St Michael’s Mount is owned by the National Trust and described on their website as “Rocky island crowned by medieval church and castle, home to a living community”. Whilst this accurately describes what St Michael’s Mount is, it doesn’t quite give you a sense of it’s imposing scale and the amazing views of Marazion beach and the surrounding coastline it has to offer. I have driven past the mount many times going to and from Penzance and visited the area last summer with my aunt and uncle but we hadn’t been able to get across to it. It was on my Cornwall Bucket List of must see places so it needed to be done!
My friend Emily and I set off for a day of exploring bright and early on Bank Holiday Monday. After enjoying a tasty breakfast at the Godolphin Arms overlooking the beach we made our way down to the shore. Here we got on one of the many passenger boats that were ferrying people to and from the island. We paid £2 each for the less than 5 minute trip but I didn’t mind given the calm seas and awesome views of the mount getting closer and closer.
After skipping past the already long and quickly growing queue (I do love being a member of the National Trust) we started our ascent up the mount. The walk up to the castle surprised me – it was all cobbled paths which were quite steep and not for those who don’t have solid footing (it was raining a bit so it was slippery too!). I was rather puffed out when we reached the top but wow were the views worth it! It was quite a cloudy morning but this didn’t matter – there were still impressive views of the coastline and I enjoyed taking quite a few pictures!
There’s a castle home to explore when you reach the top – full of artefacts including portraits and suits or armour. The castle is actually home to the St Aubyn family and one of the National Trust guides told us they live in the Lower East part of the castle and regularly use the Church that’s on site too. Apparently, there are also 30 islanders living and working on the island too. Emily and I had a good look round the castle and church before making our way down from the mount to the beautifully landscaped gardens below it. Emily navigated us around them using the numbered map we were given and we saw a real variety of plants an flowers. The colours that were on display were beautiful and we enjoyed walking up the sloping gardens. We finished our trip by visiting the gift shop where of course I brought myself a rubber and my sister a pencil (for our longstanding collections).
To get back to Marazion we chose to walk along the causeway that had appeared now the tide had gone out. It is quite magical to watch the cobbled path appear from nowhere as the tide recedes. We definitely had chosen to come to the mount at the right time as when we walked back to shore there were hoards of people walking the opposite direction towards the mount – I’m glad I didn’t have to clamber up the mount with all those others too! I would return to St Michael’s Mount again I think as it was quite spectacular!