Friday 26 September 2014

Holidaying in Jersey with the Family

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October is going to be a very busy month for me, it starts with JJ's eleventh birthday and we are taking him and a friend away for a weekend, just some good old fashioned fun at a holiday park in Camber Sands.

Then mid-month of course I head off to America on my own for a whirlwind trip to Washington D.C to attend the ONE AYA Summit where I expect to be inspired and amazed.

Practically as soon as I return to the UK I'll then be Jersey bound in half-term with all my family. We first drive down to Weymouth and stay overnight there to be ready for an early morning ferry crossing with Condor Ferries. It has been years since I've been on a ferry, I think perhaps the last one was back in the early 1990's when I went to Jersey for a day trip with some uni mates. That trip was pretty different to this one though as our main aim was to buy duty free and drink a lot of alcohol.

The kids don't know we are taking this trip yet and I'm sure they will be excited to find out they will be travelling Club Class on this huge ferry. I can imagine it will all be very exciting - from driving the car onto the ferry, to finding our seats, to being on the viewing deck and watching the ferry pull away and just generally enjoying the four hour journey.

I suspect the girls will seek out the special children's area where they can watch films and dress up in Condor uniforms and I bet JJ will badger me to buy him one of the activity packs that has a chance of a golden ticket inside and with it a trip to meet the captain. Dh and I will probably just be happy for a nice relax in the private club class area; the seats recline, there are large tables for us to play games with the kids (we can even hire board games on the ferry) and there is complimentary tea, coffee and muffins. It all sounds good to me.

Then once we are in Jersey we have a short drive from the port to the Mayfair Hotel for our three night stay there. It looks like a great base, we have well equipped inter-connecting rooms and I see there is small pool, I suspect the children will pester me into that each day as well as a trip to the free soft play at the sister hotel. It was reassuring to see the Mayfair Hotel has won a TripAdvisor award of excellence in 2013 too.

The Jersey tourist board found our accommodation for us and I have been having a good look through their site checking out some of the attractions we should go and visit during our short stay on the island. There are many things I like the look of - Mont Orgeil Castle, walking the lush north coast, duty free shopping in St Helier and a cruise around the bay, but it is hard to know what it best to fit into our short stay so I asked some fellow bloggers for their recommendations and this is what they suggested -

Donna at Mummy Central lived in Jersey for three years so she knows the place pretty well and has suggested St Brelade's Bay, the Durrell Zoo and the Amazing Maize.

Amanda at the Ana Mum Diary has said she really enjoyed the Jersey War Tunnels when she visited three years ago and it does look interesting, I know JJ would love it, he is very into learning about the 2nd world war.

Being Mrs C didn't specifically recommend a particular place for me to visit but did point me to a post about her visit to Jersey back in 2008 and said it was a wonderful break.

Globalmouse Travels has a whole host of posts about the channel islands on her blog and I've had lots of fun reading through and discovering some great finds.

My friend Anya visited Jersey  in the summer and she travelled with Condor Ferries too. She was visiting friends on the Island and had also previously lived there for a bit so her post is a great insight to both Condor Ferries and to Jersey as a tourist destination.

It's only about a month until we take this trip now and I pray this beautiful weather continues so we can go on the beaches and really get to explore Jersey. It feels amazing to be going somewhere further afield but be able to take our car and not have the expense of buying the kids passports. Check back in early November to find out what we thought of our holiday in Jersey.

Disclosure: We are being offered complimentary ferry crossings and 3 nights B&B at the Mayfair hotel for the purpose of reviewing both. We have not been instructed what to write and I remain honest.
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