Yes! Yes!!!!! Vee is packing up the car with not only with her suitcase but MY travel bag too. This is great news!
We’re off to Jersey for a break – Vee says it’s an island of unspoilt coastline, lush valleys and well kept farmland with a unique blend of British and French influences all wrapped up in 45 square miles just 14 miles from the French coast. Voila!
I’m keen to try the ice cream there so I agree to the trip.
Travelling with a dog to Jersey means that you have two options – the passenger ferry which takes over ten hours from Portsmouth or the fast ferry service from Poole, taking four and a half hours.
On the fast ferry, dogs have to stay in the car, as we’re not allowed on the passenger decks. Still, I’m a good traveller – the Travelling Bear, indeed – and didn’t fancy ten hours on a boat so Vee opted for the fast crossing, settled me into my bed in the car and then headed to the deck to enjoy the views of Studland as we left Poole. Obviously I couldn’t see anything as it’s very dark in the car so I just went to sleep and dreamt about windy beaches and chasing bunnies.
On arrival at St Hellier, it was already evening so we headed straight to our hotel, The Longueville Manor in St Saviour.
Wow. An independent boutique hotel of the highest quality – five stars – set in magnificent grounds with an outdoor heated pool, I couldn’t have asked for a more comfortable stay. I was allowed anywhere in the extensive hotel grounds, including poolside, and I very much enjoyed chasing the red squirrels first thing in the morning. I wasn’t allowed in to the main restaurant / bar areas of the hotel so I stayed in our room whilst Vee had dinner (and probably a few cocktails knowing her.)
Although Vee splashed out on our stay as it was a special trip, there are all kinds of accommodation options that welcome dogs and suit all budgets on Jersey. Overall, the attitude towards dogs on the island was very accommodating and we didn’t experience a problem anywhere.
Exploring Jersey was a joy. In the north of the island, the coastal path walk from Plemont to Greve de Lecq is not to be missed for its stunning views of the Pierres de Lecq, or Paternosters – three rocks looking out towards Sark. Plemont itself is best at low tide when a pleasing expanse of sand* is revealed for racing along and, if you’re brave like me, walking behind the waterfall in the cliffs. There is a great café at the beach selling good quality lunches, cake and of course ice creams.
*It’s important to note that on Jersey’s beaches, according to the law, dogs must be kept on a lead between the hours of 10:30 and 18:00 every day between 01 May and 30 September. However, Vee and I visited towards the end of September and a sensible attitude is taken – if the beaches are quiet, dogs can run free. It’s best to take the lead from the locals, so to speak. )
Continuing on along the north coast, we discovered the peaceful Bonne Nuit bay, particularly good for sunsets and then on to Rozel Bay which is again a fishing port with a great choice of cafes and restaurants. The sand is limited here though and I needed more sand for racing along….
So we headed west to the vast sands of St Ouen’s bay. Oh My! Five miles of white sand stretching from end to end with stunning views of Corbiere Lighthouse presented plenty of room for me to run my legs off and then a great choice of cafes for refreshment. Absolute heaven!
There are rock poolers, surfers, kite buggies and all manner of activities going on across the sands. Behind the stretch of beach are the extensive Les Mielles, a different world of marram grasses, bunnies for chasing, orchids and dunes. There are bird watching shelters, an abundance of wildlife – and, best of all, we’re allowed off the lead.
Other day trips included a drive to St Brelade’s Bay to lunch at The Crab Shack whilst looking out across the sand to the sea.
And I LOVED Gorey, on the east coast of Jersey. It’s a small fishing village with pretty painted houses and boats of all shapes and sizes bobbing about at high tide. The impressive Mont Orgueil castle on the headland looks out across the Royal Bay of Grouville and provides an interesting back drop to the beach. Vee used to take me here in the evenings to run off the last of my energy. There were lots of big black crows fit for chasing and other dogs to help me.
Continuing around the coast and heading north, you arrive at St Catherine’s Bay. We headed for the woods so that I could swim, play on stepping stones and rope swings all whilst taking in the ancient ferns and broadleaves. I kept my eyes peeled for red squirrels and chased lots of them out of my way. Pesky things.
Whilst we were there, St Aubin’s Bay became the backdrop for the annual air show which was nothing short of spectacular. The weather was amazing and there are all kinds of al fresco dining options from where to enjoy the display. We got a table outside The Grand right on the front and enjoyed the display from there. I am not at all afraid of planes or noise and so watched from Vee’s lap until I just got so sleepy that I had to stretch out for a sun bathe instead. I think Vee wanted a snooze too after all that Pimms.
Vee also took time to explore Jersey’s history, with a tour of the War Tunnels where visitors can relive the German occupation. I couldn’t go in here so I stayed in the car underneath a shady tree.
After our fabulous week, we were sad to pack up the car and headback to the port at St Helier where we returned home via Condor Ferries fast service. Vee says that I am getting a passport soon which will mean that when we return to Jersey we can go to across to Northern France which she says is easily accessible from the island. But until then, I hope that many of you will try Jersey for yourselves, especially the ice cream!