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October 2018

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Having grown up living in Jersey and raised my son there, I’ve got the inside skinny on the best Jersey beaches for families. I know that going to the beach with small people is fun – if you’re well prepared and the beach has decent facilities for families. It’s pretty challenging otherwise. For this list, I wanted clean, safe beaches that:

  • Have plentiful, easy parking (preferably free)
  • Can easily be reached by (regular) public transport
  • Provide clean, well equipped public toilets
  • Have catering/retail facilities (ice creams, buckets and spades etc)

MY VOTE FOR THE 3 BEST JERSEY BEACHES FOR FAMILIES

Jersey has some of the best, most scenic beaches in the world, but pressed to choose, here are my top 3 family favourites:

ST BRELADE’S BAY

The beach and surrounding area at St Brelade (pronounced Bruh-lard) is picture postcard pretty. It’s probably the most photographed beach on the island and many regard it as the premier beach. It’s also regularly voted as one of the best beaches in the British Isles.

The silver sands of St Brelade's bay, Jersey - one of Jersey Best Beaches
The silver sands of St Brelade’s bay, Jersey

Tucked into a natural bay on the South West of the island, St Brelade is blessed with a glorious sweep of white sand, the prettiest little granite church and yachts bobbing away in the ancient harbour.

So many happy memories of glorious sunny days at St Brelade's Bay, Jersey with my son and his friends
So many happy memories of glorious sunny days at St Brelade’s Bay, Jersey with my son and his friends

The pristine white sands are raked clean every morning during the summer season, removing seaweed brought in on the tide. As a result, the sand is clean, soft and perfect for kids big and small to enjoy.

Fun times for kids at St Brelade's beach Jersey - best Jersey beaches
I’d give the boy a bucket and spade, a beach and a supply of water, and he would very happily dig all day long!

Nothing is better than a day at St Brelade, ending up with kids playing in the surf as the tide rolls in. End your visit with a visit to one of the excellent beach front restaurants (they’re used to sandy feet and small people)

Playing in the surf with the kids at St Brelade's Bay, Jersey
Playing in the surf with the kids, as the tide rolls in. At St Brelade’s Bay, Jersey

St Brelade’s Bay Summary

+ Amazing location

+ Great facilities

+ Very gently shelving – you have to wade a long way before the sea gets very deep

+ Very safe for swimming

+ Excellent eateries (all budgets) available within a stone’s throw

+ Watersports available

+ Easy, regular bus service into ‘town’ (St Helier)

Plentiful parking, but it is ‘pay and display

It can get VERY busy at weekends and during school holidays, as it’s such a favourite with local families

THE ROYAL BAY OF GROUVILLE

Nestled beneath the magnificent castle at Gorey (Mont Orgueil Castle), the beach at Grouville is wide, shallow and blessed with fine white sand for those all important sand castles. It’s also fun to sit and watch the yachts in the harbour start to bob when the tide comes in!

Longbeach - Royal Bay of Grouville, Jersey
All ready for a day of sandcastle building at Grouville Beach, Jersey, with Mont Orgueil castle and Gorey harbour as a backdrop

Located on the east coast of Jersey, this beach gets great early sun and thanks to the shallowness of the beach, it’s wonderful to swim here as the tide comes in over sand that’s been warmed all day in the sun.

Royal Bay of Grouville Summary

+ Amazing location, with fabulous views of the castle

+ Plentiful ice-cream/bucket and spade facilities (it’s a short walk to Gorey village for a great selection of restaurants)

+ Very gently shelving – you have to wade a long way before the sea gets very deep

+ Very safe for swimming and paddling

+ Excellent eateries (all budgets) available within a stone’s throw

+ Watersports available

+ Easy, regular bus service into ‘town’ (St Helier)

+ Plentiful free parking

It can get VERY busy at weekends and during school holidays, as it’s such a favourite with local families, but there’s plenty of room for everyone

The tide goes our a LONG way – it can be a very long walk to the sea and back

It’s quite exposed, so you’ll want a wind break on a windy day (hire one on the day)

GREVE DE LECQ

My son’s favourite beach is (still) Greve de Lecq (pronounced grevv duh leck). Located on the craggy North West coast of the island, it’s accessed by one of two long, steep hills (very challenging if you decide to cycle there!)

Glorious Greve de Lecq beach is simply the most beautiful place in the world!
Glorious Greve de Lecq beach is simply the most beautiful place in the world!

Greve de Lecq is a proper natural playground for adventurous boys and the perfect place for kids to make new bucket and spade-wielding friends as they try to dam the water outfall running onto the beach together.

Building sandcastles at Greve de Lecq beach, Jersey - Best Jersey Beaches
One happy boy, busily building sand castles at Greve de Lecq beach, Jersey. His favourite place in the world.

Greve de Lecq Summary

+ Amazing location, with fabulous views of the castle

+ Plentiful ice-cream/bucket and spade facilities, and couple of small cafes serving basic food. Several local pubs serve food nearby

+ Safe for swimming and paddling BUT there are strong currents and you must pay attention to the lifeguards

+ Watersports available

+ Easy, regular bus service into ‘town’ (St Helier)

+ Plentiful free parking

+ Great rock climbing (for older kids) and rock pools (for little ones to find ‘treasures’ in)

It can get VERY busy at weekends and during school holidays, as it’s such a favourite with local families, but there’s plenty of room for everyone

The tide comes in quite fast, and there can be an undertow. Not suitable at this time for littlies

It’s quite exposed, so you’ll want a wind break on a windy day (hire one on the day)

The beach all but disappears at high tide!

Which are your best Jersey beaches? Leave a comment below and tell us what you love about them.

Coralie

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Best Jersey Beaches

Find the best Jersey beaches with this local's insider knowledge
Best Jersey Beaches

 

The Garden of the Humble Administrator is the biggest of the classical Chinese gardens in Suzhou, located about 2 hours outside Shanghai. And it’s wonderful!

Located just a couple of hours outside of Shanghai, the serene and beautiful gardens at Suzhou are an absolute feast for the eyes. Two of the most beautiful are the Master of the Nets garden (the Fisherman’s garden) and the garden of the Humble Administrator. We came away from our visit with masses of Suzhou Garden Photos!

After the relentless pace of the Chinese mega-cities, including an exhilarating trip to the Great Wall and a leisurely Li River cruise, a trip to Suzhou to enjoy the gardens is the perfect antidote.

FAVOURITE SUZHOU GARDEN PHOTOS

THE MASTER OF THE NETS GARDEN

This 1,000 year old garden is the smallest of all of the gardens at Suzhou, however it’s also widely regarded as the most impressive and it’s well worth a visit! Created for a government official, it has the most extraordinary use of space that makes the garden feel much larger than it actually is.

Serene reflections on buildings in the water at the Master of the Nets Garden, Suzhou (also known as the Fisherman's Garden)
Serene reflections on buildings in the water at the Master of the Nets Garden, Suzhou (also known as the Fisherman’s Garden)

The garden is divided into 3 sections. There’s a residential area, an inner garden and a central main garden with a large pond surrounded by pathways and buildings. Every inch of the garden and the plants in it have been carefully planned and there are lots of interesting little nooks and crannies to explore.

The Entrance to the Garden

The entrance to the garden is imposing, with a fabulous roof and rather splendid mythical beasts. It’s a sign of how amazing the garden inside is.

The ornate entrance to the Master of the Nets garden, Suzhou, China
The ornate and rather imposing entrance to the Master of the Nets garden

The garden is a no smoking zone – just like so many places in China (thank goodness). We loved this sign though! Sometimes a translation mishap is just funny.

Loving this sign

The Residential Area

Stupidly pretty carved wooden entrance to one of the private family rooms in the residential area at the gardens
Ridiculously pretty carved wooden entrance to one of the private family rooms in the residential area at the gardens

The garden was first designed for a government official about a thousand years ago. It was called ‘the Hall of Ten Thousand Books’ at the time because the owner had so many books, stored in three separate studies within the garden. Centuries later, around 1765, another official, Song Zongyuan bought and restored the garden.

It’s said that the official became frustrated with bureaucracy and that he would rather be a fisherman than a bureaucrat. He renamed the garden to ‘Wangshi Yuan’, meaning a fisherman’s garden.

Just one of the stunningly symmetrical rooms in the residential area of the gardens.
Just one of the stunningly symmetrical rooms in the residential area of the gardens.

We’d been to a Chinese painting class in Yangshuo just days before, learning how to paint bamboo. It was such a treat to find these beautiful painted panels, covered in bamboo (so much better than my painted efforts).

Wonderful painted panelling in the residential area of the Master of the Nets garden
Wonderful painted panelling in the residential area of the Master of the Nets garden

Every room in residential area has access to the garden and fabulous views. It makes for an incredibly peaceful place.

Bonsai at the Master of the Nets garden, Suzhou, China
Fabulous, ancient bonsai tree in the Master of The Nets garden

Out of all of our Suzhou garden photos, this is my absolute favourite. The simple yet intricate design of this window is so perfect. It’s deliberately positioned to offer a view of the external planting, from inside, creating a sense of light and airiness.

Beautiful Suzhou garden photos
Such a pretty window on the world!

We loved the Master of the Nets garden and hope you enjoyed our Suzhou garden photos too.

Coralie

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suzhou garden photos

Aging gracefully is a term that’s bandied around a lot, but what does it mean? I’m not talking about celebrities with slim bodies, fat budgets, endless PhotoShopping and ‘people’ who fix everything.

Most Great Wall of China information fails to include any details about how to get onto the wall or how to get off again! So, once you’ve decided which part of the wall to visit, here’s what you need to know!

Apart from breath-taking scenery and funny shaped mountains, I didn’t really know what to expect from the Li River boat cruise we’d booked.

My dad’s been a regular jet-setter since he retired! It feels like he’s always off on an exciting trip somewhere, so he knows a thing or two about being well prepared for flying.

On a trip to Egypt, many years ago, I was separated from my hold baggage for 4 (yes 4!!!!) days. It’s an understatement to say it was not fun. Egypt. 40+ degrees. No deodorant.

When my ex-husband’s girlfriend invited me to join her on a trip to China to celebrate her 50th birthday, of course I said yes! Who better to travel with?

Luggage weighing scales are a must-have accessory for the savvy traveller. They can save you time and money (possibly lots of money) before you even leave for the airport. Who wants to waste either?