To say we maximised our three nights, two day stay in Jersey would be an understatement. The weather was so ridiculously kind that it would have been criminal (although desirable) to have simply stayed relaxing in our luxurious cottage on the grounds of Longueville Manor.
So instead, we looked beforehand at what we wanted to do, made a plan, and stuck to it and consequently had some fantastic family days out.
Our first day was spent amongst the animals and Durrell Wildlife Park in Trinty. We got to see animals on the verge of extinction, which are being slowly bred so their numbers can increase from dangerously low to a more sustainable figure.
The Gorillas were a sight to behold, magnificent creatures, with babies strapped to their chests, sitting staring at the crowds who were delighted by them. The Orangatangs played like toddlers, leaping from rope to platform without a hint of fear, and the fruit bats ignored their audience and flew and clawed their way around terrifying and hypnotising the young ones.
Durrell is a beautiful place for a day out. Set in 31 acres of incredible parkland and water gardens, no matter what your age you will be amazed by the beauty of the natural world.
Find out more about them on their Youtube channel and watch this fab silverback in action…
Cycling round Jersey
Jersey is tiny, in comparison to England; therefore there is no excuse to try and not cover most of it my foot, car or bike. One morning we drove to St Helier, swapped the car for four bicycles and drove along the sea front through tiny towns and eye wateringly beautiful coastlines. The sun shone high in the sky, making the shoreline even more impressive, and the flatness of the route meant every one enjoyed every second.
I wanted to give the kids an impression of the history of Jersey, and teach them something whilst on our trip. The Jersey War Tunnels are the perfect place to achieve this goal. They tell the sad tale of when Germany occupied Jersey for five years during WWII, taking the visitor through tunnels which were commissioned by the Nazis with the intention of becoming an underground hospital. The kids could touch and feel relics from the past, read about the invasion and how the islanders survived and even experience the terror of an air raid and the bleakness of an air raid shelter.
As a grown woman I was humbled and moved by the stories of a war before my lifetime. My children also grasped the seriousness of the history whilst still having an amazing time.
I don’t think any trip to Jersey would be complete without going to the war tunnels, and would urge everyone who sets foot on the island to take a trip inside the tunnels.
Let’s not forget, Jersey is a seaside resort, albeit an utterly unspoilt one. Cafes and bars litter the seafront but without shading the beauty of the golden sands and deep blue ocean. You can delight in the absence of amusements and fairground rides, leaving the children to enjoy the simple sensation of playing on the sand.
My three dug castles and looked for treasure until the sun set behind the ragged coastline, whilst I enjoyed a glass of wine on the promenade above.
Jersey has a feeling of safeness that is rare to find on a British beach.
And we have so much more we want to do.
Jersey is jam-packed full of places to go as a family, so we will need to return to find out more about Mont Orgueil Castle. Owen is keen to try out sports on the water in a summer climate. The girls both would like to mount horses to discover more hidden beauty spots and I would like to squeeze in a trip to Elizabeth Castle.
It is always a fabulous feeling to leave a place knowing you loved it so much that you will definitely return.
That is how I feel about Jersey.