White sands and crystal waters in the UK

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Europe » Channel Islands » Jersey » St Helier
May 15th 2011
Published: May 16th 2011
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The UK’s Channel Island of Jersey was our spring weekend destination. Scott, Myles, Adam and I set out extremely early for Gatwick, 5.30am to be exact, yawn. We were soon on our way for the short flight south and landed to a crisp, sunny morning. After picking up the smallest car on the Island, 3 door Fiat, and all squeezing in we were off and soon at the main city; St Helier on the South Coast. Every town is ‘St’ something, and apparently each parish issues different drivers licences – so many odd things still going on in this part of the world. We all couldn’t check in to our hotel so decided to go for a burn across the Island to the North Coast. It only took about 15-20mins. The country side was very pretty and very green. Our first stop was at Gorey Harbour to see Mont Orgueil Castle. It took us a little while to work out the parking situation. We had to go and get a scratchy card, then scratch the date and time – rather a palaver. We decided not to go up to the Castle as it was very expensive at £10.50 a pop. We zoomed back around the East Coast and were all able to check-in. After a short mid-day nap we headed across to the beach to have a lunch with a create vista of Elizabeth Castle. This castle you could only visit when the tide was out, walking across the beach. The tides in Jersey were a little mad, rising 12meters or so. It really does draw right back and huge distance.
Our main key activity for the weekend was Kayaking. Our start point was St Brelade’s Bay, a stunning golden sand beach with the rolling hills meeting the crystal clear sea. After the safety briefing and slipping into a wetsuit, jacket and life jacket we were lined up on the beach and ready to go. Off we went behind our local and very enthusiastic guide. He was great, lived on the Island his entire life and his family lived through the German occupation. The coast line was great, rocks and different colours, lots of birds. The waves were rather high, but our equipment was good so everyone stayed in their boats. Once we reached the shore, we felt we deserved a local Jersey soft serve ice-cream ... delicious. After enjoying the hotel pool and spa area, including a sensory shower. If you get a chance try out a sensory shower, do it they are brilliant; water horizontal, vertical, different temperatures, lights and relaxing aromas. That evening we stayed local and enjoyed a champagne cocktail at the hotel bar and dinner at the restaurant. Although we did get desert delivered to the room as Eurovision was on that evening.
The following morning, and after a leisurely breakfast we headed northwest. It was a lovely drive past beautifully manicured gardens, green framed roads, Jersey cows frocking in fields and stone houses. It definitely had a French feel to the Island, and the residents had a very mixed accent. Our first stop was at a little bay – Bonne Nuit - then headed to La Mare Vineyards. Jersey is on the same latitude as Champagne so not bad for wine growing. We decided to do a little tour and sampled a few of these wines; none were great. What was good and interesting was their brandy distillery and chocolate kitchen. We managed to sample the chocolate, fudge and something called black butter. It was like Christmas mince, except as a spread. Next stop was a restaurant on the West coast beach of St Quen’s Bay. This bay was lined by Germany bunkers. The Germans were in Jersey for a very long time and only liberate about 1yr after the B-Day landings. It was lovely sitting outside with great company and view. After taking a few snaps of the famous Jersey cow we headed to the airport and back to the mainland.


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