/ Cycling around Jersey with 7 year old?
Anyone on here cycled around Jersey? Thinking of visiting with my 7-year old daughter and wondering whether we can get around without a car...
Train on Guernsey and work your way up? Only half joking, it's a lovely island and a fair bit smaller.
Yes, you can get around fine without a car, but remember many of the lanes are narrow with granite walls, so you have to be very aware of cars.
I think most footpaths are out of bounds to cyclists, unless you are one of those cyclists who just ignores no cycling signs (which becoming increasingly common in the UK).
A few years ago I had an overnight stop on the way back from St Malo.
I'd booked a campsite in the north of the island. The climb from St Helier to the north was hilly, so the centre is probably not suitable for a 7yo.
However I came back round the eastern coast and that was not only flatter but more interesting with the odd cove & small castle.
I'd definitely recommend that side for a 7yo.
I don't know about the west of the island but I'm sure you can find out with a bit of research.
Re the comment about Guernsey, I went there last year and cycled clockwise round the island.
It's hilly climbing west out of St Peter Port but the west, north and east coast roads are pretty flat. There's also loads of towers to explore round the coast.
If I was taking a 7yo and had a choice, I would pick Guernsey over Jersey.
Not cycled but walked there quite a bit on trips to the in laws. It’s surprisingly hilly- some pretty steep climbs so I don’t know how used the child is to sharp,short climbs but it’s also really quite quiet on the green lanes in the middle of the island. There’s an old rail line from near the airport down into St. Helier which gives a traffic free route in and out of town but a lot of the roads going around the island to the popoular beaches are pretty busy and wouldn’t be ideal with a youngster. As has been said, a lot of the lanes have quite limited viz due to the high banks at the sides of the road but with a max peed limit of 40 mph on the island at least you don’t have too many lunatics to deal with. The other thing to consider is that at roundabouts, traffic filters in turn- not like the U.k.
I'd heartily second going to Guernsey instead. I was about 7 when I first cycled on the island. Much quieter than Jersey, even these days. If you do go, be sure to get off the bike and walk the cliff paths iin the SE corner: Moulin Huet Bay and surrounding area is especially good.
Had my only experience of riding a tandem a couple of years ago when my wife and I cycled round the island. Took us next to no time as it's almost flat along it's longest side. Come to think of it that bike was designed for an adult plus child; you would have a really good day out if you hired that one, as we did. They are surprisingly fast on the flat.
Jersey basically slopes up to the north - north coast is all cliffs, south and east is all flat. If you were to cycle round the coast road starting at St.Helier you've a climb up to Corbiere out of St.Aubin - possibly a cyclepath on an old railway line there? Then you'd descend to St.Ouen's beach, then a steep climb up to Grosnez, then the north is mainly flat plateau until you descend down to St.Catherines and the flatlands. Inland - essentially there's a number of valleys that run from the northern plateau down to St.Aubins/St Helier. Crossing theses will inevitably mean a number of short climbs and descents, but going up and down them is long steady climbs/descents. I'd say you'd want to keep off the main roads with a 7yr old, but I don't know what the alternative routes are inland i.e. you may have to use the main roads. You can cycle along the coast at St.Aubins off the road, there's a wide promenade/path.
Guernsey (where I live) is different - the cliffs are on the south. As described above, you've a climb up out of St.Peter Port onto the southern plateau which is more or less flat until you descend down to Rocquaine. This takes 10-15 minutes on foot. The west, north and east coasts are flat. There's a gravel cycle path along some of the west and north coast and a tarmac one between St.Sampsons and St.Peter Port in the east. It's 23 miles around the island on the coast road. There's 4 bike shops in Guernsey if you need maintenance. Same advice about main roads.
Both islands are only 100-150m high.
I've been cycling round Jersey for 30 years (I have family there). It's unique, and wonderful. I'd totally recommend it. No reason why you shouldn't take a child on a child-seat, if you're used to the extra weight and the change in your balance set-up. Get a bike with plenty of gears--there are some surprisingly meaty hills, e.g. out of Bouley Bay, and the roads often have short sharp climbs, even though nothing is all that big. If you want to go on rough lanes or the north coast path, get fat tyres. Don't cycle on beaches unless you want to lose your hire deposit; don't cycle on pavements unless you don't mind an on the spot fine.
Jersey has lots of Green Lanes where traffic is either non-existent or minimal. You can get a cycling map of Jersey that marks them. Especially with a child on board, you might wish to avoid the A roads, which can be busy, and aren't always very wide.
I recommend Zebra Cycles, in St Helier just by Liberation Bus Station. https://www.zebrahire.com/bikes/ Or there's a place in St Aubin, at the beginning of the old-railway cycle-path to Corbiere.
That's one of the easiest and safest excursions to do, incidentally--head out of town towards St Aubin along the esplanade, then in St Aubin go up the lane that gets you on to the cycle-path. Then just cycle to the lighthouse at Corbiere. (Watch out where the cycle-track crosses roads, which it does about 5 times.)
Going the other way from town, there's a cycle-path through the middle of the island to Gorey, but it's hilly. Or you can cycle the coast road, which is very pretty, but fairly busy as far as Green Island. Then there's an excellent boardwalk cycle-route up past the German Hospital in the middle of the island: you can go north on that to St Mary or St John, then turn around and come back down one of the other valleys.
More ambitiously--and probably best not to do this with a child on the back--there's the cliff path on the north coast, which is simply magnificent.
The Tour de Jersey (always taking the continuous road that's nearest the sea right round the island) is a wonderful ride; it takes me about 3 hours, not that I hurry it.
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