St Michael’s Mount is a tidal island in Mount’s Bay, Marazion, about an hour’s walk from Penzance (or a 10 minute bus journey–get the open top if you can!). There’s evidence that it only became an island in 1700BC, when the hazel wood that used to exist in the bay flooded.
The mount is now accessible via a causeway from Marazion at low tide, or by boat for £2 (each way). Opening is seasonal so check before you travel! We walked over and it only takes a few minutes, even with plenty of photo pitstops.
St Michael’s Mount is jointly managed by the National Trust and the St Aubyn family (who’ve owned the castle since the 1650s!). A small community also live on the island (imagine) and some of the buildings date from the 12th century. The nosy northerner in me tried to find properties for sale/sold on the mount, just out of interest, but I literally couldn’t find a single one! Presumably if you own property this good you keep it in the family forever.
According to Cornish legend, the mount was historically also home to a giant, Cormoran, but he went around eating people’s livestock so a local lad, Jack, made it his business to get rid of him :)
We had limited time on the mount, having visited Mousehole earlier in the day and with the tide due to come up over the causeway before 5pm, but with our hour on the mount we managed to squeeze in a walk around the open sections and grab a local cider at the Island Café. The ice cream was popular but we didn’t manage to grab a scoop before closing time!
As you can tell from these photos it was overcast (boo) when we visited–but still beautiful. And now I have an excuse for a return trip on a more photogenic day.
- St Michael’s Mount (official website)
- National Trust: St Michael’s Mount
- Visit Cornwall: St Michael’s Mount