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The largest of the Channel Islands, Jersey is an easy place to get to, and on arrival you will find Britain with a twist of France...
Flying in to Jersey Airport (JER) takes no time at all and from here you can arrange to collect your Jersey car hire. Above all, the island of Jersey remains the ideal destination for those looking for a peaceful and relaxing break, whilst the scenic country roads made famous by the TV series, 'Bergerac' are great for exploring. There are also plenty of attractions here that are well worth the journey.
One landmark that is certainly worth a visit is the magnificent Elizabeth Castle. Built on a tidal island in the parish of Saint Helier, Elizabeth Castle dates from the 16th century and is, in fact, named after the monarch of the time - Queen Elizabeth I.
The castle has a long and fascinating history, which is well worth exploring and the site also includes a museum, which is now run by Jersey Heritage. Several centuries of memorabilia and artefacts are held within the castle walls. On every Sunday during the open season, a group of Historical Interpreters give a rendition of the Battle of Jersey that took place in 1781. The castle can be reached via a causeway when the tide is low; at other times the Castle Ferry will take you there. The site is open from the end of March every day from 10 am until 5.30 pm.
If castles really are your thing, Jersey has another one. Mont Orgueil Castle is equally impressive. Overlooking the harbour of Gorey, construction of the castle began way back in the 13th century and was primarily used as a prison until the St. Helier prison was built in the 16th century. The castle stopped being used altogether after the Second World War. It is now run by the Jersey Heritage Trust and is open to the public just about all year round (bar December) from 10 in the morning until late afternoon.
For lovers of the arts and history, the Jersey Museum and Art Gallery (open from late March until 30 December from10am-5pm), is a treasure trove of exhibits and artefacts. Here the long history of the island from Neolithic times to the present is told in a series of fascinating exhibitions. The highlights include a portrait by Millais of Lillie Langtry, a Bronze Age golden torque and much of the entire works of the Surrealist artist, Claude Cahun. The museum is located at the Weighbridge, St. Helier and entry is £9.30 for adults and £5.15 for kids.
Just remember that certain lanes have a speed limit of 15mph.
There are plenty of historic and scenic places to visit. Using your Jersey hire car, where could you explore?
The Hamptonne Country Life Museum, open between June and mid-September, has plenty to keep you amused for hours. Located on the Rue de La Patente, the museum house dates from the 15th century and the exhibits here cover some six centuries of the rural life of the island. The museum is augmented by a recreation of a real Jersey farm, which includes demonstrations of traditional ironwork methods.
For the kids, the Durrell Wildlife Park, which was formerly known as Jersey Zoo, offers the perfect day out. Originally established in 1959, the zoological park was the creation of the author and naturalist, Gerald Durrell. Focusing on rare and endangered species the park features a variety of birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians and covers some 32 acres of ground.
Located at Les Augres Manor in Trinity, the zoo also contains a wealth of water gardens and landscaped parkland. However, the highlights of the park are undoubtedly the exhibits called the Jewels of the Forest and the Cloud Forest. The zoo is open every day of the year from 9.30 am until late afternoon and costs £14.50 for adults and £10.00 for kids. Children under four are allowed in for free.
There we have just some of the main attractions that this pleasant island of Jersey offers and there is actually so much more to enjoy. The influence of both the French and English is evident in the culture and in the cuisine and there are some great quality restaurants in just about every town on the island.
There is also the opportunity to explore Jersey's fascinating network of war tunnels and its long history of war. However, if you prefer something a touch more peaceful, there is plenty of opportunity for some great golfing, fishing, sailing and water sports. Of course, you could always just choose to lay back and enjoy the sun on one of the island's many glorious, sandy beaches. All of this can be enjoyed if you opt for hiring a car.