Whether we’re in the midst of winter or the beginning of summer, holidays are always on the forefront of most people’s minds. Quite rightly so, nothing feels better than shutting your laptop, turning on your out of office on and having a number of carefree days of sun, sea, and good food. The biggest misconception is that you have to travel half away across the globe to get a dose of balmy temperatures and high-strength vitamin-D, just like the doctor ordered. The most up and coming destination for all of those necessities is closer than you think, the British Channel Island of Jersey. Whether you’re a London-dweller or a Northerner (I’m sure you often look at holidays from Leeds Bradford Airport), it’s quick an easy to reach by plane in 60 minutes or less with flights to Jersey with Jet2.
The island may be small spanning across 9 miles wide, it’s packed with some of the finest golden sandy beaches, a booming food scene and some of most loved mammals (hint: dolphins and seals). More so, it’s the perfect destination to truly wind down. Everything is accessible by car, or a short-taxi ride, you can just sit back, relax and breathe in the fresh salt sea air… bliss. A true testament to my word too, as I embarked on my third visit to the glorious island and it still lives up to all expectations and some.
So, I’ve sold you on the idea of visiting Jersey, but I’m sure you want to know what’s there to actually do in the wonderful island of Jersey? You can refer back to some of my past blog posts to gain extra inspiration, but here’s a sneak peak as to what I did this time around.
1. Wine Tasting at La Mare
La Mare is Jersey’s only working vineyard, but not only is it a vineyard, it’s a chocolatier and distillery too. The ‘jack of all trades’ produces some of Jersey’s finest and leading products, including the famous ‘Black Butter’ that was developed as a result of having too many apples growing in the orchards. It takes like Christmas in a tub and pairs perfectly with some mature, rich cheese.
Wine fiends will be glad to know that Jersey’s wine is known to rival that of its neighbouring country, France. With similar conditions; fresh salty water and air, chalky soil packed with minerals and scorching hot sun, the grapes get truly sun-kissed to ultimate ripeness. A wine tasting at La Mare is certainly a must, as you’ll discover different notes that will tickle your taste buds into taking a bottle (or three) home with you.
If all the products weren’t enough though, La Mare also doubles up as a stunning venue for wedding and I can certainly see why, the grounds are something out of a fairytale.
2. Wander through the Historic War Tunnels
For those who want to learn more about Jersey’s history, the War Tunnels are a must visit. They take you on an immersive experience of what life was like during the five-year long German occupation in World War Two, taking you on a journey of hardship, heartache and heroism across 1,000m of tunnels, more than 50m underground and listening to all the stories from those that who experienced it and lived to tell the tales.
3. Explore Mont Orgueil Castle and Do Some Outdoor Yoga
Mont Orgueil Castle is an iconic monument in Jersey. The castle has over 200 steps and gives you some of the most unmissable views in Jersey that span right across to France. The castle possess many twist and turns, staircases, towers and secret rooms, giving you the opportunity to get more on an insight into some of the intriguing stories of castle life. In the cellars, you’ll discover the ‘witches in hell’ – witches were something that was a big conspiracy in Jersey back in the day, where locals used to feel quite threatened and concerned about the consequences if they didn’t respect them.
As you proceed higher up the castle, you will get a moment of tranquility as you explore the green spaces across the castle, which doubles up as the perfect spot for Saturday morning yoga under the balmy sun. We were joined by our lovely instructor from Kalimukti who took us through a energising practice leaving us stretched out and ready for a day of exploring ahead. It was definitely my favourite yoga experience to date, not one to miss!
4. Go for a costal walk
Jersey is filled with some of the best walking routes, right across the island. Some trail through small villages and over rocks and through forestry, others are simply across miles of coastline. I’m definitely a fan of the latter, as I spend many hours doing the coastal walk back at home in Bournemouth, but with so many routes and beaches to choose from, it’s the perfect way to spend some down time getting some exercise whilst exploring the island in its natural form.
5. Experience a Rib Boat and go Dolphin Watching
For those that enjoy an exhilarating experience, you must go on a rib boat on your trip to Jersey. Admittedly, it was my first rib boat experience, so I wasn’t so sure what I was signing myself up for, but it was beyond fun. Jumping the waves, speeding across the open waters, getting splashed with fresh salty water and screaming with laughter mixed in. Such a great way to spend a few hours. You then get taken to see Les Ecrehous, where if there is a low tide, you can actually see the little sand banks and rock pools that are situated in the middle of the water. If you’re lucky, you’ll also get the opportunity to see Bottlenose Dolphins and Atlantic Grey Seals too.
6. Take a Duck Boat to Elizabeth Castle
There had been so many firsts on this trip to Jersey. Another first was riding a ‘duck boat’, which in essence is an amphibious boat that runs on land and seamlessly transitions into a vehicle that can drive through water – incredible.
The duck boat is the only way to get to the Elizabeth Castle when the tide is right, but it’s worth it experience 400 years of history within the iconic fortress that spans across 15 acres. The fortress itself is what gave refuge to King Charles II during the English Civil War and learn more about the part the fortresses played in the German occupation.
You also get the opportunity to step back in time and meet the Castle Gunner who shares the ordeal of the Battle of Jersey.
Beyond it’s history, Elizabeth Castle also offers paramount views from a different perspective, looking back at the Island of Jersey.
Until next time…