My birthday is on the 31st March and this year my wonderful boyfriend booked me a surprise trip to Jersey the following weekend! He’s definitely a keeper.
I had never been to Jersey, though my boyfriend had been many times when he was younger and loved it so wanted to take me. On the Friday we flew the short hop from London Gatwick to Jersey with British Airways (the flight time is only 1 hour) and I certainly made the most of the free booze with a large G&T. We were treated to some amazing views of Poole Harbour and Bournemouth on the way. We hired a car for the weekend so we were able to make the most out of our trip and explore the island independently, I would say it was the best way to see Jersey.
We stayed at this hotel in St Helier, it had the most impressive location right on the Marina with amazing views over to towards Elizabeth Castle and the beach. It has a nice spa (though unfortunately I didn’t pack my bikini so I didn’t try it out – next time!) and lovely restaurant.
After checking in we went for a drive along the coast and came across Gorey which has an amazing castle (great for photos) and has lots of lively restaurants, bars and shops. We went up the top of the hill and found The Crab Shack a small, friendly restaurant where we had… You guessed it… crab!
The following day we spent the morning at Elizabeth Castle in St Helier, this was walking distance from our hotel and at low tide you can walk the causeway all the way to the castle however as we were walking really slowly (being typical tourists and dawdling and taking lots of photos) we got half way across and the tide started coming in quickly and we had to run to get to the castle and I may have got slightly wet feet…
Elizabeth Castle is a fort dating back to the 1590s and it offers breath taking views around St Helier and an interesting snapshot into Jersey life, we also enjoyed tea in the castle cafe, we were so lucky with the April weather that it was beautifully sunny and we were able to sit outside. We got the boat back as the tide was completely in.
I’d heard amazing things about Durrell Zoo so I was really excited to go there for the afternoon, whilst they do not have the variety of animals that you may get at other zoos they have some interesting ones, and the focus is very much on conservation and education. We saw an Aye-aye which was very exciting as I had never seen one before, you had to go into a darkened room and you can hear it scuttling around and as your eyes adjust to the darkness you can see it moving around it’s enclosure an eerie but amazing experience. A tip is that the cafe near the entrance was really good, much better than most other zoos I’d been to.
That evening we went out to an Indian in St Helier (just a short walk away from our hotel) for a lovely curry.
Our second day passed in a blur, we went to the Jersey War Tunnels which were fascinating, Jersey was occupied by the Nazis during World War II and there’s evidence that they were there all around the island with military outposts dotted along the coastline. I found it really interesting as we’d been to Dover Castle war tunnels just a couple of weeks before, so I got to see how the another aspect of the World War.
We also went on a long drive around the island stopping off at Saint Brelade lighthouse and machine gun outposts for a walk along the causeway and then we continued up to the Devils Hole on the North Coast, it has a very different to the South it was much more rugged and wild. After two long walks that day we had a quiet evening before flying back the following morning.
My first visit to the Channel Islands was brilliant, I found Jersey to be a beautiful island, it felt like the perfect mix between England and France, the architecture, road and town names were typically French but everyone spoke English.
I now want to go and visit some of the other, less busy channel islands – so they’re now added to my bucket list!
That’s all for now – until my next adventure. Milly xx