WHILE any walk in Jersey can be a delight, one through the beautiful Parish of St Lawrence is an absolute pleasure. Nowhere else can you find the variety and beauty of scenery in such a short and interesting ramble.
We start at St Lawrence Church, which is well worth a look inside if time permits. Here we find the HT Bosdet stained glass window depicting The Last Supper.
Walk (off the main road, in the church grounds) to the parish hall, cross the main road and head down the lane opposite marked by a ‘no road’ sign. Its name is Le Mont Misère. It certainly is misery to struggle up!
It descends very steeply so please take great care. At the bottom is Waterworks Valley.
It is worth crossing the road and turning right for a moment to see the Millennium Stone and nearby an interesting interpretation board describing the Millennium Walk.
Return to the foot of Mont Misère and head north along the wooden walkway below the road.
The walk was created entirely by parish volunteers to celebrate the Millennium. After deciding the route in October 1998 work started the following month. Crossing land owned by Jersey Water and several generous private land owners, the walk is now one of the most popular in Jersey.
In this part of the valley the walk is quite delightful, continuing up and down steep wooden steps with fine views over Dannemarche Reservoir to your right. (As a three-year-old boy I can clearly remember watching my parents ice-skating there during the bitter winter of 1962-63.) [There is one pathway junction, where you need to continue up the steep steps in front of you.]
Look out for red squirrels. Waterworks Valley is also one of the few places in Jersey where great spotted woodpeckers can be heard drumming, particularly in the spring.
Follow the track as it descends to the valley road near the junction with Mont Chesnaie. [If you have come out from the pathway at a different point, just head back towards the main road of the valley, and head north.]
Turn left and after about 100 metres you will pick up the path again. It’s a very pretty part of the walk, although muddy at times. We pass a pond that once stored water for one of the seven mills found in the valley.
At the picnic spot, cross the road towards the grassy area marked Le Don Sinkins. Now walk on the footpath which runs alongside the main road, and next to a smart granite wall built in the Occupation. The Germans’ arrival led to a rise in the number of unemployed men.
Rather than have locals work for the enemy, the States created a number of civic projects to keep men employed. This was one of them.
Ahead is the fantastic Hamptonne Country Museum. Just before it, on the left, is a lovely colombier or dovecot. This is unusual, partly because it is square and usually only found with manor complexes.
The road takes us back up the hill. Follow the sign pointing to St Lawrence Church. The return to your car will take about three minutes on the main road.
The walk follows a rough circular route and is around five miles.
While the terrain is mostly suitable for everyone, there are some quite steep sections.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A BLUE BADGE GUIDE?
I qualified in August 2015 along with about a dozen other people. The course was very hard work with hours of practice and a lot of studying, but great fun!
WHAT’S YOUR AREA OF EXPERTISE?
I am a keen ornithologist though not a real expert. I am also fascinated by history and the world around me.
FAVOURITE VIEW IN JERSEY?
The view of Corbière Lighthouse from the headland.
My favourite place in the world is St Ouen’s Bay, not least because it is pretty unspoilt and I hope in a hundred years time it still looks as fantastic as it does now.
FAVOURITE FASCINATING FACT?
Charles II was proclaimed King when in exile in Jersey when Charles I was executed in 1649.