Route 1 – Harbour Hill – East Coast Path – Light House Viewing Point
This walk starts from the bottom of Harbour Hill but before you start this walk, take a moment to visit the old harbour, Creux. The original entrance to the bay was blasted through the rock in 1588 and is still in the same position today. The main entrance that we now use, along with the protective harbour wall was not built until 1866. This harbour allowed easy access to Jersey and was easy to defend before the new tunnel and the pier were later built. The entrance of the old tunnel would have been gated and guarded. The harbour would have been a simple beach surrounded by high sided rock faces.
Maseline Harbour was not completed until 1949. Work had begun in 1939 but war had prevented new building materials being acquired and work stopped between 1941 and 1946. The new harbour was officially declared ‘open’ by the Duke of Edinburgh and the young Princess Elizabeth in 1949.
From the entrance to Creux Harbour, start walking up Harbour Hill along the road and after a short distance there is a path on the right signposted “cliff walk”. Follow this path up a steep incline with intermittent steps. Upon approaching the top, take a moment to admire the view over Maseline Harbour and the arc of rocks known as the Burons and over to France.
After approximately 0.2 miles the path starts to level out before approaching another short ascent up some steps. Stay on this path, past the bench and after a further 0.2 miles you will reach a metal gate. Go through the metal gate and left, following the wooden fence to the end.
At the end of the fence, turn right and follow the path as it bends to the left and turns into a wider roadway. At the T-junction, turn right on the roadway, past the large white house on the corner and follow its stone wall to the end where you join another roadway.
At this junction, walk straight ahead and turn next right down the hill towards La Valette Campsite.
Stay on this road all the way until you reach the end where there is a granite semicircular wall and some steps. This is the Light House viewing point.
Point Robert Lighthouse was built in 1912 and made out of blue granite quarried from L’Eperquerie Common. There are 146 steps down to the lighthouse but unfortunately it is no longer open to the public.
Following the bottom hedge of La Valette campsite through two fields, follow the stone wall thereafter up to the stone stile in the top corner of the field between the glamping pods.
Follow the footpath past the first metal gate until you reach the second metal gate opposite the yellow bench. Go through the gate following the path to the sign post and turn right to Greve de la Ville.
Follow the path and the stream down the wooded valley until you reach the bench overlooking the bay. From here you can see the large natural arch in the rock on the right, named Gull’s Chapel. There are a series of caves along this stretch which can be accessed only on low tide and culminating in the Dog Cave, so called because the sound of the sea entering the cave upon certain tides resembles a dog barking. More information on this walk can be found in the La Trobe Guide which can be purchased in the Visitor Centre. The bay is also a wonderful place for a morning swim in the sunshine.
Retrace your steps back up the valley to the signpost at the end of the path and turn right.
As you approach the stone cottage called La Ville Farm, you may take a moment to look at its architecture. A traditional Sark cottage was one story with a thatched roof and made out of granite. Whilst the building itself was often made out of the local grey/blue granite, the lintels and doorways were often carved out of pink granite from Jersey as were feeding troughs and stone gate posts. The local stone could break unpredictably when being worked whereas the Jersey granite was more reliable.You will also note on various local houses a stone step built into the chimney. Some new houses deliberately build them into the structure too. This is a result of an old folklore which warns of the danger of tired flying witches. When witches get tired, they need a place to rest on the roof tops and will gladly use the stone step on a chimney. However, if there is no resting place, they may fly down your chimney and make themselves at home, perhaps too comfortable to ever leave.
Continue on the path past La Ville Roussel, the original location of the Methodist chapel before it was moved stone by stone to its current position on the opposite side of the island. You will approach a small roundabout where you will turn left following the sign for the Village. Stay on this road to the Carrefour crossroads.
At the crossroads go straight over and walk to Clos a Jaon crossroads. From here you could continue your walk to L’Eperquerie by following Route 2 or otherwise turn left towards the village.
Turning left at Clos a Jaon crossroads you will pass the Chief Pleas (Parliament) and Seneschal’s (Judge) Court along with the ambulance and fire stations (pulled by tractor of course). Stay on this road until you reach St Peter’s Church. Built in 1822, this pretty little church was originally a fisherman’s church and there are commemorations upon the wall noting those lives lost at sea. In the 1850s, the seigneur Reverend W T Collongs built the chancel and his daughter’s brooch is set in stone to the right-hand side of the altar. The tapestries on the seats depict the feudal families’ coat of arms, all except the seat with the crossed keys: that signifies the seat for the prisoners held in the prison next to what is today the Visitor Centre.
Outside the Church is a war memorial erected so as to remember our dead in the Great War and the Second World War.
From the church, walk straight down the hill towards the Visitor Centre. To the left of the Visitor Centre is the World’s smallest working prison which only has two cells.
Just opposite the prison is Fleur du Jardin, the perfect place to sit down and refuel in the sunshine.
Approximately 2.5 miles
Just under 2 hours