Legendary local sea swimmer and coach, Sally Minty-Gravett MBE, shares some of her favourite sea swimming spots in Jersey. From the shallows and golden sands of the south to crystal clear pebble beaches along the north and east coast, to the Atlantic waves of the west coast, Jersey’s personality changes from coast to coast. Look out for RNLI lifeguards on the island’s western beaches. The team of Jersey-based lifeguards work the summer season and some of the Easter and Autumn half terms. To find out if they’re patrolling click here.
When I’m in the sea, I feel at one with the world. It’s my spiritual home, and I’m so much happier in the sea than out of it. It’s a wonderful feeling – just being close to the water is enough to give you a sense of real calm and balance in life. You feel connected to the wider world and the things that are really important in life. Even in the winter it’s exhilarating, and the tingle you get after you come out is wonderful. It just does you good.
St. Brelade's Bay.
Consistently voted as one of the UK’s favourite beaches, the sheltered sands of St. Brelade’s Bay can offer a lot of scope for sea swimmers of all ages, but do stick to the safe swimming areas. Families will find plenty to keep all ages entertained with beach activities from trampolining and kayaking to paddle boarding. Not feeling so energetic? Plan a doze on one of the classic striped deckchairs for hire at St. Brelade’s beach.
Grève de Lecq.
This beach is lifeguarded in the summer months, so it makes for safe swimming for all ages and abilities. Look out for the clear seawater and rock pools at this popular family beach with its beach cafes. Grève’s coarser sand is good for sandcastles, and with plenty of parking, it’s a great spot for a family beach day.
St. Ouen's Bay.
This stunning sweep of sand with its Atlantic waves is a draw for sunbathers, swimmers and surfers alike. There’s plenty of space for everyone, but beware of the area’s powerful currents – swimmers should stay in the safe, RNLI lifeguard patrolled sections at Le Braye and close to the Watersplash.
Havre Des Pas Lido.
It’s easy to get into the water just a few minutes from the centre of St. Helier at this restored Victorian bathing pool. It may not be a beach, but this is a safe spot to swim regardless of whether the tide is high or low. Lifeguards patrol the spot in the summer months.
A stunning must-visit bay sheltered by high cliffs where at low tide you can swim, splash and float to your heart’s content. With shallow water, rockpools and lifeguards on patrol, this beautiful beach is popular with local families and visitors. The only downside is the steps down to the beach – but it’s worth it once you’re there and there’s an excellent café at the top for post-climb ice creams.
Jersey’s powerful tides are spectacular, but can be dangerous. RNLI Jersey lifeguards advise that wherever possible, people swim at a lifeguarded beach. Look out for the red and yellow flags and always swim or body board between them – this area is patrolled by lifeguards. If just red flags are flying, it’s not safe to swim. If you see someone in difficulties and you can’t see a lifeguard, call 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.