A Family Holiday Exploring Jersey

When thinking of Jersey, ice cream and Jersey cows would always come to mind first!

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I’ll be honest, the ice cream was a big draw to choosing it as a mini holiday destination this summer.

After spending just a few days there, there is so much more to Jersey than delicious ice cream and cows!

It is a lovely destination for a family holiday – here’s what we got up to…

Jersey Museum and Art Gallery

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Nestled behind the Liberation Square sculpture and beside the hotel (whose balcony was used to share the liberation of Jersey after WW2) is the Jersey Museum and Art Gallery. Amid some of the more modern buildings in this part of St Helier, the museum stands proud.

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Stepping through the stone archway you’re led to the museum entrance and the promise of a Jersey cow!

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We loved exploring all the different rooms and finding out more on the history of the island (which is an extensive one!).

All the exhibits were easily accessible for my 3 year old.

A more recent addition to the museum is the haul of coins discovered on the island.

This part of museum shows a replica of the coins, but you can also watch people at work on the actual coins in their own glass walled room.

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There are also plenty of hands on activities to keep little ones occupied!

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To the side of the museum was my favourite part of this attraction; the Mercant’s House.

Walking through the paneled doors you are taken back hundreds of years to when the house was getting ready for an auction sale.

The then owner of the house owed a great deal of money to the bank so the entire contents was being auctioned off.

It must have been terribly upsetting for the doctor who owned the house and his family.

However, the auction details meant that the house has been filled again with many of the contents that were for sale.

It is in its very own time warp!

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The view from the attic window really highlights how old and new have come together in Jersey.

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I really enjoyed this museum and although it is not primarily geared for young children, there is enough to hold their interest. You can also buy a Jersey Pass which grants entry to lots of attractions on the island including this one.

Maritime Museum

Originally we hadn’t planned to visit this museum as we didn’t think our son would enjoy it.

Thankfully, we changed our minds after many recommendations!

The Maritime Museum is fantastic! A real must visit attraction if you’re in Jersey.

It is a bit of a tardis as when you first walk in it feels quite small, but you soon realise it just keeps going!

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The museum is filled with eye catching and interactive displays.

Many of the displays have a great duel purpose – informative for grown ups and older children, and just plain fun to explore for little ones.

They also provided great conversations within families with parents explaining as best they could in response to probing questions!

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This dog needs a special mention! Used by the people of Jersey to scare away smugglers it looks spooky enough as it is…get too close though and you set off an eerie howl! Much amusement ensued when it scared my husband!

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The Maritime Museum is included in the Jersey Pass.

Elizabeth Castle

We love a good castle visit, and one where you have the option of travelling there by sea bus just couldn’t be missed!

The ‘Charming Nancy’ was our carriage to Elizabeth Castle; a formidable bastion just off the coast between St Helier and St Aubin’s Bay.

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The highly informative guides taught us a great deal about the castle and its strength in defending Jersey at the time of attach by sea.

We arrived in time for the gun display and cannon firing. All the men on the site were invited to fall in and join the ranks of the castle’s army.

A chosen few got to assist with the cannon firing – something you could see they thoroughly enjoyed!

You could easily spend a day here exploring all the different parts of the castle, including the part resided in by the hermit Helier – the patron saint of Jersey who was brutally beheaded on the sandy banks of the beach by the castle.

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Elizabeth Castle is included in the Jersey Pass.

Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust

We’ve been to many zoos and wildlife centres over the years, but Durrell is quite special.

The aim to teach about protection and conservation is clear from the outset.

The first enclosure you encounter is that of the Dodo…or it would have been for a Dodo if they weren’t extinct!

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The site is big with plenty of play space for children and a lovely large restaurant.

The food here was like what we’d expect in a high street restaurant – very impressive!

The sand pit was also a big hit with my son.

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The part of the day that will always stay with us though was with the orangutans.

Their enclosure featuring a huge outdoor space and an indoor area was great.

But it was meeting the baby or orangutan that was particularly special.

She seemed to take a liking to my son…

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Durrell is also included in the Jersey Pass.

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I can’t finish this post about Jersey without a mention of their beautiful beaches!

Each one we visited was lovely – and surprisingly quiet for August!

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We travelled to Jersey via Gatwick with Easyjet and stayed at the lovely Best Western Royal Hotel.

More details on the Jersey pass can be found here.

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Thank you to Jersey Heritage and Durrell who kindly arranged free entrance to their attractions during our stay.

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