IT’S fair to say that my favourite Jersey walk is a game of two halves.
The first part amounts to no more than a gentle stroll; the second is a little more challenging, though seasoned trekkers would laugh at the notion that it could raise more than a gentle sweat.
So where do we begin?
Two places suggest themselves, both are on the upper section of the Railway Walk that leads to Corbière, and both offer the possibility of a cup of tea or coffee before the walk proper begins.
It’s a toss-up, therefore, between the little café at the children’s playground known as Elephant Park and the slightly larger café at Les Quennevais Sports Centre.
The gentle stroll, then, will be along the smooth, level and well-maintained path that once echoed to the hissing and hooting of the Island’s long lost steam trains.
The walk, which is clearly suitable for baby buggies, wheelchairs, mobility scooters and even Zimmer frames, is nicely shaded by pine trees for most of its length, but allows glimpses of the sand dunes, La Moye golf course, and distant views of St Ouen’s Bay.
But here’s the real benefit of part one of my route; if you are walking in company, you can chat to your heart’s content without fear of putting a foot wrong or having to retreat into a hedge to dodge motor vehicles.
The only hazard comes in the shape of bikes which travel up and down the track at various speeds. Cyclists certainly have the right to share the delights of the Railway Walk. I just wish that more of them had bells to give warning of their imminent presence.
Just before the end of the track you’ll come across a giant slab of granite called La Table des Marthes. Artefacts found in the vicinity indicate that it is a prehistoric relic, but its significance is now a mystery.
Meanwhile, the least significant feature of Corbière is the presence of public loos – not to mention another opportunity for a cup of tea at Corbière Phare.
The most significant are undoubtedly the superb views over the lighthouse and across the sweep of St Ouen’s Bay.
Pausing to stand and stare is obligatory, but the road onwards leads down to Le Grouet, around the path above Petit Port and on to the footpath alongside the Five Mile Road.
However, at some point beyond the car parks adjacent to the road before Le Braye it’s necessary to take an abrupt right turn to enter the flatlands below Blanches Banques, an area offering multiple possibilities.
Unfortunately, this is a no-go area for anything with wheels.
You can make a beeline for Les Quennevais – and some more tea – or you can wander aimlessly while climbing the dunes and, once again, enjoying the astounding view over the bay.
Taken at a leisurely pace – and with some meandering – you can easily spend two hours making this circuit.
The Railway Walk section of this walk is suitable for all, including buggies and wheelchairs.
Parking is available at Pont Marquet Country Park, just off Petite Route des Mielles, or at the back of Les Quennevais Sports Centre.
On the Railway Walk there are refreshments and toilets at the Off The Rails café at the Elephant Park or Les Quennevais Sports Centre, and then not until Corbière Phare.
A Retired journalist, Rob still runs with the Crapaud Hash on Sundays but I also walk twice a week with some fellow retirees named, collectively, the Grogs. That stands for the Grumpy Retired Old Geezers.
Our walks average two hours and culminate at a café or similar for a cup of tea.
The Grogs also venture further afield annually. So far we have trudged up and down through the Lake District, the 90-mile length of the Ridgeway and, this year, along 50 miles of Hadrian’s Wall.
Favourite view: The view over Corbière and St Ouen’s Bay from the headland at Corbière.
Favourite beach: St Ouen’s Bay.
Fascinating fact: Corbière Lighthouse was the first in Britain to be made of concrete.Download/print a PDF of the walking map