Your choice has never been better
Choosing where to stay in Jersey is harder than it sounds. The Island may be small but it offers a variety of settings to suit all tastes, from spectacular views on windswept headlands to quiet rural locations
Whether you want to throw open your window and see great cliffs, vast beaches, the hustle and bustle of a busy town street or rolling green countryside, Jersey offers it all. The Island may only be 45 square miles but it has a rich diversity which could leave you with the delightful dilemma of where to stay and which view to pick.
Jersey’s biggest treasure is seen as its beautiful coastline and there are miles and miles of it, and even this offers a choice. The Island tilts from north to south, almost as if it is trying to face the sun. As a result, the south of the Island is dominated by golden sweeps of beach, such as St Aubin’s Bay and St Brelade’s Bay. These busy suntraps are relatively sheltered and with their soft sand and crystal clear water, provide havens for families.
The west coast is dominated by St Ouen’s Bay, which is washed twice daily by the waves rolling in from the Atlantic Ocean. This wild west of the Island is a popular beach for surfers and wake-boarders and it is flanked by windswept sand dunes. The north of the Island holds an entirely different beauty. The coastline here is rugged and spectacular, with exposed headlands which lead down to caves, gullies, hidden woods and secret coves. Small harbours, such as Bonne Nuit Bay and Rozel Bay, nestle among the dramatic cliffs, offering sanctuary to fishing boats, seabirds and cafés. The north coast is one of the best places to see birdlife and it provides a home to everything from the larger than life black-faced gulls to clown-faced puffins. As with the rest of the Island’s coastline, it is also interspersed with German fortifications, a poignant reminder of the fact that the Island was the only part of the British Isles to be occupied during World War II.
Moving east, the coast begins to soften and the mix of small bays and sandy coves are framed by great views of France in the distance. The pretty harbour village of Gorey lives under the magnificent Mont Orgueil Castle, which in turn overlooks the sheltered and flat stretch sand which is Longbeach, in the Royal Bay of Grouville. This rich bay is home to oyster beds and mussel farms, as well as being a popular beach for water-skiing and windsurfing. Before you reach the soft sands of the south again, the coast reveals a dramatic moonscape of rocky outcrops, which pepper the southeastern coast and surround the sea fortification of Seymour Tower. You can gaze at this stretch of coast for hours, watching it change as the Island’s huge tide moves in and out, exposing rock pools teaming with life. In fact, the whole tidal area was Jersey’s first designated RAMSAR or wetland of international importance.
Step inside the coastline and the Island unfurls into beautiful green countryside. Jersey is split into 12 parishes and in each of the country parishes there is a village based around the parish church and the village pub. Surrounding these is a rich environment for all kinds of flora and fauna.