All information in this blog post is correct as of the publishing date, 16.04.20.
Please note, this blog was written before the Corona Virus outbreak. Some events or practices may have changed or be restricted due to government guidelines during these unprecedented times.
More than ever before, people are looking to make their family holidays as responsible as possible. We’re all aware of the threat that climate change poses and the importance of doing all we can to protect the natural environment around us. Fortunately, the Channel Islands – and Jersey in particular – are full of individuals, groups and businesses which work hard all year round to keep our special corner of the world as beautiful and as clean as can be.
Here, we’ll take you through just some of the many ways in which you can enjoy spending time on your Jersey holiday whilst staying totally carbon-neutral. From making your way around the island on two wheels instead of four to helping to keep our lovely beaches clean as you discover the coastline, there are so many things you can do that can make a really positive difference when you come to visit.
And don’t forget that your responsible holiday can start before you even arrive on our shores. You can find out more about how you can travel to Jersey by ferry, meaning that even getting here can be relaxing, comfortable, and kinder to the planet than flying.
Whether you’ve enjoyed many Jersey holidays in the past or are heading here for the first time, one of the main reasons for doing so will no doubt be to enjoy the island’s iconic, stunning and varied scenery. And anyone who has spent time walking around any of Jersey’s most beautiful areas of countryside and coastline will agree that there is no better – or more environmentally-conscious – way of immersing yourself in them.
Walking is one of the most popular pastimes in Jersey, as much for locals as for visitors, so there’s plenty of expert help at hand if you want to find out more about the best ways to ramble or hike around the island – or just take a gentle stroll. Our dedicated walking in Jersey page is full of information about the best places to explore and how to do it, so be sure to check that out for the best places to head on the island.
It’s entirely up to you how you choose to walk your way around the beauty spots. You can go solo if you’re a seasoned hiker or have a thirst for adventure, or you could opt to book yourself onto one of the many excellent guided tours which are run by several experienced operators around the island (you’ll find more information about one of these, Jersey Walk Adventures, a little further down the page).
If you think that walking might be a little too slow for seeing all of Jersey’s best bits and are keen to get on your bike instead, you’ll be pleased to hear that there is a fantastic network of official and well-signposted cycle routes to be enjoyed that cover the whole length and breadth of the island and cater for all abilities and fitness levels.
Our cycling in Jersey information page is a great place to look if you’re not sure where to get started on your two-wheeled exploration. Here, you’ll find information and mini-maps which will introduce you to what we think are the very best cycle routes Jersey has to offer; it was hard to narrow down the list, but we think you’ll agree that all our favourites are pretty special!
And don’t forget that, unlike the rest of the British Isles, anyone who wants to cycle (or walk) in Jersey will benefit from the island’s brilliant ‘Green Lanes’ system. Covering much of Jersey, the Green Lanes are roads in picturesque settings where cars are limited to just 15 mph. In practice, this means that very few motorists use them so that you can be confident of being safe whilst out on your bike.
Jersey Walk Adventures and Jersey Kayak Adventures
We briefly mentioned Jersey Walk Adventures above and they and their sister company – Jersey Kayak Adventures– and the team behind both these ventures are worthy of a special mention here, not just because of the green nature of the activities they offer but also due to their genuine passion for maintaining and improving the natural environment they help people to explore.
Whether you would rather discover our island’s most famous and more hidden gems via land or water, booking a tour or course with this group of experts will ensure that your trips live long in the memory. Accompanied by experienced and highly knowledgeable local guides, you will be given the opportunity to see and learn all about Jersey’s marine life, maritime history, architectural landmarks and more – all you need to do is turn up with plenty of energy!
The green credentials of these two tour providers are truly impressive; the company has a string of eco-friendly awards to its name, including holding the Green Tourism Business scheme’s ‘GOLD’ standard and previously winning the Jersey Enterprise Environmental Award. What’s more, it’s keen to encourage its customers to be responsible too – if you travel to your tour departure point by public transport, you’ll receive a £1 discount per adult on your booking.
Beach cleaning is another responsible activity that has seen a big increase in popularity over recent years, with more and more people becoming switched on to the fact that we need to look after our coastal beauty spots if we are to preserve them effectively for future generations. That sentiment is widely held in Jersey, of course, and we are delighted that many recent visitors to the island are joining in with efforts to keep our beaches spotless.
Many local companies, as well as individuals, have their beach cleaning initiatives – Jersey Walk Adventures, for example, encourage tour participants to pick up and dispose of at least one piece of litter if they see any whilst taking one of their tours.
If you’re inspired to spend a day helping our beautiful beaches look even better than when you arrived, we can assure you you’ll get nothing but support from the island’s residents! One example of how locals are making a difference already comes from local schoolgirl Bea Thorogood, who, in 2019, started an initiative called ’10 on the 10th‘, which encourages people to pick up 10 pieces of litter that they find on the island on the 10th of every month. You can read more about Bea’s inspirational work, and her other ideas for making Jersey even greener.
There is some detailed information available if you want to find out what you should do before organising a beach clean, what equipment you might want to take with you, how to get rid of what you collect and which local organisations would be happy to lend you a hand. Good luck!
Whilst Jersey, and the Channel Islands as a whole, is fiercely proud of its unspoilt landscape and rich flora and fauna, it’s not just the island’s native treasures that generations of island residents have worked hard to support. The ever-popular Jersey Zoo, founded in 1959 by the legendary Gerald Durrell, has a long and exemplary history of helping many of the world’s most vulnerable endangered species – and, today, its work is both more challenging and more vital than ever.
Open all year round, Jersey Zoo is recognised as a pioneer of global conservation, whilst also providing a great day out for visiting families. This is the kind of attraction where children will learn loads of important information without even realising it, as they have fun meeting orangutans, bears, lemurs and many other mammals, birds and reptiles – there are about 1,400 animals who call the zoo home in total, so it’s fair to say it’ll be a very long day if you want to see them all!
It’s not just the inhabitants that showcase the best of what nature has to offer here, either. The 32 acres of grounds in which the zoo is set are simply stunning, whilst the on-site café and restaurant specialise in offering truly locally-sourced fare, with many ingredients grown in their own gardens.
Jersey is renowned for its wide range of excellent restaurants but, if you are choosing to stay in one of our many self-catering properties, it makes sense to save a few pennies and eat in on at least a few occasions during your stay. It’s no hardship to do this here, as there are plenty of high-quality shops on the island where you can source your own food and drink, and many place a big emphasis on sustainability.
It won’t take you long to find some excellent local shops once you arrive at your accommodation, but here are a few to give you an idea of what to expect:
- Anneville Farm Shop – Found on the east coast of the island, not far from Mont Orguiel castle, the Anneville Farm Shop is the place to go if you’re looking for farm-grown fruit and veg.
- The Organic Shop – As the name suggests, the Organic Shop in St. Helier has a focus on wholly organic produce, which includes everything from fruit and cheese to tea and beauty products.
- AR Vitel Butchers – One of the best-loved butchers’ in Jersey, AR Vitel (in the northern parish of St. John) does its bit for the environment by encouraging customers to bring their own containers with them to take away their produce of choice in.
Pretty much every takeaway café in Jersey will now let you bring your own reusable cup with you when you fancy a tea or coffee, so don’t forget to add it to your suitcase when you get packing. Here are some of our favourite refreshment pit-stops, all of which are in lovely settings and let you take your own mug:
- Colleen’s Café – A stone’s throw from the Greve de Lecq beach in St. Ouen.
- Old Station Café – Found on Victoria Avenue, overlooking the beautiful St. Aubin’s Bay in the south of the island.
- Matilda’s Coffee Shop & Takeaway – This popular little café is found on Conway Street in the heart of St. Helier, so is a great choice if you’re spending a day exploring the capital.
As its name suggests, the Jersey Surf Film Festival is largely focused on showcasing the latest and best titles to have been produced about the surfing world but, as with surfing culture itself, the scope of this event goes way beyond capturing the thrill of riding the waves.
Also included in every instalment of the festival (which usually takes place in the summer months) are a series of films, talks and activities that are dedicated to raising awareness of environmental issues and discussing how we can all help to improve the world around us.
To give you an idea of the kind of thing that might feature at the next festival, last year’s event included highlights such as an art workshop designed to encourage children to interact with nature, a ‘wildlife wander’ organised by the Nurture Ecology group and a foraging outing with local bushcraft expert Kazz Padidar – who you can find out a little more about below.
If your idea of a good holiday is getting out and immersing yourself in all that nature has to offer, then you won’t go far wrong with signing up for an activity (or two) run by the Jersey-based adventurer, Kazz Padidar.
Kazz lives for the wild outdoors and is passionate about sharing his love with visitors to the island. Through Wild Adventures, Kazz introduces anyone who is brave enough to expand their horizons and explore the best of the natural world to everything from abseiling and rock climbing to coasteering and kayaking.
Surely the most fascinating and challenging of the activities Kazz offers, however, is bushcraft, which promises to really take you ‘back to nature’. Sign up to one of these sessions and you can learn how to forage for food, build a shelter, find medicinal plants and even create fire – holidays don’t get much more natural than that!