Sark is free from cars and vehicles, except tractors, therefore your mode of transport is a choice between walking, cycling or a horse and carriage sight-seeing trip. Perhaps a mixture of the three is the best way to see everything the island has to offer.
When you disembark in Sark, you will see an archway leading to a tunnel. Once through the tunnel, you approach harbour hill, with an adjacent footpath offering a picturesque ascent to the village. Or there is the more popular option of waiting for the “toast rack” tractor, in which for a small charge you will be transported in true Sark style to the village. Your luggage travels separately from you and this is taken care of by the team of local carters, which is why it is important to have all luggage correctly labelled with name and accommodation details.
From the village many accommodation venues are within walking distance, however The Avenue (the main street in the village) does have facilities for you to hire a bicycle and for many visitors this is the preferred mode of transport for Sark. If all of these are sounding a little too much in physical exertion then the horses & carriages await! These can be pre-booked for large parties or specifically tailored tours.
Book your bicycle or carriage before your trip:
Avenue Cycle Hire 01481 832102 firstname.lastname@example.org www.avenuecyclessark.co.uk
A to B Cycle Hire 01481 832844 email@example.com www.atobcycles.com
A carriage ride is perhaps the best introduction to the island. The high vantage point gives views over the hedges, and the quietness of this mode of travel is characterised by creaking of the harness, the jingle of the rings on the horse’s bit and the rhythmic thud of the hooves on untarmaced roads.
All the carriage drivers have to take a test to obtain their Carriage Drivers Licence. This involves driving skills and horsemanship, and a knowledge of the history of Sark: they not only drive you around but also act as guides.
There are two main types of vehicles used on Sark – a carriage which can seat six people (four in the back and two in front beside the driver) and a van which seats ten people (eight in the back and two up front).
The two tours which most people experience are either a one hour tour, taking in the north of Sark, or a two hour tour which covers the north of the island then goes to the Coupee in the south. All tours start and finish from the Collenette (the crossroads at the top of the hill.
Some carriages will be pre-booked for tour operators, but there will also be carriages that are freelance (not pre-booked). There is no taxi rank order. If you are not with a tour just go up to any driver. They will tell you if they are available or not. Prices can vary depending on length of tour, stops etc. so ask the driver what the charge will be per person. Most drivers offer reductions for children.
If arriving off the ferry for a day trip and you wish to take a carriage ride but have not pre-booked, then approach the carriage drivers about a tour as soon as you get off the tractor bus at the top of Harbour Hill. The drivers will be able to tell you where they are going, what they charge and whether they have spaces available and at what time.
Most carriage tours, in the summer, start their tours from the top of Harbour Hill to coincide with all Sark inbound morning boats and often at 1.30pm also.
Stocks Hotel 01481 832001 www.stockshotel.com
Danny Wakley 01481 832135 or 07781 113386 www.dannywakley.com
Travellers with restricted mobility
For travellers with restricted mobility, there are many variables to consider such as getting on and off the ferry, walking up the harbour steps on a low tide compared to a high tide, the short walk to the tractor bus and getting around when you reach the top of Harbour Hill.
As the level of mobility is different for every person, it is advisable to telephone Sark Visitor Centre to talk through any concerns you may have in connection with your individual journey to the island. The visitor officers live on Sark and will be able to help you with all aspects.
We have electric bicycles and mobility scooters to hire but under Sark law, those wishing to hire either would require the approval of our Doctor which is not a difficult process and again the visitor officers can help you with this.
To speak to the visitor officers at Sark Visitor Centre, please telephone 01481 832345 if in the UK or +44 1481 832345 if outside the UK. You can also email the visitor officers on firstname.lastname@example.org.