Sitting centrally on Jersey’s north coast, St John is a relatively rural parish boasting some of the island’s most phenomenal untouched landscapes. Home to one of the island’s best beaches, St John may be lacking in the quantity of points of interest but certainly makes up for it in quality. In addition to the extensive countryside and coastline, St John is also home to two main villages, St John’s Village and Sion. Both villages are quaint and historic, showcasing Jersey’s traditional charm.
Historic Sites and Attractions in St John
On a headland overlooking Bonne Nuit Bay, La Crete Fort was built as a defence against French invasion in 1834. The fort is a historical landmark on Jersey’s north coast and one of the many properties managed by Jersey Heritage. La Crete Fort is available for a rural escape as part of Jersey Heritage’s collection of historic holiday lets.
St John is also one of the parishes where Jersey’s religious heritage is prevalent. Throughout the parish, there are multiple Churches built throughout the ages including St John’s Parish Church. Dedicated to St John the Baptist, the Parish Church is an ancient site said to be built as early as 1150. St John’s Parish Church is one of Jersey’s beacons of island faith and is a focal point within the community.
Other Points of Interest in St John
There is no doubt that the main attraction in St John is Bonne Nuit. With a name that translates to ‘good night’ in French, it is clear even before visiting this incredible cove is overflowing with charm. This stunning bay complete with beach and harbour is a breath-taking location to spend your day. At low-tide, a small stretch of sand is revealed making a picturesque beach front to bask under the sun. Located in a fishing harbour, swimming is limited due to the sheer amount of water traffic but visitors to Bonne Nuit can enjoy relaxing on the sand, paddling in the shallows and admiring the view of this Mediterranean-style fishing harbour. The beach is dog-friendly, features public toilets and is home to one of Jersey’s most loved restaurants.
Whilst at the beach, you will also witness fishermen returning with their catch of the day and amateur anglers can also partake in a spot of fishing. The deep waters surrounding Bonne Nuit are home to an abundance of fish and those casting a line from the pier can also frequently catch some of the area’s common species such as black sea bream and Atlantic mackerel. It is also not uncommon for those fishing in the winter months to encounter squid. Anyone fishing in Bonne Nuit Bay must abide by local fishing laws and bring their own equipment and bait.
The cliffs of St John offer some of the most phenomenal views of the Jersey coastline with Fremont Point, Ronez Point and Sorel Point the best viewing locations. Close to Sorel Point, the protected site of Le Don Paton is an exceptional location for bird watchers. A grazing spot managed by National Trust Jersey, Le Don Paton is home to a wide variety of different bird species.
Shopping, Dining and Nightlife in St John
As a largely rural parish, St John is limited with shopping and nightlife. For dining, there are more options with great local restaurants and village pubs. You will find the majority of the action in St John’s Village near the coast. The other main village, Sion, on the border of St Helier, is much smaller and restricted to just a small shop and a garage. There is plenty in St John to keep visitors entertained but should the parish not have what you offer, the buzzing heart of the island is close by in St Helier.
In St John’s Village, you will find a small shopping precinct along with a supermarket, multiple cafes and a village pub. St John’s Inn is an ideal meeting place, particularly on days of good weather with two outdoor dining areas. The pub offers a great menu along with an excellent drinks selection, pool tables and televised sports. St John’s Inn also hosts evening entertainment with karaoke and live music regular features.
On the outskirts of St John’s Village, L’Auberge Du Nord is another great pub, a perfect stop after a day by the beach in Bonne Nuit. This traditional British pub is extremely family-friendly with both indoor and outdoor play areas whilst also welcoming dogs. In the summer months, the beer garden is an excellent place to dine with outdoor seasonal events and regular barbecues.
For the best dining in St John, a visit to Bonne Nuit is required. Nestled in Bonne Nuit Bay, the Bonne Nuit Beach Cafe is one of the most highly regarded dining locations on the island for both locals and tourists. With a Thai-inspired menu and some of the best seafood on the island, Bonne Nuit Beach Cafe has raving 5 star reviews and is renowned as the best Thai restaurant in Jersey. You can choose to dine in or takeaway for a picnic on the beach.
Sports and Events in St John
The high cliffs surrounding Bonne Nuit are popular with paragliders and are one of the best places on the island for a great lift. During low tide, the beach makes an excellent landing spot and paragliders often stick around to relax in the sun or grab a spot of lunch.
The parish also has its own annual event, St John’s Day, which takes place every 24th June. The day celebrates St John and whilst events are not as big as they once were, parishioners are always invited to join in an organised activity that changes every year.
St John Transportation
As one of Jersey’s most rural locations, the easiest way to navigate St John is by car. All points of interest are well signposted and parking is easily found across the parish. If you are not travelling via sea with your own vehicle, car hire is available at the airport, ferry terminal and in multiple locations in St Helier.
Alternatively, public transport is another great option with multiple LibertyBus routes running through the parish. Service 5 runs right through the parish with stops in Sion and St John’s Village whilst service 7 runs through neighbouring parish St Mary but also terminates in St John’s Village. In addition, service 4 runs every two hours with a stop at Bonne Nuit Bay.