Jersey could have been designed for running fans—scenic backdrops like castles in the sea, sandy beaches and hills and countryside valleys.
One of Jersey’s most well-known runners gives us his five favourite winter running routes in Jersey:
ELIZABETH CASTLE TO ST AUBIN’S FORT
At the St. Helier end of the promenade, you have Elizabeth Castle and at the western end St.Aubin’s Fort. Both have stood the test of time and used to defend the island during many battles.
The only battle you’ll face is timing your run to beat the turning tide, but it’s possible to run to both by following the cobbled pathways through the rippling sand, starting with Elizabeth Castle and then along the beach to St. Aubin’s Fort. This run makes a great alternative to the road, and real kudos for your Strava!
Grab yourself a coffee or a bite to eat in one of the cafes of St.Aubin after your 4.5-mile run, or if you want to extend your run, take the promenade back for an additional 3 miles.
GOREY CASTLE TO ST CATHERINE’S BREAKWATER
Starting in the impressive shadow of Gorey Castle as it looks down over Gorey Harbour, follow the road East toward St. Catherine’s Breakwater, where on a clear day, you can see France just 15 miles away.
It’s a gently undulating route of around 10k, so you’ll get in a good distance while appreciating the amazing coast road views. When you reach Archirondel, detour down to the beach where the Napoleonic tower stands, guarding the bay.
Continue your journey by heading back up the road or following the sea wall to St. Catherine’s Slip. Play it safe by taking the road, or if you are feeling adventurous, take the headland path accessed off the slip.
Make your way to the end of the breakwater, passing the many fishermen, and you’ll be impressed by the panoramic view out to sea and back over the bays behind you.
The cafe at the beginning of the breakwater offers a welcome midway coffee and snack before your run back along the coast to Gorey.
ST AUBIN HARBOUR TO CORBIERE LIGHTHOUSE
Experience the sleepy, laid-back atmosphere of St.Aubin’s in Winter with the boats bobbing in the harbour as you start your run with the gentle uphill climb along The Railway Walk.
A former railway line used until the occupation of the German forces in the Second World War is now a popular light trail path stretching from South to West.
Out and back, you’ll have achieved 7 miles with your turning point at the end of the line and a picture-perfect photo opportunity standing in the shadow of Corbiere Lighthouse and taking in the breathtaking vista of St. Ouen’s Bay.
Head up the hill to the WW2 communications tower, which offers further views over the cliff paths to the South West of the island and more inspiring photos.
Sit and watch the tide come in at Corbiere Phare, a restaurant and bar, which is a spectacle in itself, before heading back along the Railway Walk, where there’s another perfect bay view just a few minutes along the track with some funky life-size metal artwork to share another photo with.
Stay on the familiar track, and you’ll be back in St. Aubin and the end, and depending on the time of day, reward yourself with lunch or dinner.
ST. PETER’S VALLEY TRACK OR TRAILS
Park up at the National Trust Le Moulin De Quetivel in St. Peter’s Valley or maybe hire a bike and ride here. Then choose from the recently created track up the valley or explore the well-maintained trails extending into the woods above the old water mill.
The path well travelled passes the water meadows, which are the habitat for the Manx Loaghtan sheep with their distinctive horns and the ducks swimming in the pond.
Just 10 minutes out of town for that run with the country feel.
VAL DE LA MARE RESERVOIR
A run here at any time of the day will be a rewarding experience, but make the effort at sunrise or sunset, and that’s when the magic really comes alive!
Park up at the head of the reservoir just opposite the Amaizin’ Adventure Park. Lace up your trail shoes and head down the wide path until the reservoir appears on your right and take in the calmness of the still waters.
Keep the reservoir on your right, crossing the grassy meadow under the towering wall of the dam below and head back up the winding path, where you’ll be taking on a different type of trail run with the now narrow rocky paths.
A world away from the city streets of Europe and beyond.
Crossing at the head of the reservoir, prepare yourself for a sharp ascent where your prize is a breathtaking view over the dam to the vast expanse of St. Ouen’s Bay below. Hit this point at sunrise or sunset, and you’ll have a picture-perfect shot.
Just a few more ups and downs, and you’re back on the wide-open trail and heading back to your starting point.
Just 5k, but well worth the effort!
ABOUT OUR GUEST AUTHOR: Bryce Alford ‘Running Genius’ is a world standard ultra runner, running and mind/body coach and has lived in Jersey for 17 years, He knows its amazing cliff paths and exceptional running locations well and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org for running tours or coaching when in Jersey.