Monday 3 November 2014

10 things you might not know about Jersey

1. The beaches are beautiful. There is such variety – some really long and wide white sand beaches, others with rocks that are great for rock pooling and awesome waves for surfing too.

2. The Island is only 5 miles long by 9 miles wide and thus you can easily travel around and see all of it. Even a short stay of 3 days like ours is enough to feel you have had a good look around.

3. Then because it is so small it means you don’t really need to bring your car. Hire cars are plentiful here and there are loads of coach tours to take you to see various parts of the Island. These all stop at the major hotels in St Helier too for easy pick-up and drop-off.

4. Jersey was occupied by the Nazis during WWII and there is so much history here to explore. The war tunnels are brilliant; a real eye opener to what life was like for those living in occupied Jersey.

5. Petrol is much cheaper here. Our VAT is 20% whilst Jersey’s tax is just 5%, so if you bring your car, make sure you fill up before you go home.

6. Generally it is cheaper to buy things here, you can get perfume and alcohol at duty-free prices and some shops will offer a discount for buying in Jersey. For example we shopped at the Entertainer toy store and they offer 10% discount on everything sold. Food however, seems to be more expensive and is sold at 5% more than it is in the UK.

Liberation Square in St Helier

7. Jersey celebrates its Liberation Day on 9th May and there are island wide celebrations on this public holiday. I’m told this is a really nice time to visit as you can join in the festivities and have a lot of fun. Being as it is May the weather is generally warm and beautiful too.

8. As it is a British Isle, much is the same as home. You drive on the left side of the road, the currency is Stirling but also there is the Jersey pound that cannot be spent back home. Everyone we met spoke English and most speak French too. The shopping centre is very British and you will find brands like Next, M&S, Goldsmiths and WH Smiths.

9. Despite it being a British Isle some things are different - the healthcare system is a private one, so take out insurance. Your British phone plan for data will not work here, you will need to purchase data roaming and calls and texts back home are more expensive and won't form part of your inclusive plan. The postal service is also independent and you need to purchase Jersey stamps if you want to write home.

10. St Helier (the capital) appears to take a lot of pride in the way it looks and you can spend a nice day there without really spending that much money. There are loads of statues and monuments to look at, there is an interesting historic walking trail around Fort Regent, the views are also pretty spectacular from there too and the harbour is beautiful and recently redeveloped.

We had a really nice break in Jersey earlier this week and I would happily return there another time. I think it would be great to visit in summer as although it might be busier, the weather and the deep green/blue seas will be enough to make up for the people.

If you want to find out more about Jersey and what is there then visit the tourist board site - and for super transport from the UK it is worth looking at Condor Ferries. I can also recommend the Mayfair Hotel where we stayed too.

We had a great holiday in Jersey but it never seems to stop, now the kids are talking about how wonderful it would be to go to Lapland for Christmas, so I headed over to Kates to check out her Lapland holiday review.

Disclosure: We were provided with ferry crossings and 3 nights B&B for our family. A massive big thank you to Condor Ferries, and the Mayfair Hotel for ensuring we had a lovely time. I have not been instructed what to write and I remain honest.
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