WORDS Becky Evans
At the time of writing, Jersey is basking in the longest period of great weather that I can remember, school is about to be out for the summer, and thousands of holidaymakers are flocking in to enjoy our undeniably beautiful Island home.
With gorgeous beaches, endless options for adventure & more sunshine than anywhere else in Great Britain (Sorry Scilly Isles, but it’s a fact) we have the perfect holiday spot right on our doorstep. So why not take a staycation this summer, get off the beaten track and explore what secrets our own slice of Paradise has to offer?
Places To Stay
Durrell Wildlife Camp
There aren’t many places on Earth that you can be woken from slumber by the morning calls of a troop of lemur, but one of them is right here in Jersey. The Wildlife Camp at Jersey Zoo offers comfortable yurts on the banks of Lemur Lake. Camping it might be, but there’s no ‘roughing it’ here. Each yurt has proper beds, a carpeted floor and a wood burning stove to keep things cosy when the sun goes down, along with a private bathroom and fully equipped kitchen. The neighbours are a little rowdy, but at least they’re cute.
www.durrell.org/wildlife/visit/hospitality/camp/ From £480 for 3 nights.
Jersey Heritage Lets
Ever fancied staying in a remote coastal fort, off-shore tower or being the King of your own private Castle? Jersey Heritage Lets offers all these options and more, with accommodation ranging from rough & ready camp-outs for up to 30 people at Fort Leicester to a comfortable apartment at Elizabeth Castle or a beach break at the Barge in St Ouen. The adventurous can, with a guide, hike out to Seymour or La Rocco Tower and spend a memorable night off-shore, cut off from civilization by the incoming tide.
www.jerseyheritage.org/holiday Prices vary
Jersey Camper Hire
Who hasn’t dreamt of cruising around in an inconic VW Campervan, dropping down to Le Port for a BBQ and a surf, before cosying up for the night? Jersey Campervan Hire can make the dream a reality with a fleet of classic campers to hire for a day or a weekend. See the Island in a new light from behind the wheel of a 1967 split screen or 1970 Westfalia. (Gallery reminds you that it’s illegal to camp in Jersey outside of a designated campsite, so book a pitch at Beuvelande or Daisy Cottage for the full holiday experience, or just kip on your own driveway).
from £150 per day plus insurance
THINGS TO DO
Jersey Turbot Farm
Tucked away in a bunker at St Catherine’s is Jersey’s best kept secret. Operating daily as a Turbot Vivarium supplying Island shops & restaurants, on Sundays through the Summer owner Dave Cowburn throws open the doors and welcomes visitors to take a tour of his fascinating business. Housing around 6500 Turbot in sea-water tanks, venture inside and discover how they are reared over several years from 50p coin sized youngsters to full-sized market-ready fish weighing over a kilo. The unique location, small entrance fee, interesting subject matter and lively and engaging tour given by Dave himself makes this a must-visit.
Go Sail Catamaran Tours
Ever watched the boats sail into St Brelades Bay on a sunny day and wished you were on board? Take a south coast catamaran tour with Go Sail and it could be! Departing daily April to September from the Albert Pier, it’s a snip at £40 per person to hop aboard, kick back and enjoy a 3 hour cruise past some of Jersey’s most beautiful bays. On favourable tides, a full day round the Island tour is offered which includes the chance to dive in for a swim at Beauport. The catamaran carries just 10 passengers so it’s small enough to feel exclusive, but if sun seeking with strangers isn’t your thing, gather some friends together and charter privately, without having to splash too much cash.
Jersey War Tunnels – Escape Room
One of Jersey’s newest attractions having opened in 2016, and hidden deep within the War Tunnels, is the Escape Room. Round up a group of 4-8 of your smartest buddies, and venture into the Commandant’s office, where you have just one hour to find the clues, crack the codes and solve the puzzles in order to find the location of newly-constructed fortifications and save the day. Complete the mission within 60 minutes to claim a certificate and bragging rights; I’m told that only around 20% of groups make it out in time. Already taken-on the challenge? A brand new room is due to open later in 2018.
Think you know everything there is to know about Jersey? Pop your tourist hat on and take one of the many guided walks available on the Island, and I can guarantee that you’ll learn something new. There is a walk to suit everyone, many led by Blue or Bronze Badge Guides. Discover secrets of the Occupation, forage for edible seaweed, explore Corbiere Lighthouse inside and out or hike out across the moonlit seabed in search of elusive yet breath-taking bioluminescence. The full range of guided walks are listed in the What’s On guide, available at the Harbour and Tourist Information Centre.
Spread your wings and try something new with a private falconry experience in the charming surrounds of St John’s Manor grounds. Boasting 27 years of experience, Richard Hall will introduce you to these handsome birds of prey, including Zach the Eurasian Eagle Owl, Jazz the Harris Hawk, Hemlock the Steppe Eagle and over 25 more of their feathered friends. Visitors will have the opportunity to get up close & personal with these graceful and powerful birds, whilst learning about the fascinating history and art of falconry. The experience is just £90 for up to 4 people.