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Wednesday, April 26, 2006

My Weekend in Jersey

My partner, Jayne, and I have just come back from a long weekend in Jersey. For anyone who doesn't know, Jersey is the southern-most of the British Isles, only a stone's throw from France.

I'd never been to Jersey before, but Jayne had been there in her twenties. We actually stayed in the same hotel she stayed at then, the Samares Coast in St Clement (picture above). It turned out to be an excellent choice, with comfortable rooms, excellent service, and delicious five-course meals every night. Perhaps fortunately, in view of all those calories, it had a leisure club with a swimming pool and mini-gym as well...

We hired a car for three days and explored a bit of the island (it's only nine miles by five, so you can get pretty much anywhere in an hour or two, even with the 40 mph speed limit). Among the highlights were the pretty town of Gorey, which is dominated by the historic Mont Orgeuil, one of the best-preserved castles in Britain. We also enjoyed our visit to the Jersey War Tunnels, an underground military hospital built by the Germans when the island was occupied during WW2. It now houses a fascinating (and moving) exhibition documenting life on Jersey during the occupation years.

Naturally, we had a look around the island's capital, St Helier, as well. Below is a picture of Jayne outside one of the many jewellery shops (ulp!). We came back home with a range of souvenirs, including a jar of Jersey's famous 'black butter', which contains cider, apples, treacle and licorice, among other things. I plan to have some on my breakfast toast at the weekend!

It seems to me that there is a lot to be written about the Channel Islands, and indeed Britain's many other islands too. Many Brits, in their quest for ever-more exotic holiday destinations, overlook these jewels among our own islands. And equally, the Channel Islands may not seem very exotic to us, but for folk from other countries they could represent new and interesting places to visit. OK, you'd need to get a plane from the UK (or France) to visit, but with the many low-cost airlines now operating (we went with FlyBe from Birmingham), getting there has never been easier or cheaper. Or you can, of course, take a ferry if you don't like flying.

So there you are - a great place to go for a short (or longer) break, and an interesting destination to write about as well! What more could you possibly ask?!



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Nick,

Yes, I'd say the Channel Islands are nice. We were supposed to go to Alderney, but the ferries were
cancelled/discontinued, so we decided to see Jersey after Guernsey in stead.
We had some fun on the roads, as it's years since we were in England
and have got used to these wide N.
American roads. When we met another car we had to think quick
to what side of the road to duck.
Thank heavens the cars were smaller

Mostly we walked all over. There's
really lots to see for such small
islands. I'd like to go back and
would recommend them to anyone. Only next time I think I'd fly, too,as the ferry seems to take a bit much of a short holiday.


12:10 AM  
Anonymous Linda Jones said...

Hello Nick,
Ooh I love Jersey. Bit scared of the cost of taking a family of four over there though! Will have to find a kindly PR to host a press trip perhaps!

1:28 PM  

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