Seymour Tower Walk

Jersey Walk Adventures take us on a guided walk out to the tower at a very low tide. I take lots of photos. Posted 7 April 2012

Seymour Tower

I booked a walk with Jersey Walk Adventures a few weeks ago. We went yesterday and I took loads of photos. I also tracked my progress along the way with the My Tracks app on my mobile (shown below). The route below looks funny because the map shows high tide and we walk at low tide. At low tide, the sandy beach extends way out. From Seymour Tower, you can continue South or East almost another mile. It is very rocky in some places, so slow going.

GPS track of the walk out to Seymour tower

GPS track of the walk out to Seymour tower

I saw a news story about an old wartime bomb that was detonated out by the tower last night. There are conflicting reports as to whether it was WWI (ITV story) or WWII (BBC story), but either way it was a huge bomb. Kandidprints here in Jersey filmed video of the detonation. I was curious if we would see any remnants after two high tides.

Our guide Trudie explains the walk before we start

Our guide Trudie explains the walk before we start

We meet up at the La Rocque Slipway about two hours before low tide, and everyone puts wellies or other waterproof shoes on. In summer you can get away with trainers, but the water is still cold this early in the season. You have to cross several channels on the way out, so there is no avoiding water about a foot deep, minimum.

We head out after a quick explanation of the area and some features and potential dangers along the way. I know I could just walk out to the tower like some people do, but this is my first time exploring this far offshore. I’m happy to listen to someone with experience, and be a little extra cautious this time. There’s a reason for the rescue tower halfway out there. It may not look that far, but the terrain is rough in spots, and the gullies rapidly fill up and cut you off as the tide turns.

The rescue tower with Seymour Tower off in the distance

The rescue tower with Seymour Tower off in the distance

Looking from atop the rescue tower out to sea

Looking from atop the rescue tower out to sea

Looking back to our starting point at La Rocque

Looking back to our starting point at La Rocque

We see quite a bit of sea life along the way. Trudie pulls up little bits of seaweed for us to try. It’s all edible but not all of it tastes great. Little tiny crabs hide in plain sight, camouflaged in the sand.

See the tiny crab? It is right in the center

See the tiny crab? It is right in the center

A tidepool full of sponges, seaweed, and shellfish

A tidepool full of sponges, seaweed, and shellfish

The terrain changes along the way. Rocky coastline changes to spongy seaweed beds, and changes again to fine sand banks further out. Rocks sticking up out of the sand are dotted with barnacles.

Stay near the white markers for firmer sand along the way

Stay near the white markers for firmer sand along the way

There are fat oysters lying around here and there. We scoop a few up and one man in our group has a little after lunch snack. You can’t get fresher oysters than that, just walking out and picking them up off the sand.

Little green worms look like algae at first glance, until you give them a poke

Little green worms look like algae at first glance, until you give them a poke

We finally reach the tower and climb up for a break. The steps are really tall and a bit slippery. You can see from Noirmont Tower to Karame Beacon to Mont Orgueil Castle. The oyster beds in the Royal Bay of Grouville stretch out in the distance.

Karame Beacon

Karame Beacon

Tractor rides and oyster beds in the distance

Tractor rides and oyster beds in the distance

Keystone above the tower's entrance door with the year 1782

Keystone above the tower's entrance door with the year 1782

The bomb crater. Still quite deep after almost 24 hours and two high tides

The bomb crater. Still quite deep after almost 24 hours and two high tides

After a bit of exploring it’s time for a quick detour to the oyster beds and then back to the start. We can see the crater from the bomb detonated last night. It’s quite deep and has a big mound of sand around it.

Oyster beds

Oyster beds

You can book walks out here and try this yourself if you like. It’s pretty easy and takes anywhere from 2-5 hours, depending on which walk you do. Today they are out now walking to Icho Tower then Seymour. Tomorrow it’s all the way out to Karame beacon on a 0.5 Metre low tide. You can also book Seymour Tower itself for a night or two through Jersey Heritage. Booking details and an enquiry form are on the Jersey Heritage website.