The Psychology of Quality and More
Easter in Jersey
After a long, cold Winter we decided a few days away were in order. The pound was at rock bottom so overseas didn't look attractive, so we plumped for Easter in Jersey, which is about as far south as you can get and still be in the pound zone.
Sunday 4 April
Pootled down to Ilsley, just outside of Weymouth, to stay overnight in the splendid Riverside Inn with its excelllent motel-style B&B rooms. Drove up to Cerne Abbas to see the rude Giant and its 40 foot member (now there's a fertility symbol!). Cream tea in the village and wander around the abbey before returning. Strangely, the Inn was closed for food and drinks so we walked up the road to the excellent Ship Inn to quaff a delightful brew with the bizarre name of 'Engine Oil'.
Monday 5 April
Jersey is really beautiful. It helped that it's a fine day. We got here, via Guernsey and past Elizabeth Castle, about 3pm. Despite it being an internet cheapo, the hotel is really posh and we've got a sea-view room! We told an old lady on the quay where we were staying and she seemed mightily impressed.
We went for a long walk, stopping for a cuppa at a seaside shack, strolling along the sands and scrambling over rocks (via a handy concrete-daubed pathway). There's a picturesque fort in the bay to which you can walk out via a causeway and interesting rocks and stuff along the beach (well, as interesting as rocks and stuff get, I suppose).
Dinner in the hotel. Nice, but not cheap (though not outrageous either).
Tuesday 6 April
Headed off for a trip around the island. It's not that big but there's lots to do and see along the way. Stopped first at St. Brelade's Bay. Pretty, though a bit twee, with gardens along the prom. Scrambled cliff path at West end. Then on to the huge and windswept St Ouen's Bay, where surfers brave the Atlantic rollers (though not today). Lovely views across via fort in the bay to the Corbiere lighthouse. Paused at the tourist-trap Jersey Pearl (loads of them!) on the way to the windmill and Catherine Best jewellery (beautiful, but take your bank manager). Coffee at the bijou Mare Vineyard (driving, so didn't do the tasting).
Pootled over to nice little Rozel Bay on the East coast in no time flat at 30 mph. The island is small, with narrow roads that don't really encourage high speeds. Then down to St. Catherine's breakwater, missing the route and going down a terrifyingly long, steep and windy one-track road flanked by stone walls (fortunately didn't meet anyone coming the other way). Teacakes in nice caff after watching people fish (one successfully!). Then down to the most excellent Mont Orgueil Castle. £10 entry but worth every penny. Lots of photos here. Realised I hadn't brought camera battery charger so suddenly got very keen on manual focus. Finally full circle back to St. Aubin via St. Hellier.
Wednesday 7 April
Another beautiful day. Started out with a long and pleasant walk along an old railway route from St. Aubin to Corbiere. Corbiere lighthouse is in stunning location and is very photogenic. There's a causeway out to it and we weren't sure if the tide was coming in or going out. Others who didn't pause to think had a rather wet return and muttered about 'only ten minutes' as I smiled and photographed them. Time and tides wait for no man, and all that. Back by 1pm so went for another drive around via St. Ouen's Bay (one learner-surfer in the water), Jersey Pearl (bought a Christmas present for an elderly aunt), Catherine Best (still too expensive) and Jersey Goldsmiths (also megabucks).
Decided to go to much-vaunted Smugglers Inn (Egon Ronay, etc.) for dinner. Tried short-cut across the bay but the tide hadn't gone out enough, so backtracked and walked up and over narrow lanes. Nice ale and fresh fish and chips. Yum. Right on the beach for evening pix, too. Got back pooped, reckoning on having walked about 14 miles during the day.
Thursday 8 April
Last day. Sob. Well at least we didn't leave until 7pm, so chance for another circumnavigation and spending half a day in St. Hellier. Nice place, much like a 'county town' with largely pedestrianised shopping centre, which is overlooked by Regent Fort (which has been covered over to make a huge indoor sports complex). Got to the 7pm ferry ok and chugged out via Guernsey and across for a 10:30pm landing and another few hours grinding up the motorway home.
See also the full set of Jersey photos for more detail.
And the big