About Jersey beaches
Jersey is the largest of the Channel Islands and has a widely varied scenery and the most bustling metropolis (laidback St Helier) of the bunch. There’s something of the tidiness of the Brits here, the hanging flower baskets, bungalows, and cafes serving all-day breakfasts. But the restaurants show the flair of the French – you can eat exceedingly well here – and the climate and the beaches feel more French than British.
Jersey is ringed by craggy cliffs and sandy beaches, many of which are sheltered and very safe for swimming. St Aubin’s Bay, on the south coast, is dotted by cafes and beach kiosks and is a sheltered golden-sand curve that’s great for families. Nearby St Brelade’s Bay is popular in summer, with good facilities. Greve de Lecq, a short walk from St Ouen on the north coast, is a small but lovely white-sand beach dotted by beach kiosks and populated by over-confident seagulls.
Beauport, also on the south coast, is a small, white-sand cove that gets sun most of the day and has good water quality. It’s rarely busy because of the slightly longer walk to reach it, being situated at the base of a cliff with quite a steep approach. Windsurfers, surfers and kite flyers should head to St Ouen’s Bay, with its sweeping stretch of exposed sand. Swimming can be treacherous here, so be aware of the restricted areas.
Beyond the beach:
For a slice of history head to the Jersey War Tunnels (www.jerseywartunnels.com), which tell the extraordinary story of wartime Jersey. The tunnels themselves are formed of the spooky former underground military hospital, hollowed out using forced labour. It’s now occupied by a fascinating exhibition that uses flickering film footage and artefacts to vividly bring alive the period of German occupation.
Those who enjoy a round of golf should pack their clubs as Jersey has two famous 18-hole golf courses: La Moye in St Brelade and Royal Jersey in Grouville (www.royaljersey.com). Both require proof of handicap or membership in a recognised club. Anyone can play at 18-hole Les Mielles or Les Ormes and nine-hole Wheatlands or Greve D’Azette.
Jersey has plenty for both kids and grownups to do. Watersports such as canoeing and sailing are available from the larger beaches; while inland there is the marvellous Durrell (www.durrellwildlife.org), a cage-free zoo whose layout allows the animals to roam remarkably freely. Mont Orgueil Castle (www.jerseyheritagetrust.org), overlooking Gorey harbour on the east coast, is an impressive fairytale edifice that’s fun to explore. The Maritime Museum (New North Quay, St Helier) offers entertaining interactive fun.