While I’m very familiar with New Jersey, I only discovered the original Jersey a few months ago from a favorite fitness instagrammer. It looked beautiful even without sunshine, so I metaphorically added it to a list of potential travel destinations.
At the last minute, I realized I had a few days off in a row during the same time that everyone who I regularly hang out with was away. If they’re all getting away from London, I realized that I should too.
I booked a (very affordable) flight to Jersey and found one of the last available accommodations, a proper Bed and Breakfast with stunning ocean views. It wasn’t as cheap as my typical Airbnbs tend to be, but it seemed well worth it.
Aside from the inconvenience of traveling all the way to Luton to catch a flight (and the two hour delay), it was a painless, very short flight to Jersey. And no passport checking because it’s within the UK!
I took the bus into St. Aubin, where my B&B was located, but I soon realized that my data didn’t work at all. It wasn’t just a bad connection – there was no connection. I panicked and got off the bus at a random stop that just so happened to be the correct one. I immediately stumbled upon a map that had the local accommodations clearly labeled. Although I was so unprepared that I didn’t even know the hotel’s address, this map made it possible for me to quickly find my way.
I arrived at my B&B at the top of a hill and realized that this was a true B&B, complete with classic-style everything and floral wallpapers on every surface. I was reminded of the episode of Gilmore girls in which Lorelai makes fun of B&B culture while staying at one in Massachusetts.
The view from the windows.
The view from the garden.
It was spectacular and that view alone would have been worth the price. The sun was shining and the water was bright blue.
I arrived late afternoon on a Sunday, so I got a grab-n-go meal and headed to the beach. I found the first sand access point and relaxed in the sand until I realized the tide was about to take me – it was coming in hot.
I walked along the coast, admiring the clean sand and sparkling water. Because English food sucks, I found a nice Thai place for dinner.
The next morning, I was up at a moderately decent hour of 7:30. I enjoyed my first outdoor, made-to-order B&B meal – it was wonderful. I hurried to get my day started by picking up my rental bike. I immediately took it for a swing up the steepest hill I’d ever seen that I definitely had to walk it up. Soon, I was speeding past beautiful fields and gardens, enjoying the beautiful sunshine. I turned back for fear of getting lost (remember, no signal) and headed to St. Helier.
I enjoyed my ride along the coast and immediately felt lost and overwhelmed when I reached the “city.” I struggled without navigation to find the restaurant. I eventually did without too much trouble.
I was set to eat at Bohemia, a single Michelin star-rated restaurant. After my birthday dinner at the Lecture Room in London, I learned the value of fine dining. While Bohemia had a more casual presentation, I enjoyed the food so much more. I even treated myself to a glass of prosecco (because the lunch itself wasn’t treat enough). Though pricy, I enjoyed this meal so much.
After that, I cycled farther East and found some beautiful beaches. I laid in the Sun for a while and read some of Tommy Caldwell’s memoir, The Push. On once particularly beautiful and inspirational beach, I found the courage and bravery to go ribs-deep in the water. The water wasn’t ridiculously cold, but the water felt cold on my skin the second that it was exposed to the roaring wind. Once I’d had my fill for the day, I hopped back on my bike.
I walked around St. Helier and got “authentic Jersey cream” ice cream. A few minutes of window shopping later, I was ready to go back to St. Aubin. The clearly-marked path connecting the coastal towns was well-appreciated. I enjoyed the constant ocean view and sunny vibes of the ride.
A change of clothes later, I was out for dinner at an Indian restaurant close to my B&B. The waiter told me that he “assumed” I was a vegetarian (why and how), and I was peer-pressured into buying sparkling water when I honestly prefer tap. The saag and rice were good, and I was quickly on my way. Another perk of solo-traveling – less wasted time decision-making. I spent the evening reading in the garden, that beautiful blue water in the background of my vision.
The next morning (after my tea and balanced breakfast), I took my rental bike up that same ridiculously-steep hill from the day before and followed the road farther. I found Noirmont Point which had literally breathtaking views of the ocean, beaches, and wildflowers. I wished I had a yoga mat (even though I do NOT consider myself a yogi) because this area was so calming and serene.
After appreciating the space, I traveled on toward Portelet Bay. It wasn’t far from Noirmont Point, but it was a steep step-filled journey downward. It reminded me of the process of getting down into Crater Lake. This beach, though a favorite of “Best Beaches of Jersey” lists wasn’t as user-friendly as others. It was a rocky, pebble beach with cold water. It was beautiful, so I sat in admiration for a while and tried for some phone self-timer photos (rarely successful). I wasn’t there long which made the sweaty journey back up to my bike seem endless and not worth it. Portelet Bay is best enjoyed from above. Hot tip: Noirmont Point offers an excellent view of it!
Farther west, I found St. Brelade Bay, a more typical-to-me beach. More people, more kids, “water adventure” companies, much like a South-Eastern United States beach vibe. Which I didn’t really like because that’s not what I came here for. That cerulean water made the trek worth it.
Up a few more hills, I found the home of Jersey Lavender. I stocked up on lavender soap, essential oil, perfume, and lib balm. I didn’t come here to play. I journeyed off into the farm, appreciating the vibrant hues of blue, purple, and green. It was a lovely, peaceful spot despite all of the other tourists also visiting on this sunny July afternoon. I finished the visit off with a pot of lavender tea. I had it with the recommended honey and was reminded of the dangers of putting sweeteners in my drinks. It was amazing.
Hopping back on my bike, I sped off to get an acai bowl from a place called MOO (mostly organic origins) in St. Helier. After a confusing interaction about their single-use plastic consumption, I ordered and wasn’t given instructions on how/when to pay or seat myself. I felt very unwelcome. The bowl was dominated by coconut shavings and banana and didn’t have much flavor at all. I had really gone out of my way to eat here and was very disappointed. I could have gotten away without paying because their focus was on ignoring me and getting rid of me. It’s always strange when you have to remind staff that you still have to pay after they dismiss you.
I decided to go back to my favorite easterly beach from the previous day. I laid down with my book for a while and felt myself being cooked in the Sun – not the most pleasant feeling. Once I’d had enough, I thanked the beach and got out of there.
I finished the day off with dinner at the same Thai restaurant from my first evening and prepared for the following day’s travels.
I was up and out the next morning, having a final breakfast with that gorgeous view and taking in the beach for every last moment I could.
I took the bus back to the airport and pretty soon my Jersey weekend break was over.
Though not tropical, I’d highly recommend Jersey to anyone wanting a Cape Cod-esque New England beach stay. I’d love to go back and explore more of the island and revisit the beautiful beaches I had the pleasure to meet.