Jersey in the Channel Islands is the perfect getaway. Here are the best things to do in Jersey, including historical attractions and fun family activities.
Best Things to do in Jersey, Channel Islands
Jersey in the Channel Islands is not to be confused with Jersey City, the capital of New Jersey in the United States. The largest of the Channel Islands, it is located close to France. The island is compact, easily reached by plane and boasts a surprising amount of attractions spread over its 119 kilometers.
What to do in Jersey? It depends whether you like historical sights, family activities or beach walks but there’s something for everyone. These Jersey tourist attractions are all well worth a visit.
Jersey War Tunnels
The most visited Jersey attraction 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, The Mansell Collection is one of the most fascinating Jersey points of interest. 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. The place is 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
If you’re wondering what to do in Jersey with children, then the Durrell Wildlife Park is sure to appeal. 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 is one of the most popular things to do on Jersey.
They’re known for their wine tasting tours, 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 coast is one of the best beaches in Jersey. 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 among the best things to see on the island. 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, and one of our favourite things to see in Jersey.
You may well come across Reg, who is happy to stop and chat about the garden or his memories of the wartime occupation of the island.
The Botanic Gardens at Samares Manor
Spread over fourteen acres, Samares Manor is one of the most picturesque places to visit in Jersey. 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.
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. This Jersey landmark 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
Weather in Jersey
Jersey is one of the most sunny places in the British Isles, being only 14 miles from France. The weather in Jersey is best from May to the end of September, when the temperatures range from 20 – 25°C.
Even in Winter, it doesn’t generally get very cold in Jersey or the Channel Islands. Temperatures average 9°C in January which is the coldest month. Outside of the Summer months, do pack a rain jacket as the weather can be changeable.
Events in Jersey
Depending on what time of year you visit Jersey, there are lots of great events to enjoy. The Barclays Jersey Boat Show is a three day event taking place at the beginning of May.
Liberation Day is celebrated on 9 May and is considered to be the national day of Jersey. Don’t miss The Jersey International Motoring Festival, held from the end of May to beginning of June.
Le French Festival takes place in mid July and celebrates the island’s historic links with France. The Battle of Flowers Carnival takes place at the beginning of August and is one of the biggest flower carnivals in Europe.
One of the best things to do in Jersey in October is to see the Standard Chartered Jersey Marathon. The Jersey Rally is a popular car event taking place in mid October.
How to Get to Jersey
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 in Jersey
There are many good hotels in Jersey including The Atlantic Hotel. It is handy for Jersey sightseeing and has an enviable location overlooking St Ouen’s Bay.
The Atlantic Hotel also has some of the friendliest staff that we’ve encountered on our travels. It’s known for its fine dining, with Ocean Restaurant having been awarded a Michelin star for the tenth year in a row.
If you’re wondering what are the best things to do in Jersey, we hope to have given you some ideas for interesting places to visit on the island.
Have you visited any of these Jersey attractions or the Channel Islands?
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