Where is Jersey?

With its rich history, blended culture and breath-taking landscapes, Jersey is an island of heritage and beauty. From the island’s fascinating war history to the unique melting pot of French and British influence, there is no doubt that Jersey is a destination of diversity. The diversity of the island continues with Mother Nature showcasing her best work in every corner of Jersey. The island boasts beautifully varied landscapes from the golden beach fronts which rival the best European beaches to the charming countryside popular with hikers and cyclists. Aside from the island’s magnificent nature, Jersey also offers stacks of adventure, thrilling attractions and incredible dining. Whilst Jersey’s top leisure spots are scattered across the island, the capital of St Helier is home to the highest concentration with spectacular points of interest, exceptional shopping and a thriving nightlife scene.

With its stunning scenery, mild climate and abundance of adventure, Jersey has enough attraction to entice anyone to make it a top choice for an exciting summer holiday or a relaxed city break. 

Map of Channel Islands

However, planning any trip is not just about the appeal of a destination, it is also about the logistics. Before you go full steam ahead into planning your Jersey break, you may want to know important information about the island including how to get there and where is Jersey.

Where is Jersey Located in the World?

For those unfamiliar with the Channel Islands, Jersey is often confused with New Jersey in the USA. Often nicknamed as simply ‘Jersey’, the US state is more well-known globally and you may even find that some search results for Jersey populate New Jersey content. However, the USA state was actually named after the island of Jersey, receiving its name during the time it was a British colony.

The island of Jersey is in fact located on the European continent. The island sits in the Bay of St Malo within the English Channel. The English Channel is a narrow arm of the Atlantic Ocean that separates the south of England from northern France and is the busiest shipping area in the world. The island sits closer to France than the UK at a distance of just 14 miles from the Normandy coastline. The island is also closer to the mainland of France than its neighbouring Channel Island, Guernsey, which is over 27 miles away. Jersey is the largest island in the Channel Islands and is the southernmost island in the archipelago.

Which Country is Jersey in?

Jersey is often tied with the UK or described as a British Isle but this is not factually accurate. Although often said to be a part of the UK, Jersey is not and it is also not a British Isle. Jersey is classified as a British Crown Dependency and its relationship with the UK is different from other Crown Dependencies. Jersey is self-governed with its own legal, judicial and financial systems as well as the power of self-determination but is under the constitutional monarchy. The Channel Islands are the last remaining part of the Duchy of Normandy with the Duke of Normandy as the Head of State, represented on the island by the Lieutenant Governor. The Duke of Normandy is the British ruler, currently Queen Elizabeth II, keeping the Channel Islands under the rule of the British monarchy. This all means that the UK is the sovereign state responsible for the defence of Jersey but the island is run independently and has an international identity separate from the UK. 

Jersey is not governed in any way by the British Parliament and has its own parliament, the States Assembly, with the Chief Minister the head of the government. 

As Jersey is ruled by the British monarchy, citizens of Jersey have British nationality and the island uses a variation of the Great British Pound, it is often assumed that Jersey is part of the UK which is untrue. 

Jersey is not in the UK or in any other country which can be confusing.

Is Jersey a Country?

Officially the Bailiwick of Jersey, it is questioned if Jersey is its own country if it is not part of another country. Jersey is not a country, it is simply an island. Although self-governing, Jersey and the Channel Islands are possessed by the British Crown and cannot become their own country. Simply classified as a Crown Dependency, Jersey cannot be categorised as a country or as part of a country and sits unassigned which is complicated.

The Bailiwick is however made up of multiple islands within the Channel Islands including the mainland of Jersey plus uninhabited islets and rocks such as Les Ecrehous and Les Minquiers.

Les Minquiers

What are the Channel Islands?

The Channel Islands are a group of islands located in the English Channel which sit off the coast of France. This archipelago in Europe is made up of two British Crown Dependencies, the Bailiwick of Jersey and the Bailiwick of Guernsey. The Bailiwick of Jersey is the largest, made up of the mainland of Jersey and some uninhabited islets and rocks. Meanwhile, the Bailiwick of Guernsey consists of the islands of Guernsey, Sark, Alderney, Herm and some smaller islands. Both Bailiwicks are the last remnants of the Duchy of Normandy and are under the rule of the British monarchy. The Channel Islands refers only to the geographical location as both Bailiwicks are independently governed.

Is Jersey in the Commonwealth?

The Commonwealth of Nations, simply known as the Commonwealth, is a political association of 54 member states, the majority of which are existing or former British territories. The head of the Commonwealth is currently the British monarch, Queen Elizabeth II. The head of the Commonwealth position does not come with the position of British monarch, however, Charles, the Prince of Wales has already been selected as the next successor. 

Jersey is not an official member of the Commonwealth of Nations at present but is an associate member through the United Kingdom. The Bailiwick of Jersey is currently in negotiations to become a full member of the Commonwealth which will grant the bailiwick with full participation in Commonwealth debates, Commonwealth voting rights and the right to self-represent in Commonwealth meetings. Jersey currently participates in both the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association and the Commonwealth Games.

Is Jersey in the European Union?

The Bailiwick of Jersey is not a member of the European Union. Prior to Brexit, Jersey was not a member of the European Union and has never had EU membership. When the UK had EU membership status, as a Crown Dependency, Jersey had an EU relationship through its UK association. Jersey was granted the same freedom of movement and free trade of goods rights and laws but did not have full membership rights. This means Jersey was treated as a part of the EU even though it was not a part of the EU. 

However, the relationship with the EU was revoked when the UK left the EU in 2020. Goods from Jersey are now treated as UK goods and Jersey citizens have the same travel rights as all British nationals.

How far is Jersey from the UK?

Jersey is located 85 miles (137km) from England’s south coast. The closest point of the UK is the Isle of Portland in Dorset. The journey time from the UK is dependent on the method of transportation and the departure point. Jersey can be accessed from the UK by air or sea. Jersey has great flight connections to the UK with flights from a large quantity of airports scattered across the UK including Scotland and Northern Ireland. The average flight time is approximately one hour with the quickest flight time to Jersey just 45 minutes from Exeter. Alternatively, Jersey is connected to both Portsmouth and Poole by sea. Ferries from Poole take approximately 4 hours whilst ferries between Jersey and Portsmouth have 10 hour and 20 minute journey time.

How far is Jersey from France?

Jersey is significantly closer to France than it is to the UK. Jersey sits just 14 miles off the Normandy coast. Located in the Bay of St Malo, France’s closest city is St Malo in the French region of Brittany. Visitors to Jersey can enjoy day trips to St Malo, Carteret and other French destinations due to the country’s close proximity. The most popular transportation between Jersey and France is the ferry from St Malo with a journey time of just 1 hour and 20 minutes. However, it is much quicker to get to Carteret with a RIB ride departing from St Catherine’s in Jersey taking just 30 minutes. Travel between Jersey and France is easiest by sea as no airlines currently operate flights.

How do you Get to Jersey?

If you are travelling from the UK, there are a wide variety of options for travel to Jersey. Due to The Common Travel Area, UK and Irish citizens can freely travel between the UK, Ireland, Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. Identification is not required for immigration purposes but will be required to board flights and ferries. Identification does not have to be a passport for UK citizens travelling from the UK to Jersey but some form of identification will be required. It is advised to check which forms of identification are accepted by your travel operator prior to departure. There is no requirement for UK citizens to carry identification on their person whilst visiting Jersey.

The quickest and most convenient way to travel from the UK to Jersey is by air. Flights have an approximate journey time of 1 hour dependent on your UK departure point with the quickest flight time just 45 minutes from Exeter. The following UK airlines currently operate flights to Jersey:

Daily Flights to Jersey

  • Birmingham (Blue Islands)
  • Bristol (Blue Islands)
  • East Midlands (Blue Islands)
  • Exeter (Blue Islands)
  • London Gatwick (easyJet)
  • London Heathrow (British Airways)
  • Southampton (Blue Islands)

Year-Round Jersey Flights (minimum Twice Weekly)

  • Glasgow (easyJet)
  • Liverpool (easyJet)
  • London Luton (easyJet)
  • Manchester (easyJet)

Seasonal Jersey Flights

  • Belfast (easyJet)
  • Humberside (Eastern Airways)
  • Leeds Bradford (Jet2)
  • London City (British Airways)
  • London Stansted (Jet2)
  • Newcastle (EasyJet and Jet2)
  • Newquay (Blue Islands)
  • Norwich (Blue Islands)
  • Teesside (Eastern Airways)

For alternative transportation, Condor Ferries operates a ferry schedule to Jersey from two UK ports. Ferry travel is a slower transportation method but allows travellers to travel with a vehicle, bicycle and/or pet. There are also no luggage restrictions for passengers with a vehicle and ferry travel can be more budget-friendly for foot passengers than air travel. Condor Ferries currently has a ferry schedule from the following ports:

  • Poole
  • Portsmouth

The ferry from Poole offers the quickest sea transfer time at just 4 hours whilst Portsmouth has a longer route and reaches a journey time of 10 hours and 20 minutes. 

How big is Jersey?

Jersey is a small island with a big personality. The island is just 9 miles (14.5km) wide with a length of 5 miles (8km). The geographical area of Jersey is approximately 45 square miles (120sqkm). The island is divided into twelve parishes; St Helier, St Saviour, St Brelade, St Clement, St Lawrence, Grouville, St Peter, St Ouen, St Martin, Trinity, St John and St Mary.

The small size of the island means that wherever you base yourself during a Jersey visit, you are just a short distance from all attractions, activities and points of interest no matter where they are located. To navigate the island, driving is straight-forward for visitors from the UK as driving in Jersey is on the left. The island is also exceptionally well signposted. If you are not travelling to Jersey by ferry and bringing your own vehicle, the island has excellent car hire options including companies based at the airport. Alternatively, Jersey has an excellent public transport system, Liberty Bus, with frequent connections across the island.

What is the Population in Jersey?

Jersey is the most populated island in the Channel Islands archipelago. The current population of Jersey is 107,800 based on the most recent island Census. The island’s population has increased over the last decade with a rise of over 5%. The capital of St Helier is home to a third of Jersey’s population with over 35,000 residents. St Helier is the largest settlement and only official town in Jersey.

What is the time zone in Jersey?

The Jersey time zone is Greenwich Mean Time in the winter and British Summer Time in the summer. This is the same time zone as the UK and there is no time difference between Jersey and the UK. 

What is the currency in Jersey?

The island of Jersey uses the pound. The official Jersey currency is the Jersey Pound which is a variation of the Great British Pound. Jersey is in a currency union with the UK and therefore has the same currency. The currency code is GBP but to distinguish Jersey issued notes from Bank of England notes, the JEP code is also used.

Jersey issues its own notes and coins by the States of Jersey, the same way Scotland and Northern Ireland issue their own tender. Both States of Jersey and Bank of England notes and coins are legal tender on the island so there is no need to exchange British notes to visit Jersey.  The Guernsey pound, Scottish and Northern Irish issued currency is also accepted on the island. 

However, Jersey notes and coins are not legal tender in the UK unlike Scottish and Northern Irish issued currency. Bank Of England, Scottish and Northern Irish issued notes are all pound sterling and therefore accepted legal UK tender. Jersey and Guernsey issued notes are not pound sterling and therefore not accepted in the United Kingdom. Jersey notes and coins will not be accepted in the UK and cannot be exchanged for Bank of England issued currency in UK banks. Please be aware that Jersey and Bank Of England notes circulate together on the island and change may be given in a mixture of Jersey and English notes. All Jersey notes and coins must be exchanged for Bank Of England notes and coins to be legal tender in the United Kingdom before departing Jersey. Any Guernsey issued banknotes and coins must also be exchanged to be legal tender in the UK. Coins are less of a problem as they will be accepted by UK coin machines. The Bureau de Change at Jersey Airport or any Jersey bank will happily exchange the Jersey pound for pound sterling.

As of October 2017, Jersey issued £1 coins are no longer legal tender. The cease of Jersey £1 coins coincided with the cease of British circular £1 coins. The only £1 coin now accepted in Jersey is the new 12-sided British £1 coin.

Jersey banknotes are trilingual featuring English, French and Jèrrais text. Jersey also has a £1 and a £100 banknote as legal tender which do not exist in Bank Of England notes. The £100 note was issued to commemorate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and is no longer produced but still in circulation. Scotland and Northern Ireland also have £100 banknotes in circulation. Jersey issued banknotes feature a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II in the Vladimir Tiara rather than the crown to honour her Duke of Normandy title.

ATM’s in Jersey are often found in pairs with one machine labelled ‘sterling’ and the other ‘Jersey pound’. You can therefore choose which to withdraw. If ATM’s are standalone and/or not labelled, it is likely they will issue the Jersey pound only.

For card transactions, all transactions are charged in pounds and there is therefore no currency conversion charge. 

Euros are not used or accepted in Jersey. Due to such close proximity to France, some establishments will accept Euros but this is not legal tender in Jersey and you are likely to get an extremely poor exchange rate. Save your Euros for a day trip to France!

Which language is spoken in Jersey?

Jersey has two official languages, English and French. English is spoken by the majority and is the dominant language used on the island with 94.6% of Jersey’s population English speakers. Jersey’s road signs are in English but the majority of locations and streets in Jersey have a French name. All other signs across the island are written in English but some may have French subtitling. 

Jersey also has its own language, Jèrrais, which is spoken by a minority. Jèrrais is a Norman language and the traditional language of the Jersey people. The Romance language is often also called ‘Jersey French’ but whilst the language is closely related to French, it is not a French dialect. The language is native to the islands of Jersey and Sark and was the most commonly used language on the island until the 19th century. The use of the language has dramatically declined in the last century with the use of English for education, administration and commerce. At the time of World War II, roughly half of Jersey’s population could still communicate in Jèrrais which proved beneficial during the German occupation as neither the Germans or their French interpreters could understand Jèrrais. There are now very few existing Jersey residents who still use Jèrrais as their mother tongue. The most recent Census highlighted that there are only 1900 speakers of Jèrrais on the island with only 113 speaking Jèrrais as their first language. 

Portuguese and Polish are also widely spoken on the island.

What is the capital of Jersey?

The capital of Jersey is St Helier. St Helier is the island’s only official town and is the home of one-third of Jersey’s population. St Helier also welcomes the majority of the island’s tourism. This vibrant town has excellent shopping, incredible dining, a buzzing nightlife scene and brilliant attractions. The town is also incredibly historic with fascinating landmarks, ruins and points of interest. In addition, St Helier also boasts one of the island’s most charming beaches and is a popular location for watersports. The island’s main ferry port, Elizabeth Terminal, is located in St Helier whilst Jersey Airport is located in the parish of St Peter less than 5 miles from St Helier.

What Next?

Check out our Jersey Tourist Guide to find out how best to enjoy everything that Jersey has to offer.