ADVERTORIAL • September 2023
Jersey has more hours of sunshine than anywhere else in Britain. Right now, as late summer teeters into autumn, its seas are at their warmest, its abundant local produce at its ripest and its great outdoors at its most enticing. And there are still daily flights from the UK to this history-steeped Channel Island. Keep reading as local travel writer Antonia Windsor tells us why to visit now…
Bring your walking shoes, then decide whether you want a bracing stroll along the north coast to admire headlands awash with yellow gorse and purple sea thrift, a romp through a vibrant patchwork of fallen leaves in a woodland (look out for red squirrels), or a trail through the long grass of the west coast wetlands, spotting circling birds of prey. Hikers will be delighted by Jersey’s National Park on the west coast, which is spread over 2,145 hectares.
The Jersey Royal new potato season ends with the summer, but you’ll still find an abundance of the island’s celebrated seafood, including lobster and oysters. Take a tour to the oyster beds in Grouville with Seymour oysters and sip Champagne while they teach you to shuck. Don’t miss a famous Jersey Dairy ice cream from a seaside van, and look out for the yellow, creamy butter at breakfast. Autumn sees the creation of Jersey’s treacly black butter. Learn how to make it during the first weekend of October at the Elms, the headquarters of the Jersey National Trust.
One of the most glorious signs of early autumn is an apple tree laden with ready-to-pick fruit. Jersey has a long cider-making history and this appley alcohol is having a renaissance, with La Robeline producing a traditional cidre bouché in the Normandy style (where a second fermentation in the bottle produces the fizz) using a century-old granite cider press. You can sample its Cidre dé Jèrri at the cider shack in St Ouen. Alternatively take a tour of Hamptonne Country Life Museum, or time your visit with the Faîs’sie d’Cidre, an annual cider festival during which you can see the horse-drawn cider press in action.
Autumn sees the sea temperature meet the air temperature, so it’s the best time to brave the waves and get the benefits of saltwater immersion. Join the locals at Archirondel in the east for a morning swim (the café does an excellent hot chocolate) and in the afternoon head west to Le Braye, where the lifeguards remain late in the season and you can enjoy a beer or glass of wine to watch the sun go down once you’ve dried off.
In Jersey, you are never more than ten minutes from the coast, with miles of golden sand spread across 24 bays and beaches. From craggy coves to sweeps of sand, every beach has its own personality, often complemented by a colourful café selling crab sandwiches. Head north for quaint fishing harbours framed by flower-strewn cliffs, west for wild waves, south for soft sand and east for dramatic low tides.
Jersey isn’t just a summer destination and this is reflected in the continued daily schedule of very affordable British Airways flights out of Heathrow. You’ll find up to five flights a day all through the autumn and into winter, so you can travel at a time that suits you. What’s more, flights only take 40 minutes.
Jersey has a rich and fascinating history. From ancient burial grounds to Civil War escapades to maze-like island defences, its multi-layered past permeates the landscape. A highlight is Mont Orgueil Castle. This handsome Norman castle dominates Gorey Harbour in the east of the island and is one of the best examples of its kind. The pink granite glows in the early morning sun, so try to visit before lunch and then you can head to one of the eateries on Gorey Pier. The Moorings does a particularly good Sunday roast and has a roaring fire on chillier days.