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Sark: A sailor’s guide

You can go to the ends of the earth looking for dramatic landscapes, but the rugged beauty of Sark is hidden on the UK’s doorstep.


Where is Sark?

Sark is one of the Channel Islands, south of England’s coast. It lies 7 miles (11 km) east of Guernsey and about 25 miles (40 km) west of France’s Cherbourg Peninsula.

With no airport, cars or proper roads, it’s tricky to reach the unspoilt island of Sark without a boat. But if you’re a sailor, arriving by yacht at the stone steps of Havre Gosselin bay on the west coast makes for a truly magical adventure.



What’s Sark like?

Locked in a time warp, Sark is a simple, charming place. With just 400 inhabitants, a strong touch of self government, sandy tracks, a few wild west style shops and lush verdant vegetation clinging to rocky outcrops, Sark makes for the kind of detoxifying experience that ensures you surrender to a simpler way of life.

Cars are prohibited, so you’ll need to get about with horse and cart, bike or on foot. A day trip is lovely, but on an overnight stay Sark really shows her magic.

Read A sailing trip to Magical Sark by Pure Latitude member Mark Wright for more breathtaking details.


boat at anchor in havre gosselin moorings, Sark


How to sail from Hamble to Sark

Heading across the English channel from Hamble to Sark is a rewarding yet challenging trip and the skipper needs to be suitably experienced and/or qualified. Detailed passage planning is key with busy shipping lanes and strong tidal streams needing careful attention. En route from England, Alderney makes for a useful and charming safe haven, should you need to wait for the tidal gate at the Alderney race prior to proceeding to Sark.


When should you make the trip?

Sark is best visited in the main boating season May-September to increase the likelihood of pleasant passage making conditions and calmer anchorages.


view of boats moored at havre gosselin by stone steps


How to moor at Sark

With no marinas and a large tidal range, overnight mooring is simplest on visitor buoys rather than at anchor. Visitor moorings are available at Greve de la Ville (East coast) and Havre Gosselin (West coast) on yellow buoys. It’s worth carefully considering the forecast to ensure you choose the most sheltered side of the Island. Sark’s tidal range is significant so you also need to be mindful of where you leave your tender when ashore depending on whether the tide is rising or falling (you might need a very long painter if you don’t want to lug your boat up too far).

Additional details and payment options for moorings are on the Sark website. You can also find tide times and ranges here.



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