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Visitor Reviews - La Valette

  Campsite and Caravan Park Search > UK > Channel Islands > Channel Islands > Site Reviews

La Valette
La Valette
Sark
Channel Islands   (Browse area)
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Tel: 01481832202

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Rating: Average Review Score: 10/10 from 2 Reviews
              10/10 from 2 Reviews


Units accepted:    Tents  No Caravans  No Motorhomes  Glamping 

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Date of Visit: September 2013 Unit:  Tent Rating:
Reviewer: Mr & Mrs Mungo 7 reviews from this member

La Valette is a wonder! This fabulous campsite is situated on the tiny, but magical island of Sark – not quite the smallest of the Channel Islands.

We arrived by ferry from Guernsey which takes a little over half an hour and costs about £28 return for an adult. From the harbour you are greeted by a horse-drawn baggage cart which takes your luggage to your destination (and returns it on departure) for a small fee. You can also take the similar passenger carriage to the top of the quite steep hill into the village centre, but there is a lovely footpath up if you’re feeling fit.

The village has, amongst other things, restaurants, cafés, a couple of gift shops, two small supermarkets, post office and a boulangerie, which we used every day for gorgeous, fresh bread. It also has two proper pubs of contrasting natures – The Mermaid (nearest La Valette) is more a locals place but full of character, and The Bel Air Inn, which is equally nice but captures the tourist trade. Both have pool tables and outside sun-trap seating.

But enough about that and more about La Valette! There are four pre-erected tents which are pitched very nicely in a little dip sheltered from the wind, but all have sea views. They are of different sizes, but I would choose the biggest, even for only a couple if you are planning on spending some time here. Everything is provided in these tents apart from sleeping bags, pillows or lights. My girlfriend said she would bring a small parcel of herbs and condiments next time, for cooking.

The site itself is made up of two main fields and although sloping in places, it is large and there are many spots where tents can be pitched on level ground with varying degrees of shelter. There were no obvious facilities for children, however the site is mostly stone-walled, and I’m sure a safe eye could be kept on the kids for most of the time.

The toilet block was absolutely fine with two, big showers (5 mins lovely hot water for £1), two toilets, basins and washing up area. I’m sure they never really get busy (La Valette was almost empty in September – lucky us). This part of the united Kingdom has one of the warmest climates.

We stayed for nine nights which was fantastic and allowed us to really get to know the island. We could go back next year for another nine nights and still have many new things to do.

Mrs Adams, the owner was incredible helpful and full of fabulous information about La Valette and Sark. Anything we asked for was never a problem.

We paid £249 for two adults staying in a pre-erected tent for nine nights, which I think is very good value.

Everything has to be brought in to Sark, which is reflected in general prices in shops etc, but there are contrasting taxation laws due to the nature of the unique government which evens it all up in the end.

One thing that must be mentioned, is that as well as no cars on Sark (which is fantastic in itself), it is a designated Dark Sky Island, which means there are no street lights. With no light pollution, the star-gazing was out of this world. We saw a shooting star which looked like it was only one field away!

Sark is three miles by one and most people travel around on cycles, horse carriage, or the occasional tractor, but as we were there for some time, we walked everywhere. There is plenty of varied walking and the fauna and flora were superb.

Apart from the two pubs, there are about ten hotels of varying nature, most of which allow you (as a non-resident) to drink in their bar. And, of course, they are all happy to invite you in for a meal. The hotels (and pubs) also have functions on different nights which allows for great evenings entertainment most nights of the week. However, if you fancy a tipple, be warned: the pubs shut on Sunday, but there is a way around this (wink, wink).

One last thing, make sure you travel across La Coupée to Little Sark and visit La Soblonnerie Hotel. All in all, Sark is the most wonderful place and our holiday there was one of the best we’ve ever had. La Valette is the perfect campsite to have a break from the stresses of the real world.

Date of Visit: August 2012 Unit:  Tent Rating:
Reviewer: Kier 4 reviews from this member

Sark is a wonderful place and this campsite is a cracking (and cheap) place to base yourself for any visit to Sark. In stark contrast to all the other campsites in the Channel Islands this place is very basic and empty so consequently we loved it. It was August (high season I imagine) but only 4 tents were pitched there with plenty of room in the field for us to spread out. There was also a line of ready built tents in another corner of the field some of which were occupied.

Sark is not an easy place to get to and is even more hassle to arrange an overnight stay in a tent, but it is well worth the effort. Most people just come for a day trip which is easier to do, but not as rewarding.

No cars are allowed on the island, so you have to carry everything over yourself, this presented us with the challenge of identifying what was practical to carry over and then finding somewhere to leave our car on Guernsey. The second of these was a big challenge as there is nowhere in town you can leave your car for more than 10 hours - but there is a solution, Use the Footes Lane park and ride where you can safely leave your car for as long as you like and catch a bus (every 20 minutes) back to the port. You wouldn't believe the trouble I had to go to to get this piece of information (no-one there seemed to know !) - so I wanted to share it !

You can bring as much stuff as you like, they will carry it on and off the boat for you and when you arrive on Sark a tractor will come to collect your luggage and will carry it to the campsite, then you can either walk or catch a tractor bus up to the village, from which it is a ten minute walk to the campsite. There is a place to hire bikes on the way, which we did immediately as this is a great way to get about the island - suddenly everywhere is within reach in under half an hour.

The site itself it set in a lovely, not entirely flat, position on the edge of the cliff with fine sea views in many directions. The owner is very friendly and helpful and there is a nice little building to provide all shower, toilet and washing up needs. Although the field isn't flat, it is easy to find spots which are level and comfortable to camp on.

There is another site on the island which is similar to this one, ie empty and pretty and with facilities. Personally I preferred La Valette because it had better sea views. Both were the same distance from the main village (in opposite directions) I guess the other one is slightly more central, but as I said, with a bike you can get anywhere in under half an hour, so this doesn't really matter.

Sark itself is beautiful, I guess there isn't a great deal to do there, but just exploring the beautiful coast and the various corners of the island - along with the general quirkiness of this independent fiefdom are more than enough to keep you occupied during your stay,

In conclusion I would say this is a wonderful site and a wonderful place to spend some time, we only stayed two nights, but could happily have stayed longer. This campsite and the island of Sark itself were the highlight of our 10 days in the Channel Islands (we also visited Guernsey, Jersey and Herm in that time) and I would highly recommend it and going to the trouble arranging to sleep on the island.


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