The Jersey coast is the major draw for many visitors from large family-friendly beaches full of great restaurants and cafes to hidden coves, low tide islets and sea caves to explore. The south of the island is the destination for the wide expanse and golden sands of St Brelade’s Bay, one of the most popular beaches with families, rock-poolers and water sport lovers. Backed by a promenade and a number of shops and restaurants with the Fisherman’s Chapel at the west end of the beach there is enough here for a full day out. Slightly further west, sheltered and uncommercialised Beauport Beach is a picturesque sunseeker’s paradise backed by a nature reserve. Access is via a short climb down from the carpark (JE3 8GR); or by kayak or boat. Another quiet bay on the south coast is Portelet Bay, accessible only by a steep climb down, with high cliffs sheltering the beach, golden sand, rock pools and a tidal crossing or swim to the islet of L’Île au Guerdain, home to “Janvrin’s Tomb”. This circular tower dates back to the 1720s when local sea captain Philippe Janvrin returned on his ship carrying the plague and died after being forbidden to land. Nearby, the clear, sheltered waters of secluded Belcroute Bay are good for snorkelling and swimming at high tide, and paddle boarding and sea kayaking on calmer days.
On the southernmost point of Jersey, the two mile stretch of white sand along Green Island beach is one of the most popular beaches on the island, with a full set of amenities making it a sunbathers paradise. The rock pools, gullies and crystalline clear waters here are also a major draw offering a whole world of underwater life to explore. The grassy islet, La Motte, sits 200 metres off the beach and is also a wonderful place to explore at low tide. A Neolithic cairn, middens and cists have been found on the islet as well as other signs of early civilization.
Jersey’s north coast is rockier with steep cliffs down to hidden bays. Sweeping, pebbly Bouley Bay Beach sits next to the highest cliffs on the island and is a great place for rock pooling. The deep harbour is good for swimming and very popular for scuba diving. Mad Mary’s Beach Cafe is famous for its crab sandwiches and wonderful welcome. Bouley Bay is also the home of the Bouley Bay Hill Climb, a motorsports event which takes place in the winding roads around the harbour bringing competitors from all over the world.
In the north-west of the island the sandy sheltered beach of Grève de Lecq is the most popular on Jersey’s north shore. With high cliffs to either side it is sheltered from the wind most of the time. There is a large cave that runs all the way through the headland on the eastern side of the beach. At the other end are the foundations of an abandoned harbour wall. At the island’s north-west tip Plemont Beach is a beautiful, secluded cove with a great network of caves to explore with a sandy beach and scattering of large rocks. The beach is an excellent location for sunbathing with plenty of rock pools and excellent swimming or surfing in the right conditions. In the island’s north-east corner, the small fishing port of Rozel is well known for its selection of superb eateries, including The Hungry Man for its legendary breakfast. However, when the tide drops it reveals a lovely beach of particularly soft, white sand.
On the east coast of Jersey, Grouville is an attractive, wide, sandy beach popular with swimmers as the shallow waters are warmed by the sun and the currents are not too strong, allowing a wide variety of water sports on offer at the beach. Extremely low tides expose the rows of oyster beds – they’re the largest oyster beds in the British Isles and you can take a guided low tide walk out to the oyster fishery and mussel beds with a local expert. St Ouen’s Bay runs the length of the west coast and is one of the best spots for surfing in the Channel Islands as it picks up plenty of Atlantic swell and long enough never to get too crowded. It is also the home of Europe’s oldest surf club.
You may also be interested in:
- Walks from Rozel Harbour to St Catherine’s Breakwater or Bonne Nuit Bay
- Discover Jersey’s Occupation story
- Walk to tidal L’Islet (Elizabeth Castle) from St Helier
- Discover the horrible histories of Mount Orgueil
- Go glamping at the Durrel Wildlife Park
- Try some of the best seafood in the Channel Islands
- Enjoy a seafood BBQ in a WW2 bunker
- Visit one of the ten oldest buildings in the world
The other Channel Islands are also excellent walking destinations and, together with Jersey, walks around their coast paths form the 110 mile Channel Island Way.
Guernsey – find out about walking in Guernsey, Guernsey’s outdoor activities, cafes and more here
Sark – find out about walking in Sark, Sark’s outdoor activities, cafes and more here
Herm – find out about walking in Herm, Herm’s outdoor activities, cafes and more here
Alderney – find out about walking in Alderney, Alderney’s outdoor activities, cafes and more here
Other islands in the British Isles
We have explored nearly 600 islands in the British Isles and are trying to write them up as fast as we can. Check more here or contact us as we are happy to share our info.
Our two books are stacked with more ideas on what to do in the Channel Islands and more more info here