Family Holidays in the Channel Islands

13th February 2020

The islands of Jersey and Guernsey have long been an attractive family destination. Tourism to the islands began in the 19th Century but experienced a leap in popularity in the 1950s when commercial flights began bringing families to the islands, in addition to the already popular Boat Train. Since then, the family-friendly charm of the islands has not waned, and Jersey and Guernsey remain a paradise for little ones of all ages.

Both islands are renowned for their sunny weather and lovely sandy beaches, particularly St. Brelade’s Bay on the south coast of Jersey which is known for its shallow waters, perfect for paddling, and was voted in the top three best UK beaches in 2019 by TripAdvisor. Or Vazon Beach on the north western coast of Guernsey, winner of the Telegraph’s award for ‘the cleanest beach in the U.K,’ both Vistas and Crabby Jacks at the eastern end of the bay are family friendly and perfect for enjoying dinner after a day out on the sand. The Havre des Pas in St. Helier features the art deco style lido which is filled by the tide each day and a safe place to enjoy swimming. La Vallette bathing pools on Guernsey’s east coast has a children’s pool and some fantastic views across the sea and Guernsey’s neighbouring islands. For the more adventurous, there are flumes, waterslides and activities for all ages at Jersey’s AquaSplash in St Helier. There are also lots of opportunities on both islands to learn things like snorkelling, diving, windsurfing, kayaking and other water based activities.

A visit to Jersey Zoo can easily take the best part of a day to fully appreciate, and while children will be awed by the Zoo’s inhabitants including gorillas, orangutans, meerkats, tortoises and dozens more species, the accompanying adults will equally enjoy the beautiful, sprawling grounds, and the emphasis on conservation and environmental education. The restaurant and café serve delicious meals and snacks, including produce from the on-site farm, and the children’s play area and al fresco terrace seating are a lovely way to round off your visit.

On a practical note, getting around the islands with young children is a dream. The bus services are inexpensive, clean, and frequent. On both islands, children under 5 years old travel free, and buses are low floor so they are all fully accessible for wheelchair users, pushchairs and prams. The shops and cafés of the town of St. Helier are on the flat in the wide, pedestrianised centre, and you’re never far from a some green space, park or play area. St Peter Port is flat around the sea front although part of of the town is built on quite a steep hill, but children love the Petit Train which is a great way to see and find out about St Peter Port.

Both islands are a wonder of exciting castles, safe cycle routes, activity parks, rockpools and seaside play, complemented by fresh sea air, delicious, unfussy local food and some of the best weather in the British Isles.

The Children Welcome sign is well and truly on display, and it it’s your first visit, it certainly won’t be your last.



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