As I squeezed myself onto a crammed Northern Line this morning our Spring trip to Sark felt like it could have been part of my imagination. A fictional place from a book I’d been reading even. It’s hard to believe amidst the rush of city life, where personal space comes at a premium, that there’s somewhere in the world where there are no cars, few people and the only sounds you’ll hear are birds chirruping overhead, the busy hum of tractors in the field or waves crashing on the shore. But if you’ve been reading the blog for a while you’ll know Sark isn’t something out of a novel.
The main reason for our latest trip (my 4th visit to Guernsey & 3rd to Sark!) was to celebrate James’ Grandma’s 90th birthday. One of those grand ages which I can’t quite imagine experiencing – my current lifetime times two for me to get to the same age! After finding out that James’ great Grandmother lived to 93 and passed away 30 or so years ago I quickly realised that life on one of the Channel Islands is pretty good for your health. Once you’ve spent a bit of time there it’s easy to see why.
The luxury of a long bank holiday weekend meant that amongst cake baking and celebrating we found time for a few hours of exploring and I managed to pull James away from the comfort of his family home to take me somewhere I hadn’t seen. You can get a peek of my only summer trip here and our recent Christmas trip here. I thought I’d take you along on my springtime tour to give you more views of the island and reasons to visit.
The only way to get around the island is by walking or cycling, or by driving a tractor (if you have a local business or you’re the doctor). Its small population means it’s heavenly peaceful most of the year round.
In spring, there are daffodil lined lanes all to yourself.
I usually have a pretty good sense of direction but I got lost wandering alongside fields of gentle animals.
The sight of happy bouncy lambs made me so so happy.
Every now and then we came across a cottage or cluster of small shops and cafes.
We took a turn down a narrow path and stepped into the woods.
Sunlight streaming up through the leaves.
Birds chirruping overhead and streams rippling underfoot.
We hadn’t seen another soul for at least half an hour, you’d expect that might feel a bit strange or eery but it was pretty blissful to me. A paradise for the imagination and I could definitely see how exciting James’ childhood must have been, spending summers in the great outdoors.
Eventually the branches thinned out to reveal Dixcart Bay.
A pretty spectacular sight and sound.
In the middle of summer I would have been tempted to run right into those tempting turquoise waters.
I filled my lungs with enough vitamin sea, soaked up those views for as long as the brisk wind allowed and hopped across the rocks on the way back up.
A few people have asked me if I could ever live in Sark and I think about it every time I visit. I could definitely spend the fair weather months there and I could picture myself tucked away in an office perched on a clifftop. I’d enjoy the fresh produce, being involved in a caring community and evening barbecues on the beach. But being born and raised in the city, I know I’d eventually struggle with how remote it could feel, especially during the long dark days of winter. So for now, I’ll settle for my regular city escapes.
If you’re looking to get away from it all and spend a few peaceful days going for long walks, exploring each and every bay and beach and soaking up the sun and those sea views, you should definitely add Sark to the visit list.
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What do you think? Could you live on a small island in the English Channel?