Oh St. Michaels Mount! If you’ve never heard of St. Michaels Mount then prepare to be wowed!
St. Michaels Mount is a castle on an island, situated slightly out to sea off the coast of Marazion in Cornwall. Steeped in legend and fairytale and with stunning buildings that date back to the 12th century and views that’ll make anyone go ‘ohhhh’, it’s definitely a place worth visiting if you’re ever in Cornwall.
Evie’s been so poorly for the past few days and we’ve been homebound. I’ve been itching to get outside. Thinking some sea air might do us all some good, we headed to the mount.
If you’ve never been to the mount before, there are two ways to arrive. On foot, or by boat. When the tide is in the causeway isn’t visible and you have no choice but to go by boat. We timed it so that we’d get to walk.
I wanted to walk for two reasons. One because little miss poorly probably wouldn’t fair well on a boat and two, when we came a few months ago by boat I was hit by a rogue wave. My family found it hilarious because I was the only one that seemed to get hit, but I was so cold and I had to walk around shivering and wet for most of the day.
It’s a long uphill walk to the castle, which can be a nightmare with a toddler. But the journey is broken up by lots of things to see and the staff offer you ‘hipsters’ to wear which make carrying little ones a lot easier (no prams are allowed). Near the start of the climb you come across the giants well.
Cornish legend has it that a fearsome giant called Cormoran built and lived on St. Michaels Mount. Slain by a local lad who was hereafter known as Jack the Giant Killer, Cormoran’s remains are said to be at the bottom of this well. In real life castle history, this well was actually the main source of water for use in the Castle up until 100 years ago.
A bit further up you find the giants heart. A heart shaped stone marks a spot and it is said that when you stand on the stone with your hand on your heart, you can still hear the faint thudding of the giants heartbeat from where it’s buried in the granite far below.
It can be difficult to spot but when we pointed out the heart to Evie (we’ve been teaching her about shapes recently and hearts and stars are her favourite) there were lots of ‘oh wows’ and she wanted to touch it.
I’ve been up to the mount so many times before, but as I get older I seem to appreciate the scenery even more. The views all the way up are incredible and the cobbled pathway as you climb is laced with so much history. There are lots of lookout points to explore and plenty of photo opportunities to take advantage of.
When you reach the summit, the castle itself is stunning. This is the public entrance to the castle (it was originally a monastery!) . Evie enjoyed the wind and spent most of her time with her mouth open lapping up the air like a puppy hanging out of a car window.
Inside, only a small portion of the castle is open to the public but the rooms, although small, are beautifully kept.
We didn’t get any pictures indoors. Although you are allowed your camera, we were too absorbed in reading about everything and looking at the beautiful objects. Inside you get to see the drawing rooms, formal dining room, smoking room, the library, a garrison room and more.
You don’t get to see any bedrooms, bathrooms or the kitchens but the house is still lived in by Lord and Lady St. Levan, so most of the castle is still private. It must be incredible to live here!
Halfway through the tour of the rooms we ended up outside on the South Terrace where the views across the English Channel and down the Cornish coast are breathtaking.
Evie normally wants to run around up here because it’s a huge courtyard style area, but today she clung to us the whole way around. As much as it may be difficult trying to catch her all the time, we really did miss our energetic toddler today. It did mean that we got to enjoy the views though.
The mount is surrounded by stunning gardens. The gardens are designed to be seen from above as well as from ground level. But you have to be a fan of heights to be brave enough to look down.
The gardens aren’t open anymore at this time of year, but I bravely leaned over and snapped a picture. They look so beautiful. But oh my we’re up high!! The gardeners look so small!
Jamie and Evie kept playing peekaboo around the terrace and we actually managed to get a smile out of poorly pants a few times.
Although we got a couple of smiles on our way around we were really surprised and very worried that she didn’t want to walk once. We carried her the WHOLE way around. It was so sad because normally she loves charging around places and the last time we came here she didn’t want to be picked up at all!
Outside it’s so windy, but every corner you walk around throws up a different view. Below you can see the harbour that’s attached to the mount and the causeway, where you walk back to Marazion. It’s a long way up from where we began!
There was a service on today as it happened to be St. Michaels Day, so although we didn’t get to take any pictures of the church, we got to enjoy watching the ceremony and listening to the hymns. It was a really lovely atmosphere.
If you are ever in Cornwall, St. Michaels Mount is a must visit. Plus it’s only £8.50 entry per adult. What a bargain!
If you love castles then check out my post on Pendennis Castle. It has equally stunning views.
Have you ever visited St. Michaels Mount before? Would you ever visit if you were in Cornwall?