A 35-minute flight from Gatwick means Londoners can comfortably do the pretty island of Jersey in a weekend. Once there, hire a car and explore the coves, cliffs, rolling hills and beaches, then indulge in fresh seafood and the local cider.
Yellow post boxes, red squirrels, £1 notes – the small island of Jersey is the UK with a twist. The place names give way to its French influences, but cream teas and crab sandwiches are the order of the day.
The beauty of the place is that everything is about half an hour away. In one morning, we headed west to the picturesque harbour and village of Gorey, and walked up to Mont Orgueil Castle then we went to Samares Manor gardens and explored the tranquil Japanese garden and floral displays.
A tax haven with low speed limits and a quiet way of life, Jersey has long been associated retirees and families, but the place is keen to shake off the blue rinse and get down with the kids to encourage more tourism to the island.
One draw is Jersey Live, a small music festival that draws big acts. We saw pop smash Katy B, queen of DJs Annie Mac and The Streets on the night we were there. Front man Mike Skinner was clearly enjoying the local produce, ‘It’s all about the gold top,’ he told the crowd.
The vibe was relaxed and friendly, with plenty of youngsters enjoying bottles of St Helier cider, albeit with their mums and dads.
But this is the really nice thing about Jersey. It’s good, clean fun. And for those who deal with the craziness of London every day, pootling around country lanes and stopping off for ice creams is a bit of a novelty.
After dancing the night away, we sunk into our seriously comfortable beds at The Atlantic, a luxurious hotel with two swimming pools and a tasty brekkie that got the next morning off to a great start.
Feeling thoroughly refreshed, we walked along the cliffs and drank in the beautiful scenery, making our way back down to the beach. After dipping our toes in the clear blue sea, we walked along St Brelade’s bay to the Oyster Box restaurant. Everything here was caught just a few miles off the coast, and my god you could tell. Melt-in-the-mouth scallops, the freshest oysters and meaty mackerel were real treats.
Before we nipped back to the airport, we ended our trip looking out at Corbiere lighthouse. As the sun began to set, we looked out at the other Channel Islands in the distance, and vowed to return.
This is a new section of The London Word that forgets about a phone signal and wanders the world. Each week, Cath will be blogging about her sneaky getaways and reminiscing about life on the road. Stay tuned for travel trends, cool getaways and hidden gems from Southend to Singapore.
Next time: The Importance of Taking Cash…