Jersey is the perfect place for an island break – compact, easily reached by plane and boasting a surprising amount of attractions spread over its 119 kilometers. Whether you go for the weekend or a longer trip, you’re sure to find plenty to do. We’ve rounded up our list of the top 10 things to do in Jersey to give you some travel inspiration.
Jersey War Tunnels
The most visited attraction on the island is the Jersey War Tunnels. You don’t need to have an interest in the war to be moved by this exhibition. Every visitor is handed a “passport” of a real Jersey resident upon arrival. At the end, you find out what happened to that person and it certainly brings history to life. There are over 1 km of tunnels built by prisoners of war during Germany’s 5 year occupation of the island.
- Open from 10am to 6pm until end of October and from 10am to 4pm from 1 November.
- Wrap up warm as it’s cold inside the tunnels
- There’s a cafe and a shop as well as a garden of reflection
Five minutes drive from the Jersey War Tunnels, you’ll find Mark Jordan at the Beach. This superbly located restaurant in St. Peter has a casual atmosphere and is a great place to come for seafood.
Jersey is well known for its cows and you can spot these photogenic ones in St Helier. The statue by John McKenna is at the intersection of Peter Street and Bath Street. The capital of Jersey has many other interesting sights including Elizabeth Castle, the Jersey Museum and Art Gallery and the Maritime Museum.
One of the best places to eat in St Helier is Bohemia, the Michelin starred restaurant on Green Street. It’s a gastronomic highlight of any trip to the island.
The Mansell Collection
Whether you’re into cars or not, you’ll enjoy visiting The Mansell Collection. The museum was created by Nigel Mansell, the former F1 World Champion and CART Indy Car World Series winner. It tells the story of his racing career and showcases his superb collection of racing cars and trophies. It’s run by one of his sons and located in a stunning Art Deco building.
- Open from 9am to 6pm, Monday to Saturday – closed on Sundays and Bank Holidays
Durrell Wildlife Park
Created by Gerald Durrell OBE, the renowned naturalist, Durrell Wildlife Park is different to a zoo. The focus is firmly on conservation and on breeding programmes with the ultimate aim of releasing back into the wild. There are no cramped cages but there are free-ranging tamarin monkeys and 130 species in all thriving here.
- Open from 9.30am to 5.30pm in Summer and 9.30am to 5pm in Winter, closed on Christmas Day
- 2 on-site cafes and a shop, as well as a five-star glamping park
La Mare Wine Estate
Who’d have thought that there was a vineyard in Jersey? La Mare Wine Estate was established in 1968 and runs some fascinating wine tasting tours. They’re also known for their VSOP Jersey Apple Brandy and Jersey Cider, with over 5000 apple trees on the estate. Don’t forget to sample their Jersey Black Butter, which is actually a kind of preserve.
- Open from 10am to 5pm, seven days a week
- Vineyard Bistro, shop, children’s fun trail and play area
St Brelade’s Bay
This picturesque stretch of the Jersey coast is one of the most popular beaches on the island. As it’s south-facing, it’s sunny throughout the day and a safe place to swim. There are lots of places to eat along the bay, all with perfect sea-views. If you’re feeling energetic, try your hand at paddle-boarding or take a kayak tour.
Jersey Lavender Farm
From Easter to Autumn, the Jersey Lavender Farm in St Brelade is a charming place to visit. It was the second lavender farm to be established in the UK, over 30 years ago. The climate in Jersey is particularly favourable to lavender growing. Just as well as it takes 100kg of lavender flowers to produce one kg of pure lavender oil. There are 9 acres of lavender and a distillery where you’ll learn all about the different production stages, as well as a shop.
- Sprigs Cafe serves light snacks, cream teas and lavender flavoured treats.
- Open from 10 am to 5 pm, Tuesdays to Sundays in season.
Next to the Jersey Lavender Farm in St Brelade, you’ll find Reg’s Garden. This small, hidden gem is Reg’s own private garden and is free to enter. Make sure to leave a donation in the box though as all proceeds go to charity. It’s an eccentric place with a fairy garden section complete with Barbie dolls. You may well come across Reg, who is happy to stop and chat about the garden or his memories of the wartime occupation of Jersey.
The Botanic Gardens at Samares Manor
Spread over fourteen acres, Samares Manor is one of Jersey’s most picturesque attractions. The gardens were originally created in the 1920s by Sir James Knott, a shipping magnate. Today, they feature a conservation area, exotic plants and one of the largest herb gardens in the UK. There’s an elevated platform from which you get a fantastic view over the whole space.
Open daily from 9.30am to 5.00pm from 26th March to 16th October
- The Herb Garden Cafe serves light snacks and salads
- Self-catering apartments and cottages available from April to October
If you’re looking for something more elaborate, Longueville Manor, a Relais & Chateaux, is nearby and perfect for a gourmet meal.
Mont Orgueil Castle
Standing proud over the village of Gorey on Jersey’s East coast, Mont Orgueil Castle is an impressive sight. It protected the island from French invasion for over 600 years and was visited by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert in 1846. There are some stunning holographic portraits of Queen Elizabeth II inside, including Equanimity, created by Chris Levine and Rob Munday to commemorate 800 years of Jersey’s loyalty to the Crown.
- Open from 10am to dusk in Winter and 10am to 6pm in Summer
How to Get Here
It’s less than an hour’s flight from Jersey to Southampton or London City with Blue Islands, a Flybe partner. The airport itself is so compact that in no time at all, you’ll be at your hotel. We’d advise you to book a hire car to get around the island as although there is public transportation, it can be quite infrequent.
Where to Stay
The Atlantic Hotel has an enviable location overlooking St Ouen’s Bay and some of the friendliest staff that we’ve encountered on our travels. It’s also known for its fine dining, with Ocean Restaurant having been awarded a Michelin star for the tenth year in a row.
We hope to have given you some ideas for the top 10 things to do in Jersey and to have sparked your wanderlust!
Have you ever visited the Channel Islands?