Jersey scenes - house, Elizabeth Castle and Jersey Cow


Jersey Events   |   Attractions   |   Focus on the Jersey Parishes    |   Expat Shopping 

French Culture in the Channel Islands    |    Jèrriais the Patois of Jersey

Jersey - just 14 miles from France !      

This page is  aimed at visitors from the UK, Europe and the rest of the world who have visited this site and  subsequently shown interest in the Channel Islands and Jersey.  The information we provide should be particularly interesting for English ex-pats resident in adjacent Brittany and Normandy, who might be tempted to take a day or longer to visit the islands - known in France as Les Isles de la Manche or Les Isles Anglo Normande. 

This page is  a mix of information which is more tourist related than the Channel Islands' French Culture page.  

What does Jersey provide for English (and French) People living in nearby Brittany and Normandy?  I would say incomparable beauty and a unique mixture of  French and English cultures and a fascinating history. 


Many of the English chain stores represented include a decent sized Marks and Spencer, British Home Stores, Etams, Evans, Top Shop, Dorothy Perkins, Accessorise, Boots,  Burtons - to name just a few!  Ex Pats resident in France - particularly in Brittany and Normandy can travel quickly and easily to the island for some "retail therapy" should they be a bit "shop sick" or needing items not found easily in France.  Click here for Ex Pat shopping


Jersey has some superb restaurants serving a variety of food from top class classic French to a variety of ethnic dishes such as Chinese, Indian and Thai.  The island has its share of fast food which is quite a surprise when visiting from France.  Apart from the island's Gallic roots, many Italians came to work in Jersey, stayed and set up some excellent restaurants.  Jersey has relied on an immigrant work force and following the French and Italian workers came the Portuguese who also have opened some really good restaurants serving traditional Portuguese dishes.  There is something to suit every taste - even a French market with traders coming in from Normandy!


The island is stunningly beautiful with a varied coastline comprising  long sandy beaches, tiny coves and heather covered cliffs  which slope down to picturesque beaches and harbours. The lanes in the countryside run through a mixture of modern and period properties and the older buildings  are  constructed from the rose coloured granite of the island.


The evidence of the island's strong French influence is made apparent by the French road and property names. Property owners have become increasingly conscious of the appearance of their homes and the quality of the floral displays in the summer and gardens is high.


Part of Jersey WaterfrontJersey's capital and only town is St. Helier.  Reclaiming land from the sea has long been undertaken in the island and the area from the newly restored granite church once bordered the harbour.  The waterfront area of St. Helier is a very sharp contrast to the rest of the town and the island  with an abundance of very modern, new buildings.  This is not that popular with the traditionalists among the locals but does generate a feeling of vibrancy and an aura of wealth and sophistication perhaps. 


The waterfront area is nearing completion. It has been a source of much controversy as the design is so cuttingly new however the office buildings that have developed from Jersey's old agricultural depots and warehouses are architecturally pleasing.  The Jardins de la Mer are well worth a visit, and the area borders on a harbour and marina full of some decidedly impressive leisure craft.  On leaving the harbour visitors travel along a road which is divided by a flower bed full of a variety of seasonal plants including yellow roses and the deep blue agapanthus which grow in abundance on the island.


The beaches of Jersey are fantastic. To mention just a few; St Ouen is famous for its surf, St. Brelade's is sandy and glamorous, the Bay of Grouville stretches to Gorey Harbour dominated by the beautiful, centuries old Mont Orgueil castle.  The Royal Jersey Golf Club borders the bay and yes, Jersey has some excellent golf courses too!  Ouaisne and  Portelet are at the bottom of cliff paths and there are many other beaches, coves and also pretty harbours such as St. Aubin, Rozel, Bonne Nuit and Bouley Bay.


Tradition and history combine with fun on the island - museums and night clubs exist side by side.  There are festivals all year round from the world famous Battle of Flowers in August to the Fete du Noué  in December which heralds in Christmas with street celebrations, lights and lively entertainment.


There are many family friendly places to visit such as:

  • Durrell - which started as a zoo started by Gerald Durrell and specialises in keeping wildlife species threatened with extinction.

  • The castles -  Mont Orgueil (Gorey) which dates back to medieval times and towers over Gorey Village and Harbour and Elizabeth Castle, built by Sir Walter Ralegh which is in the bay opposite St. Helier. 

  • Corbiere Lighthouse

  • The Underground Military Hospital

  • The Living Legend - a complex with adventure golf, karting, shops etc. 

  • The Jersey Museum with its restored Merchant's House

  • The Maritime Museum

  • Hamptonne - a restored Jersey farmhouse 

The Jersey Flag

The flag was actually adopted by the island in 1979 and officially hoisted in 1981.  It is white with a red cross with the Jersey crest of a red shield with three Normandy leopards in yellow with the Plantagenet crown above.  The Jersey flag takes precedence over the Union Jack


The Parishes


The island is divided into twelve parishes:

Grouville, St Brelade, St Clement, St Helier(capital town), St John, St Lawrence. St Martin.

St Mary, St Ouen, St Peter, St Saviour, Trinity


Focus on Grouville and St Martin

Grouville and St Martin are parishes to the east of St Martin.  The village of Gorey in St. Martin sits under the protection of beautiful Mont Orgueil Castle.

Gorey Village Street

Mont Orgueil Castle Gorey Jersey

Above a Street in Picturesque Gorey and Mont Orgueil Castle (also known as Gorey Castle which stands above Gorey Harbour



Focus on St Lawrence

coming soon .........

Hamptonne Farm