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St Michael's Mount near Marazion in Cornwall

Today we visited one of Cornwall’s most popular attractions – St Michael’s Mount, a small & rocky tidal island that is the setting for a medieval castle as well as home to a working community of local people.

St Michael's Mount near Marazion in Cornwall

Both the island and the castle have a long history. The island is said to have been the site of a monastery from sometime between the 8th to 11th century. It was held under siege many times and even flourished as a seaport in the 18th century. In 1659 the mount (including the castle) was purchased by Colonel St Aubyn and to this day his descendants live in the castle. While it is still the home of St Aubyn family, the Mount is now managed by National Trust and the castle and gardens are open to the public during weekdays (and some weekends) from April to October.

Offering stunning views of the Cornish coastline and steeped in history and folklore, St Michael’s Mount makes for a great day out and should not be missed if you are visiting the area.

Access to St Michael's Mount is either by foot (across the causeway at low tide) or by a short ferry crossing (during high tide). We wanted to walk across the causeway (at least one way), so we checked the tide schedule a day before and planned our arrival based on that. From our base in St Erth, it was a very short drive (less than 15 minutes) to reach Marazion. There is a large car park very near the causeway and we parked there. Charges were £4.00 all day.

Since the tide was in when we arrived, we took the ferry crossing (costs £2 each way/adult).

St Michael's Mount near Marazion in Cornwall

The Castle


Once you arrive on the island, you can purchase the tickets to the castle and/or gardens and begin your exploration. The path up to the castle is uneven and a little steep at places. We were glad to have our hiking boots on. But it is not a long climb and we were rewarded with stunning views once we reached the top.

St Michael's Mount near Marazion in Cornwall

St Michael's Mount near Marazion in Cornwall

The weather was also lovely making it even more beautiful. After taking in the views, we headed into the castle. We passed through the medieval doorway and found ourselves in the Entrance Hall which has the St Aubyn’s coats of arms on one of the walls. There is also a collection of weapons lining the walls.

St Michael's Mount near Marazion in Cornwall

Next up, we went into Sir John’s Room where the focal point was an old tidal clock which members of the St Aubyn’s family used to plan their trips to the mainland. We also looked at the other rooms - the Library, Chevy Chase (the Great Hall), the Smoking Room (which has a mother of pearl chest from Zanzibar), the Map Room (which has a beautiful model of the Mount created with champagne corks) and the Blue Drawing Rooms. Also not to be missed is the Priory Church, the chapel at the Mount’s summit which dates back to the sometime in 12th Century! The Garrison Room is another small but interesting room that houses armory and weapons and a Samurai Warrior! After visiting all the rooms and spending some time taking in the views from the top, we made our way back to the village. The entrance to the gardens is located near the Island Cafe.

St Michael's Mount near Marazion in Cornwall

St Michael's Mount near Marazion in Cornwall

St Michael's Mount near Marazion in Cornwall

St Michael's Mount near Marazion in Cornwall

St Michael's Mount near Marazion in Cornwall

St Michael's Mount near Marazion in Cornwall

St Michael's Mount near Marazion in Cornwall

The Garden


Equally impressive as the castle were the gardens of St Michael’s Mount. In addition, we were lucky that the weather was really good which made it all that much better. Notwithstanding the strong salty winds, St Michael’s Mount seems to have its own microclimate as seen from the different types of trees and plants flourishing on this unique terrain. The garden, nestled beneath the castle’s walls, has been well maintained by a team of four gardeners – Lottie, Darren, Clare, and Jack. Under the supervision of the Mount’s Garden Designer, Michael Harvey, the team has created a really stunning garden in this challenging environment. My favourites were the succulents especially the aeoniums and the echeverias.

St Michael's Mount near Marazion in Cornwall

St Michael's Mount near Marazion in Cornwall

St Michael's Mount near Marazion in Cornwall

St Michael's Mount near Marazion in Cornwall

St Michael's Mount near Marazion in Cornwall

St Michael's Mount near Marazion in Cornwall

St Michael's Mount near Marazion in Cornwall

St Michael's Mount near Marazion in Cornwall

St Michael's Mount near Marazion in Cornwall

St Michael's Mount near Marazion in Cornwall

St Michael's Mount near Marazion in Cornwall

St Michael's Mount near Marazion in Cornwall

By the time we had finished exploring the gardens, the tide had begun to recede. So we started to make our way back.  It took us just a few minutes to walk across the ancient causeway but it was fun. We enjoyed our time at St Michael’s Mount and if you are in the area we would definitely recommend a visit to experience the magic of the Mount.

St Michael's Mount near Marazion in Cornwall

St Michael's Mount near Marazion in Cornwall

St Michael's Mount near Marazion in Cornwall

St Michael's Mount near Marazion in Cornwall

St Michael's Mount near Marazion in Cornwall

St Michael's Mount near Marazion in Cornwall

St Michael's Mount near Marazion in Cornwall

St Michael's Mount near Marazion in Cornwall

St Michael's Mount near Marazion in Cornwall

St Michael's Mount | Marazion, Cornwall,  TR17 OHS
Phone | +44 (0)1736 710265  Email | [email protected]
Parking postcode | TR17 0EG

Tips for visiting St Michael’s Mount


-  Wear sturdy & comfortable shoes as the path up to the castle is steep and uneven.
-  Bring a jacket as it can be windy up at the Mount.
-  St Michael's Mount castle and shops are open Sunday to Friday; however, check before visiting.
-  If you plan to walk across the causeway, check the tide times prior to your visit.
-  I would recommend setting aside half a day to explore the island.
-  You can bring your own picnic.

St Michael's Mount near Marazion in Cornwall

St Michael's Mount near Marazion in Cornwall

St Michael's Mount near Marazion in Cornwall

St Michael's Mount near Marazion in Cornwall

St Michael's Mount near Marazion in Cornwall

St Michael's Mount near Marazion in Cornwall

St Michael's Mount near Marazion in Cornwall

St Michael's Mount near Marazion in Cornwall

St Michael's Mount near Marazion in Cornwall

St Michael's Mount near Marazion in Cornwall

*Thank you to St Aubyn Estates for arranging our visit to St Michael's Mount. All views, as always, remain our own.

7 comments:

  1. I really Like Mont st. Michaels. Each time, when I visit this part of France, I go there. Even during bad weather ! :)

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    Replies
    1. St.Michaels mount, Cornwall, UK. Not Mont San Michele, Normandy, France.

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  2. I love those kinda tidal walkways. There's something so exciting about a pathway that disappears.

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  3. I love visiting castle.. it's like being a part of fairy tale. The flowers, the boat ride, the pathway to the castle.. all look amazing. Great post!

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  4. That is one cool island! That's gotta be so awesome being able to experience all of that history in such a unique setting

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  5. Beautiful photos! I'm dreaming of visiting here one day!

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  6. As I love castles and small islands, Mount Cornwall suits my taste. I loved your floral photos, as they look vibrant and colorful.

    ReplyDelete

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