Jersey Vacation Travel Guide | Expedia (4K)

100 miles from the coast of Britain, and just 14 off the coast of France, is Jersey, the largest of The Channel Islands. A Crown Dependency of the U.K., self-governing Jersey is a little slice of Britain, with a Gallic twist. With an area of just nine miles by five miles, Jersey packs in more history, scenery and character than destinations one hundred times its size. History looms large at every turn, from Neolithic architecture that predates the pyramids, to centuries of coastal defenses, which look as though they were abandoned only yesterday. Jersey’s coastline is epic too, swept clean by some of the most extreme tides on the planet. Twice each day the waters rush out to sea, exposing miles of golden beaches and rock pools which stretch off into the horizon. Jersey’s capital, St Helier, embodies all the things that make Jersey so special, the history, the incredibly tasty produce, the tax free shopping, and the picture-perfect scenery. History’s footsteps echo throughout these streets. From the hobnailed boots of the Jersey Militiamen and English Soldiers who repelled French Raiders in the Battle of Jersey, to the jackboots of the 25,000 German soldiers who occupied the Island from 1940 until its liberation in 1945.

Coming to grips with Jersey’s incredible tangle of historical threads can be daunting, so be sure to spend an hour or two at the Jersey Museum before you head off to explore the island. If you like your history served up with salt, wander down to New North Quay to the Maritime Museum, and learn about the waves, vessels, mariners and legends that shaped this island. Right next door at the Occupation Tapestry Gallery, locals have woven their memories of World War Two into an innovative diorama, created to celebrate the island’s 50th year of liberation. Between history lessons, you’ll find plenty of places to relax, dine and shop. If you like your shopping upmarket, take a walk up King Street. Or if you prefer things the old way, The Central Market serves up produce that has helped make Jersey a byword for quality and flavour. After you’ve explored the town, sit back and watch the tide roll out, then walk across St.

Aubin’s Bay to Elizabeth Castle. And should the tide roll back in while you’ve been wandering the battlements and smelling the gunpowder, you can always ride Charming Betty back to shore. Jersey is compact, making it easy to explore. Country lanes and walking trails lace the island, ensuring Jersey’s views, attractions and surprises are never far away. Hop on a bus, rent a car, or walk the endless ribbons of coastal tracks which string together tiny fishing villages, bays and beaches. Just to the east of St Helier is the parish of Grouville, home to one of the world’s ten oldest buildings, the 6,000 year-old La Hougue Bie. As is the case all over this island, history is layered upon layer here. During the 12th and 16th centuries, medieval chapels were built on top of this burial site. While on a nearby mound, a German bunker now houses a modern museum commemorating the thousands of forced laborers brought to the island to build German defenses. At the adjoining geology and archaeology museum, learn about Jersey’s Neolithic, Celtic and Roman times, as well as the hoards of gold coins and ancient treasure that has been unearthed from the island’s soil.

Take a ten-minute drive eastward through the quiet country lanes to Gorey, one of the island’s three main harbours. Casting its protective, medieval shadow over Gorey is Mont Orgueil. Built in the early 13th century, the castle served as a Britain’s first line of defense during its periodic wars with France until it was superseded by Elizabeth Castle in the late 1600s. Lose yourself in the twisting corridors, staircases and tunnels which lead to artworks like The Dance of Death and the Tree of Succession. Each of Jersey’s four coastlines has its own distinctive personality. Be sure to take in a few sections of the North Coast Path, which offers some of the island’s most dramatic views as it winds past coastal ruins and cliff tops blanketed with wildflowers.

The path dips down to old smugglers coves like Bouley Bay, a beach now popular with scuba divers, and rises to windswept headlands like Sorel Point. If you’re travelling with young’uns, sheltered Gréve de Lecq is the perfect beach to relax as lobstermen and crabbers come and go. And when the tide’s out, make your way down to the secluded sands of Plemont Beach and explore the rock pools and hidden caves.

The atmospheric ruins of Grosnez Castle mark the end of the Northern coast, and from here the scenery changes again. Head south along the west coast, where craggy hills and patchworks of fields drop away to the warm sands of St. Ouen’s Bay and some of Europe’s best surfing. St. Ouen’s is home to an enormous sea wall that formed part of Hitler’s 2000-mile-long Atlantic Wall defense system. Here you’ll find the Channel Islands Military Museum, a bunker complex crammed with military and civilian artifacts which tell the story of the island’s long five year occupation, and the struggles of 41,000 islanders who were left by Britain to fend for themselves. Back on the southern coast, the sheltered sands of St Brelade is a favourite with sandcastle-building families. It’s also the home of St Brelade’s Church, a medieval chapel whose foundations were first put down over a mile away.

Legend has it that the work so upset local fairies, they moved the stones each night down to the shoreline until the workmen finally got the message. Just next door, take in the views from the old German command bunker at Noirmont Point, before taking the stairs down to Portelet Beach and the tiny islet of Janvrin’s Tomb. On your way back to St Helier, stop in at St Aubin. Relax along the Bulwarks with an ice cream. And when the tide leaves the boats high and dry, wander across the harbour to St Aubin’s Fort. While the coastline serves up Jersey’s finest views, the island’s interior offers plenty for visitors too. Deep beneath the woods of St Lawrence, step again into the island’s wartime past at the Jersey War Tunnels, one of the many German underground complexes which honeycomb the island.

Once a treatment centre, today this half-mile stretch of tunnels houses an incredible collection of wartime relics. Just up the road, return to a far gentler time, at the Hamptonne Country Life Museum. The past comes roaring back to life too, at the Pallot Steam and Motor Museum, which lovingly preserves the island’s mechanical heritage. While just a ten minute drive away is the Jersey Zoo, which has been helping save species from the brink of extinction for over 50 years. If you’re looking for history, adventure, incredible food, and total relaxation, Jersey weaves it all together into something truly magical. It’s not quite British and it’s not quite French, but Jersey is 100% unique. .

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London Vacation Travel Guide | Expedia

London is situated in the South-East of England in the Thames Valley. Home to over 8 million people, the capital of the UK has been an important financial, educational and cultural center for hundreds of years. Of the many gifts England has given to the world, none has been greater than her language and literature. And if ever there’s a city that reads like an epic saga, it’s London. The story of London began in the Bronze Age, but it didn’t really get going until the Romans withdrew in the 5th century.

Growing into one of the great medieval trading cities, she truly came of age in the 11th century, when William the Conqueror built the Tower of London, which was to become one of England’s grimmest prisons. London is very easy to navigate around, and is compact enough to explore on foot. This world city is filled with iconic symbols, and one of the most easily recognizable is Tower Bridge, an impressive reminder of London’s rapid expansion during the industrial revolution. Just upriver, at the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben’s reassuring chimes peal across the city every hour, on the hour. Buckingham Palace, perhaps the most famous palace in the world, is the official residence of Queen Elizabeth. It’s a popular London attraction, offering tours of staterooms and gardens. Nearby, Kensington Palace is open to the public year-round. The palace and gardens will be remembered as the home of Princess Di and Prince Charles, and have recently undergone a multimillion-pound refurbishment.

Another legacy of England’s monarchy are the Royal Parks of London. They were once reserved as private hunting grounds for the royal family, but nowadays they’re open for everyone to enjoy. There are eight Royal Parks, and many of them are in central London, and close to royal palaces and other historic monuments. Green Park and St. James’s Park are right next to Buckingham Palace, Admiralty Arch and The Mall. Hyde Park is perhaps the most famous with its man-made lake, The Serpentine, and on the other side, Kensington Gardens is a beautiful open expanse that stretches east towards Kensington Palace.

The Albert Memorial is at the southern end of Kensington Gardens, and the striking bronze statue looks towards the Royal Albert Hall just across the road. The hall is yet another reminder of Queen Victoria’s great love for her husband, Prince Albert. Many of London’s greatest stories have begun in her houses of worship, and none is so impressive and important as Westminster Abbey. This is where kings and queens have been crowned, married and even buried. London was rebuilt after The Great Fire in 1666, and St. Paul’s Cathedral is the most enduring monument to the city’s transformation. It’s a great testament to British strength and resilience. The West End in central London is a story in itself. Here the streets are lined with ancient buildings, but the throngs of people are out to have fun. By day, the charming boutiques and cafés hum with shoppers, and by night the bars along Carnaby Street are packed with patrons enjoying pre-show drinks. This is one of the largest theater districts in the world.

And at times it can feel like you’re on a Monopoly board, with Coventry Street, Trafalgar Square and Piccadilly Circus all close by. Moving away from the historic center, London’s trendy suburbs offer a different kind of story. The Portobello Road Markets in Notting Hill attract thousands of visitors, especially to the antiques markets that’s held on Saturdays, while the edgier Camden Town features six popular markets that are open every day of the week, and operate along her streets, the canal, and in her historic stables. London is a city that honors not only her own story, but also the story of humankind. The British Museum is one of the finest in the world, and her treasures cover thousands of years of history and number in the millions.

The museum is open every day, and best of all, it’s free. From the ancient to the modern, The London Eye offers a complete change of pace and perspective. The massive wheel is over 400 feet high, and takes 30 minutes to complete one rotation. From here you can see the London of old, as well as some of the city’s newest additions, all in air-conditioned comfort. London will always be a city that looks towards the past and the future in equal measure. From ‘Rule Britannia’ to ‘Cool Britannia’, the fabric and the skyline of this city is forever turning over a new page.

Which is, after all, what every great story should do. .

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