La Coupee

La Coupee is a narrow neck of land joining Great Sark and Little Sark in the Channel Islands.

The land on both sides of this causeway has been eroded by the sea, and all that now connects Little Sark to the rest of the island is a narrow ridge a mere nine feet wide and 300 ft in length, with a drop of close to 80 metres (260 ft) on either side.

Until the beginning of the 20th century, access to Little Sark was extremely difficult or, at best, quite daunting. La Coupee was traversed by a narrow dirt track, and children are said to have had to crawl across it on their hands and knees to stop them from being blown over the edge by the wind.

According to a description in 1875, “People have thrown themselves flat on their face, from terror and nervousness on reaching the Coupee; others have lost courage half way across, and have hidden themselves behind the heads of the rocks that crop up in the middle of the Coupee until some passer by came and led them along; others have been unable to get across without shutting their eyes and being led between two persons.

Secure and protective railings were added to La Coupee in 1900. There is currently a narrow concrete road stretching the isthmus, which was built by German prisoners of war under the direction of the Royal Engineers in 1945.

This is one of the most famous landmarks in Sark; many visitors enjoy taking the road across and love its stunning views either side. Care must be taken with small children. Cyclists and passengers on carriages must dismount.