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Walk 5008 - printer friendly version

Jerbourg Headland Walk

Author - Tim Maclure

Length - 4.0 miles / 6.5 km

Ascent - 825 feet / 250 metres

Grade - easy/mod

There are approximately twenty miles of footpaths traversing the sea cliffs in the south of Guernsey. This walk takes a circular route round the Jerbourg headland in the south east corner of the Island and arguably takes in some of the best cliff top scenery on offer. It is a walk full of interest and it is recommended that extra time is allowed to enjoy it to the full.

Suitable footwear should be worn as some parts of the path are uneven and stony.

Start at the end of Jerbourg Road (La Route de Jerbourg) above St Martin's Point where there is a large car parking area (Perry's Guide 31H4).

Before beginning the walk it is worthwhile spending a little time at the Jerbourg View Point at the eastern side of the car park from where on a clear day the islands of Alderney, Herm, Sark, Jersey and in the distance the coast of France can be seen. The view point is located on top of a German bunker complex that extends down several levels underground - unfortunately it is not open to the public.

Start the walk by exiting the car park in a south westerly direction along the coast on the access road leading to cliff top residences. After passing Seaplane Bungalow a few steps on the left lead on to the cliff footpath.

The second of two German observation bunkers on the left overlooks the Pea Stacks (Les Tas de Pois d'Amont) and is used by members of the RSPB as a hide; the stacks being an important breeding site for sea birds. This prominent rock feature was the subject of one of the pictures painted by the French impressionist Pierre-August Renoir of the beach, rocks and cliffs of Moulin Huet Bay in the summer of 1883.

Follow the coastal path toward Petit Port eventually dropping down below a bungalow and climbing up again to where the path joins an access road. Turn left; a few metres further on a prominent small rock tower on the top of the cliff presents a fine view point for those with a head for heights. Petit Port Bay is below with its sandy beach exposed at low tide, and on the far side of Moulin Huet Bay the Dog and Lion Rocks, so called because of their resemblance to those animals, can be seen.

Continue on the cliff paths keeping left to follow the coast line and soon reach the top of a concrete staircase leading down to the beach at Petit Port Bay. If you have the energy go down to explore the beach, but be aware it is a steep climb back up to the path at 70 metres above sea level.

Head toward Moulin Huet. Birdwatchers might keep a look out for Merlin, Britain's smallest bird of prey, which is often spotted in this area. At a shallow valley, keep left to continue along the coast. The path eventually heads inland at a wooded valley and comes to an end at a few stone steps with a metal hand rail leading to an access road. Turn left and soon join Les Courtes Fallaizes. Follow the lane down for a few metres to where it ends and the cliff footpath continues on the other side of a wooden barrier that provides access for pedestrians only. Go down the path to where it ends at another wooden barrier. Turn left to drop down steeply to the beach at Moulin Huet and enjoy the views of sea and shore as Renoir did in 1883. The unusual vegetation below Moulin Huet tearooms is Japanese Knotweed, a native of Eastern Asia introduced to Britain in 1825 from Japan to be cultivated as an ornamental plant until its vigorous invasive characteristic was recognised.

The route now cuts across the headland to join the coast on the other side.

Retrace your steps back to the wooden barrier at the end of the footpath and continue up the hill turning right into the Water Lanes just before the car park. Follow the path alongside the stream. At the top of the hill the lanes end with a renovated farmhouse on the right. Turn right entering the Ruette Fainel between the boundary wall of the farm buildings and the cottages. This narrow walled pedestrian lane crosses the fields and emerges in the driveway of Le Vallon. Keep left on the public right-of-way and exit through the gateway into Les Salines.

Turn right and follow Les Salines to the Calais cross roads. Cross the Jerbourg Road into Calais Lane. Follow this winding lane for about 400 metres to the bottom of the hill where at a sharp left turn it joins Calais Road. Take the immediate right turn into a private road with access to cliffs for pedestrians. At Seagull Cottage ignore the right-of-way to cliff paths at Le Mont Frie and take the track to the left instead. Seventy-five metres on turn right at a granite sign indicating Bec du Nez and Marble Bay. The route now joins the coast again dropping down through a wooded area with glimpses of Fermain Bay through the trees to the left. A little further on where the path curves to the right a view across the Little Russell to Jethou and Herm emerges.

Eventually a steep climb up a series of steps is rewarded by a glimpse of the pier and slipway of the little harbour of Bec du Nez, which provides moorings for a number of small open boats. Further on a path on the left leads to this isolated refuge.

Keep straight ahead until a left turn down a valley is indicated for Marble Bay and St Martins Pt. At the bottom of the valley a left turn leads into Marble Bay where there are caves that can be explored if time and tide permit. Follow the path up the other side of the valley into the Pine Forest. Some evidence can still be seen of the severe damage suffered to many trees in this area in the Great Storm of October 1987.

Continue ahead following the signs for St Martins Pt. The path culminates with a series of steps providing a steep climb to the car park. However, before the climb, go down to the Light and Fog Signal at St Martin's Point, which is reached by a narrow foot bridge.

Finally, take the steep path back to the start of the walk 90 metres above where a kiosk in season offers welcome refreshments.

Walk 5008 Route Map

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