JERSEY GEM

Escape to the Channel Islands

Five miles of endless beach as cerulean waves crash at your feet. A faint warm breeze brushes your skin and the distant flutter of birdsong sounds. Paradise.

As we look over St Ouen beach, five miles in length with La Rocco Tower sitting just off shore and La Corbiere Lighthouse perched in the distance, it is hard to forget that this oasis of beauty is situated within a 1-hour flight from Leeds/Bradford airport.

The Channel Islands have long been a hidden gem of the British Isles, an accumulation of 8 inhabited Islands, the two largest being Jersey and Guernsey. We stayed on the bigger of the two Islands, Jersey.

Nine miles by five, Jersey has a long history and as you traverse around the Island (it only takes 1 hour by car) you can see it all around. The numerous bunkers from when the Island was occupied by the Nazis are dotted at various places. Some are open to the public to explore, the closest was by La Corbiere Lighthouse.

We quickly discovered after settling in at our accommodation, the "La Rocco Apartments", that Jersey truly has so much to offer. There is so much to see and do! From learning to surf, to exploring the caves at Plemont Bay, an adventure is always waiting.

Food was also in abundance and we were constantly spoilt for choice! There is such a wide variety, from traditional pub grub to the more eclectic tastes, everything is fresh and tasted beautiful. We would highly recommend La Corbiere Phare, with its stunning views of the Lighthouse and endless horizon, and St Mary’s Country Inn. Both are extremely popular, especially at the weekends so reserving a table is highly recommended.

If you didn’t hire a car as we did, then there are numerous bus routes that take you to all the top tourists spots and coaches tours run frequently. There are also a collection of ocean tours including the award-winning Jersey Seafaris and Jersey Bus and Boat Tours. If you decide to book with Jersey Seafaris they are extremely popular and are in high demand, so pre-booking is essential.

If, instead you choose to book when you arrive, then the latter tour is the better option as there is more chance of booking a seat. The Jersey Boat Tour takes you around the southern coastline of Jersey passing St Brelade, Portelet Bay and finishing at La Corbiere Lighthouse. With a guide commentating on the coastlines history and pointing out the homes of the rich and famous, the tour is a real treat!

St Helier is the capital of Jersey and is thriving with quaint town life. There are all the usual mainstream stores to suit your every need, however there are more independent shops selling jewellery and other tourist treats. There is also a tourist centre if you need any help or advice on what to do on your stay.

For the younger family, there is Tamba Park and the famous Durrel Zoo, whose patron is resident Superman himself, Henry Cavill who grew up on the Island. Both are a real treat and offer something different for the Island adventurer.

If you’re a budding photographer Jersey offers stunning landscapes like no other. Noted as the Golden Hour, the sunsets on the Island are spectacular! St Ouen offers the best position for the best photos, as due to its size there is plenty of room to take your perfect photographs uninterrupted.

St Ouen offers a lot, from surfing to paddle boarding its is an adventurers dream. Stretching 5 miles, at high tide it is completely covered by ocean making for some formidable waves that crash against the sea wall. Along here are numerous restaurants including El Tico and, our favourite Le Braye, who serve up a scrumptious breakfast called The Lifesaver.

Also, a visit to La Corbiere Lighthouse is a must! The pearl white concrete Lighthouse was the first to be built in Europe and when translated, means: ‘The place where crows gather.’ At low tide you can walk to the Lighthouse by a cobbled walk-way. At high tide it is completely cut off. Watch out of the tide times so you don’t get caught out, though a siren does sound when to leave the causeway.

For such a small Island Jersey offers so much and it took us by surprise just the scale of how much you can see and experience. From beaches, Waterparks, to Island hopping you are constantly spoilt for choice. Jersey has been described a hidden gem of the British Isles and we can see why. In places it feels untouched and unchanged and proudly displays is heritage unapologetically. Every day guaranteed something new and a surprise waited around every corner. Jersey has hooked us and without a doubt we can’t wait to go back a discover so much more.