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Published: September 24th 2017
The stunning view form the cliffs on the way to Greve de Lecq.
This week, I’m writing a series of blogs about our visit to Jersey. This charming island has so much to offer that trying to write about our week in one blog is impossible. Jersey is a gem of an island, less than an hour’s flight from the grim north of the UK. Yet, surprisingly, the difference between the hues of the sky, the temperature on your bare skin and the ambience of a morning walk is like chalk and cheese. With several cheap airlines frequently completing the slightly bumping landing on the runway, it covers all the superlatives you can think of for a perfect holiday. The largest of the Channel Islands, situated just 22 miles from the coast of France, Jersey will satiate the needs of the craziest and laziest!
Drive or bus it from the airport in any direction and you’ll find winding lanes and sublime scenery greeting you. Even if you’re staying at the furthest point on the island from the airport – somewhere near Gorey Castle – you’re still only 15.4km away. Let’s face it the journey is not comparable with being on the M60 in rush hour: most of it will take you past the
Walk to Devil's Hole
The pathway leading to Devil's Hole.
coastline where you can enjoy stunning sea views over St Aubin’s, down to Elizabeth Castle and along the Royal Bay of Grouville.
With a 40mph speed limit across the whole island, tootling along gawping at the sparkling, aquamarine waters and pristine sand will not get you disgruntled beeps or annoyed looks. Jersey drivers are polite and patient and just as likely to be taking in its beauty as you are.
The Jersey Outdoors
Deciding what to do on your visit is probably the most difficult thing you will do: Jersey really does cater for all needs – be you an drenaline junkie or a retired post master; a young family or a young rascal. hether you have a need for shopping or gorging, cycling or blokarting, sailing or repelling seagulls as you sunbathe, it is all here on your doorstep. We’ve managed to try out new adventures each time we visit and I still can’t wait to get back there more.
This last visit was very much about enjoying the outdoors. The weather for early April gave us brilliant blue skies each day and it was warm enough not to need a jacket for
Looking down into Devil's Hole.
most of our cliff walks and beach strolls, although the breeze was, at times, a little nippy.
If being outdoors and active is your thing, you’ll love the northern hikes from east to west, starting at Rozel Bay and continuing for 16 miles of breath-taking panorama past Bouley Bay and Bonne Nuit. The undulating paths follow the rugged coastline as the dramatic landscape provides a pacific milieu in spite of the crashing waves below.
We choose a relatively easy route from Devil’s Hole west to Greve De Lecq. Disembarking the number 5 bus, we traversed this 2.5 mile stretch, having already enjoyed a 30 minute stroll from St John’s church. The route is easily signposted and takes you down quiet, windy lanes where you can watch the emerald green countryside compete with the sky for attention. Rather than listen to irate cars chug along, you can listen to wind chimes in doorways, the rustle of spring flora and the odd disconcerted pheasant as you disturb them in the bordering hedgerows.
In typical Jersey style, (they really do think of everything for all needs) if you get thirsty on the way down from St John’s, you can always
Some of the beautiful scenery as the cliff tops meet the sky.
nip into La Mare wine estate for a tipple. Alternatively, if you prefer to stare out of a bus window, the 27 bus drops you outside the inn Devil’s Hole. We stopped to refresh at The Priory Inn, a really friendly and well-priced pub: perfect for starting the hike across the cliffs. The inn was so inviting that for a fleeting moment I considered using my energy to prop the bar up for the rest of the day and sniff appreciatively the delicious food aromas that wafted past. It claims to have the best Sunday roasts on the island and I’ve endeavoured to find out if this is the case. If not, this Yorkshire gal will be in the kitchen demonstrating how to make a reet proper Yorkshire pud!
Devil’s Hole and Greve De Lecq
The lure of the sunny outside was too much and soon we were back outside heading towards Devil’s Hole. Just a short walk from the inn, this sea-carved crater has inspired many a story and legend. It stretches 100ft across and plummets dramatically 200ft. With the right swell, it creates an eerie roar as air and water is expelled through the
Prince of Wales
Relax on the terrace at the Prince of Wales pub.
blow hole. This is one possibility for its name.
In 1851, a French boat was shipwrecked when’s its figurehead was thrust into the hole. I like to think the name originated from what later transpired to its sailors: a night of sheer terror as one by one they were picked off by some frightening phenomenon. It must have been the alcohol because we were soon making eerie death noises and attracting strange looks. I suspect even the fulmars were a little perturbed as they wheeled about the crater, flying away from our echoes.
Listening to my itchy feet, we left our noises fading into the crater and continued like more civil hikers up to the cliff path.
Take the steps to the left of the Devil’s Hole sign and you are soon rewarded with the vivid landscape. The gorse and sea view provides a stunning gold and azure backdrop throughout your walk with many picnic perfect spots as you play the A-Z of cities, football players and food. I just drank in the views and marvelled at the beauty up there, wanting the serenity to be never ending. The pathway twists and turns to reveal coves and outcrops as you follow the cliffs west. The final section of the walk does take you past Crabbe rifle range but red flags will guide you if there is firing activity.
Along this fairly easy walk, we met a lovely retired couple walking to Greve De Lecq who informed us of the best eateries on arrival. After introductions were made, selfies were taken and anecdotes of Jersey life were shared, we continued on. For a small beach, Greve De Lecq has plenty of choice but some places stop serving lunch by three.
However, the beachside café there sells an array of snacks and light bites to be enjoyed all afternoon and the souvenir shop is worth a visit for their distressed wood-effect knick-knacks especially if, like me, you need to calm down after watching a disrespectful child chucking a plastic bottle across the beach.
Left of the beach, the Prince of Wales pub has a gorgeous little terrace for enjoying drinks, overlooking the beach of Greve De Lecq and more azure sea views. Well, it would be rude not have at least one cold lager as the afternoon sun smiles down on you. Considering our 10,000 steps per day had been well and truly smashed, it would probably be dangerous not to have at least one drink on the terrace.
Due to time, our walk ended there but you can continue onto a rather steep section that rewards you with magnificent views over the west and the other Channel Islands of Sark, Herm and Guernsey. Personally, I can’t recommend a northern coast hike in Jersey enough and have now set myself the task of walking the whole coast from East to West, just not all at once – this is something to be enjoyed slowly, like that first sip of Crystal champagne.
For more information about walks around Jersey, visit: https://www.jersey
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