Best of British weather
The largest of the Channel Islands boasts a climate as sunny as its tax regime. Jersey islanders enjoy one of the finest climates in the British Isles, characterised by balmy summers and mild winters. The island is warmed by the Gulf Stream and usually avoids the Atlantic weather systems that so frequently soak the UK. St Helier, the island’s capital, was the sunniest town in the UK in 2011, according to the UK Met Office.
While the island’s reputation as a tax haven is outdated — the island was not on the blacklist of jurisdictions the EU published last year — its low-tax reputation stands. Income tax is a flat rate of 20 per cent, and residents pay no capital gains or inheritance tax. Anyone coming to Jersey to work from outside the EU or European Economic Area must, however, obtain a work permit through their employer.
Jersey’s famous 1980s television detective Bergerac may have given a false impression of the island’s darker side. In reality it is a very safe place to live, with a crime rate around half that of England. An island-wide speed limit of 40mph is enforced by plenty of mobile cameras, which means Jersey’s narrow country lanes are safer for cyclists and walkers, too.
Jersey may be a British Crown dependency, but its culture draws heavily on its French history — reflected in the seriousness with which islanders take their cuisine. The island is particularly famous for its big four: rich dairy produce from its indigenous Jersey cows, Jersey Royal potatoes, oysters and lobsters. Twelve restaurants on the island feature in this year’s Michelin Guide. Try the local seafood and views of St Brelade’s Bay at the beachside Oyster Box, or head inland for fine dining at Longueville Manor.
Walk, cycle, surf
For lovers of the outdoors, or those who have enjoyed one too many cream teas, the island has plenty to offer, from the renowned surf breaks of St Ouen’s Bay on the west coast and an extensive cycle network to a 50-mile footpath that follows Jersey’s dramatic coastline.
Photographs: Getty Images/iStockphoto; Alamy; Matt Porteous