Jersey
© Harald Biebel / age fotostock
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Jersey

By Dmitry Petrounin Dmitry Petrounin Section editor Profile

Our Editorial team's advice

In figures, Jersey is impressive: this island nine miles long and a five miles wide manages to hold 130 hotels, 48 miles of coastline, 358 miles of roads, six golf courses, a city of 33 271 inhabitants (Saint-Hélier), 97 857 Jersey residents and a zoo.

Jersey's reputation as a haven for offshore investments is made clear in the city of Saint-Hélier where glitz and glamour are the key words. However, Jersey's large coastline also makes it a haven for sport-lovers. For example, diving and canoeing are best done in the calmer waters (this depends on the direction of the wind) whilst for wind and kite surfing you mind want to try slightly choppier areas. As with most of the Channel Islands, Jersey doesn't disappoint on the scenery front and with guided walking trips (available for different abilities) taking place every day, it is easy to find the best views of the island.

Jersey also boasts one advantage over its neighbouring Channel Islands; its larger size and population means that there is more to offer for the outgoing traveller. Throughout the year, there is no shortage of events, ranging from Advent market in December (rated one of Europe's best Christmas markets by Time Out), sales shopping in January and February, and summer music festivals such as Jersey Live.

To see

The Jersey War Tunnels hold exhibitions and historic pieces recounting the story of the German occupation of Jersey during the Second World War. In June 1940, British politicians made the strategic decision that Jersey was not to be defended against German invasion. In these War tunnels, visitors learn how the island's inhabitants coped with this decision, how they defended themselves, and why such a small and seemingly insignificant island became an important target for German invasion.

To do

Durrell Wildlife Park is a great day out for those looking to entertain children of all ages. The park is run by Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust and is noticeably different to most zoos in Britain as the focus is on keeping animals in an environment similar to their natural habitat and of course, conservation. For those wanting to get even closer to nature, camping pods (similar to a tent but equipped and a little more spacious) are available within the wildlife park itself and prices include unlimited access to all the enclosures.

pros

  • +  Good travel links with Europe via flights and ferries.
  • +  Events throughout the year.
  • +  A wider choice of activities than in some of the neighbouring Channel Islands.
  • +  The number of beaches (27 in total), which can be enjoyed in a climate less windy than Guernsey.

cons

  • -  The roads in Jersey are not as narrow as those in Guernsey and as a result there is less restriction on the traffic and therefore more noise and air pollution.
  • -  The glitz and glamour mentioned above can sometimes lead to an almost bourgeois feel to the island.
  • -  The limited nightlife in Saint-Hélier.

To think about

Whilst Jersey weather in summer is usually temperate and predictable, if you are going to the island for water sports such as surfing you may want to check online beforehand for the best locations as they can change with the wind direction. The Jersey Surf Report website offers accurate and frequent forecasts.

To avoid

If you do choose to drive in Jersey, pay attention to the speed limit or you could end up with a hefty fine. The maximum permitted speed on the island is 40 mph (64 km/h) whilst the lowest limit is 15 mph (24 km/h) on quiet small streets. Parking can also prove to be both difficult and expensive.

To try

If you fancy being whisked around the island (whisked could be an exaggeration as the speed limit is 40mph) on the back of a motorbike, Limo Bikes Jersey offer either a two hour or three and a half hour tour. This is a great way to see the island but the focus is primarily on the experience of riding a Harley Davidson so if big bikes are not your thing, you may prefer a walking tour.

To bring back

Perfumes and cosmetics up to 25% cheaper than in the UK can be found in duty free shops (on the ferry or plane) or in the city of Saint-Hélier. Go to the shop Au Caprice for example, 25-27 King Street, in downtown Saint-Hélier for cut-price designer perfumes. In July-August, the shop offers special discounts and gift boxes from the manufacturers. The sales are as in Great Britain, on Boxing Day and in January-February for winter, from late June to late August for summer.