Jersey’s parish of St Lawrence is one rich in history, culture and beauty. Mainly inland, St Lawrence features incredible historic sites and beautiful parkland whilst its small stretch of coastline takes in some of the best sea views on the island. To top it off, St Lawrence is the destination for one of Jersey’s best annual events bringing the island community together for a festival of fun.
Historic Sites and Attractions in St Lawrence
One of Jersey’s leading attractions calls St Lawrence home providing an insight into rural Jersey life. Dating back to the 15th century, Hamptonne Country Life Museum offers one of Jersey’s most immersive experiences as you explore the island’s farming heritage through first hand experiences. Discover what it was like in the 1940’s with an exploration into family life, agricultural traditions and the German occupation. Visitors can also meet the animals in the stables, enjoy the play area and embark on woodland walks with various trails. In addition, Jersey has a rich cider history and you can wander through the beautiful orchard and try your hand at apple pressing.
However, the historic highlight of St Lawrence is the Jersey War Tunnels. One of Jersey’s leading historic attractions, the Jersey War Tunnels offer an insight into the island’s German occupation during World War II. Explore over 1000 metres of underground tunnels designed for the Nazi’s to withstand air raids and later converted into an emergency war hospital. The site documents the history of this time through the words of those who were there and the fascinating exhibit showcases what island life was like during this period. The Jersey War Tunnels pays tribute to the captured slaves who worked at the site and honours their stories. To complete your experience at Jersey War Tunnels, two war themed escape rooms are now available on site.
Other Points of Interest in St Lawrence
Whilst a large percentage of the parish is inland, St Lawrence does have a short stretch of coastline in St Aubin’s Bay. Sitting almost centrally on the near 5-mile stretch of sand running from St Helier to St Aubin’s Fort, St Lawrence has a beautiful beachfront with golden sands and views of the historic fortresses at either end of the bay.
St Lawrence also features Coronation Park, one of the best recreational parks on the island. A great location for families to spend some time away from the beach, Coronation Park is suitable for all ages with two separate playgrounds for under 5’s and over 5’s. In the summer months, Coronation Park also features an outdoor paddling pool, perfect for a refreshing splash during the heat. The park is the ideal spot for a picnic whilst the little ones burn off some energy playing.
Shopping, Dining and Nightlife in St Lawrence
St Lawrence has incredible shopping with fewer brands and more local, boutique sellers. Here you can find exceptional stores selling intricate antiques and beautifully handcrafted goods. A particular highlight is The Trading Point, a creative hub showcasing local sellers in a spectacular, historic building. The Trading Point offers an eclectic mix of stalls including bespoke homeware, original art, local food produce and organic skin care. There are also multiple traders selling French products including Marseille soap and ceramics handcrafted in southern France.
Dining in St Lawrence is incredibly varied with something to suit every appetite. Down by the beach, there are multiple beach cafes serving up light bites and delicious lunches, perfect for a day by sea. Heading inland, a number of country pubs and charming inns are scattered throughout the parish. Most of the cuisine on offer in St Lawrence is hearty, wholesome menus of simple yet delicious dishes. For a fine dining experience, exquisite restaurants can be found close by in both St Helier and St Brelade.
Meanwhile, nightlife in St Lawrence is very laid-back with a handful of coastal bars and a selection of traditional pubs that occasionally have evening entertainment. For a more vibrant nightlife scene, St Helier is just a short distance away.
Sports and Events in St Lawrence
When it comes to sports, big events are limited with such close proximity to St Helier. However, there are many local sports teams including multiple football clubs in the parish. The parish is also home to the St Lawrence Miniature Rifle Club, a space for both beginner and experienced shooters to practice and partake in competitions.
With much of the island’s cider history based at the orchard of Hamptonne Country Life Museum, it is no surprise that the island’s cider festival takes place here. La Faîs’sie d’Cidre is the island’s annual cider festival taking place every October. Whilst the festival predominantly celebrates cider with apple and cider experts in addition to tastings, the festival is also fun for all the family with live music, diverse entertainment, crafty activities, delicious food vendors and unique artisan sellers. Hamptonne Country Life Museum also hosts a number of other events throughout the year.
St Lawrence also hosts the island’s most exclusive music festival, Full Circle, which takes place every August. Held in Coronation Park, Full Circle is a boutique weekend festival limited to 2000 attendees each day and showcases the best emerging local and international talent. This event is a must for music lovers.
St Lawrence Transportation
Navigating St Lawrence is often easiest by car, a central and well-signposted location with ample parking. It is worth noting however, that parking in St Lawrence often incurs charges so even a day at the beach may be more costly than you initially expected and this should be factored into your planning. Visitors to the island can hire a car through multiple companies located at the airport, ferry terminal and offices in St Helier. Alternatively, Condor Ferries offer vehicle transportation if travelling from the UK by sea.
With its central location, public transportation to, from and across St Lawrence is exceptional. Liberty Bus runs numerous routes through the parish with frequent stops at popular points of interest. Service 7 stops by Hamptonne Country Life Museum whilst service 8 visits the Jersey War Tunnels. There are also multiple bus routes with stops by the beach, a handful with connections to Jersey Airport and all routes start in St Helier.
Alternatively, St Lawrence sits mid-way on the boardwalk between St Helier and St Aubin making it easily accessible to walkers and cyclists coming from either direction.