Sark has become the last place in Britain to legalize same-sex marriage, and local tourism chiefs hope same-sex couples will consider the island as a potential wedding destination.
Sark is one of the Channel Islands that lie between England and France. The tiny island is just 4.5 square miles, with a resident population of around 500. Despite its small size, it’s a popular tourist spot.
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Many visit to enjoy its scenic beauty and old-fashioned way of life. Cars and street lights are both banned on the island (you can see why it’s perhaps been slow to embrace same-sex marriage!).
Horses and carriages are still used to carry people around if they’re unable or don’t wish to walk.
Officially, Sark if a fief within the Bailiwick of Guernsey, a Crown dependency of the United Kingdom. It maintains its own legal system. Neighboring island Guernsey legalized same-sex marriage in 2017, followed by Alderney and Jersey – other Channel Islands – in 2018.
Sark drafted legislation in October, and it was passed in its Parliament on Tuesday. The new law is expected to come into force in February.
Sam Le Trobe Bateman, of Sark’s Policy and Finance Committee, told the BBC the law change would help boost further tourism: “It’s the perfect wedding venue. To open it up to same-sex couples is fantastic for them and fantastic for us.
“The more people we bring here, the better.”
Sark offers a dramatic, rocky landscape, with many taking the ferry from Guernsey to explore the island (there’s no airport).
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Biking, hiking, kayaking and boat trips are popular, with coves and bays to explore. Local landmarks include La Couppee – a causeway joining big and little Sark – La Seigneurie Gardens, and a small stone circle (“Sark Henge”), while the absence of outdoor lighting also makes it a great place for stargazing.