In his latest cruising feature, Peter Cumberlidge picks out the best remote island destinations you can easily reach from the UK by boat

Sark - cliffs at low waterSark, Channel Islands

Size: 2½nm long
Population: 500
Watering holes: The Bel Air Inn on harbour hill

Even in fine weather, Sark seems aloof as you approach, its high cliffs giving few clues to what you might find here.

This craggy outpost is encircled not merely by sea, but fast-moving sea littered with rocks in true Channel Island fashion.

The powerful tides stir up seething overfalls, yet around slack water it’s easy to reach one of the popular landing bays – Havre Gosselin on the west coast or Grève de la Ville on the east. Both have visitor buoys.

A spectacular granite cleft, Havre Gosselin has the simplest approach from Guernsey and at springs early afternoon low waters give useful shelter from swell.

In Gosselin, land at the rough-hewn jetty and climb a trail of steps to a sobering monument to those who have perished in these turbulent waters.

Boats at anchor off Havre Gosselin, SarkWandering inland you reach the island duck pond, a quaint English feature in this remote place.

Heading straight on at a crossroads, you pass an old mill tower and a tourist office before the lane winds into ‘The Avenue’, which has a post office, a few shops and a bank.

Sark has no cars and the island’s horse-drawn carriages wait for passengers arriving up the hill from the ferry. Ashore, Sark is not at all aloof.Visitors feel welcome here and the islanders would like to see more.

Don’t miss: Visiting La Seigneurie gardens at Sark’s old manor house

  1. 1. Introduction
  2. 2. Sark, Channel Islands
  3. 3. Yeu, The Vendée
  4. 4. St. Martin’s, Isles of Scilly
  5. 5. Skomer, Wales
  6. 6. Cape Clear Island, Ireland
  7. 7. Île De Sein, Brittany
  8. 8. Île de Groix, Brittany
  9. 9. Coll, Scotland
  10. 10. Houat, Brittany
  11. 11. Vlieland, Netherlands
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