WITH its laid-back atmosphere, world-class zoo and castles galore, Jersey’s the ideal place for a getaway with kids.
And with Jet2.com increasing its flights there next summer, the Channel Island is more accessible than ever.
The low-cost airline will be offering five new routes from Birmingham, East Midlands, Manchester, Newcastle and London Stansted, along with its existing Leeds Bradford programme. Jersey has the UK’s mildest winter – and it’s the closest you will get to a Mediterranean climate with flight times of less than an hour.
Here, Rebecca Tidy takes you on a tour.
GET UP CLOSE TO NATURE
ENTER a land of adventure at Jersey Zoo, which sits in 32 acres of valleys, streams, waterfalls and trees.
Kids and adults alike will love the Andean bears, giant Sumatran orangutans and elegant flamingos that live amid the woodland scenery.
But the charity is best-known for its conservation work, where birds and animals are bred for release into the wild.
If you’re looking to tire the kids out ready for an early night, then aMaizin! adventure park is worth a visit.
There’s an oversized, inflatable jumping pillow, a high-speed toboggan run and tall outdoor slides for summer, as well as the giant maize maze that gives the park its name. There’s plenty to do in rainy weather too, including the Channel Island’s first soft play to be built with wood.
This eco-friendly venue is heated by recycled oil, and rather thoughtfully comes with free nappies and wifi for parents.
For something more sedate, the Howard Davis Park is your best bet. There’s an old-fashioned rose garden, bandstand, and a playground for under-fives.
Adults can grab a coffee from the cafe while toddlers run free.
EXPLORE HILLTOP CASTLES
NO stay in Jersey is complete without a trip to one of the Bailiwick’s historic fortresses.
Feel the wind in your hair as you abseil down Mont Orgueil Castle near Gorey, or watch the 18th-century re- enactment at Elizabeth Castle on the tidal island of L’Islet.
If you’re feeling energetic, take the cliff path to the ruined 14th-century Grosnez Castle. This vantage point offers some of the most magnificent ocean views in Jersey, and it’s a scenic spot for a picnic.
SLEEP IN FAMILY-FRIENDLY HOTEL, B&B OR GLAMPING SITE
WAKE up to the sound of lemurs and orangutans at Durrell Wildlife Camp, which sits in the grounds of Jersey Zoo.
These luxe glamping pods are carpeted and come kitted out with a stove to keep you warm.
There’s even a kitchenette with running water, fridge and two-ring hob, ideal for making late-night hot chocolates under the stars.
Camping not your thing? There’s always the kid-friendly Merton Hotel, just a short stroll from St Helier’s yacht-lined marina. This 3H resort has a subtropical water park that is heated to a balmy 27C. Ramp up your adrenaline levels on the slides, before unwinding on the lazy river.
The family-run Harbour View Guest House in the fishing village of St Aubin is popular among families with kids.
It has two generously-sized family suites and a large courtyard, along with one of the best breakfast buffets on the island – ideal for fuelling-up before a day of adventure.
DINE OUT WITH KIDS
SEAFOOD is a local speciality, with St Helier’s Fresh Fish Company offering coastal favourites, including crab sandwiches and lobster claws for al fresco dining.
Make time for a visit to the Poplars Tea Room in St Brelade, on the island’s west coast.
It’s been serving old-world cakes, buns and finger sandwiches since 1984, and it’s a real locals’ favourite.
If the kids fancy something more familiar, venture into St Helier for the usual chains, including TGI Fridays, Pizza Express and Bella Italia – you’ll find them next to the island’s ten-screen cinema complex.
TRAVEL ISAND WITH KIDS
ITS small size means Jersey is easy to get around with kids.
There is a regular bus service that will take you across the island (adult day pass, £8, weekly pass, £32, family day pass, £18, weekly pass, £60).
In summer, you can get Le Petit Train from St Helier to St Aubin’s Bay. The quaint, white train offers guided commentary in both English and French, providing a subtle reminder of the island’s time under Norman rule.
SECRET SPOTS TO EXPLORE WITHOUT KIDS
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