Jersey is the largest of the Channel Islands some 22km from the Normandy coast in France and 161 km from the south coast of Britain.  The Channel Islands are considered to be a remnant of the Duchy of Normandy and are not part of the United Kingdom but rather a British Crown Dependence.

The first time we visited Jersey, in 1984, we caught the hydrofoil from St. Malo in France. It was an extremely rough crossing with the majority of the passengers, not including us (thank goodness) becoming sea-sick. The weather was diabolical with gusting, horizontal rain trying to force us off our feet. Foolishly we went to the zoo, well it was the reason for being in Jersey, but we did not last long before we retreated to the warmth and comfort of a bookshop. After two months travelling from Turkey to France, via  Spain, an English language bookshop was a real treat!

Jersey, in 2008, was a far different experience. We flew from Heathrow to Jersey and then continued our journey via ferry to St. Malo. This time the crossing was fine.

Jersey is a fantastic place, full of a rich history and blessed with a picturesque and, in places, rugged coastline. Jersey has one of the greatest tidal shifts in the world. The tides recede so far that they hold motor racing on the beach!


Rugged beauty.


Boats stranded by the huge tidal flow, Jersey.

Jersey has a really good public bus system and we felt no need to hire a car in the three days we were there, even on a Sunday.

You must visit Elizabeth Castle, situated on a rocky island in St. Aubin’s Bay. At low tide you can walk across or you can take the “ferry” which can either drive or sail across, depending on the water level.



View from Elizabeth Castle to St Helier at low tide. Note the footpath clearly visible.


The “ferry” to Elizabeth Castle, Jersey

Sir Walter Raleigh, who was governor of Jersey from 1600-1603, named the castle after Queen Elizabeth I. Charles II visited in the 17th century and was proclaimed KIng, despite the abolition of the monarchy in Britain. During the German occupation of Jersey in WWII,  the castle was modernised  with guns, bunkers and battlements.


Preparing to fire the canon, Elizabeth Castle, Jersey


Firing successful, but checkout the view! Click on pictures for clearer views.

The zoo is, of course, the reason we have been to Jersey twice. See my previous post: A couple of exceptional zoos. Gerald Durrell established the zoo in 1958. He was also a well published author of books telling, often amusing tales, of  his life as an animal collector and enthusiast.


He knows who’s boss! Durrell, Jersey.

Another great day out is a trip to the beach at St Brelades Bay. Have lunch, stroll  along the beach, paddle in the water, sunbake if it’s warm enough – the locals will think it is – this is a very beautiful spot.


St Brelade’s Bay beach, Jersey.

Jersey: worth making the effort to see and a very different way of getting to The Continent from England.









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