Jersey (a tangent…)

The Island of Jersey: A Winter Retreat

The Channel Islands aren’t all that far away. The island of Jersey is a mere 45 minute flight away from London Southend airport, and once you arrive you can experience a wonderful place away from the hustle and bustle, a winter retreat that doesn’t break your budget or use up thousands of airmiles…

The island is traditionally thought of as a summer holiday destination, particularly in recent years when the recession has forced holiday makers to avoid far-flung destinations and stay closer to home. Its sea air and its picturesque settings are available, however, all year round. Take it from me: this is one of the calmest and most relaxing locations I’ve been to in a while: you don’t really have to worry about money (Jersey currency is the Jersey pound), the sun is often shining, it’s a little bit warmer and there’s so much to do here, whatever the weather.

Whether it’s taking a walk along St Ouens – the beautiful five mile sandy beach (pictured) – and having a meal in the famous restaurant El Tico, or visiting the internationally acclaimed Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, home to aye-ayes and other extremely rare and endangered species that you can see in few other places.

The Jersey War Tunnels are also worth a visit, it’s a great day out and works wonders in that it allows you to get a little perspective on your own life. For your evenings, you can either experience the modern conveniences of St Helier (including the truly brilliant Jersey Arts Centre), or stay indoors at one of the island’s numerous holiday cottages.

The sea and its healing properties are probably what make this weekend away a winning choice. Walking along the rugged coast – there is an entire website devoted to the best Jersey walks – or cycling around the gentle terrain, you can really get to grips with yourself, your job or whatever problems you have. You can exercise, eat well, and if you panic and want a taste of home, you can head into town and go to Marks and Spencers.

At this time of year, there isn’t a better time to experience the island. Free of busy holiday crowds and still in the best of beauty, it’s the perfect opportunity to get away for the weekend. Southend airport (which is lovely and cosy, incidentally) is a fifty minute train ride from London Liverpool Street, and the flight is so quick the staff barely even have time to serve you coffee… You don’t even need a passport, only photographic ID – so what are you waiting for? Book your flights now!

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