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To the Channel Islands from £29...

There's 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, London to Jersey or Guernsey from as little as £29 each way.  First book the ferry from Portsmouth or Poole then add a train ticket from your local station to Poole or Portsmouth.  This page explains train & ferry times, prices & how to buy tickets, and why the ferry is more fun than flying...

 

 

 

 

 

 

Visiting the Channel Islands...

The Channel Islands are a great place for 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 a ferry to France!  For tourist information see or .

Sponsored links...

The fastest option.  London to Jersey or Guernsey from £44.60...

This is the fastest ferry option to the Channel Islands, using Condor Ferries wave-piercing trimaran Condor Liberation from Poole.  A very comfortable & relaxed way to travel, although the can be slightly cheaper.

London Jersey & Guernsey

  • Step 1, take a fast air-conditioned electric train from London Waterloo to Poole.  Trains leave every half hour through the day, journey time 2h01-2h08.  Or travel from your local station - there's a direct route from Birmingham, Oxford & Reading to Poole without going via London, too.

  • In Poole, it's a 10-minute taxi ride or 35-minute 1.7 mile walk to the ferry terminal, .

  • Step 2, take the Condor Ferries fast trimaran Condor Liberation from Poole Ferry Terminal to St Peter Port on Guernsey in 3h00 or St Helier on Jersey in 4h30. 

  • How to plan your trip...

    First, check ferry times for your date of travel at at the seat61 ferry shop or at .  There is usually one sailing per day, this will determine your schedule.

    Now check train times from London or from your local station to Poole at or any train operator website such as www.virgintrains.co.uk, with arrival time at Poole station set to 90 minutes before the ferry sails, to allow for the taxi transfer & the 40-minute ferry check-in.

    For example, if the ferry sails at 11:30, you'll be able to leave London around 07:00, arriving Guernsey 14:30 & Jersey 16:00.  If the ferry sails any earlier, you may need to travel down to Poole the previous evening and stay overnight.

Jersey & Guernsey ► London

  • Step 1, sail from St Helier (Jersey) to Poole in 4.5 hours or St Peter Port (Guernsey) to Poole on Condor Ferries wave-piercing trimaran Condor Liberation. 

  • In Poole, it's a 10-minute taxi ride or 35-minute 1.7 mile walk from the ferry terminal to the station, .

  • Step 2, take a fast electric train from Poole to London Waterloo.  Trains leave every half hour through the day, journey time around 2h09. 

  • How to plan your trip...

    First, check ferry times for your date of travel at at the or at .  There is usually one sailing per day, this will determine your schedule.

    Now check train times from Poole to London or your local station at any train operator website such as , with departure time from Poole set to around 60 minutes after the ferry arrives.  The last train goes at around 21:50 most days, so if the ferry arrives after 20:50 you'll need to stay overnight in Poole and take a train next morning.

   London to Jersey or Guernsey from £44.60..

  • London to Poole starts at just £11.60 each way with a pre-booked Advance ticket, or £58 with an Off-Peak ticket or £59.10 with an Anytime ticket bought on the day, check prices at .  A return journey starts at £23.20 with a pre-booked Advance ticket, or £62.80 Off-Peak Return valid for a month, or £118.20 return if you need to travel in the Monday-Friday morning peak hours.  No advance reservation is necessary with an Off-Peak or Anytime ticket, only if you want an Advance fare. 

  • The fast ferry fare from Poole to Jersey or Guernsey varies, but typically costs from £33 each way for a foot passenger.  You can check prices online at the or .  Return trips usually cost twice the one-way fare, but if you are spending 4 nights or less at your destination there may be short break return fares of around £49-£63 return.

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

  • Step 1, book your ferry from Poole to Jersey or Guernsey at or .  This is easy, you book online and print out your booking reference.  When you get to the ferry terminal, you simply quote your booking reference, there is no ticket involved.

  • Step 2, buy a train ticket from your starting station to Poole at or any train operator site, with no booking fee.  You usually collect your tickets from the self-service machines located at most National Rail stations.

    Remember to allow at least half an hour to get from the station to the ferry terminal on foot or by taxi, and for the minimum 40-minute check-in for the ferry. 

    Anytime & Off-Peak tickets can be bought at the station on the day, no need to reserve.

Children, luggage, dogs & bikes...

  • 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.  .

  • 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.

 

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...

On board the Condor Liberation from Poole to Guernsey or Jersey...

The Condor Liberation is a wave-piercing Trimaran, built in Australia in 2010 with a service speed of 35 knots (40 mph).  She has regular seating, premium Ocean Plus seating with a 180-degree panoramic forward-facing view and premium Ocean Club seating with at-seat steward service and complimentary tea, coffee & soft drinks.  There's a self-service cafe-restaurant, a bar and open observations decks at the stern 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, past the 16th century castle on Brownsea Island, past Sark and Herm before sailing into St Peter Port on 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.  Condor Ferries' Ocean Club Class is easily the most comfortable and civilised way to reach the Channel Islands, although you can't beat that panoramic view from Ocean Plus!

The Channel Islands ferry Condor Liberation sailing from Guernsey

The Condor Liberation wave-piercing trimaran, leaving St Peter Port on Guernsey...

Enrance to Ocean Club class on the Condor Liberation   Club class on the Condor Liberation

Ocean Club:  The top class on board.  A small premium lounge located on one side of the vessel, with steward service of complimentary tea, coffee, biscuits & soft drinks, orders for food, wine and beer taken and served at your seat.  There are power sockets at all seats.

The Man in Seat 61 says, "On an evening crossing, the quiet environment and at-seat food & drink service was wonderful in Ocean Club.  But on a daylight crossing I think I'd miss the panoramic views in Ocean Plus."

Ocean Plus class on the Condor Liberation   Entrance to Ocean Plus class on the Condor Liberation

Ocean Plus:  The middle of the three classes.  A large lounge at the front of the vessel with a superb forward-facing panoramic 180-degree view.  There are power sockets at all seats, and the lounge has its own bar service wine, beer, tea, coffee, soft drinks, cakes & snacks.  The door to Ocean Plus has a digital lock, you'll be given the 4-digit code when you check in.

The Man in Seat 61 says, "Ocean Plus is my favourite class.  More spacious and comfortable seats than the regular ones (almost as good as Club class seats), power sockets, its own bar, but best of all that wonderful panoramic forward view.  Well worth the small premium over a regular ticket.  I heartily recommend the Liberation Blonde craft beer, brewed on Guernsey"

Regular seats on the Condor Liberation   The Condor Liberation's self-service cafe

Regular seats:  Comfortable and with drop-down tables, though no power sockets.

  Cafe serving hot meals with wine, beer, coffee, tea, soft drinks.  You take it back to your seat... Brownsea Island from the Poole-Guernsey ferry   Open deck on the Condor Liberation

Brownsea Island to starboard as we sail out of Poole Harbour, .

 

The Condor Liberation has quite a lot of open deck aft, on two levels.  Though it's windy at 30 knots!

Open deck on the Condor Liberation   Open deck on the Condor Liberation

A perk of the job.  Given permission to visit the bridge of the Condor Liberation.  In son Nate's words, awesome...

View of Sark from the Condor Liberation Ocean Plus lounge

Sark ahoy!  That superb panoramic forward-facing view in Ocean Plus is put to good use as the Condor Liberation passes Sark and Herm on her way in to Guernsey.

Castle Cornet, St Peter Port, Guernsey   The Condor Liberation enters St Peter Port, Guernsey

Castle Cornet, on the left as the Liberation enters St Peter Port harbour on Guernsey.

 

The Condor Liberation enters St Peter Port harbour on Guernsey...

Condor Liberation fast ferry departs Guernsey for Jersey

Goodbye Condor Liberation...  Off she sails for Jersey, her next stop.  Taken from Castle Cornet pier.

The Man in Seat 61 says, "Our outward crossing on a late September morning was smooth and comfortable out of Poole Harbour.  Wave height was about 1 metre, enough to cancel some fast ferries, but the slight up & down in mid-Channel was nothing to write home about as the Condor Liberation rode the waves.  Once approaching Guernsey past Sark & Herm, it was all smooth again.  Our return crossing was pretty smooth all the way.  We were spot on time both ways..."

The leisurely all-weather option.  London to Jersey or Guernsey from £29...

This is the leisurely all-weather option, and the foot passenger fare is usually slightly cheaper than the fast ferry.  The Condor Liberation can sail in anything up to 3.5m wave height, making her more reliable than most other lightweight fast ferries.  But she can be cancelled if the weather is very bad, especially in winter.  Condor Ferries also operate a daily all-year all-weather sailing using their conventional ship Commodore Clipper from Portsmouth to Jersey & Guernsey taking 9-10 hours.  In the northbound direction she sails overnight with cosy cabins available, making it very time-effective.

London Jersey & Guernsey

  • In this direction the Commodore Clipper sails by day, leaving Portsmouth Continental Ferry Port at 09:00 and arriving in Guernsey (St Peter Port0 at 16:30 & Jersey (St Helier) at 19:30.  Private cabins & reclining seats are available, as is a restaurant & bar - a private cabin gives you somewhere to rest, relax, freshen up with a shower or snooze.  As she sails out of Portsmouth past the naval dockyard you get great views of all the modern warships, historic HMS Victory and HMS Warrior, and then Portsmouth's modern Spinnaker Tower, .  Check sailing times at the or at . 

  • To catch the 09:00 ferry 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 ), or travel down to Portsmouth the night before.  You want Portsmouth & Southsea station, not Portsmouth Harbour, as this is closest to the Continental Ferry Terminal.

  • In Portsmouth, it's a 1.1 mile 23-minute walk or 8-minute taxi ride from Portsmouth & Southsea station to the Continental Ferry Terminal, .

Jersey & Guernsey ► London

  • In this direction the Commodore Clipper sails overnight, leaving Guernsey at 17:30, Jersey at 21:30, and arriving Portsmouth at 06:30.  Cabins and reclining seats are available, as is a restaurant & bar.  Check sailing times at the or at . 

  • On arrival in Portsmouth, take a taxi from the Continental Ferry Terminal to Portsmouth & Southsea station, a 1.1 mile 23-minute walk or 8-minute taxi ride, .

  • 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 and expect to be on a train around 60 minutes after the ferry arrives.

  • London to Portsmouth costs £37.10 one-way with an Anytime ticket, or as little as £9.10 one-way if you pre-book a train-specific Advance ticket.  A return ticket costs from £18.20 if you pre-book Advance tickets, or £41.90 Off-Peak Return valid for a month, or £74.20 return if you need to travel in the Monday-Friday morning peak hours.  No advance reservation is necessary for these fares or for the London-Portsmouth trains.  Portsmouth & Southsea is the station closest to Portsmouth Continental Ferry Terminal, not Portsmouth Harbour.

  • The ferry fare from Poole or Portsmouth to Jersey or Guernsey varies, but typically costs from £24 each way for a foot passenger.  The ship is usually slightly cheaper than the fast ferry.  You can check prices online at .  Return trips usually cost twice the one-way fare, but if you are spending 4 nights or less at your destination there may be short break return fares of around £49-£63 return.

  • London to Guernsey or Jersey from £29:  If you use the slightly slower Southern Railway route from London Victoria to Portsmouth & Southsea there are advance-purchase fares from just £5 each way.  Just specify London Victoria as your starting point when booking online at any operator site such as - it helps to click More options, look for Journey options and select Direct services only.  As you'd expect, these fares are only valid on the specific train you book, no refunds.  When added to the cheapest ferry one-way or return fare, it's possible to get from central London to the Channel Islands in comfort from as little as £29 each way.

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

  • Step 1, book your ferry from Portsmouth to Jersey or Guernsey at the (use the form on the right!) or at .  This is easy, you book online and print out your booking reference.  When you get to the ferry terminal, you simply quote your booking reference, there is no ticket involved.

  • Step 2, buy a train ticket from your starting station to Portsmouth at or any other train operator site, with no booking fees.  You usually collect your tickets from the self-service machines installed at most National Rail stations.  Remember to allow at least half an hour to get from the station to the ferry terminal on foot or by taxi, and for the minimum 40-minute check-in for the ferry.  Anytime & Off-Peak tickets can be bought at the station on the day, no need to reserve.

Children, luggage, dogs & bikes...

  • 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.  .

  • 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.

The Commodore Clipper is designed to carry passengers, cars & freight at 18.5 knots.  Her passenger accommodation isn't as extensive as some ships, but she's clean, comfortable and well-run.  Private cabins are available, and there's a self-service brasserie, a lounge-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 HMS Victory and ironclad HMS Warrior in the dockyard museum, a call at St Peter Port on 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.

The ferry Commodore Clipper to Jersey & Guernsey

The all-weather Commodore Clipper in her current colours.  Courtesy of Portsmouth's Tugmaster Lloyd...

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 Commodore Clipper in her old colours...

 

A cabin on the Commodore Clipper.

Sailing out of Portsmouth by ferry to Jersey

Sailing out of Portsmouth is a highlight, past the naval dockyard with Nelson's HMS Victory and (visible above) the first iron-clad warship HMS Warrior.  You can also see Portsmouth's Spinnaker Tower in this shot, on a misty morning...

At sea on the ferry to Jersey   The ferry arrives off Jersey

A day at leisure at sea...

 

Arriving off Jersey...

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

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.

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 .

Guernsey - Herm

Travel Trident provides regular daily sailings between St Peter Port (Guernsey) and Herm island, taking 20 minutes.  See .

Guernsey - Alderney

provides occasional sailings to Alderney ('Aurigny' in French) by fast ferry.  Also see  

Jersey - Guernsey

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.  and also offer sailings by fast ferry.

Jersey - Sark

provides occasional sailings to Sark ('Serq' in French) by fast ferry.

Jersey & Guernsey St Malo

operates fast ferries from Jersey to St Malo.  For onwards train connections from St Malo to Paris, see the French Railways website, or .  You can check fares and book online at this site.

Jersey & Guernsey Normandy

See .

Alderney Cherbourg

See for fast ferries from Jersey/Guernsey to Diélette, Barneville-Carteret and Granville in Normandy.

Find a hotel in Jersey or Guernsey...

    

◄◄ Hotel search & price comparison.

checks all the main hotel booking sites at once to find the widest choice of hotels & the cheapest seller.  It has been named as the World's Leading Hotel Comparison Site in the World Travel Awards and I highly recommend it, both to find hotels in even the smallest places and to check that another retailer isn't selling the same hotel at a cheaper rate.

►► My recommended booking site: 

is my favourite hotel booking site, and unless HotelsCombined throws up major price differences I prefer doing my bookings in one place here. 

You can usually book with free cancellation - this allows you to confirm your accommodation at no risk before train booking opens.  It also means you can hold accommodation while you finalise your itinerary, and alter your plans as they evolve - a great feature I use all the time when putting a trip together.

Other hotel sites worth trying...

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

  • 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!).

Suggested hotel on Guernsey...

  • In St Peter Port on Guernsey, easily the best hotel in town is the , formerly the residence of the Governor.




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