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Jersey’s Great Outdoors

Video courtesy of Jersey Tourism.

Diary of a Boys’ Weekend in Jersey

My brother and I fancied a few days away with the emphasis on a sporty weekend so I booked a long weekend in Jersey travelling by air from Gatwick. Time was of the essence so we had to fly. We were ready to go!

Blokarting Experience

We wanted to try something new so we booked a two hour lesson in blokarting, a cross between go-karting and sailing. You’re strapped into a three-wheeled aluminium kart with a large triangular sail attached. The instruction was to steer the kart with one hand and to tighten or loosen the sail with the other hand. Luckily we were in the wide open space of St Ouen’s Bay on Jersey’s west coast so we had plenty of beach to race around, although the biggest danger was crashing into each other!

There was a good wind so it was quite easy to get the hang of it (he says modestly) and soon we were racing each other across the sand dunes. It was quite exhilarating – especially skidding round corners on the wet sand.

Sea Kayaking

After lunch at Big Vern’s Bistro we had booked a sea kayaking trip. We both used the traditional kayaks although there were a fleet of modern sit-on-top kayaks available for hire, too. We’re no experts so we went out in a group with an experienced guide through the surf on the west coast and then hugged the coastline towards Corbiere. Past the lighthouse, which loomed over us, the rocky coastline is dramatic and has the most fantastic views of the sea birds wheeling around the cliffs. The wind had dropped and the sun was setting before we paddled back to the beach. That was an incredible way to explore the coast and we were more than ready for our dinner and a beer or two in the St Helier nightlife (but that’s another story!)

Surfing at St Ouen’s

The next day we were back at St Ouen’s beach and organised the hire of a couple of surf boards. The Atlantic rollers were just great for an adrenaline rush and we had a few hours in the cleanest bluest water. It was fantastic. We didn’t spot any dolphins although they may have been clever enough to keep out of our way!  We visited the surf school shop.  A retro surfing tee shirt is a must-have for a souvenir although the locals looked infinitely more cool than us!

Gorey, the Castle, Snorkelling & Watersports

We decided we had to drag ourselves away from St Ouen’s Bay as although the five miles of clean sand banks and almost deserted beaches are fantastic for water sports, we had heard about the water sports at Gorey. So we drove over to the east coast to explore the Royal Bay of Grouville which is overlooked by the magnificent Mont Orgueil Castle. Although Jersey is only 9 miles by 5 miles, the island doubles in size at low tide with up to 40 feet of Atlantic Ocean hurtling in and out every day, twice!

The scenery here in Jersey is just stunning so I was glad that I had my camera. There are miles of craggy coastline but the tide was dropping fast to reveal an almost lunar landscape. We had time to get our masks and snorkels on so we could properly explore the rock pools exposed on the beach. Limpets, mussels, winkles, top shells and whelks were just some of the shells we could recognise plus we could see shrimps, blennies, anemones, crabs and starfish.

The water sports centre offers water skiing, banana rides, speed boat trips and self-drive motor dinghies for hire but we had no more time. Our boys’ weekend was over.

Guest Blogger: Peter Hardiman

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About the author

Posted by Tracy Kirton

Tracy has worked in travel and tourism marketing for over 30 years. She joined Travelsmith in 1987 and enjoys her role as Sales & Marketing Manager for the group. Having moved from Essex to Cornwall in 2001, Tracy loves life in the southwest. She is married with two children, one lively Cocker Spaniel and a lazy cat. Tracy can be contacted via email: