What are some of the top activities and attractions you can do when visiting or living and working in Jersey? Let’s look at some that will help you become acquainted with the island’s history and heritage and ‘be like’ a local.
Things to do in Jersey
1. Elizabeth Castle
This majestic castle was strategically placed on a rocky islet in St Aubin’s Bay. It watches over Jersey’s main seaway and has been the island’s forefront of defence over the centuries. You can walk out to the castle at low tide, but you can also catch the Castle Ferry to access the grounds regardless of the tide.
Elizabeth Castle is the perfect place to spend a day exploring Jersey’s rich history. Climb the battlements, explore the grounds and uncover the bunkers fortified during the German Occupation during WWII. There are audio tours and volunteer guides to ensure you make the most of your visit.
2. Maritime museum
The sea has sculpted Jersey’s landscape and history. This museum chronicles the island’s distinct maritime environment and powerful seafaring past. The experience is highly interactive, where you can see, hear and even smell the exhibits. Immerse yourself in the stories and songs of the sea. Listen intently to the myths and legends shaped by the ocean and the island’s people.
Also at this site is a gallery which houses the famous Occupation Tapestry, woven by Islanders to celebrate the 50th anniversary of liberation from German occupation.
3. Société Jersiaise
Based in St Helier, this is where you will find the collections of material related to Jersey’s history and natural environment. You will witness an impressive selection of items relevant to Jersey, including books, maps, photographs, prints, paintings and historical items. Over the years, the organisation has also purchased archaeological sites in Jersey for preservation.
4. The Chocolate Bar Jersey
This establishment is Jersey’s unique handmade chocolate shop and is not to be missed by anyone with a sweet tooth. Many often push this up the priority list of things to do in Jersey. Here you will have your fill of amazing, lip-smacking goodness, whether your purchase is a gift to share with family or friends or devour alone. There are vegan options available, and it is loved by locals and visitors alike.
5. Liberation square sculpture
This sculpture was unveiled on the 9th of May, 1995, to mark the 50th anniversary of Jersey being liberated by the Royal Navy and British Army after five years of German occupation. It is located on the waterfront in St Helier. The statue symbolises Jersey’s freedom, joy and hope for future things. It is a must-see for photos and a significant piece of Jersey’s wartime heritage.
6. Explore King Street
In French, the pedestrianised King Street is also known as Rue de Derriere –back street. It is one of the streets that make up the high street. This is where you will discover an impressive assortment of shops and unique cafés for you to relax and replenish. There are the major high street chain shops and a multitude of Jersey gems where you will find authentic gifts and wares exclusive to the island.
7. Jersey Opera House
The Jersey Opera House was initially opened in 1865 as the Cornwall’s Royal Amphitheatre and Circus. It has changed hands and undergone multiple renovations over the last few hundred years. Now, the theatre is playing a significant part in island cultural life and provides artistic entertainment to the people and visitors of Jersey. You can book online to see performances as well as go to marvel at the gorgeous architecture.
8. Jersey War Tunnels
These tunnels are one of the incredible unique wartime museums to see in Jersey. They are based out of the old war hospital built using forced labour during WWII. This astonishing museum provides an insight into the life of the civilians of Jersey under Nazi occupation from 1940 to 1945.
9. St Brelade’s Bay
This is the island’s star beach – with its yellow sand and clear blue waters. The bay is a natural amphitheatre surrounded by higher ground on three sides. The shallow waters are ideal for swimming, water sports and lazing around. Locals and visitors are spoilt for choice when it comes to water sport activities to enjoy.
After the beach, wander to the many dining options in the bay area, taking in the sensational vista. There are several car parks in the area, but you can also get to the beach by local bus.
10. Hit the trails
Do your body and soul a favour by hitting any one of the diverse trails on offer throughout the island. No matter what season or time of day, you will never be disappointed by the spectacle that unfolds before you as you explore the island.
Enjoy the fresh salty air as you drink in the rugged coastline carpeted with wildflowers. Or wander through the valleys and country lanes, down to the French-style fishing villages and townships.
These are only 10 of the many activities and attractions you can enjoy when you visit or live and work in Jersey, but they are a great place to start if you want to truly get to know the area.
Explore more of Jersey! Find out more in the following article: Wineries and vineyards in Jersey