PLAN YOUR TRIP
Between the coasts of England and France, and only 8 miles from Guernsey the enchanted island of Sark lies, with no cars, the freshest air and quietest, safest roads. People get around by bicycle, on foot or in the comfort of a horse-drawn carriage to discover the exciting culture and scenery Sark has to offer.
A glorious newly renovated chapel and gardens in the northerly part of the island, La Seigneurie is just waiting to be explored. Beautiful flower-strewn granite walls encase one of the most historic buildings on Sark. Nestled amongst the thriving flowers and shrubs are the inspiring fruit and vegetable gardens, showcasing what wonders you can create and use in the kitchen. There is even a maze in the gardens you can lose yourself in before entering the chapel to discover the enchanting history of Sark’s Seigneurs.
La Coupée is a rustic path that connects Sark to ‘little’ Sark and is well-known for its stunning views over both sides of the island. The path was built by German war prisoners in 1945 and contains a wealth of history. The path is wide enough for a horse and carriage to pass over, so you can tick this off if you choose to do a horse and carriage tour. There is a sharp vertical drop on both sides but for wild swimmers, there are steep steps that will take you down to the waters where you can try out the temperature of the Channel Island’s crystal-clear sea.
Easy to miss due to its quaint and homely exterior, the Sark museum is more than meets the eye. It’s bigger than it looks on the outside and contains a hub of knowledge about the island. Here, you can learn about the impact of the German occupation on the residents, as well as interesting facts from Sark’s history. The woman that runs it is only too happy to answer any questions and ready to welcome you in to help you discover the fascinating past of this unique island.
Dixcart Bay is one of the most popular bays on the island and once you visit, you will see why. The absence of cars on the island means that you can find true peace, lying on the sandy shores, with only the sounds of bird song and the waves gently crashing on the shore in the background. The walk down may be long, but the array of wildlife means that there will always be something for you to look out for. Free mooring means that the bay is often populated with boats, yachts and dinghies galore and is the perfect place to take a break and breathe in the magic of Sark.
The Venus Pool is a natural rock pool, big and deep enough to swim in and marks the very south of the island. It’s accessible for around 2 hours either side of low tide, but the fresh, outdoor air and crisp seawater makes it worth the planning. To get to the pool itself, it is a steep walk along the fields and cliff paths and you may have to scramble over rocks to find it so make sure you wear suitable shoes for walking! As well as wild water swimmers, this pool is a must for photographers with its stunning south-coast views.
Sark is renowned for its magically dark skies due to the absence of cars, neon lights and street lamps. It’s officially one of the best places in the planet to watch the stars and reached its International Dark Sky Island Status in 2011. If you arrive without your own stargazing kit, the Sark observatory in the middle of the island has kits available to hire, and members of the Sark Astronomy Society are happy to show you the telescope and talk you through the star constellations you can spot on a projected screen. Read more about stargazing on Sark here.
Sark Carriages is the longest family-run established horse and carriage attraction, originating in the late 1700s with its prime purpose to deliver post. Located on the northerly tip of Sark at Le Grand Fort Farm, Sark Carriages now offers a variety of island tours. You can choose between a 2-hour private tour on a horse drawn waggonette or Victoria carriage, or you can take part in a popular 1.5 hour tour of the island shared with other visitors. Choose whatever tour suits you best and get ready to soak in the sights of Sark in this truly unique way.
Sark Boat Trips depart from Creux Harbour on the east of the island, the original fishing port on Sark. The 2.5-hour session you’ll have on the water will give you an exciting insight into the wildlife and coastal environment of the island and you’ll have the opportunity to see birds such as puffins, guillemots, razor-bills, cormorants and even sealife such as dolphins, seals, sunfish and basking sharks. Tide and weather dependent, you may be able to explore a range of caves and rock pools that hide around Sark’s coastline.
Being a car-free zone, Sark is one of the safest places to cycle with other forms of transport being limited to tractors and horse-drawn carriages. The island has two separate bike hire locations and you can hire a bike out for as cheap as £6.50 for a day! Distributed along with your bikes, you are given locks, helmets and maps to make sure you get the most out of your visit. There are cycle stations dotted around the island, so for any paths that aren’t cycle friendly, particularly around the cliff tops, you are able to lock up your bike and take to the paths by foot, meaning you can still explore every corner of the magical island. Read more about cycling on Sark here.
Located near Point Derrible on the eastern side of the island. Sark Henge is a stone circle, hidden along the clifftops that was built in 2015 to make the 450-year anniversary since Queen Elizabeth I granted the Fief of Sark to Helier De Carteret in 1565. The formation is made from 9 stones made from Jersey granite, one for each of Sark’s medieval territories. Each stone contains a viewing hole which lines up with an island landmark such as La Coupée, St Ouen’s and Alderney.
Sark is host to an impressive variety of wild flowers that decorate the island in an array of colours as the seasons change. In the spring, you can expect to see blue from the Bluebells, pink from the Red Campion, and white from Wild Garlic. The cliff paths and fields that line the coastline contain gorse that will start to flower and blanket the ground in a sunshine-yellow colour and release its coconut scent. In the summer, you’ll be able to spot Foxgloves, Rock Samphire and Honeysuckle. Later in the year, the island will be home to a bloom of blackberries, along with sloes making the perfect sloe gin for a cosy autumn evening.
Creux Harbour is the perfect location to relax on a sunny afternoon. Being encased by a pebbly beach on one side and a cobbled quay on the other, Sark’s harbour is perfectly picturesque. The harbour wall means that the sea swimming there is perfect for all ages with a safe depth and the ideal places for jumping in! Best of all, there is the Harbour Café right on its doorstep to treat yourself to an ice-cream or homemade cake!
Sark is an ideal destination for yoga with its clean air and calm, relaxed ambience where you can’t help but slow down from the fast pace of everyday life. The island offers various yoga retreats throughout the year, but also for those willing just to dip their toe and have a taster, there are regular sessions in the town hall that you can book on to.
The Isle of Sark Brewing Co. is the first brewery established in Sark and is a local producer of read ale. The company is based inside an old stone barn in the grounds of La Seigneurie with its 2.5 barrel brewing system. The brewery can book in tours and tasting sessions for parties of 5 or more – a must for any ale lovers.
For over 20 years, Caragh Chocolates has used the fresh ingredients from Sark’s grazing cows to make the most unique and delicious chocolates. The chocolate kitchen now is situated on the side of Caragh’s farmhouse, with a quaint tea garden for you to sit out and enjoy the chocolate, complete with a warming cup of tea or a mug of their own thick hot chocolate. You can watch some of the chocolates being made, or even book on to a workshop and make your own: an must for the chocolate lovers out there.
Are you ready to explore this unique island yet? It's easy to get to Sark from Guernsey, only a 55 minute transfer ferry through the Isle of Sark Shipping Company, which can be found on St Peter Port. Book your ferry over to Guernsey now so you can be amazed by all it has to offer.