Jersey Tourism
Liberation Square, St Helier
Jersey, Channel Islands
Tel: (01534) 500700, Fax: (01534) 500899

Physical geography

Jersey is the largest of the Channel Islands, lying approximately 100 miles south of the coast of England and 14 miles from the coast of Normandy in France. The island is roughly nine miles by five, sloping from north to south, and appears to visitors to be composed of pink granite. The island boasts over 20 bays, magnificent beaches, small fishing harbours, spectacular cliffs and beautiful countryside. Jersey has the best sunshine of the British Isles, with an average of eight hours a day during the summer.

Economic geography

Tourism and finance are the most important industries, closely followed by agriculture and light industry.

Some 650,000 visitors come to Jersey each year, the majority from the United Kingdom and the others mainly from Europe. Jersey has close historical ties with New Jersey in the USA and also with the Gaspe Coast in Newfoundland.

Total road mileage exceeds 500 miles.

Road miles around coast - 46 miles.

Area - 45 square miles.

Altitude-from 485 feet in the north to sea level in the south.

Residential hotels and guest houses - 500.

Motor vehicles and motorcycles - 55,000 approx.


Population: whole island - 84,000; St. Helier - 28,000.

A brief history

The first inhabitants were pre-Neanderthal and cavemen, but the island has been continuously inhabited since at least 6,000 BC.

At the time of the Norman Conquest (1066) Jersey was part of the Duchy of Normandy. In 1205, at the separation of Continental Normandy from England, the Channel Islands remained faithful to the Crown of England, and, as it was necessary to define their government, Constitutions were granted by King John. These have been ratified by successive Royal Charters, and they remain to this day.

The island has its own parliament and law courts, the former (States of Jersey) being one of the oldest legislative assemblies in the Commonwealth.

During the 14th and 15th centuries Jersey was attacked by France on many occasions, until the signing of the Treaty of neutrality between the English and French Kings in 1483. During the 18th century, in 1779, the island was attacked by the Prince of Nassau, and in 1781 by Baron de Rullecourt. The French were finally defeated at the Battle of Jersey in 1781. The island was occupied by German forces from July 1940 to May 1945.

Incidentally, Jersey, together with the other Channel Islands, is known as a 'peculiar' of the British crown and this is because loyalty is directed to the monarch and not to the British Government.


The honorary system of government is unique among democratic countries, the elected members of the States and the Parochial Officers receiving no remuneration for their services.

The Bailiff, who is appointed by the Crown, presides over the Royal Court, which consists of 12 Jurats (Magistrates). He is also President of the Assembly of the States (the Insular Legislature), which is composed of 12 senators, 12 constables and 29 deputies, all elected by the residents. The Lieutenant Governor, the Dean, the Attorney General and the Solicitor General (who are appointed by the Crown) sit in the States and are entitled to speak but not to vote. Except in specific instances, enactments passed by the States require the sanction of Her Majesty in council.


Each of Jersey's 12 parishes has its own Church of England parish church. Some parishes, particularly St. Helier, have been sub-divided to provide more than one centre for Anglican worship. There are Roman Catholic and Methodist Churches in most parishes, and St. Helier provides a wide range of Free Church Worship.

Languages spoken by nationals

English is the language most commonly spoken but as a result of the island's close links with France the second language is French. A dialect of Norman-French is stili spoken by some Jerseymen in the country, especially on the farms.


The time is GMT, but from approximately the end of March until the end of September one hour is added for British Summer Time.


The currency is Sterling, and Jersey also produces its own money which is used in conjunction with that of the UK. Jersey money is not accepted outside the island, but notes can be exchanged at banks. Foreign currencies are freely exchanged.

Official holidays (all offices and shops closed)

Most offices and shops are closed on New Year's Day, Good Friday, Easter Monday, May Day Holiday, Liberation Day (9 May), Spring Bank Holiday, Summer Bank Holiday, Christmas Day and Boxing Day. The official holidays are exactly the same as in England, with the addition of Liberation Day.

What one should not fail to see

Among the places to visit are the castles and museums which provide a commentary on Jersey's history from prehistoric times to the present. Also worth visiting are the agricultural museum and the New Liberation Tapestry, made to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the island's liberation from the German army during the Second World War. The Jersey Zoo (founded by author and broadcaster Gerald Durrell) is known to conservationists throughout the world.

There are a number of coach operators providing varied tours to places of interest such as potteries, woodcraft centres, carnation and butterfly farms and a museum displaying floats entered in the well-known Battle of Flowers.

Tours to the other Channel Islands and nearby France are available for visitors to Jersey either by sea or air.

Most favourable seasons for sojourns and touring

The most popular holiday season is from May until the end of September. Low season holidays are available during the other months of the year at reduced rates. Conference business is usually channelled to the low season months of October to April.

How to dress

Normal beach and holiday wear for summer, with a cardigan or similar as there are often sea breezes. Warm winter wear and rainwear advised.

Main holiday resorts

The island as a whole is a resort and has many attractive bays. St. Brelade's Bay, St. Aubins, Gorey and St. Helier (town) are very popular areas.

Main holiday sports

There are facilities for most sports, whether indoor or outdoor. Naturally those connected with the sea such as surfing, windsurfing, waterskiing, sailing and sub-aqua are especially popular, together with fishing. Golf, horse-riding, cycling and cliff walking are also very popular.

What to eat and drink

Jersey has an excellent range of restaurants to cater for every taste and mood. Seafoods, naturally, are extremely popular, and there is a wide selection of home-grown produce available. The island has an enviable reputation for good cuisine whether it be in a small pub or wine bar or a high-class restaurant.

What to buy

The island is a low duty area and there is no VAT. Besides St. Helier which is the main town, there are other shopping areas such as Red Houses, St. Brelade and Gorey. Luxury items such as spirits, cigarettes, jewellery and perfumes are popular buys. Local products such as knitwear, pottery, woodcrafts and even flowers are very popular with visitors.

Frontier formalities


Passports are required except for the UK or other Channel Islands


There is a total ban on the importation of animals other than from the UK or other Channel Islands.

Yacht Marina

There are facilities for visiting yachts at St. Helier Harbour or Gorey and details can be obtained from the Harbour Office, St. Helier.

Main travel routes

By sea From England: Car/passenger ferries from Weymouth.

From France: Emeraude Lines car/passenger ferry from St. Malo. Condor Ferries and vedettes also operate from St. Malo and there are vedettes from Carteret, Granville, Dilelette and Port-Bail.

By air From England: A number of airlines operate regular scheduled services from nearly 30 airports in the UK including London Heathrow and Gatwick. Services are reduced during the winter months.

From Europe: There are regular scheduled services from Paris, Cherbourg, Dinard and Zurich. During the summer months there are flights from Frankfurt, Dusseldorf, Amsterdam, Geneva, Gothenburg, Helsinki, Oslo, Hamburg, Berlin, Hannover, Dortmund, Stuttgart, Munich, Rotterdam, Nurenberg, Munster, Paderborn and Brussels.

Green lanes

In 1986 the State (government) of Jersey introduced an Island Plan incorporating the identification of tree-lined lanes which were 'particularly attractive or of great character and antiquity'. The aim was to maintain the quiet, unspoilt and natural character of the countryside for people to enjoy and to control the impact of cars and car parking in the countryside. Since that time the 'Green Lane' scheme has been developed within nine of the 12 local parishes in the island so that walkers, cyclists and horse riders have priority over vehicles which are restricted to a maximum of 15 miles per hour and discouraged from using these roads if at all possible.

Internal transport

A public bus service is available to most parts of the island and there are numerous coach tours. Taxis and cabs are available throughout the island.

Cars, mini-buses, motorcycles, scooters and bicycles are readily available for hire and it is also possible to hire prams for children.


Electricity: 240 volts AC.
Tipping: If no percentage charge is shown then tipping is left to the customer, at usually ten per cent.

Representatives abroad

All B.T.A. Offices (as for Great Britain) and in addition we have representatives in:

Austria: Art & Communication, Starftiedgasse 2 1/2, 1180 Vienna, Austria. Phone (0043) 14701304. Fax: (0043) 147013044.

Belgium: Commsultants, Brusselsesteenveg 525, 3090 Overisje, Belgium. Tel: (0032) 26571050. Fax: (0032) 26573918.

France: Jersey Tourism, 53 rue de Turenne, 75003 Paris. Tel: (0033-1) 48048606. Fax: (0033-1) 48048869.

Germany: Expert PR, Gutleustrasse 100, 60329 Frankfurt. Tel: (0049) 69230404. Fax (0049) 69252010.

Ireland: Project PR, 65 Roebuck Castle, Clonskeagh, Dublin 14. Tel (353) 1288 3669, Fax: (353) 1283 6695.

Netherlands: Effect Adviesgroep, Raadhuisplein, 6 Postbus, 6592100 AH Heemstede. Tel: (0031) 23470797. Fax: (0031) 23471239.

Norway: Grey Communications, Kirkegaten 1-3 PB, 722 Sentrum, N-0105 Oslo. Tel: (0047) 22334310. Fax: (0047) 22420653.

Sweden: Scan Partner, Frans Suellsgatan, 4 Box, 524S-20125 Malmo. Tel: (0046) 4074075. Fax: (0046) 40972455.

Switzerland: Agentur Dr. Mori AH, Duffourstrasse 90, Postfach 306, CH-8034 Zurich. Tel: (0041)13831556. Fax: (0041)13838705.

UK: London Marketing Consultant and Public Relations Office, 8 Dover Street, London, WIX 3RB. Tel: (071) 493 5278. Fax: (071) 4911565.

USA: Alice Marshall PR, 780 Madisson Avenue, New York, NY 10021, Tel: (1 212) 861 4031, Fax: (1 212) 861 4070.

For further information contact Jersey Tourism. Tel: (+44) (1534) 500700.
For information and availability of accommodation, please call our Central Reservations Office, Jersey Link. Tel: (+44) (1534) 500750.

We have been able to publish the present tourist information on Jersey thanks to the co-operation and the participation of the Tourism Committee in Jersey.