Hey Country Bumpkins! How you all doing?
Last week I spent a long weekend with Dan over in Jersey. The main reason was for my friend Clancy who was getting wed to Oliver at St Brelade on the Sunday. We decided to tag on a few days to do some exploring and it was our first holiday/break away from sleepy Dorset, so we were both pretty excited. Here’s a photo review of our trip and some recommendations along the way, as well as one or two to flee!
Standard holiday airport beers!
We flew from Bournemouth airport with Flybe, which took all of 30 minutes! I’ve never been on such a quick flight before. By the time we’d started sipping on our drinks it was time for touch down into St Helier. We were staying over in St Clement which is on the eastern side of the island, and rather than taxiing it across, we decided to try out the bus service. There was a direct bus from the airport to St Helier for £2 which took about 20+ minutes and then from Liberation Station, the main bus station we caught the bus to St Clement which was £1.50 and about a 15 minute bus ride. Thankfully, I sat next to a local lady from Gorey who kindly pointed out our stop – The Shakespeare Hotel.
Now, booking The Shakespeare Hotel was a bit last minute.com, as I already had a hotel room over in St Brelade at the Golden Sands. When I originally booked that room in January I was a single girl, and now I wasn’t. The Golden Sands weren’t very accommodating in upgrading and due to my hiccup with Booking.com it was non refundable. Huge school girl error. Anyways, so we ended up at The Shakespeare Hotel and put it this way its no place for Romeo and Juliet. But, it was a good location for us to get around and explore the island.
Beer & Cider at the local Le Hocq Inn
On Friday morning, after our full English Breakfast we took the free shuttle bus down to St Helier, had a mooch around town got bored pretty quickly looking in jewellers and clothes shops and decided to hire some bikes.
Pretty flowers at the indoor market
We hired our mountain bikes from Zebra Bike Hire for £27 for two days of exploring.
With our rucksacks, cycle maps and waterproof jackets (yep even Jersey didn’t escape the downpours!) we headed out of St Helier and towards St Brelade – a blustery ride along St Aubin, but it was flat, so I couldn’t complain.
A friend recommended visiting the Lavender Farm in St Brelade and it just happened to be a stone’s throw off the cycle path, so we popped along. The weather turned as soon as we got there, we managed to pop across the lawn and take shelter in the distillery and find out about the lavender making process. As you can imagine it smelt lush!
After the Lavender Farm we headed up towards St Helier airport in St Peter where the heavens opened and we took shelter under a tree before deciding on where to go next.
We decided to weave our way across to the Jersey War Tunnels in St Lawrence. Once we got there we found out the tour was about an hour and a half long and didn’t really appeal to us. If we weren’t time precious or conscious about not getting soaked again we probably would have done it. The Jersey War Tunnel vintage bus was pretty cute though and they had a lovely visitors shop!
Jersey War Tunnel Vintage Bus
Only in Jersey! Sadly we didn’t spot any kamikaze squirrels!
From the Jersey War Tunnels we headed up to Hampstonne in St Lawrence and found a fantastic downhill run (C118 – Les Chemins des Moulin or Mill Lane in English!) which ran past a reservoir and there wasn’t a soul on the road. It reminded me of a long cruisey blue run in the French Alps – it was pretty perfect after the earlier drenching.
We followed the road back towards the sea and ended up on the coastal cycle path towards St Helier. We stopped off for a quick pit stop, burger, fries & milkshake at The Lookout Beach Café which was one of my fave places.
Moody weather about to set in
Hmmmm burger & fries
Once we finished our late lunch we pedalled pretty sharpish back to the hotel as you could see the rain coming in across St Aubin’s Bay. We managed to make it back within 20 minutes, with a quick visit to the mini M&S to pick up some bottles of prosecco and back to the hotel to freshen up.
In the evening, we tried going to Green Island for dinner, but sadly there was no room at the inn and they were pretty pompous about letting us know too. So, we pedalled back up to Le Hocq Inn for what was the best meal of the 4 days – a saucepan of mussels in a white wine and cream sauce for £10.95!!! Billy bargain and it was delicious.
Saturday brought sunshine, blue skies and fun times bombing around the island on our bikes. After yet another full English we headed off east towards Gorey. It took us about an hour to get there, winding our way up some fairly steep hills. I must admit I did dismount on one very windy hill, the good thing is that once you get to the top, the only way is down and with it was a beautiful view stretching out towards The Royal Bay of Grouville, Gorey Harbour and Mont Orgueil Castle. They were just breathtaking views and made the pedalling worth it!
As it was my birthday week too, I decided to treat myself to a Jersey Pearl bracelet. I’d seen the design in the St Helier store, but hadn’t seen a blue bracelet colour, so jumped at the chance when I saw it in Gorey and it will definitely remind me of mine and Dan’s break biking around the island together.
After pedalling our way to Gorey we had a bit of a mission. The next aim was to cycle over to St Ouen for a pre wedding meet up with Clancy and Oliver at El Tico Beach Restaurant at 3pm. Apparently it was about 14 miles!! It was about 11.30am by the time we left Gorey and plugged our way across the island through St Martin, St Saviour, Trinity, back through St Lawrence and eventually reaching St Ouen. Apart from a bit of map negotiating and asking locals for advice it was pretty stress free, the roads were quiet – really quiet, and very French! We reached the top of St Ouen at about 2.30pm and took some photos from La Rue de la Mare (road to the pond!). Again the views were breath-taking.
Feeling very relieved that we made it – well almost!
Beers, burger and fries – standard cyclist diet!
Selfie stick times with friends
Wedding time! As I mentioned at the beginning of my blog, the main reason we were in Jersey was to see my friend Clancy and Oliver tie the knot. I’ve known Clancy since I was about 18 (15+ years!!) when we worked in The Sun Inn, Charminster and Saxon Arms, Stratton. Clancy soon became my partner in crime for nights out in Dorchester and Weymouth. And we relished any chance we could catch up during uni holidays and weekends when she was home from London. Those nights out always used to be the messiest, but most fun nights. I was very excited to see her marrying her prince Oliver and in such a beautiful location at L’Horizon, St Brelade. It was a gorgeous afternoon and Clancy looked stunning!
Hotel selfie stick time! Cheese!
Party feet & Frock ready to go!
Shoes – River Island
Dress – H&M
St Brelade Bay
Clancy with her cousins
Cute ice-cream van
Perfect match – ice-cream & Pimm’s
Photobooth with a twist
The Gorgeous Mr & Mrs Hammond!
Big thank you to Toby & Jaq over at The Little Print House for designing Clancy & Oliver’s unique wedding print. They loved it!
Wow, it was a jam packed four days in Jersey, over 50+ miles cycling, 2 burger and fries, a saucepan of mussels, 2 ice-creams, 3 full English Breakfasts, too much prosecco and beer and 1 beautiful wedding on the beach. Take me back now please!!