The Jersey Collection; Grouville Bay

Grouville Bay – known officially as the Royal Bay of Grouville and sometimes referred to as Long Beach – stretches across a large portion of the East Coast of the island of Jersey, the largest of the Channel Islands. Jersey has so many unique bays, beaches and coves to explore, and Grouville is not one to leave out. A place that combines traditional Jersey culture and history with the laidback island-vibe visitors crave, Grouville Bay is an incredible Jersey gem.

Grouville Bay, looking towards Mont Orgueil Castle and Gorey Village, Jersey, Channel Islands.

Grouville Bay is in Jersey’s South-East Coast in the parish of Grouville, which is one of twelve parishes across the island. It was branded with its royal epithet in the 1850s by an impressed Queen Victoria following a visit, but this is largely unused by locals and those who know the island. The beach has soft and pure pale-golden sand akin to some of Jersey’s most popular coastal spots like St Brelade’s Bay and St Ouen’s Bay, only broken up by hundreds of banded shells that usually front the water. In fact, during the German Occupation tons of sand were taken from Grouville’s shore to be used to build fortifications that are widespread across the island. The Bay’s beautiful sand is particularly striking as the East Coast is predominantly associated with pebbled, shingle bays and little fishing harbours. It also makes for great sunbathing, which paired with the Grouville’s shallow, safe water is the perfect recipe for a good beach day. Though the beach does not offer a lifeguard service, the turquoise waters are gentle and inviting, and you will often find other people swimming at high tide if you are a nervous swimmer. To expand on that point, Grouville is best visited when the tide is in or coming in. Be sure to check tide times ahead of a trip, as at low tide visitors will find a long trek down the wide beach to the sea. However, if a walk is what you’re after, the Bay is perfect at that time and you’ll have plenty of space to soak it in.

Grouville Bay, Jersey, Channel Islands.

Dunes back the centre of Grouville Bay, home to some amazing flora. For any wildlife lovers, Grouville becomes a haven for many species of migratory birds during the Winter months, which makes this time of year brilliant for bird-watching. The Bay is around 4 miles in length, which is the reason behind its other name, Long Beach. Upwards towards Jersey’s North Coast is Gorey Village, Harbour and Pier, which is a small but vibrant area that really encapsulates important elements of Jersey’s past, including fishing. Gorey is visable from Grouville Bay and is only a short walk from it. You can find a plethora of quirky cafés, old-style pubs and cutesy shops there, and you will pass by well-tended gardens and colourful houses on the way. From behind Gorey, Mont Orgueil Castle overlooks the Bay and can be seen quite clearly from the sands, providing great views rich with Jersey history as well as natural beauty. The Southern end of Grouville Bay fronts the Royal Jersey Golf Course and Club on Grouville Common. Fort William and Tower 5 can be found along here, both now privately owned but built in the 1700s to defend the South East of the island. The Common itself was used for duelling and military training in the past. It was also used as a horse-racing site and held Jersey’s largest yearly carnival. Soldiers often used it as a base too, including Scottish, English and German troops. Perhaps most intriguing of all is that the Common is the unofficial burial place for a number of Russian soldiers who were sent to Jersey in the 1790s, after being prevented from journeying back to Russia by icy waters and barred from entering England. Apparently they were treated very poorly and sadly many died on the Common. A small graveyard was once erected for them, but it no longer exists.

Grouville Bay shot from the dunes, Jersey, Channel Islands.

Grouville Bay has great facilities, with well-maintained toilets, lots of available parking and a playground for children. As mentioned previously, Gorey Village is very close, but if you don’t want to leave the sands then the Cafe on the Beach serves food, drinks, snacks and ice-cream. If you are the fun-loving type, you can hire out equipment from Gorey Watersports Centre. The Bay also has good disabled access, and suitable wheelchairs can be arranged for in advance through Beachability. If you are using Jersey’s Liberty Bus Service to get around the island, you can reach Grouville using the 1, 1a and 2 bus routes. In the event you’ll be going with a furry companion, dogs are allowed on the beach all year round but they should be kept on a lead.

Grouville Bay dunes, Jersey, Channel Islands.

Grouville Bay is an amazing beach that can be a surprise for those who think they know Jersey. It has an entirely unique feel, and is a must-see for those who want to do some sightseeing while on the island. Being so accessible and offering so much, Grouville is a quietly underrated spot that truly has something for everyone.


4 thoughts on “The Jersey Collection; Grouville Bay

  1. Super. Your article and pictures really captures this beautiful beach. Great details to make a trip there both accessible and interesting. I will most definitely visit as soon as possible.

    Liked by 1 person

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