Sitting on a cliff licking a mango flavoured Jersey ice cream is not what the Evesham Rambling Club walks usually involve, but hey that’s why we all put on our boots and go off somewhere different for a week or so. This time to the Channel Island of Jersey, ringed by granite cliffs, ranging in colour from deep pink to palest cream, and interspersed with golden beaches washed by a deep blue sea. There were even a few palm trees but no coconuts!
The holiday attracted a large contingent with twenty nine members flying into Jersey airport whilst five others chose a more sedate journey via the ferry.
Although only some 9 miles from east to west and 5 miles south to north, Jersey has some of the finest coastal walking anywhere in the British Isles, from long sandy beaches to rugged coastline, full of historical military defences, picturesque villages and harbours, castles, wild flowers and seabirds. Highlights included St Matthew’s Church with its Rene Lalique glassware, the stunning views from the cliff above Le Beau Port beach, the headland at La Corbiere looking towards the lighthouse and the lovely beach at Greve de Lecq. Particluarly memorable were the walks from St Aubin to La Moye and onto La Corbiere, and the entire northern coast.
The island’s north coast provided spectacular views of cliffs and bays with small fishing villages where there were ample opportunities to stop for refreshments or a delicious Jersey cream tea or ice cream. On one section, the walkers were able to visit a wetland reserve where they were treated to a spectacular flypast by a rare Marsh Harrier.
A number of members took the opportunity to “pick-n-mix” a combination of walks and visiting the many interesting places on the island, including Elizabeth Castle in St. Aubin’s Bay, which could be approached on foot at low tide along a causeway, the Jersey War Tunnels and the Samares Manor Botanical Gardens.
An extremely efficient and cheap bus system was used daily to take us to the end of the previous day’s walk, or to visit different parts of the island.
St. Helier had a varied selection of shops from multiples to independents, together with an assortment of restaurants and pubs.
The holiday provided a wonderful opportunity for the 34 members to walk, joke, drink, eat and generally make merry with very little opportunity to be bored!
Including the route across the middle of the island along the Waterworks Valley, 63 miles were covered in seven days, the longest section being the 12.5 miles from St Helier to La Moye and the shortest, 5.2 miles from L’Etacq to Greve de Lecq.
Twelve members of the club completed the whole of the coastal route and were rewarded with a walk of great variety and interest.
PS: Not all the stay involved muscle power. The club put two teams into the Hotel Quiz and came away with the first and second prizes!
Pauline and Alan must be congratulated and thanked for organising and leading an excellent walking holiday. Paul and Hazel should also be mentioned "in dispatches" for their input and support.