Best of both worlds - Sea and Countryside
06.04.2014 - 06.04.2014 13 °C
If you are looking to have a bit of everything Jersey has to offer, this walk is the perfect one for you. There is sea, history, sports, wildlife, and countryside so you will get really spoiled in less than 2 hrs.
Our starting point was the Kemp Tower. A Jersey granite tower built in 1834 to protect the island from French invasion. This is one of the many towers that have been built in Jersey. It is a great architectural piece from Napoleonic times which has survived through time so it is worth to have a look.
Not far from the Kemp Tower, you find another fortification called La Tour Cârrée. A fortified guardhouse and magazine which may have been erected around 1778 for the same intentions as the Kemp tower. It supported a battery of three 24-pounder cannons that stood on a paved surface in front of it. Shingle now covers this surface. The tower is currently painted black and white on the seaward side to serve as a day mark for sailors. However, if you are looking for an adventure holiday, you can let it as a self-catering accommodation through the Jersey Heritage Trust. Accommodation is extremely basic so don’t expect to find 3* luxuries.
Another guard house is “The White Cottage” also known as “La Caumine à Marie Best”. Built in 1765 and now owned by the National Trust for Jersey, is one very remarkable site. His whitewashed walls serve as a landmark for sailors and this like many other historical properties on the island can be let for short periods of time.
Once you have your little bit of history, you don’t have to go far to experience beauty. St Ouen’s Bay is one of the favourite ones for all sorts of sports. As it is exposed to the Atlantic along its entire length, surfing is the most popular activity. However, don’t be fooled by it. You can also enjoy windsurfing, sand yachting and kite flying. If you are like me who wants to avoid crowded beaches, this is the one to come. The extensive 5 miles gives you plenty of space to install your kitchen sink and all the paraphernalia for a family or friends picnic.
The scenery changes when you cross the main road. The strong wind disappears and you are suddenly in another part of Jersey. The contrast between the countryside and the beach is so apparent that you think you have just left to another country. This is why I like Jersey, one minute you are being blown away by the strong winds, the next you are just walking by the country side protected of all elements.
As you walk along the tiny roads, you find Les Mielles Golf Course. For an island of only 75 sq miles, 7 Golf Course Clubs seem a lot but they have cleverly managed to incorporate wildlife with sport and pleasure. Les Mielles is also a Nature Reserve which contains an incredible mosaic of wetland habitats and the largest area of natural open water in Jersey. While walking along you might find a lovely couple of Black Swans and their cygnets waddling along the golf course.
When you thought the fun finished, you are surprised with another astounding site, Val de la Mare Reservoir. Constructed in 1962, it is the second largest in the island. The reservoir also has an arboretum which has around 300 different specimens including the Giant Redwood. The reservoir is open to the public and you can visit the “Forgotten Forest” at no cost.
Despite my best intentions to follow the map, my companions wanted a more unstructured walk. Felt with courage, we followed our noses to see how we could return back to our starting point. The new route took us to a farm with some newly dug up Jersey potatoes. They ended up in our beautiful Sunday lunch at Jules. A great experience!