Walk Distance: 19.96km
Walk Gain (ups and downs): 340m
Recommend Start/Finish Point: Les Platons car park.
Jewel in the Crown: The Coastlines of Les Ruaux and La Tête des Hougues
Other Places of Interest: Wolf's Lair, Bouley Bay, Jersey Zoo, Victoria Village.
Part One: Coastal Cliffhanger.
Giffard Bay > Les Ruaux > Wolf's Lair > Bouley Bay > La Tête des Hougues > White Rock
The beginning of this walk gives you an instant reward of views across the spectacular cliffs of Giffard Bay. As you gaze down into the bay the first part of the walk is revealed by taking the steps down towards La Crête Fort. Descend the many steps, taking heart that you don’t have to climb them. As you pass a line of trees on your right you will need to take the path through heading into the rather ominous looking Giffard Bay. The track is quite challenging with steep inclines, mountainous staircases and narrow uneven pathways. During this walk I nicknamed the area “The Bay of Brutality” as it is quite tough but it’s still a throughly enjoyable experience. The path climbs steadily upwards out of the bay and is eventually met by the upper footpath coming from the starting car park. Keep pressing on up more stairs and eventually the route will mercifully level out on to the prominent La Belle Hougue and you will be presented with the stunning vista of the Egyptian headland and the pathway leading off around the hillside. Take the steep path downwards and admire the scenery, notice how close the pathway is to the sea and I hope you agree this coastline, known as Les Ruaux, is quite a special place.
Continue along the path and the terrain will become increasingly more covered as you approach the wooded area near the cottage known as Wolf’s Lair, which is currently owned by the Jersey Canoe Club. The path widens here for a short while as you head up the valley, you will need to veer off to the left next to the footpath sign and head up the steep bank and when you can, follow the path round again to the left. Keep going along this path passing by La Pierre de Fêtelle field and there will be a few ups and downs which will ultimately lead you to the top of Bouley Bay. Head down the series of meandering stairs and you will end up on the steep road leading down towards the beach (Les Charrières du Boulay). You will see where to go next as the path is marked in front of you, feel free to be tempted by a visit to the rather amusingly named Mad Mary’s cafe on the seafront. The route then heads through some woods and back out onto the cliff path. Keep following the twisty and turning route for about 2 ½ km passing by an old guardhouse and L’Etacquerel Fort. Depending on the time of year part of the hillside will be a deep purple as it is covered with a blanket of heather, a truly remarkable sight. Eventually you will see the nautical landmark of White Rock in the distance and you will head towards it for a short while but then peel off into the small car park .
Leave the car park on the gravel track which after a few bends meets the tarmac road, La Rue du Câtel. head right here for a short while and the road drops down to the larger La Route du Cotes du Nord coming up from Rozel. You will travel along this road, past the former La Tourelle Hotel for about 1 ½ km after a while it will become La Rue du Pot du Rocher and then you will arrive at the busy road of La Profonde Rue. Cross over onto La Rue de La Piece Mauger which the skirts the world famous headquarters of Durrell Wildlife Preservation Trust at Jersey Zoo, a great day out in it's own right. Keep walking past the big blue charity shop building and a series of houses.
Your walk will then take you right, going by the entrance to a riding stables onto Rue de Dielament and eventually the this road will end in front of a large granite farmhouse which often has an honesty box filled with Jersey Royal Potatoes. You need to go right here along La Rue de La Guilleaumarie which transports you into Victoria Village. Stroll on; going by the shops and houses on your right, looking for a road called La Commune. This steep decent into the valley is a lovely little route with large trees on either side and depending on the time of year you may be treated to an array of flowers from the surrounding gardens. When you reach the valley floor head left and immediately start climbing up the hill (Rue au Bailli) taking care of cars coming in both directions on the narrow stretch. Follow the road past the farmhouses on the right onto Rue de La Roulerie and past the driveway entrance gates of a large manor house . Keep a look out for Talavera Lane (small unmarked road) on the right as you will be heading down here to reach Beechfield Lane. Head right again and this leads around the back of Oakland’s House and onto the main Trinity road (La Route de La Trinite).
Cross the main road opposite the Francis Cook Gallery and head right up here until you see three granite houses coming out from the left along Rue de La Garenne. This route bends round to the right around some fields and you will need to take the next left here firstly onto Rue de la Hauteur then right in front of the gated house down Rue du Vieux Moulin. This is another lovely valley which has a beautiful Swiss looking house halfway down and some magnificent trees on the left. As you reach the bottom you need to brace yourself for the final pull of the day up the steep incline of Le Mont de La Fredee. Mercifully you only need a short burst of power before you reach the top and turn left along Rue des Abres. This eventually meets La Grande Route de Saint-Jean just south of the Union Inn. Head up this road and you will arrive at the village of Sion. Keep pressing on past the coop, interestingly just off this route is a marker boldly claiming it’s right in the middle of the island.... Nice try but no cigar I’m afraid that prize goes to a stone in the middle of St Lawrence I believe .
Anyway you need to keep going up the main road past The United Reformed Church and leave the village behind. You now face a 2km walk along the road, don’t forget to keep looking around taking in the many traditional farmhouses and things you just don’t notice as you usually bomb up the road in a car (legally of course). As this road comes to an end you will see a cross roads (Les Hautes Croix) and a small supermarket on the left. Put your life in your own hands as you head for the road opposite (La Rue du Bechet es Chats) as the pavement disappears but the volume of traffic often remains high. After a final stroll down La Rue du Bechet des Chats, reach the t-junction and with just a quick hop across the road to the right you should be back where you started in the Les Platons car park.