Explore Jersey

Jersey is an Island of amazing diversity. The Island is divided into twelve parishes, all different, and all with a piece of coastline. Find out about the different parts of the Island here.

Jersey is about 9 miles from west to east and 5 from north to south. The north coast has rugged cliffs, fishing ports and small beaches. The west coast has the long sweep of St Ouen's Bay in the middle, with rocky headlands and heathlands at either end. Much of the west coast is nature reserve. The south coast of Jersey has the busy seaside resorts of St Brelade and Havre des Pas, the long curve of St Aubin's Bay and the busy town of St Helier. Midway along the east coast is Mont Orgueil Castle overlooking Gorey Harbour and the Royal Bay of Grouville.

Inland, there are urban areas, villages and farmland. Several valleys run from the north of the Island towards the south, with woodland paths and secluded Green Lanes for walking and cycling.

St Helier

The main town in Jersey, St Helier is a vibrant center for shopping, eating, nightlife and entertainment - the cinemas, theatres and most of the nightclubs are based here. It also has some beautiful parks and gardens - Howard Davis park is particularly worth a visit. The town is overlooked by Fort Regent Leisure Center on the hill to the south-east, and the harbour approaches guarded by the C16 Elizabeth Castle.

Fort Regent is mainly a sports centre, with a gym and program of classes, but the Gloucester Hall can be transformed into a 2000 seat auditorium for large events. The nearby Rotunda is used for exhibitions. There is a large supervised children's indoor play area. There is another sports centre and football stadium at Springfield in the North of St Helier.

In the centre of the town is the historic Royal Square, with its 'al fresco' eating places. The historic building forming one side of the square is home to both the Royal Court and the States Chamber - seat of the Island's government. The square was the scene of the Battle of Jersey in 1781 - shot marks from the battle can still be seen on the walls of the Pierson Pub.

Open-air art exhibitions are held several times a year in the Square, as are various markets and street theate performances.

At the Vier Marchi during Battle of Britain week in September, you can see stall holders in the traditional Jersey bonnets. The square was the Island's original market place.

Most of the shopping is found in King St and Queen St and the roads leading off these. The Central Market is in Halkett Place, and the Beresford Market in Beresford St. Further down Halkett Place is the Central Library, where visitors can borrow books. During the summer there is a programme of international street theatre and musicians, as well as local buskers who liven up the town.

To the west of St Helier is the broad sweep of St Aubin's Bay, and to the east, the seaside resort of Havre des Pas.

The Jersey Tourism Visitor Centre is at Liberation Square near the bus station. There is a large statue in front, commemorating the Liberation of the Island from German occupation in 1945. Various other statues and sculptures are found around the town. The nearby Island Fortress Occupation Museum explains the occupation of the Island during World War II.

At the Weighbridge opposite, is the Jersey Museum - a modern interactive museum much of which is devoted to the history of the Island.

Across the road from Liberation Square is one of the main marinas, and on the front there can be found the award-winning Maritime and the occupation Tapestry Gallery.

The new Waterfront area is still being developed, but already has a cinema, swimming pool with flumes, fitness center, bars, restaurants and nightclubs. At the West of this area there is a skate park, trampolines, sand-sculptures and water-maze.

Many events take place on the Waterfront, including the Christmas 'Fete dé Noué' Fairground and ice-skating rink.

St Clement

Going east from St Helier is St Clement. The smallest in size, but with nearly a tenth of the Jersey's population, St Clement is a mixture of urban and rural. The tide goes out a long distance on the flat beaches here, leaving the vast expanse of rocky landscape sometimes known as Moon Beach - part of the internationally recognised 'Ramsar' wetland site that covers much of the south-east coast of the Island.

The small grassy islet of Green Island is an important historic site, with early bronze age burial chambers and even earlier remains being found there.

The nearby Green Island Beach is a popular beach with local people.

Samarès Manor Gardens are open to the public, and there are guided tours of the manor house itself. The grounds are the venue for several fetes and events, and during the summer outdoor performances of Shakespeare plays take place.

Just east of the manor is another dolman at Mont Ubé, around 2,800 year old.

The Recreation Grounds on Plat Douet Rd has a nine-hole golf course, tennis courts, mini golf, squash and bowls.

Grouville

Also in the south-east of Jersey, the Parish of Grouville is largely rural, and becomes the largest parish at low tide as it includes the offshore reef called the Minquiers. A series of round towers protect the coastline here - some of them now form part of private houses. The Royal Bay of Grouville has several miles of sandy beach, never crowded, and behind the bay is Grouville Common and the Royal Jersey Golf Club. Watersports activities are available on part of the beach.

The ancient passage grave of La Hougue Bie with its distinctive mound and chapels has an archaeology and geology museum.

Jersey Pottery visitor centre is in the nearby Gorey Village. You can watch the pottery being made and decorated - and buy the results in the shop. Or if you prefer, try decorating your own in the Glaze Craze area.

As well as on the common, there is a pleasant walk aroung the Queen's Valley Reservoir.

St Martin

Half-way up the east coast of Jersey you enter the Parish of St Martin. The huge medieval castle overlooking Gorey Harbour and Pier is called Mont Orgueil Castle. Further north is St Catherine's bay, with the long breakwater popular for fishing, cafe, and turbot farm, and behind that, if you know where to go, are St Catherine's Woods, with its paths along the reservoir and stream, stepping stones and rope swing. It's one of my favourite places.

There are two ancient passage graves, or dolmans in St Martin - Faldouet Dolman (La Pouquelaye de Faldouet) and Le Couperon.

Some of the smaller beaches in St Martin are worth seeking out if you want to get away from the crowds. Archirondel, Fliquet and the tiny Le Petit Portelet behind the castle are my favourites. I've often seen Wall Lizards around Le Petit Port - the castle is home to lots of them.

The fishing harbour and beach at Rozel is a favourite with many locals. Parking is limited, but people go there year round, not only for the small sandy beach with its flock of ducks and geese, but also to eat at the Hungry Man kiosk!

On the hill overlooking the castle there is a round tower called Victoria Tower. You can hire it for the day!

The offshore reef called The Ecréhous falls within the parish boundaries. Take a boat trip here for a very special day out.

St Saviour

Bordering onto St Helier, much of the south of St Saviour is urban, but the north of the parish is rural. The twelfth century parish church on St Saviour's Hill is the burial place of Lillie Langtry, who was born in the rectory.

St Saviour is the parish with the shortest piece of coastline in Jersey. It is half the width of the slipway at Le Dicq, but was famous for the rock called the Rocher des Proscrits, where political refugees once met to debate world affairs.

The formal gardens of Howard Davis Park are full on summer afternoons with people sunbathing. Flower shows, the Jazz in the Park and Rock in the Park Festivals and the Jersey Film Festival are held there, as well as regular musical performances throughout the summer on the covered stage. There is a War Cemetary at one end of the park.

The Jersey Photographic Museum is based in the Hotel de France on St Saviour's Rd.

Trinity

The Parish of Trinity is in the north of the Island. Its rocky coastline is unspoiled, with cliff top paths along the length of the parish. The small beach and habour at Bouley Bay is popular for scuba diving, fishing and its steep pebbly beach with safe swimming for competant swimmers.

The steep winding road down to the bay is the venue for hill climbs organised by the Jersey Motor Cycle and Light Car Club.

The world famous Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust has its home in Trinity (they don't like being called a zoo anymore), as does the Eric Young Orchid Foundation and the Pallot Steam Museum.

There is a prehistoric burial ground at La Hougue des Platons.

The Royal Jersey Agricultural and Horticultural Society (RJA&HS) have a show ground near Trinity church. Events are held here, including country fairs (Foire de Jersey), art and craft exhibitions, flower and cattle shows and fetes.

St John

Like Trinity, St John is a mainly rural parish with a rugged coastline. The North Coast Cliff Path continues through St John.

Bonne Nuit Harbour is another popular fishing spot. In the center of the Bay is the rock called Cheval Roc. It used to be thought good luck to row around the rock on Midsummer's Day! The Sark to Jersey rowing race held each year finishes here in Bonne Nuit Harbour.

There is a cafe in the bay, along with toilets, including disabled toilets, and a phone box.

A little further to the west is the steep path down to Wolf's Caves. The caves were used in the past by smugglers, to store their goods. The walk back up is hard work!

The center point of Jersey falls in the parish of St John, and is marked by a stone in Rue des Servais.

St Mary

St Mary, in the north-west of the Island, is one of the smallest parishes. Its dramatic rocky coastline has caves and cliff paths. The beach at Greve de Lecq is partly in St Mary and partly in St Ouen.

The Devil's Hole is a deep funnel in the rock about 30m across and over 60m deep, caused by a cave roof collapse. The path down to Devil's Hole passes the 'Devil', a metal sculpture, standing in a pool. The path down is steep in places, but there are two safe viewing points for the Devil's Hole itself.

At Greve de Lecq Barracks there is an interpretation centre for the area, as well as self-catering holiday accomodation. The ancient watermill at Greve de lecq is now a pub, and is just across the border in St Ouen!

Between Devil's Hole and Greve de Lecq, visible from the cliff path, is an island called Ile Agois. A deep gorge separates it from the north coast, and remains of ancient settlements have been found here.

On the headland above Greve de Lecq are several rifle ranges, shooting being Jersey's 'national sport'.

La Mare Vineyard, with its visitor centre is also in St Mary.

St Ouen

The largest parish in Jersey, St Ouen has several areas of nature reserve, special for birdwatching and the hundreds of varieties of wild flowers. If you love the outdoors, you could spend a whole holiday in St Ouen without running out of things to do!

The beach of St Ouen's Bay stretches for about five miles. Swimming is dangerous except for in the marked zone at Le Braye. the surf here makes it the Island's favourite surfing spot, and blo-carting, kite-surfing, and windsurfing and sometimes sand racing take place here too. The Wet and Wild Festival is based in St Ouen's Bay.

At the north end of the bay lies the cliff-top heathland of Les Landes and the fourtheenth-century ruins of Grosnez castle. Also at Les Landes is the racecourse. Kempt Tower is the place to visit for information about the flora and fauna of this area.

The smaller beach at Plemont can only be reached at mid to low tide. There's a bit of a walk down from the car park to the cafe which stands at the top of the steps to the beach. Once you get down to the beach you'll see why so many Jersey people say it's their favourite.

Treasures of the Earth has a great display of fossils, minerals and huge crystals including the largest amethyst in the world.

At L'Etacq you can buy fresh fish and seafood from the fishmongers here.

The Bouchet Pottery behind St Ouen's Parish hall is famous for the unique agateware pottery made there.

Les Monts Grantez dolmen is on Le Chemin des Monts, and a little north of Kempt Tower you'll find the Channel Islands Military Museum.

St Ouen is the parish where you are most likely to here the original Jersey language, Jerriais, or 'Jersey French' being spoken.

St Peter

The central part of St Ouen's Bay lies in the parish of St Peter. Half of St Ouen's pond, and the dunes of Les Mielles are in the parish too. The orchid fields here are open when the flowers bloom in May.

Les Mielles Golf and Country Club has an 18 hole course. Further inland, in the village of St Peter, is the Jersey Motor Museum.

On the road between St Peter's Village and the Airport, is Jersey's only ten-pin bowling centre.

The Living Legend is a visitor centre with a audio-visual show re-creating some of the Island's history.

There are woodland walks through St Peter's Valley, leading to the restored watermill, Moulin de Quétivel. The nineteenth-century windmill off Les Chenolles (B53) is now a pub. Val de la Mare Reservoir has a footpath around it and is a popular place for a Sunday afternoon walk.

One of the most popular visitor attractions in Jersey is the Amaizin Maze at La Hougue Farm, near Val de la Mare. Apart from the six-acre maze, there are enough activities here for children to occupy a full day.

St Brelade

If you are arriving by sea, one of the first things you might notice is the lighthouse at Corbiere - the south-west tip of the Island. The path to the lighthouse is at the end of the Railway Walk - a wide path starting at St Aubin and following the tracks of the old railway line for the 6.5km (4m) to Corbiere. You might see me running here occasionally - I like it because there are no steep hills!

Pont Marquet Country Park is one of the best places to see Red Squirrels, and the nearby Lavender Farm distils and bottles its own perfume.

St Brelade has some of the best beaches in Jersey. St Brelade's Bay is the island's most popular resort beach with watersports, trampolines and safe swimming. Ouaisne, at its eastern end, is much less crowded. Both Portelet Bay and Beauport Bay have steep paths down to the beach, but are well worth the effort.

Les Quennevais Sports Centre has a public swimming pool, gym, and facilities for indoor and outdoor sports. Also at Les Quennevais is the Island's second largest shopping centre, and behind that a children's playground known as the Elephant Park.

The conservation area of Les Blanches Banques sand dunes have standing stones known as Menhirs.

At the Western end of St Brelades Bay the twelfth-century Fisherman's Chapel has medieval wall paintings of biblical scenes.

La Cotte Point is the most important prehistoric site in Jersey. It isn't open to the public, but items found in the cave here are displayed in the Jersey Museum.

The Village of St Aubin is Jersey's original 'capital'. The harbour here is picturesque, and the village has many pubs and restaurants. The area in front of the Parish hall is used for markets selling local produce. If you're visiting St Aubin, don't miss the Harbour Gallery, tucked away part-way along the Bulwarks. The gallery here shows work by local contemporary artists, and the shop sells local art and craft, as well as some craft materials.

Just along the beach at La Haule, is a watersport centre. Swimming in St Aubin's Bay is safe, although swimmers should avoid the area near La Haule which is reserved for water-skiers. Jet-skis and wakeboarding are also available here.

There are remains of several prehistoric tombs in the parish.

The Shell Garden can be seen part way up the hill from St Aubin to St Brelade and Quennevais.

St Lawrence

St Lawrence is largely a country parish, with three of the Islands main visitor attractions - the Hamptonne Country Life Museum, the Jersey War Tunnels, and Jersey Gold.

You can walk to Hamptonne from Millbrook on the south coast, through the beautiful and peaceful Waterworks Valley.

Also at Millbrook is Coronation Park - with its lawns, gardens and two large children's playgrounds. The paddling pool here is packed on hot summer days. Next to the park is St Matthew's Church, often called the Glass Church becuase of the Lalique glass that decorates it. Don't expect colourful stained glass, but if Lalique is your thing it's not to be missed.

If you enjoy walking, a fun way to discover the Island is to play the GPS game called

Geocaching.

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