Last month we stayed at Silverspring Hideaway in Cornwall, just 40 minutes from home. It still felt like a ‘proper’ holiday though, and we went somewhere for the first time as well – St Michael’s Mount.
I can imagine those who know me or read regularly here will now be wondering how on earth having been born in Cornwall, and having lived here my whole life I have never been to St Michael’s Mount before.
The truth is simply, that sometimes when you live somewhere you don’t always do the things that are on top of any tourist’s wish list of things to do. I’ve always intended to visit St Michael’s Mount, but I just never got around to it, and Simon hadn’t either so it was a first for both us and the boys.
I’m working my way around everywhere in Cornwall I haven’t been before gradually though, and definitely plan to investigate more places in 2016.
To get the Mount, you need to park at Marazion, which we did. Depending on the tides, you can either walk across to St Michael’s Mount or you will need to get a boat – water taxi. We got a boat, which really added to the experience.
Just remember to make sure you have money on you for a boat ride in case you need to get one, I think we paid £2 per adult and £1 per child when we went over. The boys loved the boat ride – almost as much as Si, who dreams of owning his own one day.
Due to it being out of the main season when we went, the gardens were closed, although once we made our way into the castle and up to the top, we could see parts of them way below us.
Before we headed upwards though, we admired the gorgeous harbour there, and headed for some food at the Island cafe. We ate overlooking the sea, the food was delicious and very reasonably priced. You do have to be wary of leaving your plate alone though, as when we were there someone left their dirty plates outside when they left, and a seagull swooped right down and helped himself.
We had been pre-warned by a lot of people about the steep walk up to the castle and it really was steep, but no where near as hard to climb as we expected. It had been wet in the days before we visited though, which made the stones as you walk up pretty treacherous.
We actually had to hold on to the handrails all the way up where we could and did slip a little. That is one main thing to note about St Michael’s Mount if you plan to visit, actually going up to the castle is not really suitable for anyone not able-bodied, and really not suitable for pushchairs. You can explore the harbour and possibly the gardens easily, but any further up really might not be an option I’m afraid.
We looked for the heart stone on the way up, it’s harder to spot than I’d imagined, and there are few fake ones dotted around to try to trick you. In Cornish legend, the heart belonged to Cormoran, a giant killed by Jack the Giant Killer who was a local. Apparently, if you listen hard enough you can still hear his heart beating…
We loved exploring the castle, and the views from the top were just stunning.
The inside of the castle is beautiful as well, although the part that I absolutely loved was the chapel/church. With the sun shining through the stained glass windows it really was absolutely stunning.
When we left St Michael’s Mount, the water level had changed and as if by magic, the causeway had re-appeared, so that we could walk back to our car in Marazion. It did feel weird to be walking back when we’d had to get a boat in, and the views were beautiful.
St Michael’s Mount has a rich history, which you can read about on the St Michael’s Mount website, and this is also where you can check opening times and prices – it’s part of the National Trust if you have memberships like we do.
I really would recommend a visit to St Michael’s Mount if you haven’t been before, we all loved it there and the boys enjoyed doing a trail quiz as we went around.
If you’re looking for more places to go in Cornwall, I have a post with over 100 places to go in Cornwall, one with things to do in Cornwall when it’s raining and another with places to go in Cornwall all year.