Sark is one of the smaller Channel Islands, situated just off the Normandy coast, which is easily visible from the Island. Only 4 miles long, its twisted and convoluted coastline however gives it a massive 40 miles of coastline, much of it of astounding natural beauty.
Sark has been the property of the Romans, Pirate gangs, the French, the English and most recently the Germans, having been occupied for several years during the Second World War. Recent archaeological excavations by Professor Sir Barry Cunnliffe and his team from the University of Oxford have established well-ordered and organised habitation stretching back at least 7,000 years, with some exquisite ‘finds’ of very high status crafted objects and jewellery.
Set up as a Feudal tenure by Elizabeth I, the island was colonised by 40 volunteer settlers under the leadership of the first Seigneur, Helier de Carteret, in the 16th Century. Each ‘Tenement’ holder had to promise to supply and be prepared to use one musket in defence of the island. The original tenement holders bear the names of many of the current inhabitants, and include the Guilles, the de Carterets, the Bakers, and the Hamons, whose current incumbents are direct descendants of the founding migrants.
The Island makes the perfect holiday retreat: beautiful scenery, quiet and unspoilt locations including some spectacular beaches, lovely people, and a range of high calibre hotels and restaurants. There are no cars on Sark. Transport is by horse-drawn carriage or walking, and the Island has been classed a Dark Sky Island internationally, which means the lack of light pollution makes for spectacular night skies. And did we mention no V.A.T. and minimal taxation on alcohol?!