Megaliths – literally means “big stones” – and they were widely used by prehistoric communities to create ritual landscapes, build monuments and burial places. These landscapes and structures represent the oldest surviving indigenous remains of Europe and you do not need to look far to find them in Jersey!
The Neolithic people who arrived in the Channel Islands as the first farmers at about the same time seven to eight thousand years ago as sea levels were rising rapidly with the thaw after the last ice age and cutting the islands off from what is now continental France.
It is easy to think that the Neolithic people were primitive. Compared with modern engineering and mechanical assistance, you wonder how on earth they managed to erect these structures. But look at what they built, try and get into their minds and you will realise that they had great knowledge and technology which being unwritten, later generations including ourselves have lost and forgotten.
Our tour will one of discovery of prehistoric sites across the Island as well as a walk in the Neolithic landscape which emerges from under the waves on the foreshore when the tide goes down. Here we will find evidence of settlement and standing stones which formed a spectacular landscape which finally succumbed to the rising sea levels about four thousand years ago. You will also experience the fantastic moonscape of the dry seabed with all wildlife and fauna not seen on land!
As the tour timetable revolves around the tide (which can have a range of up to 12 metres twice a day on Spring tides), the order of each tour is likely be different. We could be on the beach in the morning for one day and the afternoon for another. We will also try and visit sites from earlier Paleolithic and Mesolithic eras, as well as the later Bronze and Iron Ages time permitting and depending on the schedule for the day.
IMPORTANT – this tour requires a good level of fitness as it involves up to a two hour walk on the at low tide amongst rocks and gullies. You will also need to be reasonably fit and mobile to get the best out of the rest of the tour on land, when we will have some short strenuous pathway climbs, as well as crouching low to get underground into the gem of all dolmens, La Hougue Bie.
On the Megalithic Jersey tour, depending on the tide times and whether we will be on the beach at lunchtime, we will either stop before or at lunch time where a picnic/refreshments/food can be purchased. We will also stop as necessary for refreshments and comfort breaks.
IMPORTANT – For more details, what you need to bring / wear, what is included in this Tour, Prices, as well as Pick-Up points, please see Information below.
Jersey is proud to be a member of the Route of European Megalithic Culture, a Cultural Route of the Council of Europe certified in 2013, which explores the vast megalithic heritage through many different paths covering Sweden, Denmark, Germany, The Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, the Channel Islands and Great Britain. The Route offers hiking and cycling activities that promote a strong connection with the land, so that the traveller can explore not only the megalithic monuments but also the features of the surrounding landscape.