Jersey Channel Islands, around the Coast Road

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
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Paul Smith SRCC
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Jersey Channel Islands, around the Coast Road

Postby Paul Smith SRCC » 30 Jun 2018, 3:54pm

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Enjoying the sunshine alongside Les Mielles Nature Reserve.​
I've always enjoyed cycling around islands, it feels like you've maximized the potential of your holiday if you can say to yourself that you ridden around all of it! Jersey had been on my wish list for sometime, I had done enough research to know that it may be be a relatively small Island but it had a lot to offer a cyclist, quiet pretty wooded country lanes inland as well as the coastal route that seemed to offer something different around every bend. It is also easy to get there with a bicycle, as you don't have to fly and endure the rigmarole these days that goes with getting a bike on a plane; with a ferry you simply turn up as a foot passenger, park the bike on the ferry and away you go! Within a few minutes of looking at the Condor Ferries website I found myself clicking away and booking a return trip, bicycles go free so you only pay 'foot passenger' rates. The destination port was St Helier, a quick online search soon produced the Westhill Country Hotel that had secure cycle parking, the ideal location and with "very good" reviews on Google I decide to take a chance, click and book. The entire process was extremely quick and straight forward; I confess it all seemed far to easy for some one like me, I'm one of those quintessential confused travellers who will see a queue and have to resist the urge to go and join it even if I don't know what everyone is queuing for!
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My Cycle route around Jersey. Scroll to bottom of page for more details.​
I had plotted a clock wise course around the coast line that took in every little bay, beach front and viewpoint that took my fancy, from the popular tourist spots to secluded bays, if I liked the look of it, I visited it. At fifty miles I knew that would give me time to sample the delights that each had to offer, should that be a cheeky espresso, a photo opportunity or just to pause and drink in the view; any excuse for a power rest.​
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Beachfront cycle path at St. Aubins Bay​
My day began on the southern part of the island at St. Helier, swooping west along the beachfront cycle path at St.Aubins Bay to their pretty little harbour, where I noted I could get the famous Jersey Oysters, definitely something I was going to savour at some stage; my tummy told me it was far to early to be 'oyster o'clock' so I pressed on, climbing up to the first of what was to be numerous view points, 'Noirmont Point'. Unsurprisingly this was also the first of the many world war two observation posts and bunker systems that populate the island, some of which along with the forts and towers from previous conflicts are now converted to holiday lets or museums. For me this strikes a healthy balance of not forgetting and honouring the past, yet showing that we have moved on.​

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Noirmont Point​
St. Brelade's Bay was next on the agenda, often referred to as millionaires row it was clear to see the attraction, recently voted the UK’s third best beach, the bay itself is stunning and the adjoining properties looked every penny of the many many millions they're valued at. Yes it attracts the rich and famous but it's popular with tourists too, it has a cosmopolitan vibe with cafes and breach front restaurants for those wanting to pause and soak up the view and watch the world go by. This busy tourist spot compliments the contrasting feel of some of the more tranquil bays around the island; I loved the variety, each feels different yet each feels unique and rather special.
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Climbing out of St Brelade's Bay.​
Although you often need to climb out of many of the sandy bays most climbs are short enough to stop you bursting into tears, yet challenging enough to warrant a guilt free reward at the next refreshment opportunity; I'm delighted to say there are plenty of those! I for one can sniff out an espresso from a thousand yards and constantly don't need much convincing that I deserve it sooooo much I just have to stop; plus my bike is tired, it needs a rest!
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Corbiere Point​
At the South West corner of the Island you turn to head north at Corbiere Point, with a causeway links the lighthouse to shore at low tide, along with it's WW2 bunker system and MP2 Tower this is another must see on the route. From here it's a short ride up and over to St Ouen's Bay, which has the longest beach on the island one side and Les Mielles Nature Reserve on the other. This stretch of the coast offers about five miles of flat cycling that results in most of the west coast simply whizzing by with little effort, before climbing up to Grosnez castle where you effectively turn right to cycle along the north coast.
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St Ouen's Bay has the longest beach in Jersey.​
It's the north coast where the stunning viewpoints and bays increase in frequency along with the going 'ups' and 'downs' between each. The Jersey.com wesbsite promotes their own coastal cycling 'Route 1' that cherry picks the best of these and misses some of the more severe climbs. I personally visited more than that route promotes which of course made it slightly more challenging; worth the effort though. Nearly all of the bays I'm pleased and on more than one occasion relieved to say had both refreshment stops and comfort facilities. As this was the most challenging part of the route I needed far less persuading that I thoroughly needed a glass of something while I stopped to rest my legs, refuel and enjoy the view before wobbling back up out of the bay. Many of the connecting routes between each bay meander up and down tiny tree lined pretty green lanes that contrast with the 'as far as the eye can see' views that are often just around the next corner; cycling paradise.
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Climbing out of Bouley Bay on the north coast​
After bobbing up and down the north coast you start to turn right at 'Rozel' then 'Fliquet' Bays and head south down the east coast; like the west coast it's easier cycling as the route is flatter, following the beach with only the occasional cheeky climb. Gorey harbour is overlooked by Mont Orgueil Castle and one of the route highlights, even if you are not into castles, there's no denying it's the perfect setting; simply stunning.
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Gorey harbour ​
From the castle you head south then loop back into St. Helier, in my case my lunch stop although I could have had several opportunities for food on the way round if needed. This was a wonderful route that offered so much variety, on what was a wonderful day, on a wonderful island; absolutely perfect!

I've linked to my route that you can download my GPX file if wanted (click for link) that you can then edit to your needs via many websites for free (Garmin Connect for example); take my hotel out of the course plus I made a couple of excursions just after Noirmont point that I decided to abandon for example
Last edited by Paul Smith SRCC on 13 Jul 2018, 6:59am, edited 4 times in total.

Clipper_2018
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Re: Jersey Channel Islands, around the Coast Road

Postby Clipper_2018 » 3 Jul 2018, 11:23pm

"From here it's a short ride up and over ..." suggests you took the footpath from Petit Port to Route de la Pulente passing a little-visited and largely overgrown gun emplacement on the way. I've only ever done it on foot but guess you could wheel a bicycle through there.

BTW: "St. Queens bay" should read "St. Ouen's bay".

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Re: Jersey Channel Islands, around the Coast Road

Postby Paul Smith SRCC » 4 Jul 2018, 8:54am

Clipper_2018 wrote:"From here it's a short ride up and over ..." suggests you took the footpath from Petit Port to Route de la Pulente passing a little-visited and largely overgrown gun emplacement on the way. I've only ever done it on foot but guess you could wheel a bicycle through there.

BTW: "St. Queens bay" should read "St. Ouen's bay".

No I didn't take to the footpath, If you click for my route you can see I used the road most out of the way out Corbiere Point, but cut the corner off down the disused railway.

Clipper_2018
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Re: Jersey Channel Islands, around the Coast Road

Postby Clipper_2018 » 8 Jul 2018, 1:44pm

It's "St. Ouen's Bay".

First letter is an "O" not a "Q" and, unusually for a place name, ends with "apostrophe s".

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Re: Jersey Channel Islands, around the Coast Road

Postby PeterT » 9 Jul 2018, 9:53pm

What a great idea Paul, A couple of questions. How busy were the roads and what time of the year did you go. Did you do the 50 miles in 1 day or perhaps would you suggest breaking it in 2 with more sightseeing (and refreshment stops :D ). How many nights did you stay?

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Re: Jersey Channel Islands, around the Coast Road

Postby drossall » 9 Jul 2018, 10:17pm

We did a similar ride round Guernsey - also well worth it.

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Re: Jersey Channel Islands, around the Coast Road

Postby Paul Smith SRCC » 9 Jul 2018, 11:18pm

PeterT wrote:What a great idea Paul, A couple of questions. How busy were the roads and what time of the year did you go. Did you do the 50 miles in 1 day or perhaps would you suggest breaking it in 2 with more sightseeing (and refreshment stops :D ). How many nights did you stay?

As for time of year it was the same week as my initial post, Tuesday the 26th June to be exact. I personally had four complete days there, Sunday until Wednesday. The slow ferry from Portsmouth and back again effectively adding best part of a day each end, the return trip was when I wrote most of that write up!

I used two of the four days for off the bike sight seeing, the war tunnels, round the island coach tour etc; the other two days I cycled. The first day of cycling was was the round the coast as written, I stopped numerous times to take pictures and a couple of longer breaks along the north coast to take in the view, watch the world go by and have a drink at a cafe. The traffic is very light, I am used to South London-Surrey with a commute that is to say the least somewhat busy, so as far as I was concerned the roads were extremely quiet; pure joy infact. Some, along the north coast I was seldom passed by an vehicle in either direction; although it was busy in St Helier.

As many of the roads were narrow and twisty, along the north coast in particular, to me that translated to slow cautious descents into the bays and understandably slow climbing back out again. My average speed was therefore slow, as it normally; but even more so on holiday :wink:, my average was only 10.8 mph! On route I made mental notes of a couple of refreshment stops and places I wanted to go back to, which I cycled to the next day but this time initially accessed through some of the center of the Island, the Museum at St Ouen's Bay with an espresso at the nearby Jersey Pearl Cafe followed by the stop at St.Aubins Bay for Oysters that I referenced for example. Jersey is only 8.7 x 5 miles so you are not far from anywhere.

I could have easily stayed longer to be honest and revisited some more of the bays and sights along the coast, Gorey harbour in particular was rather lovely.
Last edited by Paul Smith SRCC on 9 Jul 2018, 11:23pm, edited 4 times in total.

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Re: Jersey Channel Islands, around the Coast Road

Postby Paul Smith SRCC » 9 Jul 2018, 11:19pm

drossall wrote:We did a similar ride round Guernsey - also well worth it.

I came away from Jersey inspired to think along those very same lines :D

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Re: Jersey Channel Islands, around the Coast Road

Postby ossie » 10 Jul 2018, 5:36am

I also did Guernsey at the end of my last French tour 12 months ago between Condor ferries back to to the UK. I did it anti clockwise, fully loaded without issue. Only one hill of note to the SW of the Island with a steep descent back down into St Peter Port if doing it that way. It was 23 miles (37 km). Traffic was quite busy back into St Peter Port but it was school run time.

Tempted to look at Jersey now, thanks for the report.

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Re: Jersey Channel Islands, around the Coast Road

Postby drossall » 10 Jul 2018, 8:16am

We did 57 miles round Guernsey, but we went down every possible coastal road, and did some bonus loops :D

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Re: Jersey Channel Islands, around the Coast Road

Postby Paul Smith SRCC » 10 Jul 2018, 7:35pm

drossall wrote:We did 57 miles round Guernsey, but we went down every possible coastal road, and did some bonus loops :D

Now that sounds appealing; very, do you have the route?

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Re: Jersey Channel Islands, around the Coast Road

Postby ossie » 10 Jul 2018, 9:16pm

drossall wrote:We did 57 miles round Guernsey, but we went down every possible coastal road, and did some bonus loops :D


haha.. I didn't do a bonus loop as I hit the first pub at the bottom of Le Val des Terres. :D

As a part time roadie the place would do my head in but fair play for extracting that mileage.

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Re: Jersey Channel Islands, around the Coast Road

Postby PeterT » 10 Jul 2018, 9:46pm

Thanks Paul. Food for thought. Perhaps Jersey AND Guernsey would be a great option.

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Re: Jersey Channel Islands, around the Coast Road

Postby drossall » 10 Jul 2018, 11:06pm

Paul Smith SRCC wrote:Now that sounds appealing; very, do you have the route?

After some advance research, we pinched this one. My ride report is near the end of this thread. I rather simplified things in my hurried earlier posts by saying it was a ride round the coast; it's more like a ride round every available road in the place. Except the ones in the south east where it's the same road down and up to a point on the coast - the route leaves those out.

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Re: Jersey Channel Islands, around the Coast Road

Postby Paul Smith SRCC » 11 Jul 2018, 7:17am

PeterT wrote:Thanks Paul. Food for thought. Perhaps Jersey AND Guernsey would be a great option.

Yes agreed, if I was there longer I would have considered splitting the break between both destinations; good idea