Seymour Tower Jersey

How to Visit Seymour Tower Jersey: A Totally Unique Experience

Disclosure: This article may contain affiliate links, meaning I earn a small commission if you make a purchase. Affiliate links cost you nothing to use and help to keep my content free. It’s a win-win for us both! Read this disclaimer for more information.

The Island of Jersey is only 9 miles long and 5 miles wide, but don’t let its size fool you into thinking there’s not much to do or see there. From the freshest seafood and Michelin-starred cuisine to scenic coastal walks, green cycle lanes and historic castles, Jersey is the ideal destination for a tranquil weekend break (or longer).

If you fancy doing something a little different during your stay, a guided walk along the seabed to the 18th-century Seymour Tower is recommended as one of the top 10 island adventures around Britain. This article shares precisely what to expect on a visit to this fascinating and historic tower.

Why Visit Seymour Tower?

Visiting a windswept 18th-century square tower over a mile out to sea is probably not the first thing you think of when planning your trip to Jersey, but it’s an absolute corker and a fabulous experience!

In this guide, we’ll recommend where to park, how to visit the tower safely, and the best time for visiting. You’ll also find ten things to see and do on the walk, plus some insight into why the tower was built!

What You Need To Know

Location: Perched on a rocky tidal island, around 1 1/4 miles (2 km) east of the coast of Jersey.

Where to park: La Rocque car park

Walk time to Seymour Tower: 2 1/2 to 3 hours

When to visit: Guided walks operate all year round

Facilities: None at the tower; however, there are toilets at La Rocque beach

Dog friendly?: Dogs are not allowed at the tower or on guided walks.

Essential equipment: Wellies, waterproofs and your camera.

Accessibility: The Seymour Tower walk is over uneven terrain, and you may need to wade through gullies. The granite steps up to Seymour Tower are steep and very uneven.

How To Find Seymour Tower

Jersey has one of the biggest tidal ranges in the world at about 12 metres.

At low tide, the island almost doubles in size, and you can walk more than a mile from the shoreline in some places.

Seymour Tower Jersey

Seymour Tower is only accessible for a couple of hours on very low tides – the rest of the time, it’s completely isolated.

Getting there by bus

From Liberation Station (St Helier), take Liberty Bus number 1 bus towards Gorey Pier and get off just after La Rocque Tower. Buses run every 15 minutes from Monday to Saturday and every 20 minutes on Sundays.

The bus stop is just past the pretty little harbour of La Rocque and its Martello tower, almost opposite the granite slipway down to the beach.

Tip: Ask your driver to let you know when you get to La Rocque (pronounced La Rock).

Getting there by car

From St Helier, head east towards Gorey, on the scenic coast road (A4). At La Rocque, there is a small car park just off the road, beside the sea wall.

Getting To The Tower

La Rocque Harbour Jersey
Beyond La Rocque Harbour wall

The only safe way to visit Seymour Tower is to join a 2 1/2 to 3 hour guided walk with an experienced guide.

The tide here drops by over 20 feet in just 3 hours, and it rises just as fast when the tide turns. It’s a beautiful place, but can be very dangerous.

The rocky, undulating intertidal zone is both Europe’s largest intertidal zone and an internationally recognised Ramsar Wetlands site. Known as the Violet Bank, this barren-looking landscape teems with marine life and is fascinating to visit.

The shallow reefs and numerous rocks from which it is formed have claimed many ships and the lives of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of sailors and passengers.

Paul Chambers, Marine and Coastal Manager – Government of Jersey

Walks across the Violet Bank to Seymour tower are known locally as “moonwalks” because of the moon-like landscape that’s uncovered twice a day when the tide goes out.

This photo shows the retreating tide at La Rocque harbour in Jersey
Further beyond La Rocque

I booked my moonwalk with Jersey Walk Adventures and met my guide Trudie at a granite slipway moments beyond La Rocque Harbour and its Martello tower.

Here’s a handy guide for checking tide times in Jersey to keep you safe!

What To Do At Seymour Tower (and on the walk)

As we waded across a deep channel that never drains out fully, we discovered that the seabed is surprisingly undulating. At first, the beach slopes quite noticeably, but further out, where Seymour Tower is located, the seabed is higher up.

This photo shows a group of walkers wearing wellis and waterproofs, wading through a deep gully on the seabed on the way to Seymour Tower Jersey
Wading through gullies with Seymour Tower still in the distance

Here are 10 things you can do on your walk to Seymour tower

Learn about the seabed

Jersey has over 200 species of seaweed, and Trudie was full of information about which you can eat! We also saw and learned about limpets, starfish, crabs, and other creatures, that live in this fascinating and ever-changing environment. You can even take a “moonwalk” (with a guide) at night to see the incredible glow of bioluminescence from the seabed. It’s an incredible experience!

An unexpected bonus for the walk was that Trudie had incredible knowledge of the history and geography of the Violet Bank area.

This photo shows a guide on a Moonwalk in Jersey holding seaweed and sharing information about marine life

As we walked, Trudie often stopped to point out different types of seaweed and the marine creatures revealed by the tide.

Discover the refuge

Every year people get stranded on the Violet Bank when the tide rushes in. The gullies closest to the shore fill up, and the lower-lying land becomes submerged before the higher ground that’s further from the shore.

Luckily there is a refuge on the higher land – but it’s VERY basic!

This photo shows a tall metal structure, high above the seabed, in which walkers cut off from the tide can shelter
The Refuge

It’s built to keep you safe from even the highest 40 ft tides, but you might get your feet wet!

Can you imagine what it would feel like to have to climb those ladders and seek shelter in that basket at the top? What would it be like on a windy day or if a sea mist rolled in?

Collect shells

Where the refuge is located, the seabed is absolutely packed with tiny shells and stones that have been tumbled so much in the huge tides that they are no bigger than the shells!

Some of the shells are so pretty, that you might want a few as a souvenir.

Explore the tower

With each footstep, the once far-distant Seymour gradually became closer.

After tramping through gullies and rock pools, across sand, rocks and shells, and watching our steps on slippery seaweed, a frisson of excitement rippled through the group as we reached the impressive square tower.

This photo looks more than a mile into the distance across the seabed at low tide, towards Seymour Tower in the far distance
The first glimpse of Seymour Tower in the far distance

Hewn from solid Jersey granite, two sides of the imposing tower are painted white, as it is used as a navigation aid.

Climbing up the tower is not for the faint-hearted!

The granite steps are very rough and uneven, and there’s no handrail, plus the steps don’t go all the way down to the seabed. It’s a rough scramble on slippery rocks up to the lowest step.

This photo shows the historic Seymour Tower island fort at low tide, with moody grey skies behind

A granite date stone above the door is a reminder that the tower was built in 1782 – almost 250 years ago!

Inside, the tower has two habitable floors – the upper one is a bunk room sleeping 7, while the lower floor has the kitchen and living area. There’s also a small private room for the guide who has to accompany every visit to the tower.

While the accommodation is basic, there’s a solar-powered fridge, a chemical toilet and (most importantly) a wood-burning stove for heating and cooking. Once the door is closed, it’s a very cosy place – even in the winter.

This photo shows Seymour Tower and the refuge at low tide, with seabed and rockpools in the foreground
Seymour Tower and the Refuge

The tower is now a holiday let, owned and managed by Jersey Heritage, and you won’t be able to see inside it if there are guests that day. There’s still plenty to explore though.

On the seaward side of the tower, you’ll find a raised stone terrace area that’s high enough to be clear of the sea, except during stormy conditions. It’s a public area that some hardy souls use to camp overnight in the summer.

Around the tower

Despite being more than a mile away from the shore, the tide had retreated even further, exposing the sandy seabed, thriving oyster beds, and the route for a longer (4 hours) guided walk to Icho Tower and the Karame Beacon.

You can find information about this long walk on the Jersey Walk Adventures website.

This photo shows the sandy and rocky seabed beyond Seymour Tower, looking towards the French coast
The seabed beyond Seymour Tower, looking towards the French coast

Imagine getting stranded

In February 1987, the local news in Jersey told the story of the “Seymour Tower Horses”.

Two experienced local riders were exercising their horses on the Violet Bank at low tide when a thick sea fog rolled in, and they became disoriented.

Knowing that the tide had turned and worried they didn’t have time to get back to shore, they coaxed their horses up the rocks and steps to the stone terrace!

All survived, but there was a complex rescue mission, as the horses would not leave the tower at low tide until excavators had built a sand ramp for them!

Raise a toast!

While you won’t have time to stop for a leisurely picnic, you will have time to wander around the tower and the seabed around it before heading back to shore.

This photo shows the Jersey coast across the seabed at low tide, viewed from the walk to Seymour Tower
View of the shore from Seymour Tower

Why not plan ahead and take a small bottle of bubbly to toast, having reached the most southerly point in the British Isles? Just remember to take all litter back with you.

Low-water fishing

Exploring the rock pools with a small fishing net is exciting – there’s plenty to discover.


Look out for red-breasted mergansers (officially the world’s fastest duck) and Arctic terns. I

As Jersey is 100 miles (160 km) to the south of the UK mainland, there are also plants and animals here that you will never see in the rest of the country.

Take awesome photos

With an ever-changing landscape and huge skies, Seymour Tower is the perfect place to photograph, whatever the season.

Sunrise and sunset here are simply magical!

This photo shows a granite fort built upon a rocky islet on the seabed, with the tide out

When To Visit

Jersey Walk Adventures operate year-round, with walks to Seymour Tower popular in all seasons.

You can also try night-time walks on the seabed called “bioluminescence walks”, where you can walk beneath the stars and see the glow from tiny glowworms on the seabed.

Check dates for upcoming walks here (and book early as they are very popular).

Essential Equipment

The most important things you’ll need are wellies and a warm (preferably waterproof) jacket. It is cold at Seymour Tower, even if it’s sunny onshore.

If you don’t have wellies, you can hire a pair for £1 when you make your booking. Spare socks are handy, too, as your feet might get wet.

This photo shows a group of welly-wearing people walking across the seabed to Seymour Tower Jersey
Wellies were an essential item for the walk!

Why Seymour Tower?

Jersey has a long and fascinating history.

The island has been a prized possession of the British Crown since 1066. It was part of the Duchy of Normandy when William the Conqueror invaded England, killed King Harold at the Battle of Hastings and became William the first of England.

Strategically located just 12 miles from the French coast, in the important trading waters of the English Channel, there have been numerous attempts from France to reclaim the islands.

Two formidable castles protect the south and east coasts of the island against attack, but in January 1781, French forces massed off the east coast, planning to march ashore on a very low tide.

This photo shows a deep water-filled gully in the seabed
Some gullies on the walk were quite deep.

Records show that over 400 French soldiers perished on the vicious rocks that day, others pushed through to St Helier, where the Battle of Jersey ensued.

IMG 0383 min 2
The stark landscape of the seabed earned the Jersey East coast walks to Seymour Tower the nickname of the “Moonwalk.”

Ultimately, local militia and British forces defeated the exhausted French troops and won the battle. One year later, Seymour Tower (also known as the White Tower Jersey) was built in haste, with many more coastal Martello towers also constructed.

Will You Visit Seymour Tower?

It was a very other-worldly experience to explore so far from shore.

This photo shows the varying height of the seabed
The tower is on much higher ground than the seabed in front!

Although I only had a short time at the tower itself, there was enough time to explore and take lots of photographs.

The walk and the fascinating insight into the history of Seymour Tower that Trudie shared, along with all of her tidbits of information about the local area were fabulous too.

This unique tour is definitely one of the best things to do in Jersey – and if you’re hungry after your walk, pop into the Seymour Pub or the Le Hocq Inn for excellent pub food.

This photo shows me in wellies and waterproofs at Seymour Tower
Windswept at the Tower!

Before You Go

If you’re heading to Jersey, be sure to bookmark this page or pin it so you can find this hidden gem! And if you love Jersey as much as I do, sign up for my weekly newsletter for even more Jersey adventures and tips!

Until next time!

Until next time 400 x 200 px 400 x 150

You May Also Like


If you like this Jersey Insider’s guide to visiting Seymour Tower, be sure to follow Grey Globetrotters on Pinterest. It’s where we share all our Jersey travel guides.