4 Days in Jersey (UK)

Stay: Apollo Hotel – good for the price. Pretty close to the main bus station in St. Helier (10min walk). Only issue was the hotel was not built for the crazy winds so it got pretty cold in the rooms at night!

Day 1 – St. Helier

So this was a pretty last minute trip in the sense that we were hoping Kirsten and Matt’s renewed visa would come in the mail so we could leave the country… alas by 7:30pm Wednesday night we decided to go to Jersey instead…. which technically is its own country (but also not…. just like Scotland! Lol). Our flight left at 12:30pm Thursday to head to Jersey. We left on time and must’ve had some good winds cause we landed 20minutes early! Then we took about a 40minute bus ride to St. Helier to get to our hotel.

Once we got settled at the hotel we headed back into town. We stopped quickly for a late lunch at a random Cafe in the mall called Brasserie At DeGruchy. The sandwiches were very tasty! And the decorations were cute.

Bennett doesn’t understand moms pose 😂

The main area of town has a ton of shops and had Christmas lights up! Since it got dark at 4:30pm we got to fully enjoy them all!

There was also a local Christmas Market in the Royal Square. It wasn’t super huge but all the shops in it were local people. Kirsten got a children’s book and the author signed it for her! We also got some mulled cider to enjoy in the cold.

At the market there was also a stage area and all these ladies wearing yellow got on to sing Christmas carols. Their group name is called the Hot Bananas 😂. Their leader was really into it and it was fun to watch her dance around.

Since it was Kristen’s birthday (🥳), we wanted to hop around before dinner a bit. We ended up finding this bar called the Crosstown Restaurant & Bar. They had jazz playing later in the evening but we were able to have a quick drink before the reservations for tables came in. The cocktails were pretty good and the place was so cute!

They had a fish tank too!

After the quick drink we decided to head to our dinner spot a bit early and have a drink there as well. Turns out the place we made a reservation for was much fancier than we realized! But Yolo it was Kirsten’s birthday! I had the Halibut which ended up being really good! We had a couple bottles of wine too… HBD KIRSTEN!

We ended the night hanging out in the hotel for a bit. Before I went to bed I called the family to say hi to everyone and wish them a Happy Thanksgiving!

Day 2 – Mont Orgueil Castle & Samarès Manor

We started off the morning by heading to breakfast at Cafejac, which was a short walk from our hotel. While I didn’t love the hot chocolate, the breakfast was delicious!

After breakfast we headed to the bus station and got some information about what was currently open (some things are closed due to the winter season unforunately). Thankfully Mont Orgueil Castle was still open for visitors so we got on a bus for about 30minutes and headed to the castle! We ended up spending probably about 2hrs at the castle. As far as castles go it was actually pretty fun to explore. The outside was picturesque and they had alot of random things to see and read about (rather than just room after room of old bedrooms). Unfortunately the weather was very bipolar so it would pour rain for 10minutes then be sunny for 10minutes. We really had to plan which areas of the castle to explore based on the weather 😂

Help!

There were a few rouge things like this creepy picture of the queen

But overall super fun to explore!

At the end of our tour it really started to rain so we ran back down to the entrance and sat inside while Bennett had some milk 😂. We walked back down to the mini town at the bottom of the hill and had a small lunch at Eastside Coffee Shop. Shortly after 2pm we got back on the bus and headed to Samarès Manor Botantical Gardens.

The manor was in a pretty random area, but the grounds were pretty big! It was pretty to walk around even though some parts were very dead for the winter 😂

The manor! That you can’t actually go into because people live there lol

Some pretty fall colors remained thankfully!

We probably only spent about 40minutes walking around (just since it was cold). Then we got on a bus back to St. Helier. Before it got dark we decided to try to walk to Elizabeth Castle. It’s one of those castles that has a path that’s in the water but during low tide you can walk out to it. We knew the castle was closed but we figured we could try to walk up close to it at least….. turns out googlemaps took us on some weird route to a closed ferry station. We thankfully found a way to at least see the Castle from afar, but I did not see any sort of path you’d be able to walk to the castle (even if the castle was open). Oh well!

Since it was pretty cold we decided to go back to the hotel before dinner to refresh and warm up…. but once we got there we didn’t really want to leave 😂. We ended up going down to the hotel restaurant and having pizza (actually really good pizza though!). Then we went to the hotel bar and had one drink before off to bed!

Day 3 – Museums & Tea (& really cold weather)

Well we knew today probably wasn’t going to be the most fun as the weather forecast said “Gale-force” winds at 40 mph! NO THANKS. We decided to check out a few of the museums to spend our time indoors for the day.

First stop: the Jersey Museum & Art Gallary (tbh I actually didn’t notice any fancy artwork so mostly gonna just call this the Jersey Museum). The Museum opened at 10am and had a breakfast spot so we went over at 10 and first had breakfast. The food was actually really good- I had a BLT.

After eating we started off with the museum video, which was about 30minutes and went through 250,000 years of Jersey history (or to Kirsten either “25million” or “25hundred thousand” 😂). The video went through alot really quickly, but was actually pretty good and gave a decent background of the country.

The museum itself was decent, but nothing I would say is a must do if it is nice outside (same with the next museum we went to). This museum had a few parts- we started at the top and made our way down. The top was the “Merchant’s House”- not super exciting- pretty basic old rooms with old stuff in them lol. The middle floor was basically the floor of Jersey protests- everything the people of Jersey had ever protested about. It was pretty current with even the 2020 Black Lives Matter protests as a wall! Some of the stories were more interesting than others but it gave a good idea of the type of country Jersey is.

The bottom floor is all about “The Story of Jersey”. Everything you might want to know about Jersey. At one point they had so many apple trees they were like the main provider of cider for England! Now Jersey is actually a financial sector and a tax haven. They actually had a mini “quiz” at the end asking you how you felt about Jersey being more in the financial sector than it used to be and how you felt it changed the culture, etc. There was too much information to read everything, but some of it was pretty interesting!

Here’s a picture of Bennett with a random bird in the museum (he didn’t care 😂).

We probably spent about 2hrs exploring the museum (with the 30min movie & a small child). Then we walked over to the Maritime Museum- it was only about a 4min walk, but man was it cold and windy- definitely was happy we were not doing any outdoor activities!

The Maritime Museum was pretty random. It had a bunch of interactive activities, but most of them were pretty weird. Like you could push a button and a super creepy sea monster would open its mouth 😂 or push a button and you could see how the wind changed the waves. I obviously pushed every button no matter how dumb it was.

We had a nice Winchell family photo shoot as well 😁

At the end of the museum there was a completely separate section for the Occupation Tapestry Gallary. This actually was really cool and was the most interesting part of this museum (and had absolutely nothing to do with ships 😂). Basically there were about 14 tapestries made to represent different aspects of the German occupation of Jersey. Not only were the tapestries really well made, but each had a mini iPad type thing in front of it where you could click on the different images of the tapestry to understand what it meant. It was a really interesting way to learn about the time when the Germans occupied Jersey and how it affected the people of Jersey’s lives. If there’s a way to skip the other part of the museum and just see this then I would recommend!

Once we finished at the museum we tried to call this hotel with afternoon tea to see if they had availability- they said no at the same time I was on their website and could book a tea for 5pm 😂. Since it wasn’t particularly close to 5pm, we got a quick snack at a nearby outdoor type mall (we all got Cornish pastries). I booked the Afternoon Tea at the L’Horizon Beach Hotel & Spa. Since we didn’t have anything else to do and it was too cold to walk around we decided to just head over like an hour early and see if they could sit us- and they were fine with it! Turns out it wasn’t very crowded at all so not sure why they didn’t have availability (although they were hosting a party in another room so maybe they were stressed). The tea was only £22/person and was really good! We got 5 sandwiches each and 5 desserts! My only complaint is that the actual tea itself was just like normal bagged tea- nothing fancy.

They had a cute Christmas tree set up right next to our table as well!

We spent about 2hrs eating/drinking tea before getting a taxi back to the hotel (it was dark, cold, and super windy no thank you to waiting for a bus). Once at the hotel we went down to the bar area and had a drink and played this game I bought Kirsten for her birthday- Tiny Epic Galaxies. Thankfully Matt read the directions and explained the game to us. It was pretty straight forward and probably took about 1hr to play (with some learning curves). I ended up winning too 😁

Day 4 – Grève de Lecq to Plémont Walk

Thankfully the super crazy winds had passed (although it was still rather windy) and the sun was beginning to poke out at times! We decided to do one of the cliff walks since Jersey has such beautiful cliff and shore lines. We called ahead to see if we could leave our bags at the one restaurant in Grève de Lecq and they said it was fine so we took everything with us and got on a 30min bus ride to Grève de Lecq! The Prince of Wales was the only hotel and really only restaurant in the area so we decided to eat breakfast there before starting the walk. Finally had a pretty good hot chocolate (wasn’t having much luck other days) and the food was really good! One of the waiters was pretty weird about us leaving our bags there, but the actual hotel staff ended up being super nice and so accommodating about it!

A bit after 11 we set off on the hike! It was only about 2miles so wasn’t supposed to take very long (as needed with a baby accompanying us). The first part of the hike was a super steep hill to get up to the cliffs, but after that it was relatively easy walk along the water. We did get some SUPER windy moments, which baby Bennett did NOT like (sorry Bennett). Thankfully we were able to mostly cover him in his carrier until he fell asleep for the second half of the hike.

Bennett and Matt ready to hike!

Super pretty coastline the whole way!

Went by some WW2 bunkers as well!

And a tower used in the war

The hike probably took us about 1.5hrs with a few breaks along the way. We ended in Plémont, which really must just be a nice bay during the summer because there wasn’t really anything there… whoops 😂. Thankfully we googled a cafe only about a 10min walk away and had some nice hot drinks to end the hike! We relaxed for about an hour before calling a taxi to drive us back to the hotel we left our bags at and then to the airport. We ended up at the airport pretty early, which ended up working out well because the security line was quite long! All the flights yesterday were canceled because of the wind so everyone was flying out today! We got through with enough time to enjoy the lounge for a bit before the final flight back to London! Really enjoyed the trip to Jersey and would definitely love to go back when it’s warm!

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