- Historic Elizabeth Castle
Boasting more than 400 years of history, the castle was built to defend the castle from attack, the threat of which was a regular occurrence!
- Jersey Oysters
With the third-largest tidal range in the world, oyster farms are a common sight off the coast of Jersey. Take a tour of one such farm with a local expert.
- Jersey War Tunnels
Built during the island’s Nazi occupation, the tunnels tell the story of Jersey’s Second World War Experiences; from resistance and starvation to liberation.
- Picturesque St Helier
Saint Helier, in St Aubin’s Bay, is Jersey’s capital and has British ambience tinged with distinct French and Portuguese influences.
- No fly
- Solo Travellers
- Half board
Escape to the island of Jersey
Fought over by the English and French for generations, and embroiled in a world-affecting conflict, Jersey is fascinating. History enthusiasts delight in the island, located just 14 miles from the French shoreline, where Elizabeth Castle – occupying an eye-catching outcrop in the island’s harbour – tells the compelling stories of those who experienced the German regime. But it is not simply those with a love of the past who visit.
Home to the UK’s largest oyster farm, Jersey invites you to trace the much-loved mollusc’s journey from farm to plate in some of the world’s top restaurants while tasting a few for yourself! Spend time to explore Jersey’s hidden bays, local life and visit one or two of its popular attractions, all within easy reach of your accommodation, the Merton Hotel (3Q) on this Stay and Discover adventure for solo travellers.
5 nights at your hotel
10 meals: 5 breakfasts, 5 dinners
- Elizabeth Castle (full day)
- Jersey War Tunnels (half day)
- Oyster trail walk and tasting (half day)
Plus all this…
- Cancellation rights
- Dedicated Saga Host
- Hosted drinks reception
- Guided orientation walks
- Free hotel Wi-Fi and safe
- Hotel porterage
- Tea and coffee-making facilities in your room
Day 1 Saint Helier, Jersey
Settle into your hotel and join your host for a welcome drink before dinner. D
Day 2 Elizabeth Castle
A brief glance at a map will illustrate Jersey’s strategic importance. Just 14 miles from the French shoreline and 150 from its rulers in England, Sir Walter Raleigh - governor of Jersey at the start of the 17th century - oversaw the castle’s completion. It rises modestly from its outcrop - relatively squat compared to medieval fortifications - and provided a vital defence of the harbour.
During the English Civil War, Charles II took refuge at Elizabeth Castle, and during the late 18th century, when Napoleonic tensions boiled over, the castle was on a permanent war footing. During your visit, wander along the battlements built by Raleigh during the castle’s genesis and discover the hidden Second World War bunkers, used by German soldiers throughout Jersey’s occupation. The castle is accessed via a ferry. B, D
Day 3 At leisure
The day is yours to perhaps explore Saint Helier and pickup a souvenir, hike along Jersey’s coastline or visit La Mare - Jersey’s only wine estate. B, D
Day 4 Oyster walk
Jersey is home to the largest oyster farm in the British Isles. 1,000 tonnes of oysters and 150 of mussels are produced each year, served in some of the world’s top restaurants. What better way to immerse yourself in the journey from farm to plate, than accompanied by a local expert, who can explain the importance of tidal variation and water temperatures.
See the oysters growing and enjoy a tasting on this authentic Jersey experience. B, D
Day 5 Jersey War Tunnels
The German occupation of Jersey began in July 1940 with an erroneous heavy bombardment from the skies and white flags being placed across the island to indicate its surrender. It had been left defenceless by Allied forces and for the following four years was subject to the brutal Nazi regime. Under the regime’s control, and as part of Hitler’s audacious ‘Atlantic Wall’ defences, Jersey was transformed into an island fortification. As part of this plan, more than 1,000 metres of tunnels were dug by prisoners of war from the Eastern Front. It provided shelter from Allied bombing raids to the German soldiers stationed on the island and in 1943 the tunnels were converted into an emergency hospital.
In their present form, the tunnels contain a series of exhibitions, exploring the island’s story and inspiring storied belonging to those who lived locally and resisted the occupation. Artefacts shed light on what it was like to live on the island during the war, and an audio-visual experience shows you an unfinished tunnel, recognising the backbreaking work forced upon those who built the defences. B, D
Day 6 Farewell
Leave Jersey behind, reflecting on its wartime history, continental connections, nature and wildlife, perhaps planning your next trip to the island. B
What to explore
Consider taking a trip to La Mare, Jersey’s only wine estate, located 13 kilometres north of your hotel, surrounded by glorious countryside. The estate was established in 1972 and consists of extensive vines, historical buildings and a restaurant that is most suitable for a lunchtime treat. Alternatively, you could dig out your walking boots and hike along the island’s coastline, keeping your binoculars close at hand to spot a swooping seabird or two - making use of the many crags along the way.
If you would like an in-depth exploration of the island’s history, we suggest visiting the Jersey Museum and Art Gallery in Saint Helier. Alternatively, take in the sights on the trundling land train, aptly named ‘La Petite Train’, which passes several of the area’s most interesting sites.
The Merton Hotel (3Q)
Suitably located to explore the delights of Saint Helier, the Merton Hotel offers plenty of amenities to make your stay as comfortable as possible, including a car park for those who wish to take their car with them. Having journeyed to Jersey, take the weight off your feet in the light and airy conservatory lounge and get to know your fellow travellers. If it’s your first time in the area (lucky you!), perhaps plan your day at leisure by accessing the hotel’s free 24/7 Wi-Fi.
Once settled, the two pools – one indoor and the other outdoor – will surely provide a tempting prospect. Spend time in the poolside café bar or take a stroll through the gardens, past the hotel’s tennis court. In all 286 bedrooms, you will find tea and coffee making facilities, alongside a television, telephone and hairdryer. Stepping out of the hotel, it is just 500 metres from the centre of St Saviour, and 500 in the opposite direction to the beach.