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Isle of Sark

Listed under Islands in The United Kingdom.

  • Photo of Isle of Sark
  • Photo of Isle of Sark
  • Photo of Isle of Sark
  • Photo of Isle of Sark
  • Photo of Isle of Sark
Photo of Isle of Sark
Photo by flickr user heatheronhertravels
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A visit to Sark isn’t just about the diving but a chance to experience the tranquillity of an unspoilt, car-free island. Walking or cycling are the only ways to get around unless you indulge yourself and hire a horse-drawn carriage and driver. There are miles of picturesque footpath to discover along with endless wildflowers and butterflies. At dusk huge bush-crickets chirp from the hedgerows giving the summer evenings a distinctly exotic air. From the water you’ll see puffins, guillemots, razorbills and fulmars and, if you’re really lucky, a breath-taking display of aerobatics from the resident peregrine falcons. Add to this a choice of eating places offering cream teas and fresh local seafood and you can see why so many visitors return to Sark year after year. There’s a choice of accommodation from self catering or camping to bed and breakfast or hotels. The island has several food stores, cycle hire shops, a post office, gift shops and two banks but no cash machine.

When to visit

This is a tricky choice. Diving starts around May when the water temperature is just in double figures. The visibility can be affected by the usual British spring plankton bloom but it’s the best time for nudibranchs and breeding seabirds. On land there are fewer visitors and the cliffs and woodlands are swathed in bluebells and other wildflowers. Later on in the summer the water tends to be clearer and up to a rather pleasant 19 °C but the puffins, razorbills and guillemots have left by the middle of July.

Getting there

There are scheduled flights to Guernsey from all over the UK and several European airports but if you’re travelling with dive kit it’s easier to make your way to Poole or Weymouth and catch one of the Condor fast ferries. From Guernsey the Isle of Sark Shipping Company run several ferries a day to the island, a crossing which takes just under an hour. Manche Iles also run boats most days from Jersey and Normandy through the summer.

Where to stay

For a list of recommended hotels visit The Hotel Guru.

Written by  Sue Daly.

Comments, reviews and questions by other travellers

Isle of Sark

At only three miles long, Sark is the smallest of the main Channel islands and famous for its wildflowers and absence of cars. The island is approximately 350 feet above sea level and edged by rugged coastline with interesting caves and inlets on all sides. The cliffs make an excellent bird watching location and Sark is known for its abundance of bird life.

Birders should expect to see colonies of Manx Shearwater, Peregrin Falcon and guillemots. Sark is at a good position on both the spring and autumn migratory paths, and regular visitors include Northern Gannets, hobby, black kites and osprey. A variety of different rare birds are spotted here each year. The other islands that make up the Channel Island group also offer reliable bird watching opportunities.

Sark has an interesting history which has shaped its current political situation; it still has a feudal constitution and government granted it by Queen Elizabeth in 1565. Sark is a 45 minute ferry trip from Guernsey.

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