Travelling to Jersey by ferry as a family from Poole, UK is really easy. Just stack everything in the car jump on the ferry and away you go. Most people travelling to Jersey from the UK seem to take their car and if you look in you will see everyone’s car is absolutely stacked with stuff. Considering Jersey is really well-stocked it’s a little strange – but I do it too. We travelled to St Helier with Condor Ferries. The journey was just under 4 hours and because of the glorious weather both ways we sat outside and watched the change in coastline from Poole departing until we arrived at Guernsey to let people disembark/join the ferry before continuing to St. Helier, Jersey.
Guernsey port looks like a Lilliputan version from Swift’s Travels as the ferry skirts round the coastline. For anyone enjoying looking at the coastline afresh and without the means of a private yacht this is the perfect way to get a new perspective. That is if you get the weather. We did and it was bliss. We have travelled before where the weather was “inclement” and Joy-rides and an empty stomach are a must. However this journey and the views were smooth and everything we saw was dappled by bright, crisp sunshine beautiful.
Hanging Out on holiday is the best part and my favourite beaches and cafes are featured below. Top 5 Things to do in Jersey:
1. Get to St Ouen’s Bay, Jersey and just hang out. There are two fab Cafe’s/Restaurants with spectacular views of the long, stretching, golden and usually empty St. Ouen’s Bay. This is my favourite beach in Jersey and from either you get a completely different perspective.
Go to El Tico above for the best food and wonderful view’s of the coastline. The children’s menu is generous in range and the quality of the food speaks for itself when you taste it. Spaghetti Carbonara was a huge hit.
Hanging outside at Le Braye Cafe, St Ouen’s Bay, Jersey
2. Go to Le Braye Cafe for superior Crab sandwiches and a great view of the hill dunes as well as being close to Blow-Carting area which is popular when the wind gets up.
3. Get to St Brelade’s Bay and go to The Waterfront Cafe or Pizza Express below (I know – but it has the best view). This is another beautiful, long bay with more cafes but you only really need one good one and that is The Waterfront Cafe. The service at The Crab Shack which looks more visually appealing is a bit snotty and we didn’t like the manager telling the staff of in front of us (embarrassing!). This is a big bay, its beautiful but often busy. If you just want to feel the outdoors, get away from it and not have someone come right up and sit next to you St Ouen’s Bay is the one for you. This is a busy beach!
4. If you’ve got young ones Pizza Express above is a safe bet overlooking St Brelade’s and is great if the weather isn’t great.
5. Finally, if you have to succumb to one late-Victorian pursuit on a traditional British holiday go putting inland. There are two 18 hole putting rinks at Jersey Experience – we chose the red one as the guide said it was more fun!
Other places worth visiting if the weather fails Aqua Splash, St Helier and Jersey Pearl where you can choose a shell and watch as they open the shell to reveal a cultured pearl. My children were fascinated by this and wanted to go back (unusual). We had a great time and Jersey Ice-Cream truly is as good as memory serves. This was a family holiday which we paid for ourselves. Condor Ferries like my recent trip to Yarmouth on WightLink are clearly trying really hard to get their offering right and it shows in the service and the fact you can get a decent coffee on board. We were really impressed that they are now serving local Jersey produce as an integral part of the food being offered: Tom’s Pies, Jersey Ice Cream and Cream Teas.
We’ve found beautiful beaches, fabulous fresh local produce at great cafes/restaurants. However, I’m still looking for the perfect place to stay. Somewhere within walking distance of St Ouen’s, access to a great cafe and a couple of great local food shops. If anyone can recommend anywhere please let me know.