In a world where tweeting means something entirely different than birdsong, rambling the green lanes and pathways of this beautiful island will undoubtedly connect you to its rich anglo-french heritage and culture and can’t fail to show off the wonderful flora and fauna so abundant on the island. Stunning scenery, wide sandy beaches, rugged northern cliffs, harbours, inlets, parks and gardens, nature reserves and numerous areas of Special Scientific Interest (SSI) lie waiting to be discovered.
A network of over 45 miles of ‘Green Lanes’, where the maximum speed limit is 15mph and where priority is given to walkers, cyclists and horse riders, meander through the various parishes whilst 15 miles of coastal footpaths stretch along the north coast. In places the cliffs rise 400 feet from the sea and all along the coast, secluded coves are waiting to be discovered. Throughout the year Jersey Tourism organises a full programme of escorted walks in the company of some of the island’s most experienced ramblers and registered Blue Badge Tourist Guides.
Whether you just want to go for a stroll on the beach, join the yearly round the Island walk for charity (48.1miles in a day) or discover the guided “moon walks” out to Seymour tower at low tide, Jersey really is a walkers paradise. There is no end to walking options in Jersey.
These walks take you nearly 2 miles out to sea, at low tide, on the south east coast of Jersey where you will discover a lunar landscape that the retreating sea leaves behind. The walks are guided as you do need to know the tides and the guides will point out the amazing marine life that has made this part of Jersey’s coast a Ramsar site. You will also see close up the offshore forts that where built to protect this corner of Jersey. The Full Moon walks at night are something else, if you do one thing in Jersey go on these.
There are many great pub walks taking in a couple of country pubs en route enabling you to have a refreshing drink or meal while discovering our Island.
Walk through Jersey’s twelve parishes
Jersey’s 45 square miles are divided into twelve parishes. The island spans approximately 9 miles from east to west and 5 miles from north to south, making it easily accessible for the seasoned walker. Delightful shorter walks can be found around some of the islands nature reserves and through the woodlands and parks whilst longer and more challenging terrain can be found on the rugged northern coastal paths.
Southern Parishes – St Helier to St Brelade
Taking a westerly direction from the harbour and waterfront of the busy capital town of St Helier is the curved wide stretch of beach at St Aubin’s Bay. Here the lush valleyed parish of St Lawrence just touches the southern tip of the bay before leading onto the headland of Noirmont and Portelet Bay, both SSI recognised areas. Rare sand crocus’ and dwarf rushes grow here but also look out for resident skylarks and seas buntings. Below Portelet Common lie the sand dunes and diverse habitats of L’Ouaisné Common where evidence of prehistoric human existence has been found in La Cotte Cave. It is important to keep to the pathways as the area is protected and not least so because it is the breeding ground for the agile frog. The beautiful golden beach at St Brelades Bay with its colourful floral garden displays follows around the rocks to Corbiere Lighthouse and then onto Five mile beach at St Ouen’s Bay.
West Coast Walks
Move inland from the long stretch of beach at St Ouen’s Bay to the protected SSI area of Les Blanches Banques sand dunes. A sea wall preserves the dunes which have become stocked with rare species of orchid and dwarf pansies as well as the little green sand lizard. Les Mielles Nature Reserve can offer up wildlife filled circular walks with spectacular views of the bay. This has become a breeding ground for rare Marsh Harriers and Bitterns have also been spotted. Further inland the heatherlands lining the double coast at St Peters blend into the lush rolling valleys of St Lawrence; both suitable for shorter woodland and wildflower walks. In springtime the woods are alive with bluebells, celendine, red campions and rare yellow archangel. On the most northwesterly point of the island the picturesque ruins of Grosnez Castle then step down quite a way to the caves and rockpools at Plemont Beach.
Rugged northern coast
The northern coastal paths are more challenging but run continuously from Grosnez to Rozel Bay for about 15 miles. At Greve-de-Lecq Bay in the Parish of St Mary a spectacular cave roof collapse has left a giant funnel in the rock formation known as Devil’s Hole. There are some beautiful views along the footpath but the terrain is perhaps the most challenging on the island. Step inland a little and you can take a pleasant break at St Mare Vineyard. Many of Jersey’s attractions can be visited by taking a criss cross route through the island or by dipping in and out from the coastal route. Sorel Point lies at the most northerly tip of Jersey and overlooks the swirling seas around a group of rocks known as the Paternosters. In the distance Sark can be viewed on a clear day. Tales of smuggling come to mind when approaching the parishes of Trinity and St John and the fishing harbour at Bonne Nuit Bay. At low tide, step down some 400 feet to reach Wolf’s Caves, allegedly named because smugglers would cry like wolves to deter passers by from their bounty! It may well be worth stopping for some refreshments at Bonne Nuit as the route then takes a steep upwards turn towards Les Platons; the highest point of the island. You may spot dolphins as you move down towards the pebbly harbour at Bouley Bay. If you’ve taken up the gauntlet and managed to walk the craggy northern paths in one go, a reward may lie at the eastern harbour and white sands of Rozel Bay as it’s well known for its fantastic eateries.
Easterly nature reserves and lunar landscapes
From St Martin on the north east coast to St Clement in the south are some wonderful woodlands, nature reserves and an internationally recognised Ramsar wetlands site. Prehistoric burial mounds, castles and look out towers hint at Jersey’s turbulent historical past as well as its Occupation during World War Two. If you prefer shorter walks then it’s easy to pass a couple of hours in St Catherine’s Woods; an easy flat walk with just a few stepping stones over the stream and a rope swing to delight both adults and children. Look out for red squirrels and wildflowers along the way. The long stretch of sandy beach at Grouville is often full of water sports enthusiasts but inland at La Hougue Bie lies Jersey’s most important archaeological site with a museum run by Jersey Heritage Trust. The whole of the south eastern corner of the island from Grouville through to St Clement and St Saviour is a Ramsar wetlands site due to its rich marine wildlife. At night time in St Clement, the sea is alive with bioluminescence or marine creatures which emit light. However walking the lunar-like landscape revealed at low tide is a specialist job and a guide with tidal knowledge is recommended due to it being home to some of the highest tides in the world.
Walking Tips and Resources
Jersey’s network of green lanes, where cars are limited in speed, mean walkers are well catered for on the island and numerous maps and recommended routes are available in bookshops or to download. Many specialists provide guided walks with themes centred around Jersey’s history or local dishes – often with refreshments included!
Round the Island Walk
Combine 48.1 miles of beautiful Jersey scenery and the opportunity to burn 8,500 calories and you have the Itex round Jersey Walk. You will climb and descend 5,600 feet including 1,603 steps up and down.
The Jersey Tourist Guide Association (JTGA) was established in 1995 to represent those involved in providing guiding services to visitors to Jersey. The Association is an associate member of The Institute of Tourist Guiding in London which provides liability insurance for Blue Badge guides. Many of Jersey’s Blue Badge Guides are also members of Tourist Guiding. The JTGA aims to promote accurate knowledge of Jersey, introduce and maintain professional standards and attitudes, to establish closer links and communication with the travel industry and to gain recognition of accredited guides as a professional body.
Jersey Uncovered is a team of professional, registered Tourist Guides who have undergone stringent and comprehensive training together with written and practical examinations to achieve the nationally recognized symbol of tourist guiding excellence, “the Blue Badge”. Jersey Uncovered guides have a wide range of specialist knowledge and expertise, and are passionate about the Island in which they live. As well as walking tours and coach tours, castle tours, maritime and heritage tours, to name a few, Jersey Uncovered guides can offer you a bespoke Island adventure.
Stroll In Jersey – Alan Ley has lived in Jersey for over 12 years and is also a Volunteer Tour Guide & Training Mentor for new Volunteers at Jersey Heritage. “Stroll In Jersey” is a personal service for individuals or groups to take Walks & Tours in Jersey, both Rural & Urban. Themed Tours such as War Walks, Historic, Culture & Ghost Walks. Remedial Walks for injury recovery etc are also available, as are Cliff Walks. Charity based Walks / Tours too. Duration of a Walk /Tour would normally be 1 hour to 1 & half hours except long coastal cliff walks. Bookings must be made in advance.
I am an experienced Blue Badge Guide providing all types of walking around Jersey. My talks range from general, historical and political topics to the highly unusual and bizarre events that have taken place in the Island. I am able to deliver fascinating talks to a variety of people, appealing to all ages and types, in a humorous and relaxed manner. I will be guiding two regular walks which are the most established in the Island and have proved exceptionally popular. “Living with the Enemy” every Tuesday morning looking at daily life during the German Occupation and “Murder, Muck and Mayhem” is a tour around the town, visiting locations where some gruesome events and bizarre happenings have taken place throughout Jersey’s colourful history.
Health and fitness walks are designed to raise the pulse through low impact exercise and take in some natural wonders including hedgerow foraging, bird life and stunning views, all in the fresh air f the East of the Island. Walks finish with a foraged hedgerow soup at the JAAC.
Wild Food Forage
Come and get lost in the wilds of St.Ouen; take in fantastic scenery, encounter local wildlife and learn about the vast variety of wild edible and medicinal plants our unique environment has to offer.
Duration of walk approx 2 ½ hours, please dress with an eye on the weather and bring along any food and drink you may need. Wild Adventures