If you plan to visit Jersey, St Ouen’s Bay needs to be on your radar! It has that authentic surfer vibe and is definitely the best place on the island to catch some waves. It is the largest beach on Jersey, stretching on for five miles and covering the entire West Coast! As a result, visitors will find a wealth of things to get up to here.
If you’ve never surfed, here is the place to learn. The bay has two surfing schools along it, both offering reasonably priced lessons for children and adults alike. In fact, the bay is home to one of the oldest surfing clubs in the whole of Europe. The beach gets some pretty impressive waves from the Atlantic and you can almost always spot surfers out on the water. However, the sea here is temperamental, with lots of currents and riptides, so it is important that swimmers are mindful to stay in the zones that have been flagged up as safe. The bay has several lifeguard stations along it, so there is no need to walk for miles to get to a safe area. Another tip for visitors; bring something warm! The bays length and position on the island means that it often gets strong winds that can be really chilly, even in Summer.
St Ouen’s Bay begins at La Corbière lighthouse, a picturesque white lighthouse set on a tidal island that can be reached at low tide via a causeway. There is an alarm that signals when the tide is returning inland so pay attention to it and stay safe. This part of the bay is rocky and great to spot sea creatures, from spider crabs to elusive brittlestar starfish.
The next port of call along the bay is Le Braye, with it’s smooth sands, perfect for lounging. This part of the beach offers great views of La Rocco Tower, a 16th Century tower surrounded by the sea when the tide is in. If it’s something that appeals to you, you can actually stay overnight in the tower. The water here is one of the best spots to have a dip along the beach and it is a Marine Conservation Society Recommended spot. It is behind Le Braye that you can walk the desert-like sand dunes known as Les Blanches Banques, and be in with a chance of finding fossils.
The next section of the bay is referred to as the Watersplash, due to the popular diner, bar and nightclub that can be found there…The Watersplash! This is the very centre of the beach, with it’s vast, golden sands and clear blue waters. At high tide, the water can reach the top of the tall seawall and in a storm, can crash over. Behind the Watersplash, you can find Les Mielles Nature Reserve and the La Mielles Wildlife Conservation Area, which make for a beautiful, easy stroll. There is also Kempt Tower, a small defensive fort built to defend against invaders in the 17th century.
The Watersplash, St Ouen’s Bay, Jersey, Channel Islands.
The last part of St Ouen’s Bay is L’Etacq, where the sandy stretch again meets rocks, with green hills as a backdrop. This is a quieter section of the bay but by no means boring. There is plenty of exploring to be done and L’Etacq is home to rich history, some of a dark nature. This end of the beach has been responsible for two fatal shipwrecks in the 1800s and was the place where the body of a young man, John Francis, was discovered in the late 1800s. The murder was never solved and is referred to as the ‘St Ouen’s Murder Case’. It is also where the legend of the ‘Lost Manor of La Brecquette’ stems from, with the tale telling of a house and a forest of oak trees being engulfed by the sea.
St Ouen’s Bay has free parking all along it and can be reached by Jersey’s regular bus service via Route 12 or Route 22 (I’d advise Route 12 as it is slightly faster). The beach has disabled access and local charity Beach Ability provides ballooned wheelchairs for use on the beach – more about this can be found on their website. Dogs are allowed on the beach all year round but they must be kept on a lead during popular hours between May and September.
Without a doubt, St Ouen’s is one of the best beaches in Jersey and is an absolute must-see for anyone new to the island!
5 thoughts on “The Jersey Collection; St Ouen’s Bay”
Just come back from a holiday in Jersey and St ounes really is a wow not many places in the world could bet the beach there fabulous.
Been to Jersey many many times and always head to St Ounes, but your right you do have to be careful, stay is between the flags and then just chill out thats what St Ounes is all about,love it.
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