Through the Viewfinder
And What Alice Found There
Our third day in Jersey (and our last full day) was another sunny one so we decided to head to the beach at St Ouen’s Bay on the west coast for breakfast. We went to a small diner-style cafe called El Tico which was right on the front with lovely views out over the bay. After filling up with food we had a short walk along the promenade – it was high tide so there was no beach yet but the waves were coming in so fast that they crashed against the wall and soaked the promenade every now and then, meaning we had to keep dodging out the way to avoid getting wet!
Next up we headed back to St Helier, parked up in town then headed down to the sea front with the aim of heading out to Elizabeth Castle. Elizabeth Castle sits just off the mainland of Jersey on it’s own little outcrop of rocks and during high tide it can be reached by a minibus that is also a boat – very clever! However, when we arrived in the queue for the boat we were told they were fully booked until 12pm so we would have to come back later – what a pain! During low tide a walkway is revealed and the castle can be reached by foot so we decided to come back later on but make our own way across, instead of risking missing out on the boat again. Turning away slightly disappointed we headed back to the car and decided to take a mini road trip along the south coast of the island…
Our first stop was Noirmont Point – a fantastic viewpoint with amazing views over St Aubin’s Bay and Portelet Bay. The weather was beautiful and we could see for miles, it was just stunning. Up at the viewpoint were some more old German bunkers and machine gun posts which was quite interesting. It was fun imagining the army stationed here aiming the guns out to sea, but also opened your eyes to the reality of Jersey being occupied and how the landscape was taken over for military purposes during the war.
After exploring the pathways between bunkers we decided to move on and go for another swim in the sea. We thought about going back to St Brelade’s Bay where we swam on our first day but decided to try somehwere new and instead ended up on Beauport Beach. This little bay is like a secret paradise with crystal clear blue waters and golden sands, tucked away from the wind and hidden from the crowds. The car park had quite a few vehicles in it so I was worried at first that maybe the beach would be busy but there was only about 3 other groups of people around and to be honest we barely noticed they were there! There was plenty of room for us all on the small beach without being cramped or having to share a sunbathing spot with anyone, so we put our stuff down and pretty much immediately headed for the sea! I just love swimming in the sea – who wants to swim around a pool full of chlorine, in some boring holiday resort full of other annoying tourists, when you can swim out in the open sea with golden sand under your feet and the fresh sea air filling your lungs!
We had a fantastic swim in this beautiful bay and I was very reluctant to get out, but eventually I got hungry and knew there was a giant bag of Skips in my bag waiting to be eaten! We sat in the sun drying off from our swim and finally Greg managed to drag me away so we could explore somewhere else and make the most of our last full day on the island.
Our next stop was back to St Helier to try and get to Elizabeth Castle again. As planned the tide was out so we bought a massive Jersey ice cream each and set off on the journey out across the bay. The walk only took about 15 minutes but we were stopping to look in rock pools along the way so it could have been done faster than that. When we arrived at the Castle we only had a few hours before the tide started to come back in so we had to keep an eye on the time to make sure we could walk safely back to the mainland in time! The castle itself was a nice place to wander round with loads of information about different people who have lived in or used the castle over different time periods. We also saw The Hermitage (or Hermitage rock) which is a small house on a rock where it is believed a hermit named Helier lived in the 6th Century. It is now connected to Elizabeth Castle by a breakwater but at one point was a small islet on it’s own in the bay. You could walk along and look inside the house but they closed the pathway at a certain time and we didn’t think we had time to go before they closed the gates, so instead we stuck to the main part of the castle which again had a few German bunkers dotted around. Almost wherever we went in Jersey there seemed to be some reminder of the German occupation!
After a good look around we soon realised the time and thought we better get walking back to St Helier as the tide was already starting to come in! Once back on the mainland we decided to wander into town and get fish and chips for tea . We found a great little place just off Liberation Square called Seafish Cafe which was really busy but we took that as a sign of it being good, and we were right! Greg had regular fish and chips but I went for the battered sausage and sweet potato chips – it was amazing! We sat down by the harbour to eat it and it would have been perfect if it weren’t for the annoying huge seagulls creeping closer and closer by the minute, eyeing up our chips!
After tea we walked back down to the beach where we witnessed a beautiful sunset, changing the sky from blue, to orange, to red, to pink, and even purple at one point! The tide was coming in fast so we had a quick wander on the sand before having to get back up on the promenade and escape the waves.
It was a lovely evening for our last night in Jersey and we very reluctantly peeled our eyes away from the sunset and headed back to the Shepherd’s Hut, knowing we had to pack up ready to checkout in the morning.
To be continued...