Step back in time in the heart of Jersey

A MEMORABLE walk in the parish I first lived in many years ago, this takes you to the gentle heart of a verdant parish, where you are drawn deep into the tranquillity of a farming fraternity.

From the cathedral proportions of the parish church with a plethora of interest, enter Route de l’Eglise and walk past the parish hall, the Arsenal and the parish school. The habitable heart of the parish slips away to a beech-lined Jersey huit pied highway of agricultural and equestrian enclosures.

Turn left into Mont Perrine, which was featured in the 2005 TV drama production of Thomas Hardy’s Under the Greenwood Tree, all set in this idyllic countryside.

Stroll down this lane to see the temps passé vision of the quintessential granite homes and rustic chic of Le Rât, an early 17th-century two-up, two-down example of the National Trust for Jersey’s portfolio.

Continue along Rue de la Fontaine St Martin, where you will see the old St Martin fontaine of health as used by the families of Le Rât for centuries and, further along, the unique granite abreuvoir diverts the stream into an animal watering hole. Past the next turning, the wall leads to a granite arbodas or mounting step outside La Fontaine Farm.

The next arbodas is at the magnificent Morel Farm, which was built in 1666 in the vernacular agricultural architecture of the period. It’s a National Trust for Jersey property with a cider-making barn open to visitors.

From here, continue to the crossroads and turn right into Rue Rouge Cul. This quiet lane submerges you into the tranquil countryside with flower-strewn roadside banks and neat eclectic fields. The second turning on the right leads into Ruette d’Avranches. At the T-junction one has to admire the nearby house with Gothic-inspired gates of unusual design. Opposite the gates is a superb example of a public pump alongside the pond of Avranches Manor, so named when the new property was built in 1818.

Retrace your steps and continue down a public footpath (the corner opposite the tree house) passing residents’ abodes onto Le Mont Sorsoleil with a beautifully renovated thatched barn on the corner. Continue along this road until it joins with Route de l’Eglise (follow the road to the right), leaving a short stroll back to the church. You can enjoy refreshments across the road at Saint Laurent restaurant/bar.

Information

Distance: 1.7 miles

Time: 1¼ hours

Easy walk, mainly in Green Lanes

Wheelchair and buggy-friendly

Toilets at parish hall or the Saint Laurent

Meet your Guide - Blue Badge Guide Pete Webb

How long have you been a Blue Badge Guide?
15 years.

What’s your speciality?
I’ve been teaching Jersey history for four years at Highlands College and still have loyal followers.

Why do you do it?
Simply for the love of it.

Favourite view in Jersey?
Everywhere in Jersey is a favourite, of course, so it must depend on one’s mood. I’ll say the view across St Brelade’s Bay from the cliff ridge west of Beauport Bay – it’s to die for.

Favourite beach?
Belval Cove, St Catherine’s Bay, when the tide rises to beneath the overhanging shoreline trees and the waves tickle the pebbles – heaven.

Where do you go to relax?
I live on adrenaline, so this is tricky. I do have a six-year-old grandson and we try to make ridiculous things fly.

Favourite fascinating fact?
I discovered during my research many things about the Fisherman’s Chapel, St Brelade, and that its size is determined by the ‘Jersey foot’ of 11 inches. Beat that?

Contact:

Pete Webb

Telephone: 858006 or 07797 775696

Email: petewebb@localdial.com

Download/print a PDF of the walking map

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