Saumarez Park Nature Trail

Saumarez Park Nature Trail

Time: 1 hr. 10 mins.

This walk follows the Saumarez nature trail from Cobo to Saumarez Park, and then returns through quiet lanes and paths.

Start the walk on a track that runs to the left of the Mandarin Garden Chinese Restaurant, where there is a sign for the Saumarez Nature Trail. Pass an electricity substation and a recycling point on your left.

The track then becomes a path which passes to the right of playing fields which lie on part of the former location of La Mare de Carteret (there are still a few vestigial bits of water further along the route).

After passing some tennis courts take the right fork in the path, which then bends further to the right again. Keep right at a T junction to reach a road (Route de Carteret) at a bridge. This bridge was built in the early 20th century by the de Saumarez family, enabling them to walk on their private property all the way from Saumarez Park to the sea, along the route we are following. However we are going to have to cross the road without the use of the bridge, as it is closed to the public.

Those with sharp eyes may notice a stone on the left inscribed J M & Co. This was a boundary mark for land quarried by John Mowlem & Co Limited, who had extensive quarrying interests in Guernsey between about 1830 and 1930. (See walk R18, paragraph 13, for a further note about John Mowlem and Co). We will pass one remaining quarry shortly, which is now a Guernsey Water reservoir.

Cross this main road with care, and take the track immediately opposite. In the part of the walk we are approaching, and in Saumarez Park itself, those who are knowledgeable about trees will find a few interesting specimens.

The track twists slightly through a little cutting, then take the well marked path ascending on the right. This soon levels out, then keep right towards the granite tower. This was built as a folly by a family Ozanne, and became known as "Ozanne's Folly". Now it's derelict and inaccessible. The path soon bends around to the right away from the direction of the tower and towards a clump of pine trees. The metal fence beyond the pine trees guards the water filled Guernsey Water quarry.

Continue along the path, then turn sharp left just before reaching a metalled lane. Pass a grassy area on your left with a couple of picnic tables. After passing close to the Ozanne Tower, reach a T junction and turn right. The mound on your right is the Guernsey Water reservoir shown in Perry's. The path soon bends left again, then parallels a metalled lane (Ruette de la Tour) until you reach the north-west gate of Saumarez Park, where there is a car park.

Make your own way through and around the Park, or if you wish follow my Saumarez Park Tree Walk. Otherwise the most direct route through the Park (included in my timings) is to go half left through the car park, then follow the tarmac path as it bends right towards the buildings at the far side beyond the grassy area. These buildings are, from left to right, the Hostel of St John (old peoples' home), Saumarez Park Tea Room, public toilets, and the Guernsey Folk Museum.

The fourth Lord de Saumarez (died 1937) was in the diplomatic service. As a result of his service with the embassy in Tokyo he introduced a significant Japanese element into the plants and structures in Saumarez Park. After his death Saumarez Park was acquired by the States of Guernsey, and over the years pressure of usage and other factors have taken their toll. However vestiges of the Japanese influence can still be seen.

Whichever way you get to the far side of the park, we now leave by a wooden gate that can be found by walking along a path on the right hand side of the toilets (and left of the Folk Museum). Take note of the sign on the gate about care when crossing the busy road at what is a rather blind bend, and cross straight over into Ruette de la Generotte.

Soon after this lane bends to the left, take the footpath on the right next to the house name for "Parmi Les Arbres", and where the sign says "Unsuitable for Motor Vehicles". (Note this path can get a bit muddy in places after rain).

This path runs pleasantly past fields, then becomes a grassy track which reaches a metalled lane at a bend (La Percee). Turn right down the lane, then left at a T junction (Ruette des Fries). When a road comes down from the left you are in La Ruette des Corneilles. You could if you wish follow this lane down to the coast. However my preferred route here is to turn left onto a footpath which will be found about 100 metres along La Ruette des Corneilles (Signed "Horses Forbidden").

When this footpath reaches a T junction, turn right to reach the coast near the exit of La Ruette des Corneilles.

Alternatively, by turning left at this T junction instead of right, you can return making an optional detour via Le Guet viewpoint. If you do, then after 50 metres turn up right. When you get to the metalled road by the house driveways, a way can be seen on your right to step through the hedge, then go straight ahead (pathless) until you see the buildings of the watch house. Go through the two gateways of the watch house (the second of these is quite low so mind your head - especially on the way out afterwards) and walk through to the viewing platform to get good views over Cobo, Grandes Rocques and beyond.

After leaving the watch house, walk back (away from the coast) towards the end of the metalled road. Turn back left to pick up a faint path which heads back towards Cobo on the right of the watch house buildings and rejoins my main walk just before reaching the coast road.

Whichever way you have returned to the coast, it now remains only to turn right past Cobo Village to the car parking or bus stops. (1 hr 10 mins). There are several opportunities for refreshment as you pass Cobo, which are (in order as you pass them), the Rockmount Restaurant and Bars, Cobo Bay Hotel and Restaurant, Cobo Tea Room, Maryland Service Station and Garage Shop, Cobo Fish and Chip Bar, Checkers supermarket, and the Mandarin Garden Chinese Restaurant. Cobo Village also includes several other retail and service outlets.

Guided Walks:
Walks in the beautiful Saumarez Park offer information on what the park was used for in the past to present day.

Walks take place on Wednesdays from May - September

They start from the Saumarez Park tea rooms at 2pm and take about 90 minutes.
Telephone: 01481-255 229

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