Jersey, the largest of the Channel Islands, is only small at 9 by 5 miles. The island is steeped in history with English and French wars as well as German occupation in WWII. The coastlines, harbours and castles are breath-taking and a perfect playground for diverse outdoor activities. I hooked up with Wild Adventures to explore a little of what the ‘rock’ has to offer.
Abseiling at Noirmont Point
The abseiling took place at World War 2 German Observation tower at Noirmont Point. The direction-finding tower (Marine Peilstand und Meßstellung 3) was built by the German occupying forces in 1943 and is approximately 16 metres high.
Not being in a group we had a bit more time on our hands to do all the preparations for abseiling. Scott, from Wild Adventures, patiently went through all the ropes, knots, slings and carabiners. We started with our 2 anchor points on the top of tower using a Figure of 8 on a Bight on anchor 1. Then the abseil line (anchor 2) we used a Clove Hitch followed by an Overhand on the Bight to make ‘Bunnies Ears’ then an Munter Hitch knot to lock off the line. Sounds easy, right? Don’t panic, the knots were obviously all checked by the professional!
You can see inside the tower through the slits half way down as you make your ascent. The views around Noirmont Point do make it a beautiful place to be abseiling, definitely recommended! Unfortunately, it was a rainy day so visibility wasn’t the best but without the cloud you can see coast of France and Portelet Bay and Janvrin’s Tomb. Next time, sunshine please…
Time to get to know the island better as we went foraging along the coast by the Kempt Tower in St. Ouen’s, for edible and medicinal plants. Also known as the Grosse Tower, this large Martello tower was built between 1832 and 1834 and has been restored as a beautiful heritage rental property for you to enjoy the 360 views across the bay.
In our foraging mission, we found Wild Rocket which had a really strong peppery taste, tried the Rock Samphire, Sea Spinach, Sandwort, Sea Purslane and Lesser Sea Blite but they tasted saltier than normal due to the wind and rain along the coast. The high tide prevented us exploring the shoreline and identifying the shellfish and seaweeds, next time I’ll be checking out the Seashore Safari!
We got involved in more bush craft as I was shown different methods of making fire by friction. The fire bow was very labour intensive, not sure I have the patience for this one, think the more modern methods are for me!
Exploring more of Jersey
Time for some history! We headed over to see one of Jersey’s dolmens called La Pouquelaye de Faldouët. It is a Neolithic passage grave leading into an unusual double chamber and was built c. 4000-3250 BC. The main chamber is open and surrounded by a series of small stone cists while the end chamber is covered by a huge 24-tonne capstone. The site was first recorded in 1682 and was excavated 3 times before 1910. It is reported that human remains were found in the cists along with pottery, axes and pendants in the chamber. This is just one of twelve Dolmen sites dotted around the island of Jersey, all with very interesting historic tales worth exploring.
The coastlines along the small island Jersey are full of dramatic coastlines mixed with undulating dunes, towering cliffs and beautiful fauna along the way. The mainland is just as pretty too making it a fantastic island to explore by foot.
Being short of time with a plane to catch, my coastal trail was by L’Etacquerel Fort, it seems impossible to stroll around the island without a historical sighting. The name L’Etacquerel comes from an old Norse word ‘stakkr’ meaning heap or stack of rock. The original 18th century gun position was built further up the cliff and the Fort was built to guard the eastern side of Bouley Bay in 1835-36. The big wooden door was padlocked so we couldn’t stand and look over the bay from the fort. This is just another restored heritage site on the island that is now available for holiday rental and with views to take your breath away, you’d be mad not to stay here!
More about Wild Adventures Jersey
If you’re ever looking for fun and activities on the Rock, do check out Wild Adventures Jersey! They offer abseiling, climbing (indoor & outdoor), bike tours, camping expeditions, bush craft, paddle boarding, kayaking, seashore safari, shelter building, boogie boarding, coasteering in Jersey and overseas trips in France and Spain. Their team are really passionate and, most importantly, have a long history in the great outdoors. Their expert tuition and enthusiasm really came through in the day I spent with them, thanks guys!
Wild Adventure Jersey are offering you 15% discount on their activities for Wanders Miles readers, no excuse to sign up if you are heading to the beautiful island of Jersey!
For more ideas on where to go in Jersey, check out Jersey Tourist Board
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