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7 Reasons to visit Jersey this autumn

BY Richard Webber

8th Nov 2023 Places To Visit

4 min read

7 Reasons to visit Jersey this autumn
With beautiful beaches, striking cliffs, luxury hotels and a fascinating history, here are just a few reasons to visit the majestic Channel Island of Jersey this autumn
Despite measuring just nine miles by five, Jersey is the largest of the Channel Islands and the archipelago’s southernmost isle. A self-governing UK dependency, it has much to offer visitors outside the peak tourist season, whether you’re a daytripper or planning a week-long break.
Known for, among others, its splendid beaches, rugged coastline, myriad walking trails, inland valleys and military history, the island is easily reached via a short flight from over 20 UK airports. Alternatively, hop on the Condor ferry destined for Britain’s sunniest spot.

1. Stroll the island’s beaches

Beach at St Ouen's, Jersey
It’s claimed that you’re never more than ten minutes from the sea and Jersey’s beaches—which come in all shapes and sizes—are as appealing in autumn as mid-summer.
Scattered around 40 miles of coastline are myriad beaches and rocky coves just waiting to be explored. St Ouen’s—with its five-mile stretch of uninterrupted sand—will quickly become a favourite destination. It was also home to one of Europe’s oldest surfing clubs and a day doesn’t pass there without spotting surfers enjoying the Atlantic rollers crashing onto the beach.

2. Wander across the sea bed

Jersey has one of the world’s largest tidal ranges and at low tide the island nearly doubles in size. The ebbing and flowing create an ever-changing backdrop as the island transforms from turquoise bays to rocky, lunar-like landscapes. But that’s not all: this twice-daily occurrence also creates low water habitats for rare sea creatures like ormers, a prized delicacy among many cultures.
"Jersey has one of the world's largest tidal ranges—transforming from turquoise bays to rocky, lunar-like landscapes"
The massive tide changes mean walking offshore is only advisable if you have knowledge of the area and its dangerously fast tides. Explore with local experts from companies like Jersey Walk Adventures, which organise regular theme-based walks.
I donned wellies and explored the sea bed at La Rocque, situated on the island’s southernmost point, with Trudie. Here, the tide retreats more than two miles and reveals intriguing features such as Violet Bank, comprising puzzle-like gullies where coralline algae, with its purple hue, congregates.

3. Indulge in the island’s heritage

Mont Ourgueil Castle, Jersey
Jersey has a rich history so consider buying the Heritage Pass (£40.55 per adult), which is valid for seven days and allows access to four historic sites for the price of three. Highly recommended is Mont Orgueil Castle, a medieval building with links to the English Crown and boasting spectacular views along the island’s coastline and across to France.
The Maritime Museum is worth visiting, too. Here, you can enjoy an interactive adventure spotlighting Jersey’s seafaring history while the Occupation Tapestry Gallery tells the island’s story during the Second World War.

 4. Dine with a view

The island boasts some superbly-located cafes and restaurants such as Nude Dunes. Perched above La Pulente, the most southerly strip of St Ouen’s Bay, it affords diners uninterrupted Atlantic views. This stunning, curved-shaped cafe-restaurant is, believe it or not, a former toilet block which has been transformed into a contemporary eating place offering a fresh take on healthy food: expect goodness without compromising on taste.
"Perched above St Ouen's Bay, Nude Dunes affords diners uninterrupted Atlantic views"
An equally impressive view—this time overlooking St Brelade's Bay—is enjoyed while dining at PizzaExpress. This gorgeous venue has a surfing design theme and has long been a favourite with locals and visitors alike since opening more than 23 years ago. Earlier this year, the restaurant underwent a remodel and is definitely worth a visit; in fact, it’s the perfect destination for a meal before or after a stroll along the beach.

5. Visit the Botanic Gardens at Samares Manor

Created in the 1920s by millionaire philanthropist Sir James Knott, the botanic gardens at Samares Manor offer countless unique and distinctive plant collections which thrive at this exceptionally fertile site. Among the 14 acres you’ll discover a Japanese garden, exotic planting, water gardens, seasonal gardens, formal rose and lavender garden plus one of the UK’s largest herb gardens.
If you’re visiting with children, head for the play area, Willow Labyrinth and Jungle Path. A café will soon be opening so you might be able to enjoy a coffee, too. On your way out, though, make sure you visit the gift shop and plant centre.

6. Don your walking boots

Cliffs on the north coast of Jersey
The fall is a perfect time to enjoy Jersey’s walking routes because the miles of trails are less-trodden at this time of year. The wild north coast is particularly special.
While the more energetic can trek the entire 16 miles of coastal path, spanning the northwest to northeastern corner in a day, most people split the route into manageable chunks. All along the cliff path crossing this rugged section of Jersey, you’re accompanied by the roar of the powerful ocean crashing onto rocks below.

7. Relax in luxury

When it comes to choosing your accommodation, enjoy a bit of luxury at the Atlantic Hotel. Sitting above St Ouen’s Bay on the west coast, this Art Deco-influenced hotel is a peaceful retreat set amid extensive grounds. Pick an ocean-facing room for the best views.
"The luxurious, Art Deco-influenced Atlantic Hotel is a peaceful retreat set amid extensive grounds"
In longstanding family ownership, the hotel—which recently celebrated its 50th anniversary and offers timeless elegance—is, in my view, the pick of Jersey’s hotels. Its 4 AA Rosette restaurant offers fine dining and outstanding service with a smile. This is the perfect base from which to explore the island.

Getting there

I always travel to Jersey with Condor Ferries. Leading up to Christmas, the company will operate two conventional ships from Portsmouth, sailing overnight in both directions.
The high-speed vessels will be back in operation in 2024, sailing up to five days a week with a crossing time of four hours – that’s half the time it takes on the conventional ferries. For more information, go to or call 0845 609 1024
Banner photo: St Ouen's Bay on Jersey, looking out to the Rocco Tower (Travis Leery)

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