What to do in Jersey? Beaches, food, hotels and tunnels

This is an island that is closer to France than to England, but is part of the British Isles.

There are many miles of tunnels built during World War II, but more by German than British soldiers.

And they have lower taxes than the UK and their own financial rules.

According to Amanda Burns, CEO of travel agency Visit Jersey, Jersey in the English Channel is only five miles long and nine miles wide, but there’s plenty to see for visitors.

“We’re taking a big hit,” Burns told CNBC by phone. “What’s really interesting is … the island’s geological uniqueness, history and heritage,” she said.

Located about 120 miles from England – and 14 from France – Jersey attracts visitors who come to the island by ferry or short flight.

Fancy Jersey

The Jersey Royal potato is only available in Jersey and the United Kingdom mainland.

Source: Visit Jersey.

Jersey business owner Marcus Calvani founded the company on custom jersey royal gins that don’t meet sales standards — he makes Fluke bottled vodka out of them.

“It takes 11kg of Jersey Royals whiskey to make one bottle,” Calvani said. “He has a great mouthfeel that is… a bit silky and gooey. And the weird thing you get from it is a light cantaloupe melon and vanilla on the nose.”

Calvani borrowed the name from the potato’s original nickname: Jersey Royal Fluke, named when farmers experimented with growing the vegetable in the early 19th century, after the decline of cider orchards. The bottles will be available at upscale Harrods later this year for around £50 ($61) each.

Is Jersey part of the UK?

The short answer is no, but it’s a British crown dependency.

  • Relationships are explained in Website of the British Royal Family as follows: “Within the British Isles there are three insular territories known as the dominions of the Crown; these are the Bailiwicks of Jersey and Guernsey, which make up [the] Channel Islands and Isle of Man. The Crown dependencies are not part of the United Kingdom, but are self-governing dominions of the British Crown.”
  • The Channel Islands were part of the Duchy of Normandy in the 11th century – Normandy was a region in northern France ruled by Henry I from 1106. Today, Queen Elizabeth II is referred to in the islands as the Duke of Normandy.
  • Jersey is a self-governing state with its own rules and administrative system. Although it is not part of the United Kingdom, the British government is responsible for its protection, as well as maintaining international relations.

History and Hogwarts

Jersey became a crown property in 1290, shortly after Mont Orgay Castle was built on the east coast of the island.

Burns described it as a “Hogwarts-type castle”, referring to the fictional Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry from the Harry Potter franchise. It sits above the harbor of Gori, which Burns described as “an exciting and iconic place”.

The 800-year-old Mont-Orgay Castle in Jersey, with the wharf (blue building) in the foreground.

Source: Quays, Jersey.

friendly competition

Harbor in St. Aubin, Jersey, in the southwest of the island.

Source: Visit Jersey.

“The island is very much divided into ‘east’ and ‘west’, so people either love the east or people love the west,” she said. “It’s really a different nature. West is very [about] wide-open, barren sand dunes … whereas in the east there are many more rocky paths and wooded areas.”

St. Ouen Bay, which spans much of the west coast, is popular with surfers, while Plemont Bay to the north offers a sandy beach at low tide.

Jersey, which receives far more sunshine than the mainland, has traditionally attracted families looking for a bucket-and-shovel beach holiday and seniors looking for a quiet getaway. Visit Jersey also seeks to attract “moment makers,” or younger visitors who tend to document their trips on social media, Burns said.

Jersey is known for its seafood, such as lobster and oysters, which can be seen here in St. Ouen Bay.

Pierre Longnus | Image bank | Getty Images

According to Burns, they reach a “targeted audience”. “The size of this audience is much larger, but in reality the competition is also more intense.”

Fluke’s Calvani, who runs several food and beverage outlets in Jersey, said the types of travelers coming to Jersey are changing.

“We saw some young, short-term, urban visitors,” he said. “And I think they love it: they eat well, go to the spa, play a little golf… spend two or three nights and then go back to their [city] flat.”

Food and drink

JB’s Brewhouse, a craft brewery and barbecue smokehouse, is one of Calvani’s restaurants that draws visitors from afar, he says.

“Americans who come to JB’s find it very funny that we smoke like Texas cowboys but eat tiny cows from Jersey,” he said.

Business owner Marcus Calvani runs JB’s Brewhouse in St. Helier, Jersey, a bar and restaurant that sells Texas-style barbecue.

Source: Be Served

Burns said younger visitors also love visiting the Faulkner Fishery, founded by Jersey resident Sean Faulkner in 1980, for summer barbecues. with local scallops, lobsters and oysters.

On the west coast of the island is Atlantic Hotelpart of the “Little Luxury Hotels of the World” collection, whose chef Will Holland is something of a celebrity, appearing on UK TV cooking shows.

Portelet Bay Café serves pizza and seasonal food for those who climb down the cliff steps. And in Saint Helier, the island’s largest city, is the Bohemia restaurant, which has been holding a Michelin star for 17 years.


Jersey is often considered a tax haven – residents only pay 20% income tax compared to 45% in the UK.

The island also has a “high value living scheme” for those “comfortably” earning over £725,000 (about $875,000) a year. Government of Jersey website. For program participants, income above this level is taxed at a rate of 1%.

Many sectors also do not impose a business tax, although exceptions include financial services firms, which are taxed at a rate of 10%, and utilities, which are taxed at a rate of 20%. This is in contrast to the UK, where corporation tax is currently 19% for all businesses.

Jersey cows are famous for the rich, creamy milk they produce.

Matt Porteous | Digital Vision | Getty Images

About a quarter of the island’s working population is employed in the financial industry, according to the business agency. Find Jersey.

However, the cost of living “can be high compared to other countries,” according to the island’s government website. The average house price on the island was £660,000 in the first quarter of 2022, compared to the UK average of £277,000. according to Jersey statistics.

The costs are problematic for Calvani, who provides housing for some of his employees.

Pier in St. Helier, the financial center of Jersey. The island is known for its tax incentives for residents and businesses.

Jan Getings | Moment Open | Getty Images

“We just brought in three new employees from Kenya,” he said. “These guys have an excellent education and many years of experience. [but] housing for them is the main problem”.

After working with the likes of Disney while in the United States, he said he sees Jersey as one huge “theme park”.

“You have two gates, at the airport and at the harbor… bed and breakfast and hotels, you have St Helier’s main mall. [and] Lots of attractions,” he said.

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