The Channel Islands are located in the English Channel, south of England and just west of France. Nestled between Guernsey and Jersey, the two largest of the islands, lies Sark, a tiny wonderland full of life and character. The island is one of the smaller habited islands in the Channel Islands and is only three miles long and one and a half miles wide. The island is divided into two parts, Big Sark and Little Sark, connected by La Coupee, an isthmus that spans 300 feet long and only about 30 feet wide. Finding Sark on a map is one thing. Visiting it is another.
The Channel Islands are a popular vacation destination in the English Channel west of the Cotentin peninsula of France and sit at the entrance of the Gulf of Saint-Malo. There are 80 miles south of the coast of England and are dependencies on the British crown since becoming attached during the Norman Conquest of 1066. Each island has its own fascinating backstory, along with amazing architecture and sights to see.
There are five main islands that make up the Channel Islands: Guernsey, Jersey, Sark, Alderney, and Herm. Beyond those five, there are several smaller islands amidst a sea that features a labyrinth of reefs and rocks.
Near the small island of Sark, there is an even smaller island, Brecqhou, which is a private island that seems like it should belong to Sark based on its proximity but is off-limits for visitors. The island is owned by the Barclay twins, who own The Spectator and The Telegraph.
The incredible scenery, beautiful wildflowers, flourishing wildlife, fascinating history, and incredible charm have made the Channel Islands a premier destination. Taking a holiday is even easier considering the proximity to England and France. Sark may be one of the smallest islands to visit, but it has so much to offer visitors of all ages.
Sark is affectionately known as the crown jewel of the Channel Islands and is best known for being one of the last places in the world that doesn’t allow cars. It’s an island that takes a little bit of a journey to get to it, but it is well worth the effort.
You can experience some breathtaking views as you explore the island, the locals are welcoming and warm and always willing to tell a tale, and you can hike or bike the entirety of the island in under a day. When you need to refuel and recharge, grabbing a bite to eat at the locals can satisfy your hunger with fresh seafood dishes and ingredients fresh from the surrounding gardens and farms.
A Brief History of Sark
Because of the proximity of Sark to France and England, Sark has a fascinating and storied history throughout time, with the first record of the island appearing in the text as a gift from William of Normandy to the Mont Saint Michel abbey in 1040. Nearly a century later, the small island was owned by the Vernon family. Sark was soon returned to the English crown in the early 13th century and captured by the French in 1549. It didn’t stay in the hands of the French for long, as it was back under English control by 1558.
During WWII, the Channel Islands were captured by the Germans as a part of their military strategy to defend the sea. The islands were the only British territories that ever came under German control during the war. Before the Germans took the islands, thousands fled, but many remained trapped under harsh German control. Throughout the islands, you can explore the many remnants of the war, giving a glimpse into what life was like during the German occupation.
How to Get to Sark in the Channel Islands
Sark is too small to have its own airport and can only be reached by boat, whether it be a private charter or ferry. People looking to holiday on Sark can take a ferry from either Jersey or Guernsey. There is an airport on both Jersey and Guernsey, and these islands are far more accessible than Sark.
From the St. Peter Port in Guernsey, you can purchase tickets for a quick ride out to Sark that takes only 55 minutes. From St. Helier on Jersey, you can take a ferry to Sark that is just slightly longer than the one from Guernsey. You can sit back and enjoy the ride across the pristine waters and keep an eye out for wildlife as you cross.
During the summer, there are several sailings a day, making Sark a perfect quick day trip from the holiday on the Channel Islands.
There is public mooring available on Sark, where you can moor your boat at locations on the west coast at Havre Gosselin or on La Greve de la Ville bay on the east coast, along with various other ideal mooring spots along the coast.
Planning a trip to Sark, you want to be sure to be prepared and plan ahead for the time you have there and ensure you understand what you need to do to get back. Be sure to arrive early for your ferry departure and give yourself enough time to make and connect ferries or flights.