A long-awaited return to France – our best holiday of 2023!

134 Reviews

Star Travel Rating


Review type



Date of travel

June, 2023

Product name

Travelling in Jersey and Brittany

Product country

UK and France

Product city

St. Helier in Jersey, Vannes in France

Travelled with


Reasons for trip


Before my retirement from teaching in 2011, our summer holidays were always spent in France. Since then we’ve been travelling much further afield, but for several years have been looking for an opportunity (interrupted by both Brexit and Covid) to reprise our adventures in our favourite country.

Finally, in 2023, we set off to divide our trip between Jersey (which we had wanted to visit for a long time) and southern Brittany. We took the car to St. Helier from Poole (a very quick and efficient crossing) and stayed at The INN just outside the town centre. This is one of the more reasonably-priced hotels in St.Helier, although its car park was across a main road and a little awkward to access.

Our visits on Jersey included the War Tunnels, built by the Germans during WW2 as a defence from Allied bombing which never came. The tunnels are therefore still intact, with the tour providing a vivid illustration of how hard wartime occupation was for the islanders. The Durrell Zoo was well worth a visit, with many unusual species in a beautiful setting. We also made the most of our National Trust membership by visiting Quetivel Mill and the Georgian House at 16 New Street in St.Helier, but couldn’t leave the island without seeing one of the castles – in our case Mont Orgueil on the east coast, which is very impressive although it’s a long climb to the top!

We enjoyed Jersey and St.Helier very much, although we found it a little expensive. We didn’t really need the car, as the island is so small, and found that spending a week there was enough time to do everythingwe wanted. La Place de la Liberation is the focal point of St.Helier, where we finished our stay sitting with drinks in the sunshine, next to the statue commemorating the island’s liberation in 1945.

Having crossed from St.Helier to St.Malo, we arrived at our chambre d’hote (Ti Laouen) in Arradon, near Vannes, on the Gulf of Morbihan. Arradon is a typical small French town, but Vannes is the main attraction in the region. It’s a must-visit, walled city with its fortifications, its port, and streets of medieval houses. The gulf is an inland sea, with as many water sports as you can think of. We settled, on beautiful sunny day, for a relaxing 2-hour cruise, calling to explore one of the many islands on the way.

Our other visits in the area included the superbly-renovated Chateau de Suscinio (which looks similar to Carcassonne!), and the local towns of Le Bono and Auray. No visit to Brittany would be complete without a meal in a creperie, where we had the most delicious galettes, not forgetting the Breton cider! We left Arradon having much appreciated the hospitality of our hosts, and began our homeward journey via the WW2 landing beaches in Normandy.

Our final stop near Bayeux allowed us to visit the British Memorial at Vers-sur-Mer, which had opened since our last visit, and other recently-established war museums on the Cotentin peninsular. We made the return crossing from Cherbourg to Poole, arriving home happy that we’d at last been able to have our French ‘fix’, but feeling that we still wanted more! Next year – maybe?


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