Best Channel Island attractions
The Channel Island of Jersey is just bursting with attractions to visit, especially in the summer months. There are so many choices, that you need more than a week to visit them all. So which ones to pick?
I've been to almost all of them at one time or another. Some of them I've visited many times. Find out here which ones not to miss.
Durrell, (formerly known as Jersey Zoo), should be on everyone's list to visit at least once.
Great for children and adults, plan to spend a whole day here to get the best value for money. Durrell is expensive, but your money is used to help save some of the most endangered animals in the world.
Recognised by the Sunday Times as one of the top 50 Classic British Treats, and winner of numerous awards, aMaizin! is much more than just another maize maze.
The aMaizin! Adventure Park is the best value day out with children (and you'll easily spend a whole day there), aMaizin Craft has plenty to do on a rainy day, and the aMaizin! maze itself will be likely to keep you exploring for an hour to an hour and a half before you find your way out!
Jersey has some of the best Channel Island heritage sites, and Gorey Castle, also called Mont Orgueil Castle, is one of them.
Have you ever visited a castle surrounded by the sea before? No need for a moat!
Elizabeth Castle can be reached on foot when the tide is low, or you can take the amphibious bus/boat, the DUWK (duck), which will get you there and back whatever the tide is doing.
Another award winning attraction, the Maritime Museum is an exciting, interactive, modern museum. Plenty to keep the children occupied, and enough maritime history brought to life to interest everyone.
Eric Young Orchid Foundation
If you like orchids, this is an opportunity not to be missed. Don't think just the type of orchids you see in the florist, the Orchid Foundation win international awards for the new varieties they breed. You'll see orchids that you would never recognise as orchids, in every colour under the sun. The Orchid Foundation is open all year round, and there are always orchids in flower.
Watch the pottery being made, fired and decorated. Allow plenty of time if you want to decorate your own. The 'Glaze Craze' is popular with children and adults - you choose your pottery and decorate it with a wide choice of glaze paints. Collect it in a few days, or have it mailed to you at home.
If you've got money to spend, visit the pottery shop. Jersey pottery is expensive, but unique.
Our favorite activities at the Living Legend are the adventure golf and the go-carts. There are two adventure golf courses, set in, under and over an artificial mountain. They're great fun. Teenagers and Dads love the go-cart track, you come away with a print out of your fastest lap times.
The Living Legend also has a show depicting the history of Jersey. It's entertaining, and the special effects are intruiging - but perhaps a bit too long for the youngest children.
The beautiful manor gardens include an extensive herb garden, Japanese garden, roses, ponds and parkland. There are free talks on herbs, plants for sale, restaurant, cream teas and a rural life museum. You can tour inside the manor house itself except Sundays.
Samares Manor isn't just for the adults though. It's a favorite with local families. The gardens offer lots of space to run around and play, there is a small playground, the willow tunnels are fun, and don't forget to buy food at the gate to feed the ducks.
Open mid-May to late September, the Lavender Farm has nine acres of lavender fields. You can watch the distilling process, and buy lavender products in the shop.
They have a nature trail, gardens and woodland areas, and the Café has plenty of home-made snacks and lunches.
The Lavender Farm is family-friendly and there is space for children to run around and play.
Jersey War Tunnels
If you want to learn about the history of the Channel Island occupation, the Jersey War Tunnels are a fascinating, and sobering, experience. The occupation is described through the eyes of those who lived here at the time, from evacuation and occupation to liberation.
A restored Victorian merchant's house, History, traditions and culture of Jersey explained, and the Barreau Le Maistre art gallery.
A traditional Jersey farm and meadows, where you can see demonstrations and skills from the past brought to life. This is a family-friendly attraction, with plenty to interest children, including a variety of small animals.
La Mare Wine Estate
Designed to appeal to adults rather than children, La Mare is a granite farmhouse where award-winning wines are produced, as well as Jersey Apple Brandy, chocolates and various preserves. They have a restaurant and shop.
La Hougue Bie
La Hougue Bie is a mound with a chapel on top, under which is one of the best Neolithic passage graves in Europe. Children enjoy exploring the mound and passage - there's plenty of space to run around here.
The Glass Church
More correctly called St Matthew's Church, this is popular with visitors because of the Lalique glass which forms the windows, doors, font, altar rail, cross and pillars. Definitely one for the adults.
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