ST MARY MARCH
GRÈVE DE LECQ - ST PETER'S VALLEY - SIX RUES - MOURIER VALLEY
Walk Distance: 16.74km
Walk Gain (ups and downs): 185.3m
Recommend Start/Finish Point: Upper Grève de Lecq car park
Jewel in the Crown: The Mourier Valley and reservoir.
Other Places of Interest: Grève de Lecq woods, Catherine Best, La Dimerie, St Matthieu RC Church, La Rue du Douet, Devil's Hole, Isle Agois, Câtel Fort, Grève de Lecq Barracks.
Part One: Treeside Trail.
Greve de Lecq Woods > Rue de La Ville au Neveu > Catherine Best > St Mary's Village
This walk starts by leaving the Greve de Lecq southern car park and turning left up the hill (Mont de La Greve de Lecq). You only need to head up the road for about 300 metres then turn left into a gap between the houses and the hillside. You then need to follow the woodland walk past the campfire circle behind the Moulin de Lecq and the small pond in the beautiful water meadows. Eventually the trail becomes more challenging as you need to gain height to reach the fields on the skyline. I must admit it took several attempts to free myself from the numerous paths and speeding cyclists within the woods. A notable way point along the way includes a large tree covered clearing with a small stream running through it. When you cross the stream veer to the right and continue to struggle up the path which gets really steep for a bit. Upon reaching the top of the hill you will see a greenway leading to an unmarked track, now head left around the fields and the line of trees. The path will eventually plunge back into the woods and after a short descent, your route will head up again, edging around a rather pleasent meadow and through another narrow stretch of somewhat overgrown woodland. The landscape will then open out in front of you. Head towards the houses on the skyline, over the concrete driveway and left onto Rue de La Ville au Neveu.
You only need to walk on this road for a short while and then you take the track on your right. The track will meet the busy main road in coming in from St Ouen’s Village. Run the gauntlet for a few meters and head left into Rue du Pont. This road goes behind the windmill and you need to keep going for about ½ a kilometer and you will then turn right onto La Rue Mahier. The route runs around a large field and then joins the main road coming up from Grève de Lecq (Rue du Rondin). Keep walking down the road and you will see St Mary’s School on your left. Continue for a short while then bear right into the public car park and head towards the parish church.
Cross over the main road towards Rue de La Vallée and head down towards the large farm house on the right. This marks the start of a very eye-catching passage of the walk called La Dimerie. This route heads downhill and the tree covered valley sides close up around you. Near the bottom there are a series of rewarding views across a pond and a stream. Now for a bit of nostalgia, the walk now reaches the site of the former Fantastic Tropical Gardens, now replaced with housing. Head left here, across the main St Peter’s Valley road and press on up Mont Remon.
This surprisingly steep climb past the quarry mercifully flattens out onto the La Rue Bechervaise and you will see the church of St Matthieu in the distance, this is your next goal. Keep going until you reach a T-Junction, head right here onto La Rue des Aix and then left onto the road heading towards the collection of buildings surrounding the church. Continue through the area onto La Longue Rue, which reaches a convergence of roads known as Six Rues. Here you are looking to go along the busy road of Les Chanolles des Six Rues and after a series of bends you will reach the site of the former Tamba Park. Turn right here along La Rue des Varvots and past a complex of greenhouses. Eventually you will turn left onto the picturesque Rue du Douet de Rue. On you way up this road you will be treated to views of several traditional farmhouses surrounded by flower-filled gardens. At the crossroads hang a right along Rue de Bel Air, passing a rather grand house on the right. There will soon be a road going left in front of a house called Le Mottee take this and you will reach La Route de St Jean. Look slightly to the left and you will see Rue d’Enfer which begins the route into the Mourier valley.
Stroll down Rue d’Enfer, passing the woodland on the right and eventually you will see a small group of well-tended houses appear and the road bends round to the left. The route is joined by a small brook that follows the road down to the beginning of the Mourier Valley. It easy to forget you are in Jersey here as the charming landscape is totally unique and in my opinion one of the most beautiful spots in the island. At the crossroads head along Chemin des Hougues and past several secluded houses. Eventually you will see a Narnia-Esque lamp and this marks the entrance to the reservoir walk. Wonder through the woods and the reservoir with the v-shaped valley mouth will appear in front you. The view from here is quite stunning across the sea towards the headland of Les Landes de L'Est in the distance. Now steel yourself for the steep climb out of the valley as you head left up and over the skyline.
Continue your journey along the headland walk and you will pass through the kissing gate, back onto the tarmac road. The Priory pub is now visible so head towards this, cut right behind the buildings, across the car park, past the Devil-less Devil’s Hole entrance and the footpath to Crabbé / Greve de Lecq is marked. The next phase of the walk is along the north coast footpath so expect a series of twists and turns with some fantastic vistas over the sea and islands beyond. One highlight, Ile Agois, is Jersey’s smallest offshore islet and archeological excavations have uncovered evidence numerous Neolithic dwellings as the area was previously accessible by land. After about another kilometre the route leaves the cliffs and turns into a gravel trackway, forming the eastern perimeter of the rifle range. The path eventually becomes La Rue de Crabbé and as you pass to the right of the activity centre entrance you will see the wooden clubhouse of the rifle club in front of you. Continue along this route as it becomes the ridge of the Grève de Lecq Valley.
The Iron Age hill fort now looms up front of you and the knee killer of a road now drops very steeply down into the bay. Be wary of cars as they appear from nowhere and there isn’t much space to escape. During the path down you will see Le Câtel Fort on the right, worth a visit when it isn’t occupied for events. The slope thankfully lessens as the Greve de Lecq Barracks appear on the left. You can then take a quick short cut into the large car park and either head to the finish at the Martello tower or pop down to the sea wall and café.