The Channel Islands:  Mont Orgeuil Castle, Jersey.  It's easy to reach Jersey by train & ferry.

The No-Fly Zone...  Air-conditioned electric train from London to Poole, then fast Condor Ferries SeaCat from Poole to Jersey & Guernsey...

Click to buy tickets ◄◄

Condor Ferries fast ferry to Guernsey & Jersey

Take train & ferry to the Channel Islands...

...and avoid the pain of the plane.

There's absolutely no need to fly.  It's easy to reach Jersey or Guernsey by train & ferry, a more civilised, less stressful & more environmentally-friendly way to go.  Just book a ferry from Portsmouth, Poole or Weymouth and add a train ticket.  This page will explain train & ferry schedules, prices and how to buy tickets.

The Channel Islands are a great place to spend a holiday or short break, with sandy beaches, castles, history and lots to explore.  "Great Britain is our oldest possession" is a long-standing Channel Islanders' joke.  The Channel Islands, lying a few miles from the coast of France but over 70 miles from the UK, were part of Normandy when William the Conqueror, Duke of Normandy, invaded and captured England in 1066.  When the French king later invaded and captured Normandy in 1204, the Islanders chose to stay subject to the Crown of England.  In return for their loyalty, the Islands were allowed to retain their own government (called the 'States') and even today they are not legally part of the UK or even the EU.  The resulting favourable tax laws have made the Channel Islands a major financial centre and home to many wealthy Brits.  It's also the reason you'll find 'duty-free' goods sold on the ferry to the Channel Islands, but not on the ferry to France!

Information on this page...

  How to travel to Jersey & Guernsey by train & ferry

  How much does it cost?

  How to buy tickets - by phone or in person...

  What's the journey from London to Jersey or Guernsey like?

  Buses on Jersey & Guernsey

  Ferries between Jersey, Guernsey, Alderney, Sark & Herm

  Ferries from the Channel Islands to France

  Hotels on Jersey & Guernsey

Sponsored links...


By train + ferry to Jersey & Guernsey...

  The Channel Islands:  Mont Orgeuil Castle, Jersey.  It's easy to reach Jersey by train & ferry.
 

Mont Orgeuil Castle, Jersey

Option 1, by fast SeaCat from Poole...

Take a train from your local station to Poole on the south coast.  Condor Ferries operate comfortable 'SeaCat' fast ferries from Poole to Jersey (St Helier) & Guernsey (St Peter Port) taking just 2-4 hours, all year round.  It's a very relaxed and comfortable way to travel.  Ferry times vary by day of the week and time of year, but on many days you'll find train & ferry times looking something like the times shown below.  There are currently no ferries from Weymouth.

London Jersey & Guernsey

Take the 12:05 train from London Waterloo to Poole, it's a taxi ride or walk to the ferry terminal, then take the 16:10 fast ferry from Poole arriving St Peter port (Guernsey) at 18:40 and St Helier ( Jersey) at 19:55.  On other dates, you may find a 13:30 or 13:55 fast ferry from Poole rather than a 16:10, so take the 08:35 train from London Waterloo to connect.  You arrive in St Peter port (Guernsey) around 16:30 and St Helier ( Jersey) around 17:45.  This is a typical example, you need to check times for your date of travel.

Jersey & Guernsey ► London

Sail from Jersey by fast ferry around 11:00 and from Guernsey around 12:15 (times vary by date), arriving Poole about 15:10.  Take a taxi or walk to Poole station.  A train will get you to London Waterloo by about 18:45, trains run at least every 30 minutes.  This is a typical example, you need to check times for your date of travel.

Option 2, by all-weather conventional ferry from Portsmouth...

The fast catamarans can occasionally be cancelled if the weather is very bad, especially in winter.  Condor Ferries operate a daily all-year, all-weather sailing by conventional ship from Portsmouth to Jersey & Guernsey taking 9-10 hours.

London Jersey & Guernsey

In this direction the ferry sails by day, leaving Portsmouth Continental Ferry Port at 09:00 and arriving in St Peter Port (Guernsey) at 16:30 & St Helier (Jersey) at 19:30.  Private cabins & reclining seats are available.  To catch this ship, you'll need to leave London Waterloo at 05:00 (Mon-Sat only, check times and buy tickets at any train operator site such as www.virgintrains.co.uk), or travel down to Portsmouth the night before.  Get off at Portsmouth & Southsea station (not Portsmouth Harbour station) and take a taxi to the Continental Ferry Port.  You'll get great views of the naval port and all the modern warships, as well as historic HMS Victory and HMS Warrior, as the ferry sails out of Portsmouth.

Jersey & Guernsey ► London

In this direction the ferry sails overnight, leaving Guernsey at 17:30, Jersey at 21:30, and arriving Portsmouth at 06:30.  Cabins and reclining seats are available.  A train connection from Portsmouth & Southsea station will get you to London Waterloo at about 09:30, you can check times at any train operator site such as www.virgintrains.co.uk.

How to check times for your date of travel...

Start with the ferry.  First, check ferry sailing times & dates between Poole or Portsmouth and the Channel Islands at www.condorferries.co.uk.  Then check train times & fares from London or any station in Britain to Poole or Portsmouth using any train operator website such as www.virgintrains.co.uk.  Remember to allow for the minimum 40-minute ferry check-in at the port, plus at least half an hour to get from the station to the ferry terminal on foot or by taxi.

How much does it cost?   Central London to Jersey or Guernsey from £41 one-way, £62 return...

How to buy tickets...

 

 

- Select 'UK' as your place of departure if your journey starts on the mainland. 

- It then doesn't matter which route you select, as long as you select a route to your chosen Channel Island, Jersey or Guernsey.  In the search results you'll see all departures from any of the three mainland ports to your chosen Channel Island.

- After booking the ferry, buy a train ticket from any British station to Portsmouth, Poole or Weymouth at www.virgintrains.co.uk.

Step 1, book the ferry...

Step 2: Book the trains...

Integrated train & ferry tickets from any British station to the Channel Islands have been available for over a century, but were not advertised, weren't made available online, and unsurprisingly were discontinued in early 2014.  So you now need to buy separate tickets as explained here.

Children under 16 travel for half the adult fare on both trains & Condor Ferries.  Children under 5 go free on all trains, under 3 go free on Condor Ferries.  

Luggage:  Up to 15Kg of luggage travels free on Condor Ferries, you can take more but they may make an additional charge.  Left luggage at London Waterloo.

Bicycles go free on the ferry, and free or for a small charge on trains.

Dogs & pets go on the ferry for £10 one-way, £20 return.

Railcard holders:  There's no discount for railcard holders with these special fares, so separate train & ferry tickets could be cheaper.

What's a train & ferry journey to the Channel islands like?

1. London to Poole or Portsmouth by train...

 

Travel from London Waterloo to either Poole or Portsmouth by air-conditioned 100mph electric train. 

Take a train to Poole for the afternoon fast ferry to Jersey or Guernsey...   On board the train from London to Portsmouth to get the ferry to Jersey...

2. Poole to Jersey or Guernsey on the fast ferries Condor Express or Condor Vitesse...

The vessels have plenty of seating, a self-service cafe-restaurant, a bar and open observations decks from which to enjoy the sea views both leaving the UK and arriving in Guernsey and Jersey.  You'll be treated to a departure past all the small boats in Poole Harbour, a call at St Peter Port in Guernsey, then a trip right along the south-west coast of Jersey past Corbière lighthouse, St Brelade's Bay and Portlet Bay, then an entrance to St Helier Harbour passing right by Elizabeth Castle.  Club Class seats in an exclusive lounge are available for a supplement, with complimentary tea, coffee and pastries, and a stewardess service of wine, spirits, snacks and meals.  Condor Ferries' Club Class is easily the most comfortable and civilised way to reach the Channel Islands!

Condor Ferries' fast ferry from Poole or Weymouth to Guernsey & Jersey   The Club Class lounge on the fast ferry to the Channel Islands

The fast ferry Condor Express arriving in St Helier, Jersey...

 

Stewardess service in the exclusive Club Class lounge...

The main seating area, on two levels, on the Condor Express fast ferry to Guernsey & Jersey   Fast ferry 'Condor Express' at St Helier, Jersey

On board the Condor Express...

 

Condor Ferries' Condor Express at St Helier, Jersey.

...or Portsmouth to Jersey & Guernsey on Condor Ferries ship Commodore Clipper...

The Commodore Clipper is designed to carry passengers, cars & freight, so her passenger accommodation isn't as extensive as on some ships, but it's clean, very comfortable and well-run.  Cabins are available, and there's a self-service café-restaurant, a bar with panoramic views, a duty free shop, and Club class seating available for a supplement.  You'll be treated to a departure from Portsmouth Continental Ferry port past the Royal Navy frigates and even the odd aircraft carrier in the naval dockyard, past Nelson's 'Victory' and ironclad HMS Warrior in the dockyard museum, a call at Guernsey, then a trip along the coast of Jersey from Corbière lighthouse, past St Brelade's Bay, then an entrance to St Helier Harbour with great views passing right by Elizabeth Castle.

Condor Ferries 'Commodore Clipper' conventional ship from Portsmouth to the Channel Islands   Taking the ferry to Jersey or Guernsey:  A cabin on the Commodore Clipper
The all-weather Commodore Clipper...   A cabin on the Commodore Clipper.

Buses on Jersey & Guernsey...

There are good bus services between all major points on Jersey and Guernsey.

Bus services on Jersey:  www.libertybus.je.

Bus services on Guernsey:  www.buses.gg.

Bicycles are also a great way to see the Islands, with well-marked low-traffic cycle routes across the Islands and several bike hire agencies available.  Jersey is only 10 miles across, so bikes are an easy way to get around.

Ferries between the Channel Islands...

Jersey - Guernsey

www.condorferries.co.uk offer fast ferries between St Helier (Jersey) and St Peter Port (Guernsey) in about 55 minutes, with day trips possible, plus a daily sailing by ship.  www.manche-iles-express.com and www.hdferries.co.uk also offer sailings by fast ferry.

Jersey - Sark

www.manche-iles-express.com provides occasional sailings to Sark ('Serq' in French) by fast ferry.

Guernsey - Sark

The Isle of Sark Shipping Co provides 1 to 5 sailings daily between St Peter Port (Guernsey) and Sark, taking 45 minutes.  See www.sarkshippingcompany.com.

Guernsey - Alderney

www.manche-iles-express.com provides occasional sailings to Alderney ('Aurigny' in French) by fast ferry.  Also see www.alderneygiftbox.com/index.php?p=1_5_Lady-Maris 

Ferries from the Channel Islands to France...

Jersey & Guernsey St Malo

www.condorferries.co.uk operates fast ferries from Jersey to St Malo.  www.hdferries.co.uk also started running this route in March 2007, twice daily in summer, 3 times a week in winter, but are suspended again for winter 2008/9.  Emeraude Lines (www.emeraudelines.com) also used to run from Jersey to St Malo, but the company ceased operating in 2006. 

For onwards train connections from St Malo to Paris, see the French Railways website, www.loco2.com or www.capitainetrain.com.  You can check fares and book online at this site.

Jersey & Guernsey Normandy

See www.itferries.com.

Alderney Cherbourg

See www.manche-iles-express.com for fast ferries from Jersey/Guernsey to Diélette, Barneville-Carteret and Granville in Normandy.


Hotels & accommodation

Find a hotel in Jersey or Guernsey...

 

◄◄ Hotel search & price comparison.

www.hotelscombined.com checks all the main hotel booking sites at once to find the widest choice of hotels & the cheapest seller.  It was named as the World's Leading Hotel Comparison Site at the World Travel Awards 2013 and I highly recommend it, both to find hotels in even the smallest places and to check that another retailer isn't selling your hotel for less!

www.booking.com is my favourite booking site.  It's really clear and you can usually book with free cancellation and so confirm your accommodation at no risk months before train booking opens.

Other hotel sites worth trying...

  • www.tripadvisor.com is the place to find independent travellers' reviews of all the main hotels.

  • www.booking.com is my own preferred hotel booking system (Hotels Combined being a search/comparison system).  It has a simple interface, a good selection in most countries worldwide, useful online customer reviews of each hotel, and decent prices, usually shown inclusive of unavoidable extras such as taxes (a pet hate of mine is systems that show one price, then charge you another!).


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