< Bec du Nez>

Bec du Nez from the cliff path.

Walk R2. Jerbourg to Fermain and back

Time: 1 hr. 30 mins.

A map of the walk can be found here.

Jerbourg (St Martins) Point marks the south east point of Guernsey, and the divide where the east coast cliffs end and the south coast cliffs begin. I think this must be my favourite of the cliff walks, partly because much of the outward path runs near the base of the cliffs and near the sea (unusual for our cliff paths which mostly tend to be higher up the cliffs), and partly because, being on the east coast, if offers great views over the Little Russel to the other islands.

Although I'm describing these coastal walks in a clockwise direction around the island, I've chosen to start this walk at Jerbourg, mainly because of the absence of public parking at or near Fermain. If you do choose to start at Fermain, or you want for example to combine this walk with walk 1 to make a longer walk, just start reading in the middle!

Park in the public car park at the end of La Route de Jerbourg on the left side of Hotel Jerbourg. Or take the bus (route 81) to Jerbourg point. Apart from the facilities offered by the hotel, the car park has a refreshment kiosk (open in season and at other times) and public toilets (open all year). Make sure to walk up the little grassy mound to the orientation table, for the fine views over the Little Russel, the other islands, the coast back to St Peter Port, and (on a clear day) as far as the Cherbourg Peninsular.

Take the path that leaves the east corner of the car park, descending down steps facing in the direction of Sark. Near the bottom, turn left by a seat and in front of a small rocky outcrop to join the path along the lower part of the cliff. (Optionally, you can continue straight on to reach the square light-house/fog horn at the tip of St Martins Point, before re-tracing your steps).

The somewhat undulating path continues pleasantly along the cliff, with the same views that you had from the top, except that in the distance you can now see the cliff path part of walk 1. After a few minutes you reach what is known locally as the "Pine Forest", though this is not so much a forest - more a collection of a few pine trees! Don't turn up steps that run up the cliff on your left.

You will pass a granite block signing an optional diversion to Divette Bay and back. This is a little visited bay, as it is small and quite stony. We carry straight on (signed on the granite block: Marble Bay / Fermain Bay), then almost immediately we reach a fork and take the left hand path (signed: Fermain / Bec du Nez). This path climbs a little, and then dips down to cross a little wooden bridge over a stream (the wood may be slippery if damp). The steps on the right lead down to Marble Bay. This is worth a quick visit, but like Divette, is stony and has no facilities.

Otherwise continue straight up the steps that initially bend to the left, then wind up to meet another path at a T junction. Turn right here (again signed: Bec du Nez / Fermain). You can see down to Marble Bay on your right, with the Pine Forest behind. The path curves left, and you soon come to a four cross of paths. It's worth taking an optional detour down the path on your right to visit the little fisherman's landing of Bec du Nez. Otherwise continue straight on.

After a few minutes the path enters some more mature deciduous trees, and then bends left up a little valley, and along a small stream which it almost immediately crosses. At the top of the steps turn right to reach a view-point over Fermain Bay with two seats. Continue down the path to reach Fermain Bay at a small metal bridge over another stream (may be slippery if damp). (45 minutes).

Leave Fermain by retracing your steps up the path to the viewpoint with the two seats. If you are starting this walk at Fermain, this is the path which starts by the Martello Tower over the small metal bridge, and then traverses upwards along the side of the cliff. At a fork near the beginning, carry straight on (signed on a granite block: St Martins Point).

You may care to note the inscription on the granite block near the beginning of the path, stating that some of the land was donated by Percy Ferguson. For many years Percy ran a couple of launches between Fermain and St Peter Port. The trip took 15 minutes, and it was a popular excursion (certainly for my family) to take a bus from Town to the top of Fermain Hill, walk down the hill, spend time on the beach and then take the boat back to Town. A sort of mobile "pier" on wheels was run up and down the beach with the tide, for passengers to embark and disembark. As the beach flattened out at low tide, this was supplemented with another wooden gantry and duck boards. Maybe getting onto the boat was half the enjoyment! Sadly these trips are no more.

From the viewpoint, continue straight up the path. (Do not turn left down the steps of your outward path. Follow the block signed: Calais / St Martins Point). As soon as you reach the road turn back sharp left along what almost appears to be a private drive ("Le Montfrie"). You can see a notice that states that this is a public right of way. Just before you reach the garden gates the cliff path turns off on the right.

Initially this path starts on the level, then soon bends half right down a few steps and enters some mature trees. After you pass through an ancient low wall, keep left along the horizontal path, ignoring a path heading up on the right. It will be apparent that you are retracing the outward route, but near the top of the cliff rather than the bottom. At a four cross of paths by a seat keep straight on. (The left path goes down to cross your outward route to reach Bec du Nez. The right hand path behind the seat goes up to La Route de Jerbourg).

Our path descends initially through a few pine trees. After a sharp left bend, turn right (signed Jerbourg Road / St Martins Point). After a short flight of steps you reach another path at a T junction. By turning left you could if you wish reach our outward route at the Pine Forest. But we will continue up the steps almost facing us (National Trust of Guernsey), to reach and cross a grassy area and meet the road (La Route de Jerbourg).

Turn left along the road. The Doyle Monument has a view point and orientation table at its base. Continue along the road to regain the bus stop and car park. (1 hr. 30 mins).