Kate Limburn discovers perfect walking routes for families with young kids and buggies in tow! Despite Jersey’s relatively small size, it is a great place for walking with something to offer for everyone.
The Rugged North
The towering cliffs and dramatic coastline of the north offer spectacular views with Guernsey, Sark and France visible on a clear day, not to mention a lung-busting challenge for those keen to push themselves on the steep gradients of many of the cliff-top rambles. If you’re not so keen to commit to an entire stretch of coastal path, there are plenty of car parks at the best view points, allowing you to stroll a short way along the path in either direction and still get a feel for the exhilaration of a cliff-top wander.
The Serene South
Jersey’s gentler south coast is great for families looking to combine beach time with a short wander, those heading west can walk almost the entire side of the island along uninterrupted sandy beach and dunes. In the other direction the east coast offers history, sand and varied landscapes.
For non-beach walking days, Jersey has a network of designated ‘Green Lanes’ – small often single-track lanes where walkers, cyclists and riders have priority and cars are restricted to a snail-like 15 mph. These make a great option for peaceful inland wanders in the lush countryside, pub routes or turning a coastal wander into a circular route. Green lanes are marked on tourist maps of the Island.
The old railway line from St. Helier via St. Aubins to the south west tip of Jersey is another option for those looking for designated walking tracks on an even surface. In theory the entire railway route is possible with a sturdy or all-terrain pushchair but it is not completely flat so may suit those walking with older children or toddlers in child carriers best. The stretch from St. Helier to St. Aubins is entirely along paved beachfront paths so perfect for a leisurely weekend wander to explore the pretty fishing port of St. Aubins and this popular stretch of the south coast.
Finally, those in search of a more epic challenge might like to attempt the Channel Island Way or complete a walk around the circumference of Jersey.
Tried and tested Baby Routes
Corbiere Lighthouse Loop Walk
Walk Distance: 2.2 km.
Walk Duration: 45 mins (with view admiring time built in!)
Map: Jersey Official Leisure Map.
Suitable for: Older children, babies in carriers (but a couple of short but steep sections and some steps).
Return half of walk on old railway line suitable for pushchairs for those looking for a shorter, buggy friendly option.
Queens Valley Reservoir Pushchair Walk
Walk Distance: 1.4 km for short route; 3.1 km for longer route.
Walk Duration: 30 minutes for short route; just over an hour for longer route.
Map: Jersey Official Leisure Map – although the map below or those available from Jersey Water will suffice as the trail is easy to follow.
Suitable for: Pushchairs, babies in backpacks, all the family.
St. Catherine’s Wood Walk
Walk Distance: 2.5 km.
Walk Duration: 1 hour (including toddling/playing time in the woods).
Map: Jersey Official Leisure Map.
Suitable for: Baby carriers, older children and all the family. Toddlers will enjoy a walk in the woodland section but might need a lift for the uphill sections of the return route.
Other family friendly routes and resources
Jersey Tourism – the essential reference for all walkers, their website has a fantastic walking section with many ideas for routes, tips on terrain and details of guided walks for all abilities. It’s also worth visiting the Jersey Tourism office in Liberation Place, St Helier to pick up a copy of the Jersey Leisure Map (the equivalent of an OS Map in the UK) and other useful guides.
Jersey Water – Jersey’s reservoirs offer an alternative and peaceful inland option for gentle walks, most of which are pushchair friendly. Details of two such walks can be found on the leisure section of their website.
Walking Britain – a small selection of Jersey walks are listed on Walking Britain but which are not necessarily all family friendly.