Whilst every effort is taken to ensure the accuracy of the information in this booklet, no liability can be accepted by the

author or the publishers for any loss, damage or injury caused by errors in, or omissions from, the information given. It is strongly recommended that riders wear a helmet

Cycle in the tracks of steam

For further information visit

www.jersey.com
Jersey Tourism, Liberation Square, St Helier, Jersey JE1 1BB Tel: +44 (0)1534 500777 Fax: +44 (0)1534 500808 E-mail: info@jersey.com
All information correct at time of print – June 2006

www.jersey.com

Key
Leave Liberation Square and, using the crossing, head for the harbour. At the quayside turn right and cycle west. Ride parallel to the road for a short distance. When the track rises slightly, turn left to follow Route 1A Tourist Route, this takes us between the old harbour railings and the Victoria Place apartments.
Cycle Route Main Road ‘B’ Road ‘C’ Road Minor Road Green Lane German Occ. Site Jersey Tower Toilets (disabled) Cricket Sports Field Football Bowls Lighthouse Water Skiing Wind-surfing Yachting

F O

Kiosk Castle/House Museum Church Fort

This short cycle ride ( 7.5 miles/12 kilometres ) is suitable for nearly everyone. The gradient is almost entirely flat and over 90% of the route is away from motorised traffic. There is plenty to see, a number of places to stop for a cup of tea and any amount of toilets!

Before turning right to cycle between the two apartment blocks, notice the Needle sculpture on the left. Unveiled in 2004, to mark the Queen’s Golden Jubilee, it is made from slate excavated in four different quarries in the Lake District. The sculptor Richard Perry, felt that these colours reflected perfectly the changing colours of our coastal waters. Once again use the crossing to cross the dual carriage way ahead. Cycle on as the paving rises, but beware of a road crossing coming shortly. After crossing this, freewheel towards another sculpture, the Freedom Tree, then follow the tarmac as it bends right. The Freedom Tree is another work by Richard Perry. Created for the 60th anniversary of the Liberation, it was unveiled by Her Majesty The Queen on May 9th 2006. After the upturned boat café La Fregate on the left and the playful fountains on the right, turn left to follow the parallel white lines which mark the cycle track. All of this route is shared with pedestrians and fellow cyclists so please take extra care where necessary.

The route we are taking follows the track of the Jersey Railway Company, which ran a service from St Helier to La Corbiere during the early part of the 20th century. In fact our starting point, the Jersey Tourism visitor centre, is housed in the old railway terminus. By the time we reach the first Jersey round tower, seen across the road on our right, we have cycled 1.5 miles ( 2.4 kilometres ). Look out for the parish boundary stone set into the sea wall, which should appear in a few yards. Our parishes are often divided by natural barriers such as streams. Depending on recent rainfall, you should see the stream that divides St Helier from St Lawrence heading out to sea from the outfall pipe adjacent to the boundary stone. Continue past the Coronation Park, which lies beyond the carriageway to the right. The park was a gift to the island from Florence Boot, Lady Trent, the wife of Jesse Boot founder of Boots the Chemist. Florence Boot was a Jersey girl whose father had a stationery shop in Queen Street. They met and fell in love when Jesse Boot was convalescing in Jersey, following a nervous breakdown.

We soon find ourselves approaching the small village of St Aubin. Where the track divides beside the granite church, take the left fork to cycle beside the sea wall for a short distance. The route continues to bring us out in front of St Brelade’s Parish Hall. The parish hall is home to the St Brelade’s Honorary Police. Each of Jersey’s 12 parishes have an honorary police force, a situation that has existed since the 14th century and one that is still important even today. The parish hall was once the Terminus Hotel with the railway station standing just behind it. Unfortunately, late one night in October 1936, the buildings were ravaged by fire. The station and most of the rolling stock were destroyed. By this time the motor car was gaining a foothold and it was decided not to re-establish the line. The rolling stock was disposed of and the land on which the track ran was sold to the States of Jersey. It is interesting to note that the line was reinstated by the Germans during the Occupation, albeit in a much extended version which branched off at Pont Marquet to join a line that ran south from Ronez Quarries. Cycle on towards a single storey building, the National Westminister Bank, on the left of the hill immediately ahead. The red paving stones beside the road mark the half way point in our journey out to La Corbiere. Using care, cross the road that runs beside the harbour. Pass in front of the bank and, where a steep hill comes in from the left, cycle straight up a tarmac slope which has “Keep Clear” painted on it. Just beyond the tarmac the orange gravel of the railway track soon comes into view. Apart from a few road crossings, we stay on this surface until we reach La Corbiere. The track rises gently. When the railway engineers built the line, they thought that the 1 in 40 gradient was quite steep, though I doubt that this is a sentiment shared by the cyclists of today !

As we leave St Aubin the first of two road bridges comes into view. This imposing granite arch is Seven Oaks Bridge which carries the road that runs from St Aubin to St Brelade. After a few pedal strokes we reach the first road crossing. Using great care, cross over. A blue cycle route sign appears: Route 1 Les Quennevais and Corbiere. For the next 200 yards or so we can enjoy Pont Marquet Country Park. At the next road crossing, using care, cross over to regain the gravel track. Here we may like to detour to the Lavender Farm.

To get to the Lavender Farm, turn left and continue along the road until we reach a crossroads. Here turn left and in moments we discover the Lavender Farm on the right. Use care when crossing in front of the oncoming traffic. Jersey Lavender is a family owned and run business which was established in the 1980s. In addition to lavender, the farm also grows rosemary, eucalyptus and cypress. The oils distilled from these crops are used in a range of perfume products and toiletries which are available in the farm shop or online. In addition, one can relax in the Lavender Café and enjoy a delicious selection of home made food. The 9 acre site is open from May until September, 10am until 5pm, every day apart from Monday. Closed between September and May. Entrance to the shop and café is free, a small admission charge is made to visit the gardens.

Continuing along the track, we shall shortly pass under the second road bridge, Don Bridge, named after General Sir George Don, Lieutenant Governor of Jersey. General Don was an extremely capable and well liked man who, in addition to a number of other island improvements, established an experimental farm in this area in the early 1800s. This stretch of our route is bordered by modern housing on the left and Les Quennevais Sports Centre on the right. A little further on we pass Les Quennevais School, a secondary school opened in 1966 and catering for over 800 pupils from this side of the island. Look out for red squirrels here, they use the trees bordering the track as an aerial highway between their dreys. The track carries on between the driving range and the course of La Moye Golf Club. The first golf course at La Moye was created by George Boomer, the headmaster at the nearby La Moye School. Whilst George Boomer is not especially famous, his son Audrey Boomer was a golfing champion who, amongst his achievements, numbered winning the French Open five times and representing Britain in two Ryder Cups. George Boomer also taught golfing legends ( and Jerseymen ) Harry Vardon and Ted Ray. After leaving the golf course we cross two tarmac lanes, the path descends as we approach another road crossing. As usual, employ great care as this one is in a bend. Pedal on and presently we reach another road. The Poplars Tea Room is only a short distance away. To get to the Poplars, turn left and cycle along the road for about 300 yards, pass a junction on the right and the Poplars is on the right in a slight bend. Careful when crossing the oncoming traffic.

The Poplars Tea Room is situated in a property which has been retained in the same family for the past 300 years, even the fig tree in the garden has been there for 100 years ! A popular spot for refreshments for over 20 years, it is presently run by Sue Healy who recommends the cream teas. Open from 10am to 5pm every day but Tuesday, closed between October and March. If you’re not tempted by a cream tea, cross the road and pedal on up the track. Where the track forks, take the right hand fork signposted Corbiere. The left hand fork was a spur line that ran to La Rosiere Quarry. We shall see the remains of the granite wheel house on our left in a moment. The railway was extended from St Aubin to the quarry in 1884. Most of the stone quarried here went to be used in the Thames embankment. The track runs parallel to the road on the left. The tall concrete tower that we can see ahead on the left, as we approach La Corbiere, is a German sighting tower built during the last war. Each slit in the tower would control one artillery piece in a battery of guns on the headland. Until quite recently the tower was used by Jersey Radio which controlled the shipping movements around the island. Today, it is under the control of the Jersey Heritage Trust who have turned it into a very unusual holiday let. It is one of a number of similar sites that the Trust offer the adventurous visitor.

As we draw near to the end of our trip, we see the beautiful dressed granite façade of the old Corbiere railway station on our left, together with the Table des Marthes, a low, flat rock beside the track on our right. It is said that this stone was once used for signing contracts on and such contracts would be considered especially binding. On a lighter note it was also used by local schoolboys to play marbles! The track finishes quite abruptly after a left hand turn so be ready with your brakes. At La Corbiere, depending on the state of the tide we can visit the famous lighthouse. Designed by Sir John Coode and built by Imrie Bell in 1873, it was the first reinforced concrete lighthouse built in the British Isles. From the 62 foot tower the light is visible for 18 miles. The light was powered originally by paraffin but since 1965 it has run on electricity. The present strength of the beam is 1000 watts, the light and fog horn are run automatically, there being no permanent staff on site since the 70s. The total cost of building the lighthouse, including the causeway and the lighthouse keepers’ cottages, was £8001. Alternatively, we could admire the view from the Corbiere Phare public house and restaurant, with a refreshing drink or delicious meal in front of us!

If you have enjoyed this ride, don’t forget that Jersey has a 96 mile cycle network, including over 45 miles of speed restricted Green Lanes. These peaceful, scenic lanes allow the cyclist to explore the entire island at their leisure. Why not buy a cycling map or one of the cycling guides available at the Jersey Tourism visitor centre.

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