I’m stealing the idea of this little post from Erica. Mainly because I will write a lovely informational post all about the things we did in Jersey, but I also want a post to just witter all about my recent trip to Jersey in the Channel Islands.
My sister is getting married very shortly but soon after she is jetting off to to move back to Australia / New Zealand. Now, of course we will still be doing lots of holidays in future, but this presented one of the last times we can just jump on a plane and have a quick weekend away with minimal planning! We wanted to go somewhere new, but also somewhere which wasn’t too far away and of course, wasn’t super expensive over the May bank holiday. So I did some sky scanning and eventually we settled on Jersey.
I hadn’t really thought of visiting the Channel Islands before but I honestly did not realise just how close they were. Due to flight times we flew out of Luton and then back into Gatwick on Easyjet, however, I don’t think either flight was over 40 minutes long. They didn’t even get the trolley out, just wandered down asking if people wanted anything before we landed. And as we know, the shorter the flight the better for me!
I didn’t know a huge amount about Jersey but it’s not actually part of the United Kingdom, or part of the European Union. This has led it to become quite the tax haven, and as soon as you get off the plane you can tell – with lots of ads for various wealth management funds! We jumped into a taxi and headed to St Helier.
Jersey is actually tiny but the traffic did build up on our journey in, however this soon revealed itself as the Boat Show! This is a yearly event where there are a load of stalls and people try and sell a lot of boats, as so many people on Jersey are in financial services then it is the ideal place to try and sell some boats. After we dumped the stuff in the hotel, we had a good wander around.
The Island was actually busier than I expected, especially in the town, however, as a friendly taxi driver said, it has been their busiest weekend so far what with the boat show and the long weekend. When we did get out of the town on the Monday it was definitely a lot quieter (though the rain may have contributed to that too!).
Honestly, to me Jersey does feel a lot like the UK. Despite being so close to Northern France, the only thing which seemed more French to me was that most of the street / road names are French. I did hear quite a few people talking French as we wandered about, but I definitely heard a lot more British accents! With its little houses, bright colours and shady beaches, it gave me English South Coast vibes.
Despite being a little island, there were heaps of things to do – I especially enjoyed the Jersey War Tunnels which revealed a whole load of history which I didn’t know. Jersey was actually occupied by the Germans for 4 years during the Second World War which was so interesting to read and hear about. We also took a great visit to the La Mare Winery Estate where we did a tour and tasting. Let’s just say I stocked up in duty free on the way home! (Psst as Jersey is actually not part of the European Union, you do get proper Duty Free and cheap booze!). They made an epic apply brandy with Jersey cream.
We enjoyed where we stayed and there seemed to be a lot of lovely little hotels on the island. It would be ideal to get an AirBnB there too. If you are thinking of heading to Jersey then I do think a long weekend is ideal, that gives you enough time to do all the main attractions but also leaves a bit of time for relaxing too. If you want to do more hikes then definitely give yourself a little bit more time.
Overall, we both really enjoyed Jersey and I’m really glad that I went to the Channel Islands as it is such a unique part of the UK. If you fancy a little weekend away pretty close to home then it is a great option, just keep in mind that it’s definitely a bit pricier than an Eastern European jaunt!
Have you been to Jersey or the Channel Islands?