Gorey

Although St Helier has always been Jersey’s capital and the seat of its government, the centre of power for over four centuries was the main fortification, Mont Orgueil Castle. In the little village of Gorey below the castle a small port was the closest link with the neighbouring coast of France. Gorey, the jewel of the East straddles two parishes, St Martin and Grouville.

It comes in three parts – The Common, The Pier and The Village.
The common which incorporates the longest waiting list to join a golf club, The Royal Jersey Golf Club where the land belonging to the Crown means anyone can wander across the fair ways with their dogs at any time much to the frustration of the players! The common is managed by the chefs tenants who represent the Queen in deciding how the land is managed. It is a focal point for the parish of Grouville giving a lovely open green space for picnics and football.
At one end of the common is marshland which is a sight of special scientific interest and houses all sorts of interesting flora and fauna.
The pier which sits under the magnificent Mont Orgueil has a variety of pubs and restaurants and wonderful Al fresco dining during the summer months. It is vibrant and lively with local bands serenading the clientele over the weekends. There is nothing better than sitting out when the tide is up with the water lapping at the slip and the boats bobbing about in this picturesque harbour.
Make sure you have plenty of time to explore the castle but be prepared for a climb. The views from the top are definitely worth the hard work.  Stunning views of the near by French coast and the Ecrehous reef which is actually in the parish of St Martin.  Don’t forget to keep you eyes peeled for the dolphins often seen in this area.
Mont Orgueil castle was built in the early part of the 13th century. Jersey had just become an outpost of King John’s territory, following the recent loss of his lands across the water in France. The keep dates from the time of King John, The Harliston Tower from the reign of Edward IV and the tops of the three narrow towers went up during the German occupation.

Long beach with its golden Sand is shallow making it safe for swimming and water sports are available during the summer. With plenty of free parking, toilets, a children’s play area and a shower makes this beach a firm favourite for families. Ballooned wheelchairs are also available for the disabled through Beach Ability  And of course you cannot come to Longbeach with visiting the legend that is Stuart the ice cream Man!

The village is a little bit of something special. With a selection of shops including a traditional butchers and green grocers and the amazing Rosedale stores, where time stands still whilst the locals catch up on the village gossip when purchasing their cabbage loaf. Cafes, boutique hotels, chinese restaurants and the island renowned Entwistle’s chip shop. A firm favourite is grabbing yourself some chips’n’cheese and sitting on the bench on the dunes overlooking the beautiful sandy beach and lit up harbour and flood lit castle. Truly glorious.

The village is a tight knit community which has a distinct french feel to it. Take time to wander through the lanes of quirky cottages that once housed the boat builders that built on the shore line of Grouville bay. Look out for unusual bits and pieces of bygone days.
Grab a bacon Butty at Rhona’s at the top of the slip way and take a meander up to the pier where the gardens are drenched with sun daisies and you can read up on the boat building history that played such an import part of the area.They say West is best but I beg to differ. East is beast !

Main Image courtesy of Jean Lelliott

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