I lived the first 18 years of my life in Penzance, Cornwall. I had an attic bedroom with the most glorious view of Mounts Bay and St. Michael’s Mount. I would spend hours hanging out of that window listening to music (probably smoking) viewing the world. It was beautiful.
I now live 300 miles away in Hertfordshire but try to get back to Cornwall at least once a year. This year we had a five-day break in a mobile home, a two-minute walk from Marazion beach. And a five-minute walk from the giants causeway over to St. Michaels Mount.
A Trip to the Mount
Our first full day in Cornwall was gloriously sunny so we headed out early for trip to explore the Mount.
There are plenty of places to park in Marazion, it costs around £4 for the day. One of the many things St. Michaels mount is famous for is the stone causeway. When the tide is out you can walk over to the mount. It takes around 5 minutes to walk it, and it’s an amazing experience walking the pathway that thousands have walked over the many years it has been there. It was rediscovered in the 1950’s and was repaved to allow ease of getting the island.
Check the Tide Times
Have a check of the tide times at the St. Michaels Mount website for the day you want to visit. You might be able to time it, so you walk over to the Mount and back again. The day we got there the tide was in in the morning, so we got the boat the island.
Just check with the guides on the right pier to catch the boat from. The boat is £2 for an adult and £1 for child. And it’s a fun way to start the trip with a ride on a boat. The only thing to watch out for is a windy, big waves day. The boats don’t operate on these days.
You can enter the grounds of the mount from 10:30am (10am in the high summer months). We arrived too early but had time to mooch around the shop and the information area reading about the history of the mount. I recommend getting there early as there are less people.
The entry price to the mount is very reasonable. It cost us £15.50 for 1 adult and 3 children for a family ticket. Or it is £26 for a family ticket with 2 adults and up to 3 children. Individual pricing is £10.50 for an adult and £5 for a child. It is a national trust property, so if you are a member then it wont cost you a penny (except for your annual membership fee!).
The Climb to the Castle
It’s a short climb up a cobbled path to reach the castle at the top of the mount. Its pretty uneven, no chance of getting up there with a pushchair, Baby Bjorn it all the way! Look out for the giant’s heart along the way.
There is a famous Cornish legend of Jack the giant slayer. The giant Cormoran ruled the island, sneaking over to mainland Cornwall to feast on the farmers cows. Jack a young boy from Marazion braved the giant and killed him with a blast from his horn (really??!!). On the walk up the path towards the castle you will find the giants heart.
A tour of the Castle
We really enjoyed the tour of the castle. Made all the more fun by a treasure hunt game where the boys had to find certain items in the rooms, leather jugs, counter games, paintings and lockets. There was an expert in every room, and I had fascinating talks to them in the banquet hall and the chapel.
The mount was inhabited officially first by the Benedictine monks who sailed over from Mont San Michele in Brittany France in the 12th century. To walk around a building built nearly 1000 years ago was amazing. The guide told us of the story of the 6 ft skeleton found in the cell beneath the chapel, found with a leather jug. A six-foot person back them would have been huge and it could have been the body of King Arthur that has never been found. My Jack (not the giant killer) was very keen to see the skeleton, slightly disappointed that it wasn’t on show!
The castle has grown with its new inhabitants, with various living quarters added. There are drawing rooms, a library, weapons rooms and you can walk through them all.
The tour ends with the walk through the chapel with the most impressive stain-glassed window. The light flooding through to the chapel was beautiful.
The mount also has some impressive gardens, but they were not open on the day we visited. But I did manage to get a picture from above. There is an extra charge to enter the gardens, if they are open the day you visit.
Ice-cream, Café and Shop
We ended our visit to the island with an ice-cream for the boys and a sit down listening to the story of Jack the giant slayer. There is a very lovely café as well where you can have beautiful Cornish food including cream tea. And we had a browse around the shop. The boys bought stationery (of course) and I got a very beautiful purple pottery sea anemone.
Time to Walk Back
Our visit took three hours and by this time the tide had gone out and we were able to walk back to Marazion via the causeway. The tide has just gone out, with the sea still washing over the causeway so we took off out shoes and socks and paddled over. Bliss.
It’s a great day out and I highly recommend it. West Cornwall is a stunning pace to visit. Read more about our holiday in Cornwall here. And if you are planning a visit drop me a line, happy to share tips and recommendations for food, things to do and places to stay.
This post is my view, not paid or gifted in any way. Just talking about something that I loved doing. It contains affiliate links where I receive a small fee if you click and purchase, in no way affecting the price you pay. Thank you.