A ferry crossing to Jersey may prove the perfect alternative for clients reluctant to fly this half term. With a journey time of just over four hours, this Channel Island offers a mix of natural and cultural diversions ideal for families. 

Natural playground

If there’s one thing that an island just five miles long by nine miles wide can offer it’s coastline: deserted stretches of silky caramel sand and peppermint seas make Jersey a match for families with young children.

Consider the rugged and beautiful north coast - with its sheltered bays and cooling breezes - or the south with its sun-soaked picture-postcard beaches. Kayaking, surfing, snorkelling or sailing will keep the ‘can’t keep still’ brigade happy.

A fastidious attitude to recycling gives wildlife more than a fighting chance on Jersey, too, with a mild climate enabling Green Lizards, Agile Frogs, puffins, red squirrels and Marsh Harriers to thrive. 

For guaranteed sightings of orang-utans, gorillas and lemurs, look no further than Durrell Wildlife Park - 32 acres of landscaped grounds where mammals, reptiles and birds live in harmony. Or spot native birds through large binoculars at the Wetlands Centre. 

Cultural classroom

Appearances are deceptive - with its art galleries and Michelin-star restaurants, Jersey is no remote and culturally barren island.

The island’s somewhat volatile history has paved the way for some incredible buildings, including historic forts and five exciting castles, all with secret passages, bunkers, turrets and gardens to explore. Many have imaginative activities for kids involving living history actors, dressing up, crafts and storytelling.

There are also myriad museums bringing the island’s past to life, whether that be the hardships and heroism of locals during the German occupation at Jersey War Tunnels, or fishy tales at the Maritime Museum.

Tax-free shopping attracts shoppers, with St Helier’s high street brands vying St Aubin’s quirky finds for attention. Pit stops between spends can include cream teas, ice-cream overlooking a sparkling harbour or fish and chips from beachside shacks. 

The details

Condor Ferries offers reguar transfers from Poole to Jersey in under five hours. 

Those travelling from green and amber areas in the UK must produce a negative test upon arrival. Free testing is available at Jersey Harbour. All passengers have to self-isolate on arrival while waiting the first negative test result. From this date, results are expected to be returned within 12 hours.