We are so lucky in Guernsey to have the unique beauty of Sark on our doorstep. And even luckier now that Islandmums has negotiated such good deals for you to enjoy a day trip there. Travel costs are only £2 per child during the week day with a special Sunday offer of £2 per child plus 10% off adult tickets.
Once there, how do you plan your day so that every member of the family has a good time?
We’ve come up with a couple of day trip suggestions based on age of children and energy of parents. If your kids are tiny and you haven’t slept for months, then we’ve created a day plan for you that doesn’t involve too much buggy or walking action and let’s you take things a bit easier.
If your kids are older and you are full of enthusiasm to discover all that Sark has to offer, then we’ve made a plan for you.
And if you’re neither exhausted nor raring to go and just fancy a nice leisurely time exploring this gem of an island then there’s something for you too.
Young children/ Tired parents Day
Start by getting the toast rack up the hill to where horses can be found grazing in the fields and sign yourself up for a horse and carriage ride. (Islandmums members get a private family ride plus a meal voucher at Stocks Hotel for £85).
Little ones can either be frightened or in awe of these amazing animals and it can be lovely to give kids an opportunity to say hello. The carriage ride takes you around the island and the tour-guides are really knowledgeable. There’s a lot of history to be learned about the feudal system and how the island is now operated.
Get dropped off at Stocks Hotel and have a dip in their pool and a relaxed lunch on the lawn. Let little ones splash about and explore before taking the opportunity to stretch your legs and wander back through the town. You might like to step into the Avenue Gifts (Islandmums get 10% off purchases over £20) or pick up an ice-cream at Mad Guille Ice Cream Vendor (Islandmums get 10% off ice-creams) or stroll a bit further along to the coast before heading back to catch the ferry back home.
Older Children/Energetic Parents Day
Arriving at the harbour you can get the toast rack up the hill or stretch your legs and walk up to get your bikes at Avenue Cycle Hire (Islandmums members get 15% off family cycle hire) or A to B Cycle Hire (Islandmums members get a free children’s bike hire with every adult bike). There is a lot to do and you have the freedom to explore! If you want to pick up a picnic or a packed lunch at the Harbour Café at the start of your trip then you’ll have the option to just eat when you feel hungry, or there are plenty of hotels and restaurants dotted around for you to enjoy.
Purchase a Seashore Safari leaflet or one of the wildlife sheets (for £1) from the Visitor Centre and set yourselves the challenge of spotting as many birds, butterflies, insects, rock pool creatures, flora and fauna as you can. Then get exploring!
If you time your trip with low tide then you might want to cross La Coupee, (taking care to dismount your bicycles as it’s actually illegal to cycle over this short stretch) with it’s panoramic sea views, to Little Sark and try to find the Venus pool. It is a natural rock pool large enough to take a dip and can be an exciting place to discover various forms of wildlife, fish and crabs.
On your way back up you could pop into Caragh’s Chocolate and Tea Gardens and pick up some locally hand-made chocolate – (Islandmums members get 15% off purchases).
Young or old children/mid-level Energy Parents Day
Catch the toast rack up the hill and then it’s up to you whether you decide to walk, hire bicycles or take a horse and carriage ride to get around. Cycling by tandems or with trailers can be a good option but can get a bit tiring lugging your offspring up hills!
It might be worth taking a look at the Seigneurie Gardens, which has a maze for children to explore as well as plenty of beautiful plants and vegetables.
Or if you want to get closer to the sea then you could go for a swim at Derrible (at low tide) and Grand Greve – both of which give you a good cardio in getting to them. There’s a lot to see beneath the water to you could bring your own snorkel and masks or purchase them from Avenue Gifts.
Alternatively there are fort walls, cannons, militia towers and a Buddhist carving at Eperquerie for a cultural day out.