St Aubin to L'Etacq
Walk Route Description
This linear, fairly easy walk follows well-defined paths, with no steep uphill sections, and provides a gentle introduction the south-west and west coasts of Jersey. The start is at St Aubin (grid ref 606488). This picturesque port is reached by bus route 15 from St Helier and it is a good idea to allow some time here before starting the walk as there are some fine old merchants' houses on the quayside.
The first section of route follows the old track bed of the Jersey Railway as it heads west out of St Aubin to La Corbière. This wind-swept point has seen many tragedies through the centuries. The word Corbière is said to come from corbeau, a crow, rook or raven - birds of ill omen. Certainly Corbière has proved a death trap to many a ship foundering on its rocks, resulting in the building of a lighthouse in 1873.
Another object of interest on this wind-swept point is the Table des Marthes, on which children played marthes, i.e. knucklebones. This great block of red granite is the capstone of a prehistoric tomb and it is said that as late as a hundred years ago contracts signed on this stone were more binding than those taken out legally. A more recent addition is the sculpture which commemorates the rescue of people travelling on a ferry, the St Malo, in 1996.
From La Corbière you can shorten the walk and take bus Route 12 back to St Helier although the best option is to continue along the coastal path north to L'Etacq along the untamed St Ouen's Bay. Famous for surfing you also pass Jersey's mini 'national park', Les Mielles de Morville. Reaching L'Etacq bus route 12a takes you back to St Helier.