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Jersey Article

Jersey is the largest of the Channel Islands and has long been a popular holiday destination. Lying just 22km away from France in the Gulf of St Malo the coast of Normandy can be seen clearly most days from the eastern shores of Jersey. For most visitors Jersey’s coastline combined with its mild climate and plenty of sunshine are the main attractions. Jersey boasts 32km of sandy beaches and wherever you are on the island you are never far from the sea. St Brelade’s Bay with its clean blue waters and gently sloping sands is one of the busier beaches and ideal for families. At low tide it joins the sands of Ouaisné Bay which helps to make it the island’s finest beach. However, there are many others to choose from such as the unspoilt bay of Beauport which can only be reached on foot via a path from the cliff top car park. A mixture of pebbles and sand the bay is flanked by huge rock pinnacles and is safe for swimming. If you are looking for picturesque then try Rozel Bay on the north-east coast with its quaint fishing harbour and small sandy beach. Keen surfers should head for St Ouen’s Bay which covers most of the islands west coast and has some of the best surfing in Europe. St Aubin’s Bay is popular with water-skiers and windsurfers. Outdoor enthusiasts who prefer dry land will enjoy the miles of scenic cliff paths, narrow country lanes and the delightful 6 km Railway Walk from Corbière to St Aubin. Meanwhile garden enthusiasts will enjoy Samarès Manor in St Clement which has some of the most beautifully restored gardens in Britain. Finally Golfers will love La Moye Golf Course on the stabilised Blanches Banques dune plains.
 
Should you tire of the beaches or the outdoors there are plenty of places of interest to visit. Children will love the educational Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust and will get the chance to see many endangered species close up. Those interested in the history of the island should head for the excellent Jersey Museum in St Helier and the Hamptonne Country Life Museum. Both Elizabeth Castle in St Helier and Mont Orgueil (Gorey Castle) offer further insights into Jersey’s past. Don’t forget to return to Mont Orgueil after dark when it is dramatically floodlit. Seafaring enthusiasts will enjoy the Maritime Museum. Anyone interested in the occupation of the island during World War II should head for the Island Fortress Occupation Museum, the Channel Islands Military Museum and the Jersey War Tunnels. A couple of gems worth mentioning also are St Matthew’s Church in the parish of St Lawrence with its beautiful art deco glasswork by René Lalique and the medieval frescoes in the Fisherman’s Chapel in St Brelade.
 
St Helier, Jersey’s capital has a good range of shopping facilities, restaurants and lots of street cafes to sit and relax in. Jersey’s restaurants are always busy during the October Tennerfest, an ideal time to come for a short break. The fine Victorian Central Market is thriving and sells local produce and flowers while Beresford Market concentrates on fresh fish and shellfish. If you want to escape the crowds then head for the Waterfront Centre with its new marina or the old harbour and contemplate a day trip to the nearby fortified town of St Malo in France.