THIS is a relaxing country walk through shady lanes, past expansive views, intriguing properties and a wealth of old place names.
Start at the Union Inn bus stop on St John’s Main Road. Head east along the Rue du Haut de l’Orme, enjoying panoramic views as far as the Airport control tower and St Lawrence Church to the west and Les Platons mast to the north.
On the right, pass Haut de l’Orme Villa and Rondels Farm Shop. Ahead is the warm orangey granite of Amanda House with its dower wing, and to its left, the classic lines of Trinity House, in the style of mid-19th century houses built on the proceeds of the lucrative cod trade.
Turn right along Rue du Becquet Vincent*, noting Castle View Farm, then left at the junction. At the No Through Road/No Waiting signs, turn into the first of the narrow paths that add atmosphere to this walk, a reminder of the roads of bygone days.
Follow the path and when you reach a road, continue straight ahead, between the cluster of old houses (with Maison de Bas on your right) into the second pathway (look for the wooden gate). The early section can be very wet, with only a narrow concrete strip to keep your feet out of the mud.
At the end, turn right into the Rue des Haies, past Les Prairies, once home to The Trout Farm.
Continue past the ornamental lakes at the valley bottom, to the junction with Rue de Croix. Turn right noticing the granite gateposts, reminders of the days when both fields and farm equipment were much smaller. Fork right along Rue Becq. On the left is Trinity’s Clos des Pauvres (Field of the Poor), Jeanne Gruchy’s bequest to each parish in 1848.
At the end, cross Rue de la Godillerie then turn left into Rue de la Garenne and right into Rue de la Hauteur. As you bear left, see the grand entrance to Bras de Fer. This was Augrès Manor until 1645, when Elie Dumaresq bought Augrès fief, without the manor house, taking the name Augrès Manor to his home where Durrell is today.
When the fief was next sold, the name stayed, so Les Augrès Manor today has lost all connection with its fief.
Continue down Rue du Vieux Moulin into Vallée des Vaux. Note Old Mill Farm and the rather more unusual traditional Swiss chalet, followed by the beautifully restored La Vieille Maison.
Take the first lane on your right, up the short but steep (and unsigned) Mont de la Fredée, then left along Rue des Arbres to the return bus stop.
*Buggies and wheelchairs; Turn immediately left along Rue du Douet, until you reach the T-junction at Rue des Haies, with the parish boundary stone in front of you. Turn right and rejoin the walk.
Distance: 2 miles
TIME: 1-1½ hours
FEATURE: For a buggy/wheelchair friendly walk, follow the dashed route.
TOILETS: Toilets and refreshments are available at the Union Inn and Rondels Farm Shop and, during the season, The Potato Shack offers local farm produce.
How long have you been a Blue Badge Guide?
What’s your speciality/area of expertise?
I enjoy guiding all aspects of Jersey, but this year I am specialising in the civil war and Royal Mace, churches and farming.
Why do you do it?
I hope my walks leave people knowing and understanding more about our Island, thinking about how its special features can be retained for future generations.
Favourite view in Jersey?
St Ouen’s Bay from La Pulente.
Where do you go to relax?
I like to relax with a walk on the beach.
Favourite fascinating fact?
In 1673, concern over population resulted in a law stating that each new house needed a minimum of 20 vergées of ploughable land.