Small but perfectly formed, the romantic island of Jersey is an idyllic honeymoon destination ready to be explored and enjoyed
They say the best things come in small packages, and the island of Jersey is no exception. It has beautiful beaches, quiet country lanes, excellent hotels and restaurants and more sun that anywhere else in the British Isles. It’s within easy reach of the UK and mainland Europe, yet has a hideaway atmosphere that makes it the perfect honeymoon destination.
Set in the sparkling waters of the Bay of St Malo, Jersey is only 14 miles from the French coast and 100 miles from the south coast of England. It’s easy to get there by air or sea: just hop on one of the numerous daily flights from 33 regional airports or board the fast ferry from Poole or Weymouth.
The scenery of Jersey is naturally beautiful and varied. Along the rugged northern coastline there are little harbours, coves and secluded bays protected by towering granite cliffs. Bonne Nuit Bay, a favourite with honeymooners back in the 1950s, is particularly pretty, whilst the cliff top at Plemont Point makes an ideal secluded picnic spot with views of the French coastline.
The beaches on the south coast have won some of the highest accolades. St Brelades Bay, where colourful gardens stretch down to the sea, was once described by Alan Whicker as one of the loveliest in the world. In contrast, you’ll find magnificient sands on the west coast, where Atlantic breakers crash onto the shores.
Exploring the interior of the island will lead you into quiet country lanes dotted with granite cottages and farms amongst meadows. Jersey's network of Green Lanes, which give pedestrians precedence over the car, ensures that country life keeps an unhurried and unspoilt pace. Such laws make Jersey a great place for exploring by bike. There are a number of cycle hire firms on the island, but you’ll need to take your own helmet.
Car hire is exceptionally cheap and, as Jersey is only nine miles long and five miles wide, you won’t need much fuel. Just pick up your car at the airport and leave it there when you depart - it couldn’t be easier.
Try and spend some time in the capital St Helier – you’ll be glad you did. Its busy paved streets and precincts have a continental flavour and it’s a shoppers paradise with every type of shop, ranging from high-class independent department stores to specialised shops all run by people with a passion for what they do. The island’s VAT free and because it isn’t part of the EU you can purchase your duty free allowances en-route and on your departure.
Jersey is renowned for its luxury hotels. Longueville Manor, the island’s only five-star hotel, is just a short drive from the capital. A 14th-century Norman manor house, it has been lovingly restored and converted into one of Europe’s most celebrated hotels.
Set in 15 acres at the foot of its own beautiful private wooded valley, with an enchanting lake that's home to majestic black swans, it is the ultimate honeymoon hotel. It has tennis courts, croquet lawns and a large heated pool and plenty of space for a romantic stroll in the private park in the moonlight.
Longueville’s rooms and suites are luxury personified and there’s even a secret honeymoon suite tucked away in its own turret with four-poster bed and a hand painted tub big enough for two. Eating at Longueville is an experience to be savoured and their picnic hampers are the crème de la crème of ingenuity and gastronomy.
If you’re looking for a modern luxury hotel then The Royal Yatch in St Helier overlooks the harbour. An ideal venue for pampering, relaxation and indulgence, it has several bars with live entertainment, a fully equipped gym and vitality pool plus three restaurants with al fresco dining and gourmet cuisine. Its décor is young and vibrant and its spa has to be seen to be believed.
You couldn’t get nearer the beach than at L’Horizon Hotel and Spa at St Brelades Bay. Inimitably British, it was built in 1850 as a private residence. The interior is pure elegance, full of space and light with a romantic beachfront terrace. A stunning feature is the indoor heated pool, with floor to ceiling windows overlooking the calm sea. Bedrooms are luxurious and L’Horizon provides an excellent standard of cuisine.
On the island you’ll find over 170 restaurants, cafes, pubs, bistros and brassieres serving local produce prepared by brigades of chefs. Seafood is a speciality and the classic Jersey Royal potatoes, in season during the spring, gently boiled and served with butter, make an excellent accompaniment and are likely to have been dug up only hours before they arrive on your plate. If you get hooked on the cuisine then visit the Victorian Central Market before you return home – it’s an Aladdin’s cave full of fruit, flowers, vegetables and dairy produce to help you recreate your gastronomic experience when you get home.
For honeymooners, the most romantic and exciting restaurant on the island is Suma’s, overlooking the attractive fishing harbour of Gorey, with to-die-for views of Mont Orgueil Castle. It serves an eclectic mix of Engish and Mediterranean food and has earned a full entry in the Good Food Guide. The terrace is the place to lunch or dine but it's very popular with both locals and visitors so reservations are a must.
If you are looking for romance closer to home or can only have a short honeymoon then Jersey is a fantastically appealing option, as nowhere else with such short travelling times from the UK offers a honeymoon with such continental style. Just sit and watch the sun set over Elizabeth Castle, savour champagne with a floodlit Mont Orgueil in the background, or picnic on a deserted sandy beach and you could be a million miles from home.