On the coast
Caves are to be found in the cliffs all along Jersey's north coast, and also near La Corbiere in the south-west. Some are easily accessible whereas others are difficult to locate and reach
Most islanders know about the caves at Plémont, because they are large and easily accessible from the sandy beach. Many might mention the cave at Devil's Hole, or the somewhat lesser known Wolf Caves.
One thing all of these have in common is that there is a major climb down the cliffside to reach them. Plemont has bridges and steps to cross from one rocky outcrop to another, and when Devil's Hole and Wolf Caves were in their heyday as visitor attractions access involved negotiating less-than-ideal flights of steps cut into the cliffside and crossing backwards and forwards to lessen the steepness not only of the descent but the climb back to the cliff top at the end of the visit.
There are many other caves, some of them very substantial hollows in the granite rock of Jersey's north coast, but few islanders will ever visit them because they either involve scrambling over slippery rocks at low tide, or in some cases can only be accessed by boat at any state of the tide.
Geologist John Renouf, an expert on caves in Jersey, has identified details of erosion, faults, dykes and general geography and geology; and provided descriptions of caves including: the Pinnacle, Grosnez, La Pont de la Moie, La Cotte à La Chèvre, Plémont and Grève au Lançon, Creux Gros and Creux Gabourel, the area around Grève de Lecq, Le Rouge Nez, L'Ane, Crabbé and L'Ile Agois, Le Mourier, Wolf Caves, Belle Hougue Point, Vicard Point, Rozel, L'Ile Percée, La Cotte de St Brelade, Fiquet bay, and Smugglers' Caves at La Rosiere (also known as Pirate's Cave); he has also described sea stacks, including the Witches' Rock at Le Hocq.
Information on Jersey's caves and other sites of geological interest can be found in Jersey Geology Trail website
There is a particularly fine cave at Greve de Lecq, which is actually a passage underneath the cliff, and many years ago was a major tourist attraction, with walkways and ladders to gain access.
Some of the most interesting rock formations, and also the most difficult to get to, are on the north coast in the Vingtaine of Vinchelez, St Ouen. Here are to be found Grand Becquet and Petit Becquet, the natural rock arch at Petit Becquet, and Cave es Fraudeurs.
Our picture gallery shows a number of the most popular caves and also the scarcely accessible ones which were the favourites of photographer Albert Smith in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Click on any image to see a larger version
The bridge used to be a popular place to visit but today scarcely anybody would know how to find it - picture by Percival Dunham
Amsty's Cove - we are not sure of the location of this cove, but think it may be close to La Corbière
Smuggler's Cave, La Rosiere: 1880s photograph by Philip Godfray
Pirate's Cave at La Rosiere: 1880s photograph by Philip Godfray