Few have visited or even heard of this little gem in the Channel Islands, but if you are one of the lucky ones who have stepped foot on the beautiful island of Sark, you’ll understand why it’s one of our favourite escapes in the United Kingdom. With no airport, no street lights and very few cars on the island, there is an idyllic feeling here in Sark. Spending time here is like stepping into romantic memories of simpler times when your biggest concerns were what book you would read next, which cycling path you would take for your afternoon bike ride, and what restaurant you would pop into for dinner afterwards. Surrounded by rugged nature and welcoming island hospitality, Sark is the perfect spot to cosy up for a winter weekend or let days melt away into watercolour sunsets in the summer. Our travel guide to Sark features insider tips for the best hotels, restaurants and sights to visit during your time on the island.
The Stocks Hotel is not only the oldest hotel on Sark, it’s also an important piece of the island’s history and community that dates back to the late 18th century. Originally built as a farmhouse, the beloved family-owned institution has operated as a hotel since the end of the 19th century. But don’t let its historical roots mislead you - everything about the hotel has been designed with modern comforts in mind. With the exception of some charming old-world touches such as being home to the oldest mulberry tree in the Channel Islands, the original cider press in the garden and the option of being picked up on arrival by horse and carriage, the hotel’s 23 rooms and suites (some of which are dog-friendly) epitomise barefoot luxury and are designed for the modern traveller. The friendly team are on hand to ensure that you have everything you need throughout your stay and with the restaurant and bar specialising in delicious dishes made from local and seasonal produce, you won’t have to travel far for a fantastic meal.
A tea room cum cafe, AJ’s is located in the Avenue (Sark’s bucolic answer for a high street) and is loved by locals and visitors alike. Run by Mad Guille and her friendly team, this charming little eatery is the perfect place to stop in after a morning of exploring the island. In the spring or summer, enjoy a spot of light lunch or some afternoon tea in the sunny garden at the back of the cafe. From the fresh crab sandwiches to the rum cake or treacle tarts, whatever you select from the menu is sure to put a smile on your face.
Le Vieux Close: A guesthouse and restaurant housed in a beautiful Georgian-style building, the menu here specialises in fresh seafood and hearty comfort-food dishes such as pork and pepper stew and spicy chowder.
Hathaways: Located in a converted barn bathed in natural light, this is the perfect spot for a leisurely lunch or dinner of simple seafood-focused plates.
For an island so small, Sark certainly delivers when it comes to activities. From discovering the caves along the west coast by kayak to traversing along countless cycling and hiking routes, Sark is a paradise for outdoor lovers. But you don’t need to be so adventurous to experience the charm of Sark – in fact one of its most beautiful treasures is nestled in the centre of the island. Set within the grounds of a stunning 17th century manor, La Seigneurie Gardens is a beautiful example of floral and garden landscaping that blooms spectacularly from spring to autumn. In contrast to the island’s surrounding rugged wilderness, within the protective walls, you can wander through immaculate rose gardens, get lost in the maze and immerse yourself in the sensory garden. For those with a keen interest in the island’s history and the specific flora grown on the grounds, guided tours with the gardeners are also available from March to October.
Little Sark: Cross La Coupée to get to Little Sark, a beautiful peninsula in the southern part of the island known for its rocky beauty and quaint hamlet.
The Smallest Working Prison in the World: Sark is home to the smallest (and one of the most picturesque) prisons in the world – a stone dome-roofed little shelter with room for only two prisoners.
. . . and read our Alderney Travel Guide featuring boutique hotels, gastro pubs and natural splendours.