Fort Leicester

Stay in your very own fort

Sleeps 8

Prices from £23.77 pp per night

Book now

Spread over three levels, this magnificent 19th century fort sits above the picturesque harbour of Bouley Bay and has a private garden and terrace.

Named after the Earl of Leicester, a favourite of Queen Elizabeth I, Fort Leicester has military history dating back to the late 16th century. The Fort sits above the picturesque harbour of Bouley Bay in Jersey’s National Park and has been restored to reflect its diverse military history.

The Fort housed single cannon when it was constructed in the 16th century, nearly 50 years after an invasion attempt on Jersey from France. Another half a century later a boulevard and battery platform was installed as part of Jersey’s northern defence plan but was deemed inadequate by the Island’s Lieutenant Governor who instructed the battery to become a fort. Numerous guns were positioned at the Fort which required the site to house around 30 of the Island’s militia up until it was rebuilt in 1836, when the Fort was considered ineffective due to the threat of steam navigation.

The property has stayed much the same since it was rebuilt, with the guardhouse converted to the main bedroom with one double bed and two single beds, and a wood burning stove. The lower level magazines have also been transformed into a cosy bunk room and a bathroom. One of Fort Leicester’s most quirky features is that it is built into the surrounding rock face and so has been built into three different levels, requiring guests to move outside from one room to another, with sections of grass between. If you’re lucky, you may see some of the resident wall lizards basking in the sun, which are unique to Jersey.

A later addition to the Fort is the searchlight housing constructed by Occupying German forces during the Second World War, which now houses a fully fitted kitchen with a lounge and diner. There is also a terraced area where a gun emplacement once stood, which is perfect for watching the local fisherman go in and out of the harbour.

With the picturesque setting and sound of the waves in the harbour, there is no need for a television or wi-fi. The Fort gives your family the perfect opportunity to explore the small beach below or take in the winding coastal paths to the nearby, equally scenic, bays.

A beach café is located in Bouley Bay which is also home to one of Jersey’s diving schools. Although nothing is too far in Jersey, due to its more secluded location we would recommend hiring a car to get around. The Fort also has one parking space at the harbour for sole use of guests.

Aerial images courtesy of Traces of War Jersey and Paul Lakeman.

    "A chance to step back in history and experience some breath taking views."

    "We had a fantastic time and absolutely loved staying here."

    "What a fantastic setting! The children loved exploring. We loved being able to see and hear the sea and loved the peace and tranquility. We have never stayed anywhere so interesting."

    Facilities in detail

    • 1 double bed and 2 single beds in main bedroom, twin single bunks in lower room and double sofa bed in living area – linen & towels provided
    • Shower & bath
    • Oven & cooker
    • Fridge & freezer
    • Borehole water, which is not suitable for drinking but can be used for cooking or bathing.
    • Dishwasher
    • Microwave
    • Crockery & cutlery provided
    • Washing machine
    • Central heating
    • Wood burning stove in main bedroom
    • TV screen with DVD player (no TV reception)
    • Split level property with rooms accessed by steep staircases
    • Private garden and terrace with garden furniture
    • Parking
    • Dogs allowed. £10 per dog per night up to a maximum of £50 per dog per stay
    • Cot available on request (linen not provided)
    • Secluded beach location
    • Car recommended
    • No disabled access
    • WiFi not available



    Low Season

    4 January – 31 March
    18 October – 19 December

    Mid Season

    19 April – 2 July
    11 September – 17 October

    High Season

    1 April – 18 April (Easter)
    3 July – 10 September
    20 December – 4 January 2022 (Christmas)

    2 Nights 3 Nights 7 Nights 3 Nights 7 Nights 3 Nights

    (Easter and Christmas only)

    7 Nights
    £578.00 £735.00 £1305.00 £850.00 £1570.00 £940.00 £2095.00


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    Jersey has a wide range of defensive fortifications from prehistoric times through to the 1940s. There has been an evolution of defensive works on the site of Fort Leicester from the placement of a single cannon in the late 16th century to the construction of a fort in 1836 as part of an island-wide defensive strategy against French invasion, to modifications made by the German occupying forces during the Second World War.

    Following an attempted French invasion in 1549, the Governor, Sir Anthony Paulet, advised the States that a gun should be placed at ‘La Radde du Boullay’.The States were informed that the Governor was about to entrust the care of this cannon to the Constables of Trinity, St Martin, St John and Grouville.

    War with France occurred in 1690 and once again the defences of the Island, especially those on the north, came under review. The Constables of the four parishes were empowered to keep the gun at Bouley in ‘a good state’ at the expense of their parishes.

    Old Jersey Place Names states that the battery became a ‘fort in building’ in 1745 – the Richmond map shows the site with a continuous seaward wall and a landward wall to the rear breached by 2 access points; all documentary evidence discovered so far continues to refer to the site as a battery.

    From maps and military reports between 1787 and 1797, lines of defences are seen around Bouley Bay. The site of Fort Leicester is shown with a continuous seaward wall and a landward wall to the rear breached by 2 access points. A guardhouse is also shown to the south of the site. In an extract from Report of the different Batteries in the Island of Jersey, there is an entry for a Battery left of Bouley Guard House with 1 x 12 pounder gun under the charge of the Island Militia.

    In the 1830s there was a spate of fort building along the north coast, La Crete, L’Etacquerel and Fort Leicester were all part of this programme.  Fort Leicester was developed to house 5 heavy cannon that were positioned to prevent an enemy making a landing and to control the western side of Bouley Bay while L’Etacquerel Fort controlled the east.  It would have been manned by the militia and would have needed about 30 men and one officer to man the guns. The heavy guns were probably 32 pounders – these had a range of about 2 miles.

    During the German Occupation, various additions were made to the fort including searchlight housing and gun emplacements within the traversing platforms. This area of coastline was defended by a battalion of the Russiskaya Osvoboditelnaya Armiya under the command of the German Army (SJAS).

    In 1948, plans were proposed to convert the guardhouse into a summer chalet. In the 1980s, an elderly lady lived at the fort and introduced herself to HM The Queen Mother with whom she had been at school as HM was disembarking at the Pier to the Royal Yacht Britannia.

    Between 1990 and 2005 the fort was used as accommodation for conservation volunteers of the IDC and then by the Bouley Bay Boat Owners Club. In 2005, Fort Leicester was transferred to the Public of Island of Jersey, under the administration of the Environment & Public Services Committee.

    Images can be found at Société Jeriasie

      Property FAQ

      How many does this property sleep? Fort Leicester sleeps up to eight people in one large room at the top of the property with a double and two single beds, a second bedroom on the lower level with a twin bunk room and a sofa bed on the next level down in the living room. Fort Leicester is a quirky site with each room accessed via the garden areas and exterior steps. Please see the floor plan for further information.

      Can I hire the property for one night? The minimum number of nights available for all of our properties (except for guided experience properties) is two nights. Please refer to the pricing section to see the number of nights available for each season.

      How do I collect the keys? Upon confirmation of your booking you will be sent a unique key code which opens the secure key box on site.

      Does the property have parking? Yes, there is parking for up to two cars outside of Fort Leicester on the pier with limited public parking nearby.

      What are the bathroom facilities? There is one bathroom on the second level of the property with a shower over the bath.

      What heating does the property have? Within the living area, bunk room and bathroom there are electric radiators. In the top bedroom there is a wood burning stove, for which logs are provided. We provide sufficient wood for 1 fire only.

      Does the property have a washing machine or dishwasher? Fort Leicester has both a dishwasher and a washing machine. You will need to bring your own washing machine detergent, but dishwasher tabs are provided.

      Are dogs allowed to stay in the property? Yes, up to two dogs are allowed to stay at the property with an additional cost of £10 per dog.

      Is there an outside area? Within the grounds of the Fort there is large, grassed outside area, perfect for relaxing in the sunshine. There is also a terraced area at the front of the living area overlooking Bouley Bay within the German search light building.

      Visiting Jersey

      How do I get to Jersey? Jersey is within easy reach of the UK and Europe by air and by sea. During the summer Jersey is served by over 40 departure points across the British Isles, including both scheduled and charter flights. From London airports there are up to 12 flights a day to the Island, with journey times of less than one hour. If you wish to bring your car to the Island, fast ferry services leave from the south coast of England and northern France from St Malo.

      Can I hire a car in Jersey? There are several companies you can hire a car from on the island, either before hand or on arrival. We can recommend Avis for car hire. You will get the best rates by going on their website

      Is it easy to travel around Jersey? The Island is nine miles long by five miles wide and is easy to navigate by car or bike. There is also a good public bus system which operates throughout the year.

      Can I hire a bike in Jersey? Jersey is great location for cycling with dedicated cycle tracks winding through the island, green lanes and open coast roads.

      What currency is accepted in Jersey? Both Jersey and Bank of England notes are legal tender in Jersey and circulate together, alongside the Guernsey pound and Scottish banknotes. Some retailers also accept Euros.

      Booking & Payment

      Can I pay a deposit? For our self-catering properties, if you are booking more than two months in advance of your stay we require a 50% deposit at the time of booking with the remainder due two months before your stay. If you are booking within two months of your stay then the full amount is due upon booking. For our coastal tower properties, the full amount is due upon booking and a refundable £200 cash deposit is due on collection of the keys.

      How can I pay? We accept Maestro (if issued in the UK), Visa, MasterCard and direct bank transfers.

      How do I pick up the key? For our self-catering properties keys are located in a secure key box at the property, for which you will be given a unique code to access. For coastal tower bookings, keys are collected from Jersey Museum, St Helier on the presentation of £200 cash deposit.

      How can I cancel or change my booking? If you wish to cancel or change your booking, please contact our Jersey Heritage Lets team. Please note our cancellation policy detailed on your terms and conditions.

      What time can I check-in and check-out? The earliest time you can check-in is 3.00pm with a check-out time of 10.00am for self-catering properties.

      How far in advance do I need to book? We always recommend to book as far in advance as possible as some of our properties are very popular, especially in the summer months, however we often have availability at short notice. We often require at least two week’s notice for a booking but please contact our Jersey Heritage Lets team to enquire.

      Do you have to be a Jersey Heritage member to book a property? No, our properties are available to everyone; however Jersey Heritage members receive special discounts and promotions. To find out more, please go to our Jersey Heritage members’ page.

      What happens if I can’t get to Jersey due to bad weather or I am delayed?  If for any reason you cannot travel to Jersey or your booking dates are affected by weather then please call the Jersey Heritage Lets Team as soon as possible. We do not operate a cancellation insurance policy and you will be responsible for any travel and accommodation costs incurred by you in relation to the booking. Please refer to our cancellation policy in our terms and conditions.

      What should you bring?

      With any self-catering property there are the basics you need to bring with you. Whilst we provide tea, coffee, sugar, soap, a small cleaning pack, logs for fires, bed linen, hairdryers, bathroom towels and kitchen cooking essentials there are a few recommendations for what to bring with you to make the most out of your stay.

      Beach bag – filled with everything you will need to make the most of Jersey’s beautiful beaches, including beach towels.

      Water sports – Jersey is well known as a water-sports paradise, so make sure you bring any surf boards, body boards and wetsuits.

      Binoculars – from the dolphin pods on the east coast to the world-renowned bird watching at La Mare au Seigneur in St Ouen’s Bay, and the views from the top of Radio Tower at Corbiere across to the iconic lighthouse, a pair of binoculars means you will never miss a thing!

      Wellington boots – Jersey is full of spectacular walks through fields and wooded valleys.

      Walking boots – With fifty miles of coastal cliff paths, and another fifty of green lanes walking boots are a must for the intrepid explorer, especially if you’re staying at Fort Leicester or La Crête Fort.

      A good book – essential for any holiday, but there is nothing better than a wood burning stove or fire tucked up with a good book and a cup of tea.

      DVD’s and board games – for those family nights in you may want to bring a DVD with you if you’re staying at one of our self-catering properties or a good old fashioned board game to enjoy.

      Torches – although most of our properties have electrical lighting and torches, we do recommend bringing your own.

      Water – Due to their historical nature or coastal location, some of our properties do not have access to running water or are on a bore-hole system. You will be advised on booking if we recommend bringing water with you or buying it locally. Please note bore-hole water is suitable for cooking and bathing.

      Terms & Conditions

      Click here to download our Terms & Conditions.

      Click here to read our data protection policy.

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