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Channel Islands -- Questions

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Apr 12th, 2013, 11:33 AM
  #1
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Channel Islands -- Questions

We are staying near Caen and would like either a day trip or an overnight . Which island would you recommend? Are ferry reservations needed? Favorite hotels? Suggestions would be appreciated.
maile is offline  
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Apr 12th, 2013, 12:08 PM
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Jersey is the largest and most populated of the CI's, with a larger choice of hotels and restaurants. Guernsey is next and smaller, but I've always found it more expensive.

An overnight in St Helier would be a great idea.
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Apr 12th, 2013, 12:08 PM
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Topping to see the responses.

I have not been to the Channel Islands for over 30 years, but still have fond memories. I'd also be interested in the mechanics of getting there these days. I can recall going to Heathrow for five days straight (long before the internet), only to have the flight to Guernsey cancelled because of fog on the island.
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Apr 12th, 2013, 12:20 PM
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Missed your other queries:

You'll need ferry reservations in peak holiday periods, depends on when you want to go and whether you have a car. As a foot passenger, you'll be OK most of the time.

What's your hotel budget, there are places in St Helier across the range?
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Apr 12th, 2013, 12:22 PM
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Took catamaran from St Malo to Jersey - stayed there a few nights - did Guernsey one day - loved the iconic cows grazing all over each island. I loved Jersey and the main town - as Rubicund says lots of hotels and restaurants, etc. If I had to chose only one I'd choice Jersey.
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Apr 12th, 2013, 12:45 PM
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Caen is not particularly convenient for visiting the Channel Islands as it's on the "wrong" side of the Cherbourg peninsula. It's a 2-hour drive to St Malo for the Condor Ferries connection to Jersey and Guernsey:- http://www.condorferries.co.uk/default.aspx

It's about 30 minutes less driving time from Cannes to Granville to pick up the Manche Isles Express catamaran to Jersey, Sark and Guernsey:- http://www.manche-iles-express.com/

All things considered, it's a bit too far for a day trip, so your plan to stay overnight is a good one. You can take your pick from the relatively busy Jersey to the almost medieval bucolic charm of Sark. I'm a frequent visitor to Jersey (family connections) so feel free to ask if you need further info on this island.
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Apr 12th, 2013, 02:29 PM
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Gordon_R is a GREAT resource. He helped me no end for my visit to Jersey last June - you can check my trip report.

I flew in from England so can't help you w/ the ferry. But you really would want to spend at least a night. The island is not a 'quick visit'.

I visited Sark for a weekend 35 years ago but the info would be so out of date probably of no use. Medieval would describe it -
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Apr 12th, 2013, 03:06 PM
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I've been to Jersey from Saint Malo. I'm pretty sure it's the easiest place to get to from France.

I enjoyed Jersey but I have to say that it was the one and only place in my life where I was devoured by bedbugs at the B&B where I stayed. But since it was the weekend of the Chernobyl disaster, it can be hoped that the problem has been solved at that place since then.
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Apr 12th, 2013, 06:16 PM
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Aurigny Air flies from Dinard to Guernsey, Jersey and Alderney.

For just a single day and overnight, I might pick Alderney because of its small size, beautiful coastal scenery, bird life, and lots of history. IMO, the other islands require more time.
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Apr 12th, 2013, 07:27 PM
  #10
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For our brief day I think we will settle for a stay in Jersey. We would probably like a highiish end hotel, small rather than chain type. We are in our 70's but will be traveling with two adult children. A hotel with a great bar would be appreciated. Any suggestions Gordon R?
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Apr 12th, 2013, 07:52 PM
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Oh boy, does the talk of hotels in the Channel Islands bring back more memories. Almost 40 years ago I stayed at the Old Government House http://www.theoghhotel.com/about-us/history on Guernsey on numerous occasions while visiting my kids. The Practice Wife had taken them there when she jumped ship, unfortunately.

Had many lonely nights sitting in the bar drinking single malt. One bright note was a pleasant chap, John, I drank with often. Said he was the drummer for a band, Led Zeppelin, of which I had never heard. He was a "tax exile", as he could only enter England infrequently to visit his children or face huge tax consequences, he said. Man, could that man down the booze!
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Apr 12th, 2013, 10:21 PM
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>>We would probably like a highiish end hotel, <<

. . . doesn't help very much. What is your actual budget?
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Apr 12th, 2013, 11:10 PM
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>>It's about 30 minutes less driving time from Cannes to Granville<<
D'oh - I meant Caen of course (too much wine with dinner...)

There are remarkably few chain hotels on Jersey, the only one that immediately springs to mind is a newish Radisson Blu down by the marina in St Helier (which is actually one of my favourites).

If you're only there for a short while - and don't have a hire car - I'd stay in St Helier, the only town on Jersey. There a good connections on local buses and taxis to other parts of the island. As Janis says, we could do with some idea of your budget, but to give you some initial (varied) ideas, I likebr />
http://www.theroyalyacht.com/
http://www.seymourhotels.com/pomme-d%27or-hotel.aspx
http://www.hoteldefrancejersey.co.uk/
http://www.grandjersey.com/?gclid=CN...FfMdtAod2wgAyQ
http://www.theinnjersey.com/

(BTW, that's a terrific story Nukesafe - I'd have loved to have gone drinking with the late, great Bonzo!)
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Apr 12th, 2013, 11:18 PM
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Janis's TR from last year (the Jersey bit is about half way down I think!)br /> http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...-trip-ever.cfm
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Apr 13th, 2013, 12:38 AM
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The Grand in Jersey is in a great location, opposite the castle in St Helier.
The Pomme d'Or hotel has alot of WW2 history which makes it very interesting. Location is good too.
The De France is a big hotel, up on a hill, again very good.

Other's that you might consider if you had a car, which I recommend you rent from the airport, it will make getting around easier (but would need to watch the speed limits (very slow) and parking rules). The island is so small you can drive around quite quickly.

L'Horizon Hotel & Spa in St Brelade's Bay, the hotel has a wonderful position on the beach.
The Atlantic Hotel, also in St Brelade's Bay.
Longueville Manor in St Saviours, probably one of the most famous of the Jersey hotels along with the Atlantic. These are 5 star hotels.
There are plenty of bars/pubs all around Jersey.
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Apr 13th, 2013, 02:59 AM
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We stayed at Longueville Manor last time we were over there and can thoroughly recommend it. It's a little way out of the town centre but has a nice garden, excellent restaurant and really excellent rooms. Not cheap though.
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Apr 13th, 2013, 04:59 AM
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Partner's parents just got back from a few nights at Longueville Manor and they absolutely loved it. It is out of town though.
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Apr 13th, 2013, 05:44 AM
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"One bright note was a pleasant chap, John, I drank with often. Said he was the drummer for a band, Led Zeppelin, of which I had never heard."

nukesafe - You are my hero.
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Apr 13th, 2013, 05:48 AM
  #19
 
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Guernsey! Make sure to take a day trip (ferry) to either the island of Herm or Sark.
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Apr 13th, 2013, 11:13 AM
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Don't know why you would say that, FMT. He was a nice chap. I didn't know squat about his music, so we couldn't talk about that. He didn't know anything about nuclear stuff or sailboats, so we couldn't talk about that. Just two lonely chaps that got on quite well talking about how bitchy/unpredictable women were, and how we loved our kids. We drove around the island some, and consumed a sinful amount of Scotland's finest.

Asked around about his band, and followed his career from then on. I was shocked and saddened, but not surprised, when John Bonham drank himself to death a few years later. It did hurt that he did it on vodka, not Scotch, though.
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