels to high end luxury.
The longest established and largest hotel group on Jersey is the Seymour Hotel Group. Their pledge is to provide guests with excellent value for money. The group has always remained a family business and this is reflected in the courteous and friendly service of the staff at the hotels. The group owns the Merton Hotel and Watersplash Beach Bar and Diner which is located in St Ouen’s Bay. The Merton has built a reputation for children’s facilities and has been recognised as probably the best Channel Islands hotel for families with its Aquadome (a children’s water playground) and other facilities for youngsters such as Activity 10Teen Club and Games Zone. The Merton Hotel offers special weekly rates with discounts. You can expect to pay in the region of £420 per person for a week’s stay.
Seymour also owns the Pomme d’Or which overlooks Liberation Square in St Helier. This hotel was used as the headquarters for the German Navy during the invasion of the island in World War 2 and it was from the balcony here that the Liberation Forces raised their flag on 9th May 1945 (Liberation Day). Prices at the Pomme d’Or start at around £99 per person per night.
Other hotels of note include La Grande Vere which overlooks St Aubins Bay and has spectacular views of the waterfront and Elizabeth Castle. The Royal Yacht is another splendid modern, refurbished luxury hotel in St Helier.
For luxury travellers, The Longueville Manor Hotel is the top rated 5-star hotel on the island. Located at Longueville Road in St Helier the hotel is stylish and elegant and is the Channel Islands’ only member of Relais & Chateaux. The hotel started life as a manor house in the 14th century and has since been refurbished in sumptuous style offering unprecedented luxury. Food critics and leading travel writers have long extolled the virtues of the hotel which has 5 AA stars.
Through the months of November and December the hotel has special offers available with rooms starting at around £190 per person per night. This includes champagne on arrival, luxury accommodation and most meals together with Group 1 car hire. Rooms with breakfast included normally start at just over the £200 mark.
Huggler Hotels own two hotels: The Club Hotel (whose food has been commended in the Good Food Guide and The Observer) and the Star Apollo. Both are located in St Helier. The Huggler has special offers starting from £49 per person per night for winter breaks.
The Best Western Group own the Royal Hotel in St Helier. This fine hotel is only a few minutes walk from the pedestrianised shopping area of the town. Attractive to business travellers as well as holidaymakers, this hotel boasts four poster bedrooms as well as free wi-fi access in bedrooms and public areas. The hotel has been refurbished and is both contemporary and comfortable. The restaurant kitchens use local produce when possible and have been awarded an AA Rosette. There is a car park with 16 car parking spaces and rooms start from around £120 per room with 2 people sharing in low season.
Morgan Hotels own six quality hotels on the island which provide a choice of award-winning gardens, indoor leisure facilities, seafront or town locations or even a Victorian townhouse. The Morgan family are long-established hoteliers and their hotels have a superb record for their professional hospitality as well as their attention to detail.
The Radisson Blu, part of the Radisson chain, has luxurious rooms right in the heart of St Helier’s Marina. Prices start from around £75 per person per night. Quality is of the usual high standard of the Radisson group.
Other hotels include The Grand Jersey Hotel on the seafront. This establishment is furnished in contemporary style and prices here start around £75 per person per night. The family-friendly Apollo is situated near Fort Regent Leisure Centre and prices at this hotel start from around £49 per person per night.
If you wish to stay at St Brelade, the Horizon & Spa offers rooms from £60 per person per night. This lovely hotel is situated near Jersey Lavender and St Brelade’s Church. The nearby Golden Sands Hotel has accommodation starting from around £82 and the hotel offers some spectacular views across the beach at St Aubins Bay. In the vicinity, the Hotel La Place is a sympathetically-restored farmhouse dating back to the 17th century. Rooms start from £70.
Prices start at around £50 per person per night at The Miramar Hotel which has an outstanding elevated position overlooking St Brelade’s Bay. The hotel has delightful gardens and there is a short walk to the beach. There is parking here as well as an outdoor swimming pool. Prices for this two-star hotel are around £30 per person per night.
Probably one of the best value for money hotels on the island is Les Charrieres. Set in delightful surroundings in the countryside in St Peters Valley, the hotel is convenient for the airport and many major attractions. Originally a farmhouse, the hotel is one of the oldest on the island. Rates start from a reasonable £34 per night low season and only rise to around £55 in high season. The hotel has an indoor pool and air-conditioned gym. It has been independently owned for over 25 years and its kitchens aim to use local produce whenever possible and offer an a la carte menu as well as vegetarian food. There is a good variety of fresh fish on its menu. The hotel caters for children and families and boasts a Courtesy Award for its friendly and helpful approach towards guests.
Jersey Spa Hotels
There are lots of activities to do when you’re visiting Jersey; sports, water sports, walking, cycling, sailing and so much more. Sometimes, however, you just want to take a holiday where everybody else has to do the hard work. You just want to be pampered and waited on hand and foot for the duration of your stay – and why not? Life is a tiring business, which we all deserve a break from now and again. Luckily, Jersey is blessed with a number of very luxurious hotel spas at very reasonable prices, especially considering the sheer volume of services available.
For those who don’t know exactly what to expect from a spa, the treatments available at the major Jersey hotel spas break down as follows. You can have almost any part of your body massaged, helping to wash away the stresses and strains of daily life and are offered massage techniques both ancient and modern – hot stone, aromatherapy, reflexology (using pressure points), Reiki (focusing on manipulating the body’s energy) and hydrotherm (especially good for pregnant women). There are skin treatments, all the way from repairing sun damaged skin through to full facials. There are body treatments and slimming treatments, such as full body exfoliation and wraps. You can have make-up lessons, pedicures and manicures, footcare treatments, practically every beauty treatment you can possibly think of – and to top off all of this, there are pools, restaurants, bars, gyms and all of Jersey just outside your door for those rare moments when you are not in the spa.
Prices for spa treatments start at around £30, but it is much better value for money if you arrange half-day or full-day programmes at your chosen destination – which start at £100. Not only will this mean a more relaxing time for you, but it will also save you money.
There are four world renown hotel spas on the island. The first is known as the Royal Yacht. Situated on the Weighbridge in St. Helier, offering beautiful views from its luxurious rooms and magnificent penthouse suites, its spa was a finalist at the Professional Beauty Awards 2009 in the “Residential Spa of the Year” category and was reviewed in Health and Beauty Magazine as “superb … more than holds its own with others I have visited around the world”. Not only this, but it has a number of world class restaurants in the hotel itself. Rooms start at £125 a night, with the penthouse suites capping at £750 a night – but you can get a 30% discount on that by booking online and they offer numerous spa packages. With these and other prices mentioned, of course, there may be some variation due to demand and season.
The Club Hotel and Spa, located on Green Street in St. Helier, is a five star location, which the Observer said “single-handedly turns Jersey into a chic weekend-break destination” and which Elle Magazine stated was simply “superb”. It boasts the highest rated restaurant (called Bohemia) in Jersey and one of the top 25 in the UK, alongside other dining opportunities. The spa itself has five treatment rooms and such additional luxuries as a thermal suite and a salt pool (amongst others). Prices for rooms start at £130 a night, with suites costing £550 a night. Numerous spa packages are available.
Situated a stone’s throw away from the ocean stands the impressive Grand Hotel and Spa, on The Esplanade in St. Helier. Following a £15 million redecoration and modernisation, this location has all the grandeur of a bygone age alongside all the luxuries of our modern times. Its spa boasts 6 state-of-the-art treatment rooms, a high-tech gym, a spa bath, a steam room, a sauna, experience showers, a heated indoor swimming pool and a relaxation room. GHD spa treatments for the hair and scalp are also available – and as if this weren’t enough, it has a number of wonderful restaurants, a champagne lounge and is just ten minutes from the bustling city centre of St. Helier. Rooms start at just £89, a very good deal, with the most expensive being the sea-facing suites at £250 per night.
L’Horizon Hotel and Spa on La Route de la Baie in St. Brelade offers luxurious rooms, an award-winning spa and wellness centre, an absolutely stunning location, restaurants, bars and cafes, with room prices ranging from £95 to £250. Built in 1850, the Victorian splendour of L’Horizon, its wonderful locale and ultra-modern spa will help the stress disappear.
Places to Visit
There are so many places to visit on the Island of Jersey that you will be spoilt for choice. The island’s history is fascinating as for centuries Jersey was forced to defend itself from invaders. The island was defended from the French for over 300 years by Elisabeth Castle. Standing proudly in St Aubin’s Bay since the 16th century, the castle was once home to Sir Walter Raleigh. St Helier was reputed to be a hermit who lived here. History comes alive when you hear the cannon fired every day between 10am and 3.30pm. At low tide the castle is accessible by foot. Otherwise a ferry will take you depending on the weather.
The medieval castle of Mont Orgueil is ideally positioned to protect the island against an invasion from France too. History is brought to life as you explore the staircases, rooms and towers of the castle. Spy networks and stories of espionage are revealed to the visitor and you will experience the smells and the sounds of life at the castle whilst under attack. An experience not to be missed.
Allow yourself to be taken back to the 17th century at Hamptonne Country Life Museum where restored farmhouses, nature trails and farm animals take you back to another time. Cider making and yarn spinning are depicted and The Rural Face of Jersey Exhibition is here too.
La Hougue Bie Museum houses a command bunker which was built during World War 2 when the Germans occupied Jersey. There is much to see in the Geology and Archaeology Museum and a picnic can be enjoyed in the grounds. This site was in fact an ancient place of worship and there is a low passageway into which you can climb to try to imagine the lives of the people who lived here over five and a half thousand years ago.
The story of Jersey’s maritime history is told at the Maritime Museum & Occupation Tapestry Gallery. Interactive displays tell tales of the sea with local myths and legends. You can experience the natural elements and feel the force of the wind, learn how to design a ship and how to study the tides. The Occupation Tapestry is an award winning tapestry which was made by the people of Jersey to celebrate half a century of freedom after the island’s liberation. The tapestry consists of 12 panels, one for each parish on the island, which together tell the story of the occupation.
When it comes to sport, for the golf enthusiast there are few better settings than the one at La Moye. The course includes pot bunkers, gorse and hills and fabulous views of the Bay at St Ouen as well as across to the islands of Herm, Jethou, Guernsey and Sark. The course features in the circuit for the European Seniors.
A more sedate day can be spent at Sausmarez Manor house. The Seigneurs of Jersey have lived here from as long ago as the 13th century. Throughout the years members of the family have included admirals, generals, diplomats and even explorers. An art park houses over 200 sculptures and tropical plants such as bamboo and banana grow in the garden. There are tree ferns, ginger, hebes and giant echiums for garden lovers to enthuse about. For younger family members, there are radio controlled boats and pitch and putt.
For a refreshing swim or simply to take a break, the Old Government House Hotel has a luxurious spa. Unwind and relax in a sauna, steam room or whirlpool. There is an Eastern treatment centre too where you can treat yourself to a body massage, manicure or skin treatment.
The late Gerald Durrell founded the zoo at Trinity. Caring for small and endangered animals, Durrell’s widow now oversees the running of the park which is set in 32 acres. There is much to see and explore for all the family and the zoo is open all year round. The park’s conservation work is known throughout the world and its worked shared with many countries who send their students to Jersey.
A wonderful shell garden designed by Colin Soudin and containing more than three million shells is found at St Aubin. There are shells from all over the world creating a fantastic and unique display of boats, seahorses, mermaids, churches and more. This is one of the island’s most visited attractions.
Across the bay from St Helier stands the village of St Aubin. This pretty village has a harbour which has been navigable since its completion in 1675, providing a safe anchor for ships until St Helier’s own harbour was completed in 1803. Some old merchants’ houses can be seen and St Aubin’s Fort, one of the town’s main features, can be reached at low tide. Not to be missed is St Matthew’s Church at St Lawrence. Its plain exterior hides its secrets. Inside are wonderful glass art deco fixtures and fittings which were designed by the French designer Lalique in the 1930s. The stunning altar cross, panels, font and angels are in the opaque glass for which Lalique became famous and the church is known as The Glass Church.
Beside the church is Coronation Park, a gift from Lady Trent to the people of the island. Lady Trent was the widow of the man who founded Boots Chemist, Jessie Boot. There is a good variety of plants as well as a childrens’ play area, paddling pool and a Victorian shelter.
From April to October the Pallot Steam Museum is open at Trinity. Pallot trained as an engineer on the Jersey Railway and formed a collection of farming equipment as well as steam engines, vintage bicycles and several organs. Also at Trinity, The Orchid Foundation, established by Eric Young, is a unique centre which is totally dedicated to orchids. The flowers are bred, developed and exhibited here in a stunning display which is open throughout the year. Orchids in the wild grow in a variety of habitats, some on the ground and some on trees and the Foundation’s exhibition successfully manages to show a vast number of different varieties in a natural setting which is totally breathtaking. There is a film show as well as plants for sale. The only problem is that you will be spoilt for choice!
These are just some of Jersey’s attractions. There are many more and a visit to the island is recommended to appreciate its beauty and everything that it offers.
Jersey is an island in the English Channel and lies around 12 nautical miles from France and 87 nautical miles off the south coast of Great Britain. It is the largest of the Channel Islands and lies at their most southerly point. Consequently the climate is temperate and winter temperatures rarely fall below 9 degrees centigrade.
Jersey experiences mild winters and mild to warm summers. The climate is roughly the same as the south coast of England with an average temperature annually of just over 11 degrees centigrade (or 52 degrees Fahrenheit). Each year there are just short of 2,000 hours of sunshine which is the highest anywhere in the British Isles.
The mild climate makes Jersey an attractive place to visit at almost any time of the year although between the months of May and September the climate is at its most favourable. The hottest weather occurs in July and August when temperatures can often exceed 25 degrees centigrade. This time of year is high season in Jersey when tourists arrive to head to the sandy beaches which are among some of the island’s greatest assets. There are occasional days on which the temperature is positively tropical and you can feel as if you are on a tropical south sea island.
In summer months the sandy beaches lure the tourists. However, wonderful walks can be taken on the island’s beaches whatever the time of year. At low tide some spectacular walks are possible because Jersey experiences some of the largest tide differentials in the world. This means that many beaches are left exposed at low tide with the resultant fascinating landscapes that the water leaves behind. With the right outdoor clothing, much fun can be had whatever the weather. In Autumn Jersey hosts the Cider Festival and various Halloween celebrations to frighten young and old alike! Visitors at this time of year may also want to take in the natural sights of the island with the leaves now turning a golden brown.
Winter, in spite of the colder weather, can be a good time to take a break in Jersey. This is the time when the hotels put on special offers and there are bargains to be snapped up. Bring some warm clothing and prepare yourself for some relaxing walks and some good hearty food served up in one of Jersey’s many restaurants, pubs or hotels. This is a great time of year for birdwatchers. Without leaves on the trees, birds are more easily spotted and the island is home to many passing migratory birds.
Whatever the weather, there is no shortage of entertainment and attractions on the island. This has made the island a very popular year-round holiday destination. Jersey can be approached by air from various UK airports and this is the advisable winter route. However, in summer ferries depart from various south coast destinations such as Poole and Weymouth and this can be an inexpensive and enjoyable way in which to reach the island.
St Helier, the capital, is an excellent place to visit throughout the year and there are many indoor activities so whatever the weather you will not be disappointed. There is a fabulous leisure centre situated high on the cliffs called Fort Regent. The centre was a Napoleonic fort and dates from around 1806. You will also find some 20 acres of walks and panoramic views of Jersey’s coastline. The centre provides entertainment for all the family so on wet or dry days there should be something for everyone.
However, if the weather is not so good, a visit to the pottery can be a good idea. Jersey Pottery is world-renowned and is situated in Gorey Village, Grouville. You can watch the potters at work and even try your hand at ‘throwing’ a pot yourself.
Jersey Zoo is known throughout the world for its pioneering work in saving species from extinction. Whilst you will not find larger species, a fascinating day can be had in seeing the many animals there and finding out about the work of the zoo. Weather need not be a problem when visiting the zoo as many of the exhibits are indoors.
Whatever the weather, there are still many activities to be enjoyed out of doors on Jersey: sea kayaking, coaststeering, abseiling, golfing, fishing and rock climbing are all sports whose participants are not put off by bad weather. Subject to weather conditions, you can even hire a privately skippered yacht and cruise the local waters.
Forget the weather when you come to Jersey. It is fairly predictable unlike other parts of Great Britain and you will never be short of something to see and do.
So you have arrived in Jersey and want to hire a car, or are planning to arrange the hire in advance. The question is where to go? Luckily for the potential traveller, there are a number of options and this healthy degree of competition keeps the price quite low. A warning for potential hirers before we continue; especially during the peak summer season, the island can get rather gridlocked with parking becoming quite a problem, especially around the more popular tourist destinations.
The major suppliers are the same in Jersey as they are in many parts of the world; Avis, Europcar, Holiday Autos, Hertz, Argus Car Hire, Easycar. There are also some local suppliers, such as Zebra Hire or Logan Airport Car Hire Experts, but these tend to be a little more expensive than the multi-national chains. They all have desks at the harbour and the airport, or can arrange to pick you up from there. The majority of them will offer you cheaper prices if you book in advance and even cheaper prices if you pay up front.
The prices range from £21 pounds per day (a Ford Ka hired from Holiday Autos), to £75 per day (a twelve seat minibus from Hertz), right up to £100 per day (for a Mercedes E Class from Europcar, or a sporty Alfa Romeo Spider Convertible from Avis), though this upper price could be knocked down if you pre-book or pre-buy – to £68 per day in the case of the Spider, for example. Though considering the low maximum speed limit mentioned later, you may want to think twice before hiring a sports car.
Whichever company or car you choose, it is always wise to think about the extras. Most companies offer basic insurance packages, but these usually have a codicil which states that the customer has to pay a portion of any claim and this portion can sometimes be up to £1000. Car hire companies do always offer an excess insurance, costing about £5 per day and will cover you for the whole amount. In the case of car hire, it really is to hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.
There are also additional charges for baby, booster, child seats and extra drivers – the last of these is especially important. If someone else is driving, who has not been added, you will have to pay the full cost of the damages. The cost of seats varies between £1 and £5 per seat, depending on which company you go with, while the cost of additional drivers is between £5 and £10 per person.
Lastly, if hiring or driving a car in Jersey, there are a couple of things to remember. Firstly, traffic lights have no amber colour, going straight from red to green. Secondly, the maximum speed limit is 40mph (even outside inhabited areas) and goes down to 15mph in so-called green lanes (on which pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders have priority and should be avoided unless absolutely necessary by motorists).