ST OUEN'S BAY - JERSEY
ST OUEN'S BAY
I am lucky to have visited some of the world’s most beautiful beaches. I have snorkelled alongside barracudas off ‘The Beach’ beach in Kho Phi Phi in Thailand, I have been mesmerised by the whitest of sands and bluest of skies in the Bazaruto Archipelago just off Mozambique, I have enjoyed having a reef right on my doorstep in The Maldives. I have marvelled at the crystal clearness of the warm waters in Kefalonia, Greece and I have felt like a movie star on the pine-surrounded beautiful beach at Formentor, Mallorca.
Now, I am adding to my list of favourite beaches with St Ouen’s Bay in Jersey. This was our first trip to Jersey and certainly not our last. St Ouen’s Bay is on the west coast of Jersey and is a big, wide sweeping bay with white sand, crystal clear water and it is gently shelving. St Ouen’s is known to be good for surfing and body boarding. There are lifeguards on the beach (between the red and yellow flags) and areas marked where you should surf (black and white flags). It is such a massive beach, there are also areas away from lifeguards and surfers if you should so choose.
The first day we went there, we parked at the Watersplash car park. There is a cafe and beach bar there and a surf shop. You can hire body boards and surfboards form there and book surf lessons group or individual and were more than happy to help. We hired a body board from the surf shop which was £5 for 3 hours. I think they also include a wetsuit in that if you want it.
We set up camp on the beach, which was accessible just down the steps from the Watersplash centre. We have a good beach umbrella and The Dog was more than happy to sleep in the shade under the brolly. We had a lot of fun in the surf. The tide was coming in, which was perfect as a) there was no strong current threatening to drag The Child off to France and b) it meant that over time we had less far to walk down to the sea.
The next day, after getting a recommendation for lunch from a Jersey family staying in our campsite, we headed of to El Tico Beach Cantina on St Ouen’s Bay. The lunch was great. The Husband had a massive pot of mussels, I had a spicy Asian broth, The Child had home-made fish fingers and chips, all were delicious. Right on the beach, we sat on the terrace, enjoying the glorious view and the very tasty food and The Dog was allowed there. Right next to El Tico Beach Cantina is another surf shop, and this time we plumped for a surf board. This was £10 for 3 hours including wetsuit.
I was a little sceptical about how this would pan out given that when The Child tries something for the first time and can’t do it to a world class standard within the first 5 minutes, he gets very frustrated and cross. Unfortunately the very first wave knocked him clean off the top off the board and bowled him under the water, resulting in a total strop / stomp out of the water to get his goggles. Goggles on, he stomped back to the water like the man from Atlantis...but he took on the challenge of the surf board and 20 minutes later after a few more wipe-outs, he got the hang of standing up and riding a wave = very proud mummy. And he ditched the goggles. He loved it so much he did it again and again until the tide came totally up so that he couldn’t do it anymore. I even had a go at surfing, but totally embarrassed myself by not even being able to stand up and just flailing about in the water like a beached whale.
Unfortunately we were leaving the next day so we couldn’t visit there again, but we have since been to North Bay in Scarborough, East Yorkshire for another go at surfing, which he loved again (full wetsuit this time...) . I am now on a mission to improve on my fitness so that I can summon up the core muscle strength to stand up on a surf board in preparation for next year...watch this space!
St Ouen's Bay gets a big tick from me and a big tick from The Child ✔️✔️
I have been told that the current can be quite strong if the tide is going out, so be aware and stay in the areas with lifeguards if you are intending to go in the water, after all you don't want to be washed off to France!
Our St Ouen's surfing video: youtu.be/TqZt9ZfdiXA
El Tico Beach Cantina: www.elticojersey.com/home
Surf Schools / Shops:
Near Watersplash: www.splashsurfcentre.com/
Near El Tico Cantina: thesurfyard.com/