The weather’s fantastic, the beaches are pristine, the seafood is out of this world and you're less than an hour away from London by plane: is there a reason you haven't added the best things to do in Jersey to your travel bucket list yet?
Just over the water from France but proudly British in its allegiances, the best-known of the Channel Islands is a great place to escape to for a long weekend... or longer. Here, you’ll find boozers, bistros, RIB rides and a one-of-a-kind escape games. If you’re in the market for marine life, plenty of history and cream teas with a twist, read on to learn all about the best things to do in Jersey.
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Best things to do in Jersey
What is it: The clue’s in the name: Jersey Seafaris will whisk you around the island on one of their super-comfy RIBs for a day of adventure. From a visit to secluded coves and quarries in the north to a trip to the Minquiers, a cluster of paradise sandbanks, there’s no better way to get to know Jersey.
Why go: As well as caves and cliffs, a boat trip gives you a chance of spotting dolphins at play and splashing seals. And if you’re feeling really fancy, you can whizz across to France for lunch. All aboard!
What is it" A brightly painted, wooden hut on the Dicq slipway, serving fearlessly spiced, very reasonably priced Thai food. Munch on finger-licking battered garlic chicken as you watch the waves break.
Why go: It may look like an especially jolly garden shed, but this place has some of the tastiest tucker on the island. The fish and seafood, as you’d expect, are out of this world. Don’t miss the freshly picked crab simmered in coconut milk.
What is it: As Virginia Woolf put it: to the lighthouse! Follow Blue Badge guide Sue Hardy up the spiral steps right to the top of one of Jersey’s most iconic structures (it’s on the island’s £5 note, dontcha know), which stands on a tidal outcrop in St. Brelade.
Why go: From spooky shipwrecks to dramatic storms, the lighthouse’s history is the stuff Hollywood blockbusters are made of. Bonus points: the views out to sea, which are jaw-dropping.
What is it: Make like the Famous Five with a guided ramble along the seabed near Seymour Tower at low tide. From swooping gulls to tiny crabs and sea snails, there are loads of amazing animals and birdlife to admire. They’ll even lend you wellies!
Why go: It’s the perfect way to get back to the bucket-and-spade joy of childhood holidays. If you’re after an extra-special experience, book a night-time tour to witness Jersey’s incredible bioluminescence: a twinkling green glow emitted by some marine creatures.
What is it: In Jersey, they take afternoon tea to a whole new level: the scones come not just with cream and jam, but extra-thick butter too. Widely held to be the island’s best, Rozel Bay’s tea majors in them and lets you pick a homemade sandwich, cake and drink from their selection.
Why go: Not much beats tucking into a mighty slab of lemon drizzle while you gaze over a postcard-perfect harbour. There are plenty of gluten- and dairy-free options here too, so nobody needs to miss out.
What is it: The first people arrived here 250,000 years ago—and plenty’s happened since then. Brush up on your local history at the island’s main museum, a gorgeous Georgian property in the centre of St. Helier.
Why go: If you’ve ever wondered why Jersey has historically sided with England despite being so close to France, or why dairy is such a big deal, you’ll find the answers here. Plus, there’s a whole exhibit dedicated to the TV show Bergerac.
What is it: During the Second World War, Jersey was taken over by the Nazis. Labourers were forced to dig a series of tunnels into the hills of the island, designed to help the troops withstand Allied air raids. Today, you can visit them and discover the untold story of the occupation, from starvation to the secret resistance.
Why go: As well as the history, there’s a one-of-a-kind escape room: you join a team of commandos who've landed on the island to break into the German commandant's office, racing against the clock.
What is it: Part Parisian brasserie, part proper English boozer, The Cock & Bottle in St. Helier nicely encapsulates Jersey’s Franco-British identity. Symbolism aside, it’s also a great spot for everything from a quiet couple of pints to a bowl of moules marinieres.
Why go: This is the place for local brews like the award-winning (and delicious) Liberation Ale. It just so happens to be the first stop on the Jersey Ale Trail, which takes in eight of the island’s best watering holes. Cheers to that.
What is it: Built on a craggy outcrop in St. Aubin’s Bay, Elizabeth Castle, named after Elizabeth I, has kept watch over the island for centuries. You normally get to it by a pair of ferries (Charming Betty and Charming Nancy) but, at low tide, it’s reachable on foot across the causeway.
Why go: Ever wanted to watch a cannon being fired? Now’s your chance, thanks to the castle’s living history programme. And on a couple of Sundays during the season (March to November) you can watch a re-enactment of the 1781 Battle of Jersey. It’s a chance to feel like you’ve stepped back in time and to watch history play out in front of you.