Sark The Peaceful Isle

Island of Sark, Guernsey, Masterpiece Theatre, Channel Islands

There is a very special island which once was the last feudal state (ending in 2008 after 450 years) in all of Europe. All cars are banned and only horse drawn carriages and a few tractors are permitted.  All the roads are dirt and wind around ancient stone buildings hundreds of years old.  The people seem very happy and just amble along in a peaceful pace.  Is this some idyllic British TV show on Masterpiece Theatre? Actually it really exists and is only a 50 minute ferry ride from the Isle of Guernsey, in the Channel Islands. Come along as we explore the Island of Sark.

St. Peter Port, Buernsey, Brecqhou, Barclay brothers

We take the morning ferry from St. Peter Port, Guernsey, for Sark. On the way we pass close by the private island of Brecqhou, owned by the very private identical twins, the Barclay brothers. They built a gigantic castle that is beyond amazing!

Marla Gentry, Sark

Marla and my nephew Steve’s wife, Karen, look excited for the adventure ahead. Since we can’t rent a car…we are going to rent bikes!
Greater Sark, Little Sark, La Coupee, German prisoners of war

Greater Sark is connected to Little Sark by a narrow isthmus called, “La Coupee.” There was no railing in the 19th century and children had to cross it on their hands and knees to prevent being blown over the ledge by the wind. Handrails and a cement roadway were built by German prisoners of war, after the liberation of the Channel Islands in 1945.  Today we are riding to Little Sark in search for the incredible “Sark Lobster.” I think I know where we can find some.

Marla Gentry, Sark

Marla passes my brother-in-law, Vic Richer, who decided to walk. We stopped for so many photos he almost beat us to the restaurant!

La Sablonnerie Hotel, Sark, restaurant

I reserved a beautiful outdoor table at “La Sablonnerie Hotel” which is part of a 400-year-old Sark farmhouse. It opened as a hotel and restaurant in 1948. It exudes a casual, but posh atmosphere with wonderful flower filled gardens.

Sark lobster

Someone had the “Sark Lobster” and it was fabulous! I wonder who that was?

Greater Sark

The views on the ride back to Greater Sark are mesmerizing!

La Coupee, Sark

La Coupee, Sark

We walk our bikes on the “La Coupee” as it is narrow with steep drop offs.

horse drawn carrage, La Sablonnerie, ferry

We have to back up as a horse drawn carriage is heading straight for us. It’s probably bringing luggage to La Sablonnerie from the ferry.

bikes, Marla Gentry, Sark

What a superb day! Time to bring the bikes back.

Sark, smooth seas

We had a magical combination of smooth seas, warm weather and bright blue skies!

Guernsey, German occupation, England

A small plaque on a harbor wall commemorates the people of Guernsey who lost their lives working in forced labor during the German occupation 1940-1945. My brother-in-law was evacuated for 6 years at the age of 4 with his siblings and mother to England. His father stayed behind and suffered terribly. 

I hope you enjoyed our trip to Sark as much as I did. I can’t wait to return someday. I can highly recommend The islands of Guernsey and Sark to be added to your travel bucket list!

Images: Dick Gentry & Steven Richer.

Guernsey Island of Enchantment

Guernsey Island, Kenneth Branagh

For Kenneth Branagh it will be the subject of his movie, “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society.” For some it is a popular “Offshore Finance Center”, accounting for 37% of Guernsey’s income. For visitors it is a wonderful place to decompress from a busy life and enjoy the slow pace of the island. For my sister it was a destination of excitement, hope and love, as she traveled from California to marry her pen-pal, many years ago. For me it is an island of enchantment! Please join me on a private tour.

Saint Peter Port, The Pollet

“The Pollet” is an ancient street in Saint Peter Port lined with shops and restaurants.

Guernsey Island, Mill Street

“Mill Street” is a particular favorite of ours from our very first trip. The steepness of the street has created difficulties for stores over the years but it is very charming.

Guernsey Island, old market

The old Market area has been transformed to a bustling area of boutiques and restaurants. “How about a local brew?”

Marla Gentry, Guernsey Island, antiques

Marla stops to admire an antique shop filled with small cars, boats and airplanes.

Guernsey Island, cliff walks

Locals and visitors love the many “Cliff Walks” which line the island’s coastline.  I love the many gorgeous bays that dot the coast. A few have ancient watchtowers from the 18th century along with little restaurants for snacks.

Fermain Bay, , Guernsey Island

The trails near Fermain Bay are lush with ferns and flowers in bloom. There is a peacefulness interrupted only by the sounds of seabirds and warm winds in the pines.

Cliff Walks, Guernsey Island

We came across an interesting old home on a cliff walk near Jerbourg Point. It looks like something out of an old storybook.

Guernsey cows,Guernsey Island

Guernsey is famous for their cows and dairy products. These Guernsey cows are definitely spoiled on this green meadow with spectacular views.

Guernsey Island, Icart Point

The views from Icart Point are magnificent!  We encountered a number of artists painting the wonderful view on their canvases.

Leaving the cliff trail we headed back toward town. This is a typical small lane in St. Martin’s parish, with very old homes and granite walls on the street. The house on the right was built in 1789.

Guernsey Island

I love this “Thank you for being Honest” roadside stand filled with fresh garden produce and eggs from their little farm.

Sausmarez Manor, Guernsey Island

Sausmarez Manor is an estate lost in time and open to the public. Part of the home began in the late 12th century with the important fa├žade built between 1714 and 1718.

cream tea, Guernsey Island

We stopped for a delightful “Cream Tea” in their garden. I love their homemade scones, topped with Guernsey butter, jam and heavy cream! “Yumm!”

Guernsey Island

Our visit to this magical isle of enchantment was totally fabulous! Spending wonderful time visiting my niece and her husband, nephew and his wife, along with my brother-in-law, was an incredible bonus on our Guernsey holiday.

Stay tuned for a visit to the beautiful island of Sark, a unique place where cars are “not allowed.”

All images by Dick Gentry.