Hotels in St Helier
St Helier is one of the 12 parishes on the stunning Channel Island of Jersey. It's also the capital, a vibrant historical centre and busy harbour and marina. The town is situated on St Aubin's Bay on the south coast of the Island.
Highlights and landmarks
Named after Jersey's first and most famous saint, who lived and preached here in the 8th century, St Helier is an affluent and vibrant town that's packed with interesting attractions. The town centre is largely paved and so is perfect for strolling the huge variety of shops, cafés and restaurants. You will sense the French and Portuguese influences, as well as the innate ‘Britishness', which gives St Helier a unique flavour. Don't miss the grand Central Market, built in 1882, where the famous Jersey Royal potatoes, flowers and fabulous locally caught fresh fish are sold, amongst many other things.
The harbour and marina are exciting to explore. There is always activity here, whether from the ferries and fishing boats, or from glamorous ocean-going leisure craft. The historic harbours are full of interest, and you can learn the full story from a Blue Badge guide.
There are plenty of excellent museums in the town, including the award-winning Maritime Museum, the Occupation Tapestry, which reveals Jersey's wartime story, and Jersey Museum itself.
Standing on its own craggy islet in the bay is the imposing 15th-century Elizabeth Castle, named after Elizabeth I by Sir Walter Raleigh and the Hermitage, a sacred place since the 12th century dedicated to St Helier. You can access the islet along a causeway at low tide, or by a special amphibious craft at high tide.
When you simply want to relax by the impressive waterfront, take a walk in the recently developed Les Jardin de la Mer. These gardens are divided into areas of lawn, maritime woodland, rockeries and shingle beds. There is also a water maze that is effectively lit at night. Views out across St Aubyns Bay are glorious and there is also the popular La Fregate Café.
From St Helier hotels you can visit and explore an amazing selection of sandy beaches and rocky coves. St Aubyn's Bay, for example, curves along the central part of the island's south coast from St Helier's Harbour to St Aubyns Harbour. The bay is an uninterrupted swathe of sand and very sheltered plus, at low tide, an extra 300 metres of beach is revealed by the retreating sea! Another treasure is Beauport. Surely one of Jersey's finest beaches, it is surrounded on three sides by sculpted rocky cliffs and faces due south, so it's sheltered and a classic sun trap. Most beach connoisseurs, both local and visiting, consider the majestic sweep of St Ouen's Bay to be the best beach of its kind. With 5 miles of gleaming sand washed twice daily by the sea, this is a paradise for surfers and vast enough to accommodate everyone. Between the beach and the soft dunes behind, there are cafés, shops and other facilities.
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