I love catching a ferry. It’s normally the start of a great adventure. Ferries are the very essence of island hopping, more often associated with our Mediterranean neighbours, than the UK. But we forget that we, as an island nation have numerous ferry ports dotted around our shores. Albeit less glamorous than Capri, Mykonos or Santorini, UK ferries do link us to some pretty fabulous destinations.
In a bid to start exploring some of the cool locations that UK ferries can drop you to, we took a Condor ferry from Poole to The Channel Islands and on to St Malo in Normandy.
The Channel Islands
Jersey, the largest of the Channel Islands at 45 square miles is the perfect family getaway. This sub-tropical island nearer the coast to France than the UK has glorious sandy beaches, thundering surf and is steeped in history. But what makes Jersey priceless is the seemingly lack of tourists. Blessed with empty beaches, unclogged roads and fabulous weather, it’s a no brainer for active families wanting to explore the boundaries of the UK. See our Top 10 Things to do in Jersey with Kids aged 5+ here
From the South-West getting to the Channel Islands is a cinch. Condor Ferries cruise from both Poole and Plymouth direct to Guernsey and then onto Jersey, linking the islands and mainland France on their Jersey – St Malo route.Catch the ferry from Poole and you can be in Jersey in a mere 5 hours. Drive direct to Poole Harbour along the A350 cutting out the traffic choked promenade. After a quick check in we drove onto the Condor ‘Liberation’ ferry, kids frothing with excitement.Poole is a beautiful port to leave from. Bursting with yachts of every description, it has a distinct riveria feel to it as the Liberation cuts between the islands of Sandbanks and Purbeck, where billionaire pads look over million dollar views.
From The Channel Islands, 100 miles off mainland UK and merely 15 miles from France, it’s easy to make the hop to Normandy on Condor. After 2 glorious weeks on Jersey and 4 nights (not long enough) on Sark we picked up the Condor Rapide ferry for the short ride over to St Malo. Tip: Catch the evening sailing & arrive at sunset in the stunning vieux port of St Malo.
We had a great experience with Condor. After a late boarding, we caught up time and arrived 10 minutes within our arrival time. Boarding was quick, the sailing was smooth and the crew friendly. With great, affordable food options and large lounge areas travelling with Condor was easy.
And – if you didn’t know the Channel Islands has it’s own microclimate – often basking in sunshine whilst the rest of the UK slumps under cloud. So if you’re in the blues after another scorching bank holiday comes to an end, have a look at The Channel Islands to book your next family break.
Whilst The Family Freestylers were guests of Condor Ferries, our opinions, as always are entirely our own.