Walk Distance: 15.43km
Walk Gain (ups and downs): 162.1m
Recommend Start/Finish Point: Longbeach car park
Jewel in the Crown: La Rocque Harbour.
Other Places of Interest: Queen's Valley, Croix de La Bataille, La Rue de Moulin a Vent, Royal Jersey Golf Club
Part One: Beach to Valley.
Longbeach > Gorey Village > Queens Valley > Le Boulivot> Rue du Tapon > Rue a Don
You begin your Grouville adventure in the Longbeach car park opposite Gorey village. Your first challenge here is resist the temptation of ice cream and the smell of bacon from the nearby cafe. Leave the car park at the far end closest to the public toilets and join main road leading towards Mont Orgueil Castle. Cross over when you can and keep a look out for a left turn just after Dunells Wines. The road named simply as New Road heads into the heart of Gorey Village and meets main route through the area opposite the chip shop. Turn right here and take the left fork up La Chèvre Rue which snakes it way around some houses and after a short while it will begin to steepen as you leave the village behind. The slight slope almost becomes mountainous as you bear right and push up the hill. Thankfully the going gets a bit easier as you reach the top of the hill and are joined by Les Monts from the left. The road you are looking for is the narrow trackway Le Passage de L’Hopital that ends at a rather weather beaten granite building. After a short hop right you will see the main road and the entranceway to the car park and the Queens Valley Reservoir.
Head on through the gate on the left and begin walking around the reservoir. First timers on this walk may be caught out by the steep hill but it is only a short push and down the other side you cross over the mid reservoir dam. Hang a left* , around the bend and head on through a wooden fence and gate on the right hand side. Another pull here as the steep hill runs upwards around a tight right hand bend and you will join La Rue de La Sente at the top. Go along here then turn left into La Rue du Carrefour au Clercq. When you see Le Catillon on your right, head along it passing the small row of cottages, round the bend and walk towards the large house on the distance. Turn left down La Hougue , an interesting trek past an avenue of humongous Poplar trees, and head across the crossroads into La Petite Rue du Nord. This narrow concrete road meets La Rue de La Parade; continue down here and you will arrive at a collection of farmhouses collectively known as Le Boulivot. Eventually you will reach a T-Junction with the side of Boulivot Farm, turn right into Boulivot de Haut. When you can, head into Vieille Rue and finally another right turn will lead into Le Boulivot de Bas. Next, join La Rue de Tapon and with a left turn you will begin walking towards the south coast.
You may notice an increase in the traffic as vehicles use this a short cut between the trading estate in the valley and Five Oaks. Further along this road you will see a large house on the left and the way will drop sharply down to a cross roads. Head up the other side past an orchard then a riding stables on the right. You will now be presented with the first panorama of the day with views across the St Clement lowlands and town to the west. You will be able to take in this view whilst you head down the hill and join Longueville Road.
*Please abide by temporary guidelines concerning the direction of walking around the reservoir. You may have to walk down to the main dam and around to reach the required waypoint.
As a reminder that you are on the right track, a glance left will reveal a Grouville Parish sign. Whilst taking care on the busy road, head towards the fore mentioned sign post and press on up the hill of La Rue à Don. Look for a old water fountain on the right and the lane of Les Huriaux. This very pretty leafy route winds up the hill and levels out as you go past the entrance to large hill top mansion. Now hang a right onto Rue au Blancq and you continue your journey up hill until the estate of Clos de Roncier appears on your right. Stroll on past the estate and a large field; you will see a clump of trees on the right known as Le Croix de la Bataille. The route takes you down La Rue du Moulin a Vent and as the name suggests there is a converted windmill on your left. You now have a choice as both routes in front of you end up at the same place, I chose the right fork ( Ruelle des Tours) and this is a steep, picturesque descent round a series of bends that leads to La Grande Route de Saint-Clément next to Homefields farm shop. Take the next turn right onto Rue de Nouettes and follow the road round past a rather interesting building on the corner and when you can veer left onto Rue de la Lourderie. This is a rather pleasant but short stroll down a tree lined road with views over the fields. An additional spot of interest is the birthplace of William Bruce, a First World War lieutenant who was awarded a Victoria Cross for his gallantry. Ok history lesson over, after a brief time you will reach the main coastal road and another Grouville signpost. La Rocque harbour now stretches out in front of you and is another beauty spot on this walk. If you have time, feel free to take in the sights around the small harbour and there is a small cafe too.
Curiosity satisfied, continue along the car park and you have another choice to make. If the tide is low enough you can head down to the beach and trudge along the shingle and sand of the Royal Bay of Grouville. If you can’t, head along La Grande Route des Sablons, going by La Rocque Martello tower (Grouville Tower Number 1) and past the Seymour pub.
Press on, going by an old Methodist church on the left and you will arrive at La Hurel slipway. Keep heading along the road for a further 20 metres and there will be a gap in the sea wall. Step down the narrow route and go along the next short stretch which will require care as it does slope towards the sea, mercifully it is quite wide so it will make the going a bit easier. You will then be presented with a stairway in front of Fauvic Tower (Grouville Tower Number 4). Haul yourself up here and there is a wide promenade of about 750 metres leading to the Royal Jersey Golf Club . Upon reaching the end of the prom you will see the large fortification of Fort Henry in front of you. Head towards the fore-mentioned structure, and keep faith that you wont reach a dead end as a narrow path appears between a green banister and the bunker.
The last part of the walk hugs the edge of the golf course so please take care when heading along here as you are often in range of golfers teeing off. Its always a good idea to occasionally take a quick glance over your shoulder and behind you to make sure you aren't putting yourself in danger. Im not a golfer myself but there are a couple of things to remember. If you hear someone shouting Fore!!! turn towards the sound (often the tee) and cover your head. Secondly there are times where it is courteous to pause and keep noise to a minimum whilst people are playing their shots.
Leaving the golf course behind, keep to the narrow path passing through the thickets of gorse bushes and you will eventually meet a wide sandy walkway, head left here and into the car park.