Jersey is the kind of place people have trouble understanding. Once owned by the French, the island was taken back by England only to be occupied by the Germans in the World War. They drive on the same side as the UK, yet they have £1 notes, paper driver licenses and road names like ‘La Route de la Liberation’. Jersey is a strange place, but that’s what makes it all the more interesting to see what life is like on this tiny, idyllic Channel Island that floats less than an hour from France.
When I arrived in Jersey, I had time to kill before I met my friend, so I took the hire car for a spin (fyi people in Jersey hate hire cars, so I was sworn at a fair amount). I headed past St.Helier and kept on driving, until I saw a sign for Green Island. Apparantly a locals favourite, this beach was empty, beautiful, and perfect for exploring various rock pools and washed up boats.
La Corbiere Lighthouse
I have seen many lighthouses in my years on this planet, yet the one I find most dramatic thus far is the La Corbiere Lighthouse. Located on the most southwest point, this rugged lighthouse is a sight to behold. The large perilous rocks lining the shore here meant that this area was notorious for being the site of many shipwrecks, until the lighthouse was built in 1874. Stroll up to the lighthouse, in low tide, or visit in high tide and see the magnificent spectacle of the waves crashing against the rocks and the lighthouse adrift in the middle of it all.
A little piece of advice for anyone seeking to tuck into a delicious black butter ice cream from the nearby stand, the seagulls here have deadly precision, with years of practice, so hold on tight to that cone!
I wasn’t expecting much from the surf in the Channel Islands during the summer months, but it was great to see the surfing community out here, with lessons going on everyday and some amazing surfers hitting the tiny waves. It was still a lot of fun to get out in the water, regardless of the size of the waves, so any surfers on holiday in Jersey should definitely give it a go. My advice, head to Little Joe’s and rent yourself a board and then head out anywhere that looks good on the west coast around St Ouens Bay.
After a hard night on the sauce around Jersey’s pubs and bars (Editor: for a cool secret speakeasy check out the Blind Pig), there is nowhere better to grab a hangover brekkie than the Plemont Beach Cafe. With a view out onto the gorgeous yellow sand, a good British fry up and some coffee you’ll feel right as rain in no time.
Abandoned Pontins Resort
When I hear about an abandoned building, I get pretty excited. I am always intrigued about its past, why has it fallen into disrepair and who were its previous owners. So when my friend told me about an abandoned Pontins, located in one of Jersey’s most beautiful bays, I was dying to see the site.
The below is my (slightly illegal) exploration of this fascinating spot. Built in 1968 the Pontins resort was once a thriving destination for holidaymakers. Many still note that of all the Pontins, the Jersey holiday camp had the best beach by miles (it was located two minutes from Plemont Beach). Yet, the resort still fell into disuse as international travel became more popular, and was closed by the time Robbie started singing ‘Millennium’.
Creepy huh? Well I am the first to admit I was freaked out a little wandering around on my own, especially when my friends wandered off and I started to call out their names amid the screech of metal, slamming of doors and the howling of the whistling wind. Horror movie stuff for sure.
This story, luckily for me, has a happy ending. Through the effort some die-hard campaigners this abandoned resort is currently being destroyed, with the intent of giving the space back to nature. With views looking out onto the coast, located by the most beautiful bay on the island, this lookout will no doubt be the pride of Jersey for many years to come.