Top 10 things to do in Jersey Channel Islands with Kids

by Mags Nixon

Here are our top things to do in Jersey Channel Islands with kids. Jersey is a stone’s throw from France and from the North East coast you can even spot cars driving on the French mainland! It’s a fantastic island to visit for a staycation with Easyjet & British Airways flying direct from London as well as Condor Ferries sailing from Poole or Weymouth. 

Whether it’s sandy beaches, water sports or history that floats your boat, Jersey boasts all three, and is now seeing a resurgence of visitors shunning Europe to stay closer to home. Brexit, the rise of European terror attacks and the dwindling value of Sterling are all contributing to UK families voting with their feet to travel South to one of the UK’s finest islands. Hailing the most sunny days in the UK per year, Jersey is perfect for outdoor families wanting to try somewhere new to explore within the UK and is packed with adventurous things to do for outdoor families.

Try Jersey – we know you’ll love it as much as we do!

 

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Things to do in Jersey Channel Islands with kids

 


1. Kayak in Jersey – St Brelades

Hire double kayaks from Jono’s Watersports in St Brelade’s Bay and explore the nooks and crannies of the rugged South West coastline at high tide. Kayaking in Jersey is epic.

things to do in Jersey Channel Islands

What to do in Jersey? Water sports is always a good option!

With our youngest now 5, kayaking – something we’ve always done solo is now wide open for family enjoyment. Launching into the shore break, equipped with nothing more than sunhats, life vests and a picnic stuffed into a watertight drum, we paddled furiously over a couple of waves onto the calm ocean. Veering over to the pier we lingered to watch local kids bombing the deep water before setting off round to Beauport, a beautiful sandy cove, just round the peninsular. Beauport is an easy 1-2 hour kayak for young families.

Tip: Beat the long walk down to the water’s edge by setting off at high tide. High water levels also mean gullies and coves are so much more accessible to explore. Kayaking through the large stack at the end of the peninsular is fun, particularly if there’s a little swell. Take a packed lunch and beach yourselves on Beauport for a few hours. Older children might like the challenge of swimming round the small rock island 100 metres offshore.

Prices: From £10.00 an hour for a double kayak
Jono’s also offer lessons in windsurfing, dinghy sailing and canoeing and equipment only hire such as stand up paddle boards, blow karts (wind powered go karting) and much more.
www.jonoswatersports.com
Call Jono on +44 7797 717564
what to do in jersey Channel Islands

The Channel Islands are perfect for adventuring families


2. Cycle in Jersey – St Aubins to Corbiere Lighthouse

Make time to cycle the old railway track from the pretty port of St Aubins to iconic Corbiere Lighthouse on the West coast. It’s a fantastic ride on a track that is quiet, safe, wonderfully wide and easy for young families.

things do do in jersey Channel Islands

Cycle the old railway track from South to North across the island

With only a very slight upward slope on the way, even youngsters from age 6 can cycle it. For the smalls hire a tag-along or carriage from the cycle hire shop in the Old War Tunnel at St Aubins where the trail starts.

If you’ve got young kids be sure to stop half way at the Elephant Park – a great kids playground directly on the trail with a café selling good coffee. The track, flanked by eucalyptus and pine trees, continues past fields packed with famous jersey royal potatoes and peaceful meadows. The trail ends at the impressive Corbiere lighthouse, set on a promontory out to sea. It’s a breathtaking view looking out to the West Coast with the golden sands of St Ouens Bay stretching as far as the eye can see and Rocco tower standing guard out at sea.

 

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Read our post

Getting to Jersey – Condor Ferries

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Corbiere seems to capture the hearts of anyone who visits. For me, it was a highlight of our visit – stunning views at both low and high tide, and particularly at sunset. At low tide walk the causeway over to the lighthouse (you need to book a tour to see inside) and at high tide it’s equally mesmorising to watch the might of the ocean pound the rocks. On-site are a couple of German bunkers, great to explore with the kids and to finish off treat yourself to an ice-cream at the car park kiosk – arguably the best ice cream on the island!

Corbiere lighthouse, Jersey

Cycling to Corbiere lighthouse is one of our favourite things to do on Jersey


3. Visit Jersey’s Durrell Wildlife Park

Set in 32 acres, Durrell Wildlife Park, home to over 130 species, devotes itself to protecting animals from all over the world through breeding, research, training and education. Watch gorillas, orangutans, bears and gibbons roam in large open air enclosures, a far cry from pokey wire cages of other zoos.
things to do in Jersey - visit Gerald Durrell's zoo

Visit the orangutans at Jersey Zoo

Friendly knowledgeable keepers give daily informative talks, chatting about the personalities of each animal, their past and what is happening on the ground in the wild to help tackle the threats that impact them and their habitat. Learn about Gerald Durrell, his life’s mission to tackle the problems facing wildlife and of his success in pioneering zoo lead conservation. You can also pre-book time up close with some of the animals through the Park’s ‘Animal Encounters’ or ‘Keeper For a Day’ experiences. And if you want the thrill of hearing the Park come alive at night, it’s now possible to stay in the Park overnight in their on-site hostel or 5 star glamping pods!

Tip: bring a packed lunch and have a picnic in the beautiful sub-tropical grounds or in the Dodo playground – the cafés are quite pricey.

Price: Adults £14.50, Child £10.00, under 4 free.  Not a cheap day out but proceeds do go towards the charity – a great cause.

www.durrell.org

durrell wildlife park jersey

Jersey Zoo is one of Jersey’s top attractions


4. Catch a RIB to the Écréhous with Jersey Seafaris

One of the best things to do in Jersey is to see the island from a different perspective – from the sea. Experience the thrill of bouncing over waves at high speed on one of Jersey Seafari’s 10 metre RIBs. Seafaris offer a range of trips from zipping around the Jersey coastline, over to the remote reefs of the Écréhous or the Minquiers, or popping over for an evening dinner in France – it’s a brilliant way of seeing the island from the outside in.
jersey seafaris

A visit to Jersey is not complete without some serious RIB action. It’s amazing to visit remote reef islands.

Our visit to the Écréhous, a reef 6 miles from Jersey and only 8 miles from France was a highlight of our trip. An ultra professional outfit, the Seafaris crew were young, energetic and fun, combining the seriousness of safety with fantastic knowledge of the wildlife we encountered – seals, bird life, and often dolphins. Over the rushing tide, through the infamously treacherous coastline, the RIB rode effortlessly through the maze of rocks and reef reaching the Écréhous in just 15 minutes. 

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Thinking of heading to the Island of Sark too?

You definitely should!

Read our post

4 Reasons Why Families Will Love Sark 

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Discover the warren of tiny fisherman huts clinging limpet like to the 300 metre jagged outcrop that remains at high tide. With it’s golden sandbanks, white pebble beaches and charming dwellings, a visit to the Écréhous is pretty special. The trip is only 2 hours so kids are not likely to get bored quickly. Highly recommended to families with older children who will appreciate the wildlife, the heritage as well as the RIB excitement.

Tip: Older bolder children will love the thrill of the front seat ride whilst oldies and younger children can sit comfortably on the rear bench seating.

Price: At £39.99 each it’s good value for money but not a cheap day out for a family of four. If you’re on a budget, I’d save this for older children who will get far more from it, especially the doughnuts in the RIB on the way back.

Book online or speak to one of their friendly staff on +44 7829 772222
www.jerseyseafaris.com


5. Explore Mont Orgueil, Gorey on the North East coast of Jersey

Mont Orgueil is an imposing medieval castle built high above the charming fishing village of Gorey on the North East coast.

mont orgueil castle

A visit to Mont Orgueil Castle in Gorey is rather interesting. The kids loved the opportunity to dress up and wander around discovering nooks and crannies

What we loved about this castle was that there were zero off limits. We literally clambered up the tiniest staircases to secret towers and felt our way through dark chambers to discover hidden treasures and such randomness as the Wheel of Urine.

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Looking for the perfect beach hideaway in Jersey?

Read our review on La Ferme du Vau Tocque

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Forget the guided tour with kids – let them discover the labyrinth of stone corridors, the turrets and towers laden with exhibits, many with an impressive modern twist. With break taking views to the French Coast, Mont Orgueil was built to protect Jersey from marauding French and Spanish fleets in an age fraught with invasion. From a dressing up room stuffed with knight & princess costumes, a great play area, and it’s all access policy, Mont Orgueil, with it’s recent 3 million makeover is proving a real hit with families.

Tip: Head straight for the dressing up room on arrival so kids can get in character to roam around the castle. Skip the guided tour and get ahead of the group to chat to the Medieval lady playing the lute. We loved The Wound Man carving, which cleverly depicts the types of wounds medieval battle would inflict on a soldier.

Price: family ticket £35.20 (2 adults/2 kids) or Adult £12.15 Child £7.40

www.jerseyheritage.com


6. Eat Thai on the beach at the Dicq Shack, St Saviour

South East of St Helier, you’ll find St Clement’s Bay, a lovely long sandy stretch of beach, baring treacherous rocky reefs, brilliant for rock pooling at low tide. Set on the slip is the colourful Dicq Shack selling mouth watering Thai food.

Where to eat in jersey Channel Islands

Popular with locals, this spot is possibly the best place to eat on the island and is rammed for dinner on hot evenings. Unbelievably tasty food and BYO means this place fills up fast. Grab a vibrantly coloured table right at the waters edge as late afternoon rolls into early evening and bask in the golden hue of the sunset as your kids play on the sand. The shack offers toned down Thai favourites for kids bites such as super mild curries or chicken on a stick starter. If your lucky with tide times, you might score high tide just as you’re finishing your meal meaning you’ll have sea water sloshing under your table and over your feet!

things to do in jersey Channel Islands

On spring high tides let the kids enjoy the sea spray from the sea wall next to The Dicq Shack.

Tip: Call up and order in advance as waiting times can be lengthy due to it’s popularity and takeout demand.

01534 730273



7. Visit the Jersey War Tunnels

Picture

One of the most interesting things to in Jersey Channel Islands is visit the Jersey War Tunnels.
If you’re fascinated by Jersey’s 5-year occupation by the Nazis in WWII, then Jersey War Tunnels will be right up your street. Churchill’s decision to refuse to defend the island to the advancing German army must have come as a crushing blow to islanders who had less than 24 hours to decide whether to stay or be evacuated to Britain.

 

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Camping in Sark?

Read our review of La Valette Campsite with stunning sea views

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Walking through these tunnels, carved out by prisoners of war for a Nazi underground hospital, the grim reality of invasion, occupation and liberation of the island begins to sink in. Explaining the build up to the war this museum is packed with riveting photos, footage and memorabilia depicting how life was like during occupation. We loved the originality of each being given a copy identification card of a real person during the occupation. Walking around the museum you must discover the fate of your character.
A must visit museum. Expect to be compelled and emotionally moved.

Top Tip: Recommended for older children only. Our 8 year old studied the second world war at school recently so had some interest, whilst our 5 year old couldn’t wait to get out as the tunnels are dark and can be scary. Take warm clothes – the tunnels are cold and take around 2 hours to complete.

Price: Adults £12.00 Child £8.00
www.jerseywartunnels.com

8. Go surfing at St Ouens – Jersey’s famous west coast beach

One of the best things to do in Jersey is to SURF! The West Coast of Jersey faces the Atlantic swell and bags consistent waves drawing a huge surf culture to the island. Boasting the oldest surf club in Europe, Jersey has a rich surf scene with plenty of surf shops, surf schools and shapers in the mix.

things to do in jersey Channel Islands

One of the most popular things to do in Jersey Channel Islands is to SURF! The waves roll in off the Atlantic on Jersey’s West Coast making St Ouens Beach the place to head with your surfboard!

One of the best things to do in Jersey is to simply enjoy the beaches. St Ouens is a great place to spend a day with the family. Rent a surfboard and take a lesson, or just get in the shore break with the kids on bodyboards or skimboards.

There’s plenty of good restaurants along the front – Big Verns, The Watersplash and El Tico. Or if you just fancy a quick bite, we love The Line Up kiosk on the sea wall at La Port for affordable fodder with great views.

The Splash Surf Centre at The Watersplash gives 1 hour family surf lessons (up to 5 people) for £99.00 – perfect to try something new as a family together.
Call 01534 490671 or 7829 878878 to organise.

Laneez Surf Centre at El Tico rents surfboards from £10.00 a day or try a taster surf session for only £30.00
Call 01534 744157 to book.


9. Visit Elizabeth Castle – Jersey’s most impressive fort!

Positioned on a tidal island Elizabeth Castle is an impressive sight offshore from St Helier. Built over 300 years ago to supersede Mont Orgueil, Sir Walter Raleigh, Governor of Jersey at the time named her Elizabeth Castle after the reining monarch, Queen Elizabeth I.  The castle protected the future King Charles II during exile and later, upon taking the thrown repaid Jersey’s loyalty by giving Jersey independence from the Crown.

PictureImage courtesy of Visit Jersey

Whilst Mont Orgueil is, we think, more engaging for kids, Elizabeth Castle has huge excitement factor in getting there and back. Time your visit at high tide to really stoke out the kids.

Amphibious ‘duck’ ferries (old military landing crafts) drive down into the high tide water and then ‘swim’ across – so much fun and much easier than the walk over at low tide for little legs.

The castle itself is site of an ancient hermitage where Saint Helier, a 6th-century ascetic hermit (the patron saint of Jersey) lived. The castle has army barracks and a museum. We enjoyed watching the men folk join in with the recreation of the garrison of 1781, being marched from the square to watch the canon being fired out to sea.

Price: Castle only – family ticket £32.00, adult £10.70, child >6 £7.30 (under 6 free)
Castle + ferry £41.60, adult 13.25, child >6 £9.85 (under 6 free)

www.jerseyheritage.org

10. Eat at The Hungry Man, Rozel & Jump the Pier at High Tide

things to do in jersey Channel Islands pier jumping

Pier jumping has actually apparently been made illegal in Jersey. For kids its still one of the most fun things to do in Jersey Channel Islands – just make sure you do it at high tide in a spot recommended by a local!

The North coast of Jersey is home to dramatic cliffs with sheer drops into the ocean. Littered with petite coves with safe swimming, it’s a great day out to drive along the top of the island visiting as many of the main 5 bays as you can.
Bouley Bay, popular with scuba divers, has a safe slip, perfect for kids to easily access the water for a swim or a snorkel.
Greve d’Lecq, a fantastic sandy beach tucked in the North West of the island has good parking and direct access to the beach for families wanting a beach day out. It’s also great for rock pooling or rock jumping in the gullys.
For more adventurous families time your visit to the pretty fishing village of Rozel precisely at high tide to partake in some serious pier jumping. Do as the locals do and jump the daring 20ft into the clear blue water below. Finish off with a bite at The Hungry Man, a shack right on the pier, selling fabulous hot rolls, great coffee and well deserved hot choccy. Crammed with locals and tourists in the know – this spot has a great atmosphere, particularly on Saturday mornings.
For more information on visiting Jersey go to www.jersey.com

Getting to Jersey Channel Islands

Condor Ferries (0345 609 1024) sails from Poole – Jersey and Plymouth – Jersey. Condor also sails from Jersey to St Malo. 

Read our review on Condor Ferries here.

British Airways, Easyjet, Blue Island and Jet2 all fly to the island

 

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3 comments

Trish 9th October 2016 - 2:25 pm

I’ve always fancied going to Jersey – you’ve given me lots of food for thought here.
Interesting about holidaying at home – we have had a few short breaks this summer, all of them in the UK. It’s been brilliant.

Reply
Mags (The Family Freestylers) 9th December 2017 - 2:51 pm
Reply
Mags Nixon 17th June 2019 - 10:47 am

You should definitely go Trish! It’s really a beautiful place and for some reason such a lack of tourists! 🙂 🙂 🙂

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