Monday 17 April 2017

Sark, Channel Islands

The island of Sark, one of the Channel Islands, covers around 5 square kilometres.  It is home to a population of around 600 people.

This small island is renowned for being car-free.  Tractors and horse-drawn vehicles are the only vehicles permitted on the island.

And yet, Sark has articulated buses - of a sort.

Sark has no airport or landing strip for aircraft.  Access to the island is by ferry.

It is a steep climb from the harbour to Sark's village, around 100 metres above sea level.  So a bus service operates - but Sark's buses are not like any I have seen anywhere else.


"Toast rack" trailers carrying around 30 passengers are hauled up and down the hill by tractors.


As this image shows, on one trailer passengers board and alight on the left, on the other, boarding and alighting is on the right.  Not that it matters, on a small island without motor traffic.


In the village, the buses set down and pick up outside the Bel Air Inn.

Buses operate in accordance with the arrival and departure of ferries.

There is no website for the bus service, although the service is referred to on the Isle of Sark Shipping Company website.

The bus service does not carry luggage.

For passengers with luggage, this is carried separately, directly between the boat and the passenger's accommodation on the island.

Once again, tractors and trailers are used.

The main ferry service to and from Sark operates to and from Guernsey.

This is operated by the Isle of Sark Shipping Company.


During the summer months, the ferry operates several crossings per day.  This drops back during the winter months to a minimum of one crossing per day, although there are no crossings on Sundays between Christmas and late February.

At Sark's harbour, passengers disembark and embark using steps... many steps depends on the tide.

Because of this, the ferry is not wheelchair-accessible.

This in turn means there is little need for the buses to provide step-free access.


From April to October, Manche-îles Express operates a direct ferry from Jersey, departing Jersey in the morning and returning from Sark in the afternoon, on certain days only.

Unsurprisingly, there are no tourist buses as such on the island of Sark.  Sightseeing tours are available, however, on horse-drawn trailers.

More information about visiting Sark is on the Sark Tourism website.

Images in this post were taken on a visit to Sark in June 2014.