Let’s take a splendid journey to the jewel of Cornwall, the one and only Saint Michael’s Mount. Nestled on the Cornish coastline, this enchanted island is both a stunner for the eyes and a treasure trove of history.
Getting there is a breeze. If you’re travelling by car, make your way to Marazion, a charming coastal village on the A394 between Penzance and Helston. There’s ample parking available at Follyfield car park. From there, it’s a pleasant stroll across the causeway at low tide or a short boat trip when the tide is in. If you prefer public transport, buses run regularly from Penzance, which is also home to the nearest train station.
As you approach the island, you’ll be greeted by the sight of the imposing castle, perched atop the mount, like a sentinel watching over the bay. The castle’s origins date back to the 12th century and it has been a home to the St Aubyn family since the 17th century. As you explore its winding passages and grand rooms, each corner tells a tale of time gone by. You’ll discover armoury, old portraits, and centuries-old furniture, painting a vivid picture of life through the ages. Don’t forget to catch a glimpse of the ancient Chevy Chase fresco, a rare survivor from the 1500s.
As you venture outside, you’ll be captivated by the Victorian terraced gardens, a testament to the dedication and artistry of past gardeners who carved this horticultural wonder out of the granite hillside. The gardens, split into the East and West Terraces, are home to a diverse array of plants from the Mediterranean, South Africa, and even Central and South America. The mix of exotic flora and stunning sea views make for an utterly unique garden visit.
Now, if you fancy stretching your legs and taking in some breathtaking scenery, there are a few walks you might enjoy. For a relaxed wander, the Marazion to Penzance promenade is a scenic 3-mile route along the coast. For something more adventurous, the Saint Michael’s Way is a 12.5-mile trail from Lelant to Marazion, part of an ancient pilgrimage and trading route. Whichever you choose, make sure to pack your camera for the fantastic views.
Let’s not forget the intriguing stories and legends associated with the mount. Did you know it was believed to be the home of the giant Cormoran, defeated by the brave Jack the Giant Killer? The mount is also steeped in religious significance, with tales of apparitions of the Archangel Michael, which led to the building of the first church on the site in 495 AD.
For a bite to eat or a refreshing pint, pop into The Island Café or the Sail Loft Restaurant in the old harbour. Here you can relish locally sourced, delicious food whilst taking in the panoramic views of Mount’s Bay.
So, why not make a beeline for Saint Michael’s Mount on your next Cornish getaway? This bewitching island is an enticing blend of history, legend, and natural beauty, sure to leave you with memories to treasure. From the castle’s turrets to the quaint harbour, each step taken is a step back in time. But don’t just take my word for it, come and experience the magic of the mount for yourself.