A trip to St Michael’s Mount, Cornwall

Waking up on a beautiful sunny Saturday morning in Cornwall is a great start to the day. We ventured towards the town of Marazion during the low-tide times that revealed the path to one of the most unique and photogenic places in the UK – St Michael’s Mount.

Since the path to the island is surrounded by water for around 18 hours of the day, this is my first visit experiencing the walk from mainland to the island. Due to the current conditions, we took the initiative to pre-book our visit to St Michael’s Mount Castle (You can also book a separate ticket to the Gardens!). When we arrived at the closest car park we saw a sign stating “Castle & Garden visits SOLD OUT”. I can’t stress it enough how important it is to book in advance ahead of your trip to Cornwall or anywhere else in the world, especially in times like now.

The sold out sign to the Mount

The revealed cobble-stoned path now surrounded by seaweed, leads up to St Michaels Mount takes about 5-10 minutes to walk across, or if you like to stop and photograph the scenery like me, it might take a bit longer😄. Walking through the path reminded me of the yellow brick road in The Wizard of Oz leading to Emerald city. As you get closer to the island, more scenery reveals itself and the view is absolutely breathtaking!

When we arrived at the edge of the island, we then were asked to present our booking to proceed further to the island. You can’t go on the island without a booking at this time.

The revealed cobbled path to the island

The legend of the Giants of Mount Bay

The area of Mount Bay used to be a forest which is now submerged. Legend tells that in the forest lived a giant called Cormoran and his wife Cormelian

Cormoran wanted to build a mound in the middle of the bay in order to reside there, using heavy granite and the help of his wife to carry it. Cormoran, who wasn’t a very pleasant giant, told his wife Cormelian to do the heavy lifting while he went for a nap.

Instead of the heavy granite, Cormelian decided to carry greenstone, a lighter material. As she did, Cormoran woke up and caught Cormelian in the act. He pushed her and the greenstone scattered across the bay😵. To this day, if you look close enough you can still find a piece of the greenstone hidden in the path leading to what we know today as St Michael’s Mount.

Some time later, the bay got flooded and Cormoran was on his own on the island. He was a constant nuisance to fellow giants and as so locals were fed up with his behaviour. A reward was offered for killing Cormoran the giant. Jack, a young boy, stepped up to the challenge and when Cormoran was fast asleep one night, Jack had dug a deep pit on one side of the island, and on the next morning the giant fell in it.

The giant's heart sign

When you walk up to the Castle, if you look closely you might come across a heart-shaped rock set into the path. Rumor says that if you stand on the heart-shaped rock, you can still hear the giant’s heartbeat❤️️.

The giant heart stone in the path

Back to our experience, where was I?

Oh yes! As we were reaching the lower part of the main attraction we discovered a line of old cannons. There we saw the gorgeous top view back across the coastline, overlooking the steps we made all the way from the beach. Opposite this landscape view is St Michael’s Castle, towering over as we were climbing the last remaining steps to get inside a part of history in the depths of Cornwall.

Tourists enjoying the view outside the castle
The view back on our journey, from the beach to the castle

Once inside we had a lot to take in with such little time (you know, before the tide cuts off the path back😅) with items and possessions from generations of families who lived in the castle over the centuries: lots of paintings and portraits along with beautifully curated rooms.

A dining room inside the castle
Arched windows
One of many paintings in the castle

As we walked through the castle, we found ourselves back on the outside, with more breath-taking scenery from an even higher point of view – where we could see families enjoying the garden below. We continued around the corner to see many people walking along the currently-exposed path with a fresh breeze in the air and the sun shining down on us. We took a moment to enjoy that, a fairly rare occasion in the UK.

I suggest if you go there during summertime, you take in that moment as well.

View from the top of the castle
Above view of people enjoying the garden at the edge of the island

The outdoors lead back inside another part of the Castle where we saw a church which until this day still operates and walked through a corridor with many great artwork.

The outdoors lead us back inside another part of the Castle. We entered a room with stained-glass windows, altar and a built-in organ. A church which until this day still operates. We made our way to the exit as we walked through a corridor with many great artwork.

Stained glass window at the church
A painting of one of the rooms
The room from the painting above

It was a great experience for both myself, my husband and our 8 year old, Travis who enjoyed enquiring information and learning about the history through the very helpful and informative guides that assist inside the castle. The view is absolutely stunning, and on good weather and time permitted it’s a nice spot to have a picnic and enjoy the surroundings. 

Cornwall has so many great sceneries and activities, I highly recommend making a trip there and staying for a few days. If you liked this, you should read my post about the Lost Gardens of Heligan!

St Michael’s Mount, you get 5 out of 5 in the Romi Around scale!

View to the mainland from one of the windows

More information

It’s important to check in advance the opening times and pre-book tickets. The entry to the Island depends on tide times which you can find on the St Michael’s Mount website.

We did the castle tour as we didn’t have time to do the garden tour as well. They looked nice from above 😉.

St Michael’s Mount is suitable for families with kids. The walk up to the castle is a bit steep, but it shouldn’t stop you from getting there. We’ve seen little kids (that can walk on their own) up to the elderly walk up to it.

St Michael’s Mount address can be found here.

There is a nearby car park: St Michael’s Mount Slipway Car Park.

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