In addition to the successful Guernsey, Herm, Sark and Alderney programme we are also offering Jersey.
It is difficult, if not impossible to find 5 islands which offer so much to the visitor so close to home.
A small island with a big personality. This is Jersey. Just 45 square miles when the tide is up, with some of the best sandy beaches in Great Britain, three Michelin star restaurants, four golf courses and an improvement in hotel quality in recent years it’s almost hard to believe.
In these times of stress and rush, who wants to spend hours at airports or on long flights? Jersey has short flight times and sea crossings, see page 30. It’s worth seriously considering for a short break or longer holiday.
There are quiet coves and bays and there is also a Mediterranean kind of buzz that is attracting couples and groups of friends. Jersey really has shaken off it’s “cardigan and cotton wool” image and now offers some stylish hotels, shopping opportunities, cocktail bars and restaurants without losing its traditional appeal.
On the green front, nature lovers will love the Green Lanes, a network of around 50 miles of lanes where pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders have priority over cars. Spring and autumn walking events usually include walks for foodies, birdwatchers, history lovers and single people.
Moonwalking on Jersey happens when the island’s massive tidal reach (one of the world’s highest) suddenly reveals rocks, reefs and pools as a strange kind of “moonscape”. Go with a guide as tides can be treacherous. The Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust is possibly best known for the incident when a small boy fell into the gorilla enclosure and Jambo the gorilla guarded him until he could be retrieved … but it’s worth a visit to see the 1,400 mammals, birds, reptiles, meerkats and more that live on the 32 acre site and there’s a fascinating organic garden that provides food for the animals.
Mont Orgeuil Castle is the image so often seen on tourist publicity and it looks a little like Mont Saint Michel in France. This isn’t surprising , because, just as with Guernsey, there are many aspects of Jersey that are decidedly – and delightfully – French.
Michelin stars are not given lightly and three restaurants on Jersey have them. Seafood and fresh fish are fabulous and there’s a super choice of places to eat including beachfront crab shacks, trendy bistros, country inns and those award-winning places.
The history of Jersey is sensitively told in The Jersey War tunnels. They present a sensitive interpretation of the Occupation years with each tunnel focusing on a specific aspect of that time including the issues of reflection, desperation, whispers and lies. The new Liberty Wharf shopping mall in St Helier, the island’s vibrant capital, evokes history too with part of it located in the headquarters of the old Jersey Railway Company.
There’s more to this island than you might expect. So whether you’re looking for spas and shopping, gastronomy and golf, history and heritage, fun and forests and an amazing coastline, you’ll find them on Jersey.
The island of Guernsey and her neighbouring islands of Herm, Sark and Alderney are beautiful little cameos, all truly British with a large helping of French flair –the perfect combination.
Writers and artists have been inspired by Guernsey: Victor Hugo was exiled on Guernsey for 15 years where he completed Les Miserables and Renoir painted canvasses here, mesmorised by the “shimmering light” of Moulin Huet Bay.
Today, the island attracts families seeking a traditional holiday with fabulous beaches, a wide range of activities away from theme parks, with short flights or sea crossings and no fuss on arrival. Couples are discovering that Guernsey is a cool place with some romantic hideaways and stylish restaurants. Groups of friends are choosing it for a weekend gettogether where boat trips, golf, boutique shopping and bistros on-the-shore provide a fabulous short break.
St Peter Port is Guernsey’s capital with a sparkling marina full of yachts and fishing boats and it’s the departure point for ferries to the neighbouring islands of Herm and Sark. Along the waterfront there are bars, cafés, restaurants and some secret smugglers’ passageways that lead into the centre of the town. Here, it’s great to potter among the galleries and individual boutique shops selling clothes, jewellery, shoes and antiques.
The island is just 25 square miles in size and buses go the whole way round the coast for just £1. Remember that sterling is the currency here. Despite being small, there’s plenty to see and do. The island’s occupation during World War II is poignantly recalled at the German Occupation Museum and the Underground Hospital. Learn about the island’s history from Castle Cornet, which appears to perch out on the sea or explore the island by horsedrawn carriage, take an exhilarating RIB (rigid inflatable boat) trip or discover how the island influenced Victor Hugo during a tour of his utterly eccentric home, Hauteville House.
Be sure to walk at least part of one of the 27 miles of cliff paths above the same number of coves and sandy bays. On Guernsey’s beaches, children play in rock pools, looking for crabs and shells. Beach kiosks sell delicious crab sandwiches and local Guernsey ice cream.
Eating out is fabulous from beach cafés to fine dining restaurants and many have pretty outdoor terraces. Local crab, lobster and prawns regularly feature on menus and food is so good that French visitors sail over in their yachts for lunch or dinner. Local specialities might include a touch of healthy edible seaweed, gathered fresh by chefs each morning, delicious fruit bread called Gache smothered with yellow Guernsey butter and proper traditional cream teas with huge home-made scones and lashings of local cream (diet starts tomorrow)! A good time to come is during the Tennerfest festival usually October - November when many restaurants offer daily two and three course menus for around £10.
On Guernsey, nothing is very far away and, if you prefer not to drive, taxis are easily booked and the bus service is excellent.
A tiny island straight out of a fairytale with masses of wild flowers and a rather famous beach.
At just 1½ miles long you can walk around Herm in two hours or less. Walking paths take you across a common, past dolmens, through a farm, and past the amazing white Shell Beach made up of fragments of tiny shell brought here by the Gulfstream.
Between May and July watch out for puffins who choose to nest here.
There are no cars, children can roam freely and safely and it’s just a 20 minute boat ride from Guernsey.
Herm is a former winner of the Britain in Bloom award! In summer you can tour the islands gardens. An unspoilt paradise and a secret little part of Great Britain.
The most northerly of the Channel islands, 70 miles from the English coast.
There are over 50 miles of cliff walks, past fortresses, World War II batteries and an 18 hole golf course.
This quirky island is home to real blonde furred, brown eyed hedgehogs and the only railway in the Channel Islands, complete with ex-London Underground carriages. Beautiful, sandy beaches and grassy dunes are found on the north and east coasts.
St Anne’s, the island’s capital has cobbled streets, a choice of bars and restaurants and some eclectic shops.
Watch out for two Alderney Wildlife events (Jun and Aug) which offer marine cookery classes, seashore forays and more.
A stunning island with a wild spirit and a golden smile.
Easily reached by boat from Guernsey and Jersey, there are no cars and getting about is on foot, by bicycle or by horse drawn trap.
This is a place of real natural beauty and a step back in time. The formal gardens of La Seigneurie are worth a visit and you’ll find cafés, restaurants and souvenir shops on The Avenue. The Visitors Centre tells the island’s story including that of the two-person prison!
Sark has been designated the world’s first dark sky island – look out for star gazing classes. Other events include sheep racing (3rd weekend in Jul and jockies are teddies) and the new Sark Folk Festival (5-7 July).
An amazing sight is La Coupée, a narrow isthmus that links Sark with Little Sark. It’s perfectly safe as railings were erected in 1900.
A place for a truly memorable holiday.
Our prices are based on Aurigny services from Southampton to Alderney and Flybe services from Southampton to Guernsey with connecting ferry services to Herm and Sark.
St Brelade's Bay, Jersey
A family owned hotel on the seafront on one of the island’s best beaches and set in five acres of beautiful gardens.
From £419 »
Pomme d'Or Hotel, Jersey
This is an historic, much sought after hotel that was the headquarters of the German army during the Occupation.
From £369 »
The Club Hotel & Spa, Jersey
A luxury, beautifully appointed boutique hotel which opened in 2005.
From £413 »
Merton Hotel, Jersey
A lively hotel close to the centre of St Helier.
From £368 »
Cobo Bay Hotel, Guernsey
Situated on the west coast overlooking the beautiful Cobo Bay
From £339 »
Duke of Richmond, Guernsey
In a quiet area of St Peter Port, just a short stroll to the town centre
From £429 »
La Moinerie, Sark
A lovingly restored luxury hotel using original stone from the ruins of a farm and a medieval monastery.
From £539 »
Harbour Lights, Alderney
Completely rebuilt in 2009, this privately owned small hotel is close to the town of St Anne, to the harbour and to one of the best beaches on the island.
From £347 »
Braye Beach, Alderney
Standing on a beautiful beach, this is a very stylish, chic hotel, close to the harbour and the town of St Anne.
From £379 »
La Sablonnerie, Sark
This gorgeous hotel has a history! Originally a Sark farmhouse built some 400 years ago, it first welcomed guests in 1948.
From £737 »
Surrounded by tranquil unspoilt countryside facing south, Stocks Hotel has undergone an extensive refurbishment to transform it in to the gorgeous and comfortable retreat it is now.
From £559 »