OCCUPATION UNCOVERED

 Stories From Occupation To Liberation

Come and join your Jersey Uncovered Guides on an adventure of discovery, uncovering the stories of the Occupation, which began with a fatal Luftwaffe bombing on 28th June 1940 to the joyous liberation of 9th May 1945.

Our travels will take us in the footsteps of the heroes and villains of the Occupation years and connect you to the islanders who endured long years of living alongside the enemy, behind enemy lines.

To book any of the tours outlined below – please contact info@jerseyuncovered.com

The Western Front

An exploration of the fortifications of St Ouen’s Bay

Know your Fortifications
Strongpoint Corbiere
Type 606 searchlight shelter
PICTURE: TONY PIKE

 

Join Blue Badge Guide Roger Noel (roger@jerseyuncovered.com), an Ornithologist and Historian, for an interesting wander around the environs of St Ouen’s Bay.  Part of the Jersey National Park, this beautiful Bay offers you stunning views, a magnificent dunes system, and a haven for birdlife, wildlife and plant life.

Admire the surfing paradise of strong rolling Atlantic waves, which twice daily wash the miles of beautiful sandy beach, making St Ouen’s Bay the best of its kind. Learn the history behind the many fortifications along the coastline, dating from the 18th century through to the 20th Century German fortifications.  Discover how these imposing bunkers were constructed, by whom and who manned them.

The walk also includes a visit to the fascinating Channel Island Military Museum, housed in a German Bunker which once formed part of Hitler’s Atlantic Wall.  Perched on the sea wall, the bunker dominates the surrounding area and is home to an impressive collection of artefacts, both military and civilian, which recount the story of 5 long years of German Occupation.

This St Ouen’s Bay wander lasts for approximately three hours from the Car Park opposite the Wetland Centre.

For more information and to reserve a place, please contact Roger@jerseyuncovered.com

Travelling Through Time

Walk in the footsteps of the German Occupiers through St Peter’s Valley

Join Blue Badge Guide Jon Osmont (jon@jerseyuncovered.com) on this three hour circular walk, exploring the picturesque lanes running through the centre of the island.

Find what what effect that the occupying forces of WWII had on our Island’s history and landscape.

Throughout your journey you will uncover magnificent 18th century granite houses, and 20th century German fortifications, not to mention ancient water mills, which were reinstated after a long period of closure and put to use by the Occupiers.

The tour will culminate with a fascinating visit to the Jersey War Tunnels, formerly known as the Underground Hospital.

Hohlgangsanlage 8 (often abbreviated to H080) was a partially completed underground hospital complex built by German occupying forces. After the liberation of the Channel Islands the complex was converted into a museum detailing the occupation.  Today you can wander through 1km of completed tunnels and feel the chilling atmosphere.  Hear of the slaves who were put to work to hew out the stone in brutal conditions and discover how islanders and enemy lived side-by-side during the long 5 years of occupation.

The terrain can, in some parts be uneven, so suitable attire and footwear is recommended.

Meet and finish at the bus stop near The Jersey War Tunnels.

For more information and to reserve a place, please contact jon@jerseyuncovered.com

The North West Corner Uncovered

with Nicky Mansell

Join Blue Badge Guide and Geologist Nicky Mansell (Nicky@jerseyuncovered.com)  on a wander around the North-West Corner of the Island, with its breath-taking views, incredible geology and historic fortifications.

Starting at L’Etacq, Nicky will begin by sharing with you the features which evidence that sea level and climate change is nothing new.  Discover a major geological boundary marking over 200 million years of rock formation and if tide permits, discover the remains of the Neolithic forest, before taking a steep footpath along to the Les Landes Headland.

From here investigate the bunkers and guns from the occupation years and hear why and how this site was so cleverly used by the occupying forces.

Your journey will take you along the cliff paths in the footsteps of the Occupiers standing watch over the Bay, to the Pinnacle with its Neolithic, chalcolithic and roman remains, before discovering one of Jersey’s Mesolithic sites where many flints have been found.

This is the most dramatic coastline in Jersey and gives you great views of the cliffs and also the other islands.

The walk takes two hours and thirty minutes and is quite steep in places so requires a reasonable level of fitness as well as good walking shoes or boots.

For more information and to reserve a place, please contact nicky@jerseyuncovered.com

From Soldatenheim to Kriegsmarine

The hidden Secrets of St Brelade’s Bay to Noirmont Point

 

St Brelade’s Bay, one of our most picturesque beaches along the South-West Coast of the Island hides many dark secrets.

Join Blue Badge Guide and Historian Tracey Radford (tracey@jerseyuncovered.com) on a gentle stroll through history and uncover the secrets of this beautiful bay.

Learn of of Soldatenheim II, The St Brelade’s Bay Hotel, used by the German Occupying forces as a place of rest and recuperation during World War II away from the front Line.

Wander through the Historic Parish Church of St Brelade and hear about the German Cemetery once located there. Discover the former home of two Frenchwomen, Claude Cahun and Marcel Moore (Lucy Schwob and Suzanne Malherbe) and hear how this brave and eccentric pair sought to undermine the German troops during the World War II occupation of the Island, with their ingeniously planned and executed resistance activities.

Our wander across St Brelade’s Bay takes us up and over Le Grouin Point, a site which cleverly conceals more bunkers, and towards Ouaisne Bay.  Ascending up and over Portelet Common, uncover the sites of searchlights, before continuing to Noirmont Point and Batterie Lotheringen.

This Batterie has the distinction of being the only Kriegsmarine battery in Jersey. Thousands of tourists and locals who come to Noirmont Point each year to take in the beautiful views, often stand on the former No.2 gun position and gaze over the remarkable views of the bay spread out before you, clear across to France.

Discover also the impressive command bunker, extending to a depth of 40ft on two floors, and restored today to how it would have been during the years of Occupation.

Why not complete your morning’s adventure with a delicious picnic of Jersey produce, and perhaps sample some of the “delicacies” that were available in the lean time of the occupation.

The walk takes two hours and thirty minutes (excluding the picnic time) and is steep in places so requires a reasonable level of fitness as well as good walking shoes or boots.

For more information and to reserve a place, please contact tracey@jerseyuncovered.com

Uncovering the Secrets of St Helier

Occupation to Liberation – 1940 to 1945

Join Jersey Uncovered Blue Badge Guide Kary Day (kary@jerseyuncovered.com) on a journey of discovery through the streets of St Helier, beginning at the site of the joyous liberation of the Island on 9th May 1945.

In what is now known as Liberation Square, admire the celebratory statue by Philip Jackson, representing Islanders at the time of the Liberation, and discover the reason behind the delay in the Liberation of the Channel Islands from 8th May to 9th May 1945.

On our journey back in time, we wander the streets of St Helier to hear the many stories of Occupation and Liberation, including acts of defiance, and of passive resistance by our brave Islanders.  We uncover the “V” hidden in the Royal Square, and find out who put it there, why, and what is hidden beneath it.

Wander through French Lane and hear about the feisty landlady of the Prince of Wales, who defied a German officer and lived to tell the tale, and learn too of two young women who cleverly assisted in the distribution of news through the sale of fruit and veg in the Victorian market.

This is not only an entertaining history of the town through the occupation, it also tells the story of the people who lived through those long dark years.  Find out how they survived and triumphed in a time of great adversity.

The walk takes approximately two hours and is a gentle stroll through the streets of St Helier.

For more information and to reserve a place, please contact kary@jerseyuncovered.com

DISCOVERING JERSEY

A day uncovering the sites and secrets of an occupied Island

Spend the day on an adventure of discovery with Jersey Uncovered Blue Badge Guide Clive Jones (Clive@jerseyuncovered.com)

Enjoy a scenic private tour of the Island to learn about our rich and diverse history, while travelling in the footsteps of the occupying forces throughout the Island.

Heading firstly out west following the path of the old Jersey Western Railway, we head to the charming fishing village of St Aubin.  Amongst tales of Smugglers, Privateers and Piracy, discover the once sandy beach, now stone filled, following the excavations of the War Tunnels.

Here we pause awhile, for stroll along the waterfront, providing a perfect opportunity for a photograph or two.  Just a few minutes’ walk away, discover the path of the railway bound for Corbière, and discover a hidden German tunnel in an old railway siding.

From St Aubin we head to Noirmont Point, a commanding headland once held by the German Occupying forces, and populated still with their imposing bunkers, gun emplacements and observation towers.  From this point you can admire the sweeping views of the South Coast, the 20th century fortifications overshadowing those of the 19th and 18th Centuries far below and hear about the construction of these remarkable 20th Century fortifications, still standing strong 76 years on.  The sinister echoes of the past mingle with the delightfully colourful flora and fauna covering the ancient headland.

Just five minutes drive away from Noirmont is the award-winning St Brelade’s Bay, bustling with activity, and a breathtaking vista. Here you unravel the mystery of the two resistance heroines of World War II who lived in the Bay and discover the place the enemy forces came to rest and recuperate, before heading back to the Front Line.

After a brief stop for refreshments in the picturesque bay, we travel on to the dramatic South West coast to admire Corbière Phare, our remarkable lighthouse, situated on a tidal Island. The lighthouse, accessible by causeway at low tide provides some fantastic photographic opportunities.

Scattered across this popular tourist attraction are an impressive array of fortifications, in a variety of types.  Here is the home of Strongpoint Corbière.

Discover how La Corbière headland formed the base for one of the strongest of the Infantry Strongpoints in Jersey carrying an impressive array of weaponry and boasting 6 fortifications built to ‘Fortress’ standard comprising of 2 meter thick reinforced concrete external walls and ceilings.

After a short exploration, we continue to head west deeper into Jersey National Park Territory, to admire the vast and golden sands of St Ouen’s Bay, washed twice daily with Atlantic waves rolling in from Newfoundland. The dunes here provide a remarkable safe haven to threatened species of plant, wildlife and birdlife.

There are a number of wonderful eateries along what has now become fondly known as “the Five Mile Road”, so it allows a perfect opportunity for a light meal beachside, with lovely views, before we head on to complete our Island tour.

Littered along this coast are numerous fortifications, hidden in the dunes, and perched on the sea wall overlooking the bay.  Discover when and how they were constructed and hear of the tales of brave young Islanders and their acts of sabotage after curfew.

Heading back up into the interior of the Island, we journey across from West to East, through green leafy lanes, and across the dramatic the North Coast to visit some out-of-the-way bays, and picturesque fishing harbours nestled into the cliffs on the North coast.

Ultimately, we will reach the small harbour village of Gorey nestling on the North-east coast.

Here we can enjoy a refreshing cup of tea on the balcony of one of the historic hotels nestled under the 13th Century castle, followed by a brief exploration on foot of the and harbour, steeped in history.

We return along the coast to St Helier via the historic harbour of La Rocque, bombed at the beginning of the Occupation, before proceeding on to our final stop at the historic Le Hocq Tower and bunker.

Tour complete we will return you to St Helier, and back to your base for a well-earned rest.

This is a full day tour and can be with the Jersey Uncovered Car and driver for parties up to four, or by minibus or coach for larger parties.   The cost of transport is additional to the guide fees.

For more information and to reserve a place, please contact clive@jerseyuncovered.com

* Please note that this tour is now subject to our new COVID19 Procedures which follow Government guidelines, in place for your safety.