Sark is well known for quite a few unique characteristics, and its caves are no exception. In fact, while the word ‘spectacular’ is often overused when it comes to describing caves and caverns in many locations, it’s completely appropriate for those found on Sark, as they’re incredibly stunning to behold, and have been the prize of cave explorers and photographers for many years.
The island’s cave systems are the perfect blend of hidden yet accessible; the island doesn’t exactly hand her treasures over without a little effort, but the majority of the caves are fairly easy to access at low tide, and all of them more than repay the effort to explore.
Some of the better known caves have featured on the BBC’s television show, Coast including the Gouliot Caves and the Boutique Caves, but visitors will enjoy an amazing experience regardless of whichever caves you visit, whether you’ve chosen specifically to locate and explore them, or whether you merely chance upon them while out exploring the coastline on foot or by boat.
Here are a few of the most celebrated cave systems on Sark to visit, and of course don’t forget to exercise caution by checking the high-tide times or travelling with a more experienced guide.
All caves should only be visited during low tide.
THE GOULIOT CAVES
These unique caves – featured on BBC’s ‘Coast’ series – are to be found on the west coast of the island, and are so visually spectacular and fascinating that no visit to Sark is complete with seeing them. Not the easiest caves to access, the effort is utterly worth it, if only for the array of brilliantly coloured sponges, anemones and sea squirts contained within.
Accessed by paths and steps starting from La Vaurocque, the Gouliot Caves include a ‘chimney’ entrance with magnificent views, incredible cave roofs, sea entrances, arches, pools such as the ‘Sunny Pool’ and ‘the Well’, and walls so massed with rainbow-coloured anemones that you’ll never tire of showing your friends back home the pictures!
THE BOUTIQUE CAVES
Situated at the north end of the island, the Boutique Caves from the Eperquerie Landing via paths and steps in the cliff.
Best accessed an hour or so prior to low tide, they comprise various tunnels, shallow pools, gullies and both wet and dry caves, with beautiful lights and shadows throughout.
A natural rock pool big, and deep enough to swim in located on Little Sark. Best time to visit is two hours either side of low water. Lovely flat rocks for sun bathing but covered by the tide from half tide up to half tide down.
The Adonis Pool is a similar tidal pool, though deeper, larger and less easily accessible than the Venus Pool; it is located close to the southwesternmost tip of Little Sark. The Adonis Pool enjoys longer periods of sunshine then the Venus Pool but is separated from the mainland at anything approaching half tide (the pool is covered by the sea at high tide) by a deep and fast flowing race of water where visitors require experience or careful instruction to cross to the Adonis rock safely.
Sark’s many other caves are less standalone destinations than smaller sights best connected by a good walk, but some notable names to check out during your visit include:
- The Red Cave: accessible from La Eperquerie
- The Dog Cave: accessible from La Greve de la Ville
- The Gull’s Chapel Caves: accessible from La Greve de la Ville
- Sark Caverns: accessible from Derrible Bay
- Derrible Head Caves: accessible from Derrible Bay