The largest of the Channel Islands and the capital of Jersey is a busy port town home to museums, forts, markets and beaches.
The capital of Jersey, St. Helier offers an interesting mix of museums, fortifications, bustling markets and a popular culinary scene. Until the late 1700s, St. Helier was just a simple coastal settlement. Today, it’s a lively town where both English and French customs are present.
Delve into the history of St. Helier and Jersey at the town’s museums. Spot artifacts from the Neolithic period to the present day at the Jersey Museum. Learn about Jersey’s seafaring and pirate heritage at the Maritime Museum. While here, marvel at the Occupation Tapestry Gallery. It honors the 50th anniversary of Jersey’s liberation from German occupation in World War II.
Wander through St. Helier’s streets to admire centuries-old Georgian and Victorian buildings. Visit the Georgian House, a family residence built in the 1730s and decorated in period furniture. Let your senses run wild as you browse the food stands of the Central Market. Investigate the market’s impressive Victorian-era architecture. Nearby, the Beresford Market buzzes with the activity of local fishmongers.
Go to Havre des Pas beach when the sun shines. Stroll along the waterfront promenade, swim in the outdoor pool or sit on the steps and enjoy sea views. Visit Elizabeth Castle, a 16th-century stronghold and former home of explorer, Sir Walter Raleigh. At low tide walk across the bay to the castle. Alternatively, catch the ferry from the harbor.
St. Helier’s cuisine blends British and French influences. Find seafood shacks, traditional British pubs and Michelin-starred restaurants. Sample bean crock, a slow-cooked stew with beans and pig’s feet. Visit in July for the Jersey Fish Festival and watch cooking demonstrations, shop at craft stalls or enjoy live music.
The easiest way to reach St. Helier is to catch a ferry from southern England or northwestern France. Beyond its own attractions, the city is the gateway to Jersey’s picturesque beaches and countryside. Both St. Brelade’s Bay and Les Mielles Nature Reserve are less than a 20-minute drive away.