Coco Chanel is famously quoted as saying “The best things in life are free” and there are many examples throughout the island of Jersey where this quote can be corroborated.
The ‘Rock’, as it’s known by the locals, is not only rich in monetary investment, but in culture, landscape and, more often than not, it’s produce. There are often more exciting ways, on your Jersey Holidays, to understand and experience the Island that won’t cost you a penny! (Sometimes they might cost you a penny, maybe even a few pennies but if you’ve read this far then you best continue to find out how you can experience Jersey on a shoestring budget!)
1. Experience Nature at it’s Best
The National Trust Jersey protects Jersey’s natural beauty, rich wildlife and historic places. Donna Le Marrec from National Trust Jersey, encourages people to go out and explore the island and makes a great case for experiencing Jersey without breaking the bank:
“Visitors can always get involved in National Trust events. We stage regular walks which are only £5 for non-members, such as low water walks and countryside rambles. We also stage over 100 events throughout the year, many of which are free such as sunset concerts at Mont Grantez in June and Heritage Open Days in September.”
2. Our Flying Friends
A fantastic attraction on the Island that won’t cost you a penny is the Wetland Centre, which is also part of the National Trust. Donna adds:
“Visitors can do a self-guided trail around St Ouen and visit our Wetland Centre which is open 7 days a week and is free. They will be able to explore the various bird hides and marvel at the wide range of birds that migrate every year to St Ouen’s Pond. With everything the National Trust offers you really can experience Jersey on a shoestring budget.”
3. The Perfect Picnic
Let’s assume at this point that you’ve worked up an appetite after all of the exploring, well how about a picnic? Not far from the Wetlands Centre is the Le Feuvre Farms honesty box which can be found in L’Etacq at the bottom of Mont Matthieu. Here you can collect some of Jersey’s freshest produce, from local tomatoes to sweet preserves as well as some other tasty hamper fillers.There are other boxes from Le Feuvre Farms located across the island too. Around the island you are spoilt for choice for the perfect picnic location where you can roll out the gingham blanket and enjoy nature accompanied with a glass of La Mare Vineyard wine, which can be picked up from La Mare’s own shop in St Helier or direct from the vineyard in the parish of St Mary.
4. Botanical Paradise
Queens Valley reservoir in Grouville could be the perfect setting for the above mentioned picnic, its 1.9 mile walking circuit gives ample opportunity to find a secluded spot amongst the trees to sit and just take in some of Jersey’s underappreciated beauty!
5.Walking in the Footsteps of Others…
Dotted around the coastline and sometimes even inland are the relics of the occupation years during WWII. Viewing these defensive battlements is rightly thought-provoking and is a great way to learn about the history of the Island. Marc Yates from History Alive gives tours around the war artefacts and truly is a wealth of knowledge. He says:
“You will see the most evidence of the German fortification on the west and south coasts, where the Germans expected that the British would be most likely to mount an invasion to re-take the Island. But remember – not everything you will find throughout Jersey is German! Apply my general rule which is; “Concrete = German. Granite = British defences against the French at least 150 years earlier!”
6. Pedal Your Way
Although Jersey may seem small, if you tried to walk around it would take you a fair while… Another way to see the island is by cycling. These are cheap to hire and open a lot of the island up for you to experience some attractive green lanes. These are small country roads where the speed limit is 15mph and pedestrians and cyclists have right of way, and are more often than not beautiful. Elizabeth from Jersey Bus Tours says:
“Our bikes, not only propose a way to stay fit on your holiday, but they give you the freedom to be up close and personal to the true beauty that Jersey has to offer. Explore Jersey at your own pace on one of our brand new 21-gear Raleigh bikes or our 7-gear Bobbin bikes, we also have a selection of bikes for children – the whole family can enjoy a ride along the cycle tracks.”
7. Sunset Stroll
After exploring the Island for its nature, history and delicacies there is only one place that has exactly what you need to see the day away. The sand dunes in St Ouen are a perfect place to spectate the world going by. As you sit either on the dunes themselves, on the headland or on the beach itself, the sunsets at this location are dramatic, picturesque and powerful, not something you’d want to miss.
You see? Jersey really does deliver some of the best things in life, all in one very small package that are easily experienced as part of a short break or a longer trip. There are many other activities that can be undertaken which will allow you to explore and enjoy Jersey on a shoestring, this list is just to wet the whistle of any perspective travellers and maybe offer locations that could be suitable for your already big ideas!