For many, a Blue Badge instantly brings to mind the States of Jersey scheme which provides parking permits allowing disabled drivers and passengers to park nearer to their destination. However, Blue Badge also refers to a Tourist Guide who possesses the highest of British Tourist Guiding professional qualifications. Someone who can proudly offer a detailed, in-depth knowledge of the highlights of the Region in which they are qualified.
The Blue Badge qualification is not easily obtained, with hundreds of hours of independent study, accompanied by twice weekly classroom based lectures, and practical guiding experience each weekend, culminating in a comprehensive series of practical and written examinations.
A Blue Badge Guide in Jersey can take you on a time travelling adventure, from Iron Age Hillforts, past Medieval Castles, to 20th Century Wartime bunkers and beyond. They can help you find the beauty of art hidden in plain sight; admire murals in side-streets, and uncover statues and sculptures where you would least expect to find them. Cycle through beautiful country lanes, ramble along hidden footpaths or explore coastal cliff paths. Wander through ancient Churchyards and learn about the history of the Parish Churches, and the stories of the Islanders buried in their hallowed grounds; or even enjoy an historic pub crawl.
Our tiny Island has an enormous amount to offer those willing to go out and find it, and what better way than accompanied by a Blue Badge Guide who can open the doors of history, folklore, myth and magic while helping you to keep fit and active.
Very little can top the simple pleasure of rounding a corner on a hidden cliff path to be faced with a expanse of pink or purple flora, wafting in a gentle breeze; or a field of sparkling yellow. Along our headlands, crumble the gorse flowers in your fingers, and unbelievably smell coconut. Or wander along the pathways of our beautiful orchid field, home to around 32,000 orchids including the Jersey Loose Flowered Orchid, the Southern Marsh, Common Spotted and Heath Spotted Orchids. During May and June the meadows of Le Noir Pré are a riot of deep purple, pink and white.
Each area of our Island offers its own unique experiences and stories.
For example, you can explore Jersey’s rich maritime history beginning with a 60 minute harbour walk, hearing tales of marauding Vikings, pirates, privateers and Royalty, before strolling along the promenade past Castle Quay, towards St Helier Marina.
From the sculpture of the Needle, continue towards town learning of Jersey’s lucrative shipbuilding past; admire the marvellously restored 19thC warehouses, now home to the Jersey Maritime Museum.
The harbour walk takes us briefly around St Helier Town Marina, towards the Old Harbour, bordered by Quai des Marchands, (The Merchant’s Quay).
Photographic opportunities abound as the old harbour offers stunning views at both high and low tides. Learn the history of our charming steam clock Ariadne, and hear how the building of the Quai des Marchands (1818) caused consternation in the States Chamber.
For the more energetic explorers, you could take to your bicycles, to embark on a tour of the south-east coast of the Island, around the headland at Mount Bingham, through Havre des Pas, and along the Coast Road, to join sleepy lanes through St Clement and Grouville, arriving in the quaint Harbour village of Gorey, nestling below the majestic Castle of Mont Orgueil. Here you can hear tales of the famous Battle of the Oyster Shells, and the bravery of Major Archibald Campbell. Discover the history of Mont Orgueil Castle, and learn of Philippe D’Auvergne, the Prince of Bouillon’s infamous Spy Ring, La Correspondance.
There is so much information to share, it is almost impossible to pick on any one or two specialist subjects or tours. But in this age of increased fitness, where we are all trying to improve our health, strength, and weight, how better to achieve success than with an exciting exploration of our Island’s lanes, cliff paths and cycle routes. With the help of a Blue Badge Guide you can expand your mind, while reducing your waistline, increase your knowledge and muscle simultaneously, with some wonderful routes around the Island, and some fascinating stories to go with it.
Each of our 12 Parishes offers a mix of amazing geology, flora, fauna and history, and it is the Blue Badge Guide’s pleasure to share it with you. The study never really ends. There is always something new to learn, something exciting to discover, where you have that “Eureka” moment ! Another fact learned, another connection made. Something else to share with our intrepid clients.
So your are cordially invited to join us. Join a Jersey Uncovered Adventure! Follow the Blue!
About the Author
Kary Day is a Blue Badge Guide, fluent in French. Her love of history, coupled with her love of our Island gave her the inspiration to join the ranks of the Blue Badge Tourist Guides. The walks and tours created by the Jersey Uncovered Team suit all ages, abilities and interests, and will take you on a time-travelling adventure, filled with historical facts, legends, myths, and mirth. If you are interested in learning more, you can contact the team at firstname.lastname@example.org