Noirmont and Portelet Coastal Walk
Our thanks go to John Mallett who developed this lovely coastal walk to celebrate the Trust’s 80th year anniversary.
As you enter the car park you will exit to start the walk via the six-bar metal gate in the far left-hand corner (CARE: not the other one!).
Go through the gate and almost immediately there is a rather indistinct path ‘Y’ junction. Bear right taking the main grassy path and follow. Proceed to another rather indistinct path ‘Y’ junction.
At that junction bear right and follow the path. In the distance the tall chimney at La Collette will help you. Keep it centre of your vision. Do not turn off right or left. Carry on, with the chimney still remaining straight ahead. Progress though a gap in the brambles and scrub, (about 60 metres after the start). Keeping scrub immediately to your left carry on until you reach a path crossroad.
At the crossroad keep with the path, initially straight on downhill, then as it veers left, you will start to lose the chimney and enter an area of gorse; follow and proceed to the end of the path.
At the end of the path turn right onto a more prominent path bordered by a chain link fence. Follow for some way (longer than you think) keeping the chain-link fencing to your immediate left.
Eventually on the left-hand side you will pass a small concrete base with two short rusty rails (a relic from WWII). Continue on, do not turn off this coastal path. When, directly ahead, you reach a wire fence surrounding a field, turn left still keeping with this main path.
Continue with this path ignoring any temptation to turn off left or right. You will reach a path ‘Y’ junction with a large WWII gun now much in your sight ahead. At that ‘Y’ junction keep left and continue on with the same path.
Stay on this coastal path ignoring turnings to the left and to the right. (Do not forget to admire the sea views.) To confirm that you are on the correct path, very shortly you will pass two benches on a small headland to your left-hand side. Continue to follow the path around, initially to the right and continue as it meanders. As you approach the large gun emplacement ignore a narrow path to your left and keep on to reach the headland car park.
On entry to the car park, first climb up onto the large gun emplacement. (Admire the views and recognise what a dominant position from which to guard the bay). Then bear right to reach and read the memorial stone. Then cross over seaward to the small public telescope.
From there, walking right, make sure that you find the hand-railed entrance walkway to the massive five-storey German naval artillery direction and range-finding tower (Observation Tower MP 1). This will enable you, simply by walking, to be on the top of the structure. (Its entry was always from the top! – admire the awesome views again). Continuing your circuit around the car park and before you use the exit road, move round left as you exit the walkway. (Look down and admire the first views of Portelet Bay – various viewing spots).
Continue to head on round to exit the car park via the road. Follow the road up the slight incline. Towards the top, on your right-hand side you will see the WWII German Water Reservoir in front of a smaller gun. (Be amazed – you should indulge in a very short detour to the gun; it has an excellent coloured information board (the larger of the two), showing the whole of this Batterie Lothringen headland.) Return to the route.
Some 15 metres past those structures turn right and follow through the wooden barrier to join a grassy path. Stay on this path as it follows around the field continuing alongside the fence. Do not be tempted to veer right. At the bottom of the field you will meet another path. Turn left and follow, again staying with the fence and not veering or turning right.
As you progress up the side of the field this main path suddenly makes a major turn right, and away from the field and fence. At that point a secondary worn path ahead of you takes over the field/fence duty.
Take that narrower worn path carrying straight on up and keeping alongside the fencing. Continue straight on with the now new path, keeping alongside and around the field. Do not turn off.
To ensure that you are on the right path, you will shortly pass through an old gateway where the two granite gateposts still remain. Carry straight on up the path to reach the car park (and your car!).
THIS IS THE BREAK POINT OF THE WALK.
You have finished the Noirmont section and are now about to start the Portelet section From the car park entrance proceed straight across the road onto the grassy path.
Pass through the entrance barrier and continue on the path, keeping left (do not be tempted to turn off) until you reach a major path crossroad. At that crossroad turn right and follow the now narrowing path all the way to a large car park. (Do not forget the lovely sea views to your left). Carry on straight across the car park to the road.
At the road turn left onto the tarmac passing the Old Portelet Inn to your right. Continue, and on reaching a ‘Footpath’ sign proceed through the gateway and past the houses, carrying on to the end of the road.
At the road junction turn right and follow to the T-junction. At the T-junction turn left and follow the road, keeping straight on as it starts to run out of tarmac and becomes more of a track.
The now-track eventually bears a little right and enters a parking area. Immediately on entry turn right to exit. Leave the parking area by the exit now in front of you. Go through the wooden path barrier and proceed down the path. Follow this path all the way to the headland to reach the National Trust for Jersey memorial stone. (Take time to soak up the breathtaking views of St Brelade, its bay and its protective headlands).
Leaving the memorial stone to your left, proceed forward through a gap between two large stones heading seaward, but stopping before the grassy headland runs out. (A viewing point).
Turn left again and follow to join the narrow, rather stony, path. (Wonderful sea views again). Follow this path all the way to reach a long granite wall immediately in front of you.
At the granite wall turn left and follow to its end, stopping in front of an entrance with iron gates to your right-hand side. Go through the gateway and after 6 metres take the narrower right-hand path and follow.
Keep with this path. It will take you right around the headland (lovely sea views and in due course, again seaward, some really magnificent rock formations). Continue to follow round to enter a copse.
On entering under the trees, bear left. Then, as best you can, in this rather unmarked canopied copse area, carry on straight through, continuing on this left-hand side. Keep to this left-hand side eventually to emerge onto a path.
Turn right onto the path and proceed the short distance to the earlier gateway. From the seaward side, pass through the gateway and head straight across the open space to reach a path partially blocked by a large stone. Pass the stone and proceed along this path until you reach the parking area of earlier.
Head across the car park and now exit by the way you entered earlier. (Now the first exit to your right). Continue to follow the track, then the tarmac to reach La Rue Voisin on your right-hand side.
Proceed down La Rue Voisin until, on the left-hand side, you reach a ‘Private Road’ – so marked by sign and across its tarmac. Enter the private road and immediately proceed to your right and stop at the start of the white-tipped steps that take you down towards Portelet beach.
If you do NOT wish to descend to the beach, miss out the next seven paragraphs and rejoin the directions at the eighth paragraph below; Follow the road all the way back.
Those going to the beach. Proceed down. After 74 steps you will arrive at the end of a cul-de-sac road. Go straight across the road and still keeping straight on enter an unmarked short length of tarmac road that leads down to ‘Portelet 1 Pumping station’. To the right-hand side of the pumping station pick up the second phase of the white-tipped steps and descend another 118 steps.
You will arrive at the café. Ignore the remaining few of the white tipped steps to the right that take you to the café terrace and entrance. Bear left and start to descend the unmarked final 19 steps to the beach.
As you start to descend the last 19 steps – STOP – and use the little platform to very carefully check the state of the tide and assess the safety elements of continuing across the beach. To assist, from the bottom of the steps, look left and further down the beach you will see a sign that indicates the position of the ascending steps that you will have to reach and then climb.
If the café is open also take guidance from the staff. If your decision is NO, then return to the top of the steps. At the top turn right to get back onto the road.
Follow the road all the way back to the Old Portelet Inn. Then, some 70 metres further on, turn right again into the public car park (of earlier in the walk).
You have now rejoined the walk and your directions re-start after the five directional paragraphs immediately below.
For those continuing with the beach part of the walk, carry-on, re-starting with the following paragraph:
Descend the remaining steps to the beach. Turn left and walk across the beach to the sign at the bottom of the return steps. Mount those steps and proceed up the 127 steps to
the top. (There is a bench at the top!) At the top of the steps, leaving the Old Portelet Inn to your left, turn right.
After 70 metres turn right again into the car park. Those who did not cross the beach should return to the route directions here:
Keeping the edge of the car park to your immediate right, cross over to reach the footpath and follow. You will follow this path all the way to the road at Noirmont. (As you progress do not forget to admire the sea views to the right, one or two vistas are particularly stunning).
Do not be tempted at any point to turn off or veer to the right or left. (Particularly at the one major path crossroad where you must carry straight on!) (Again seaward views as you progress.) Continue to the road.
At the road turn left and proceed up the road to reach – on your right-hand side – the car park and your car!
Bus route 12 from Liberation station to Portelet Bay – see www.libertybus.je for timetables.
Take the main road, A13, from St. Aubin to Red Houses and at Woodbine Corner Stores, turn left onto the B57 – Route de Noirmont – signposted Ouaisné, Portelet and Noirmont. Continue along this road for approx. 1 mile. Then turn left at the Noirmont Point signpost. Drive past Warren Farm, over humps and bumps and minding the chickens and proceed slowly towards the headland. After passing a long row of pine trees on your left-hand side immediately turn left into the car parking area.
The Portelet Bay Café 01534 728550 www.porteletbaycafe.com
or The Portelet Inn 01534741899 www.randalls-jersey.co.uk/pub-guide/rest-of-island/old-portelet-inn/