Another sunny day, another opportunity to make the most of our National Trust membership! This month we visited the lovely St Michael’s Mount.
Located off of Marazion in Cornwall; St Michael’s Mount is on it’s own island; linked to the mainland by a causeway at low tide, or accessed by boat at high tide.
Parking in Marazion is not part of the National Trust, so there is a fee payable as you enter, it is a short walk along the beach to the causeway, and of course there are places to get an ice cream or a drink along the way.
We visited Marazion itself a couple of years ago, and I posted about it! It is a beautiful place, and there is a lovely beach for sunbathing, we saw more than one person with a kite on the coast, or you can even have fun exploring the rockpools along the causeway!
St Michael’s Mount
St Michael’s Mount, is a small island in Mounts Bay, Cornwall. Located just off the coast of Marazion, and accessed at low tide via a man-made causeway, or at high tide, crossing by boat, there really is something for everyone to enjoy here on this marvellous island!
The village on the island, still inhabited by some, mainly those who work there now, give tours to tell visitors about island life, and the history of St Michaels Mount, you can walk around yourself too, and find something to eat at the café, or even buy a souvenir at the island shop!
We enjoyed sitting by the small harbour, and simply enjoying the warm, sunny day!
An interesting place, not fully controlled by the National Trust, but a partnership between the St Aubyn family, still resident in the house, and the Trust since 1954. The family retains control of the house and the public viewing of the rooms. There are no room cards as in many places; so the staff are incredibly well informed and more than willing to offer information.
Once across the causeway; we walked a little way to the left to find the entrance and ticket office. We were greeted by friendly staff who gave us a guide; and pointed us in the direction of the castle. If you travel with children, there is a little quiz sheet, and if successful I did learn that there is a prize! (Kinda gutted I didn’t have a go! I did however buy a raffle ticket; from Paul and I said I’d mention him because he was really nice. So I have!)
Onwards! to get to the castle, as is quite evident, you go, UP!
The short, though at times steep walk; (though there are some steps), is not necessarily great for those that struggle walking. Up the winding path to the castle on the summit; is beautiful; with the kind of scenic views I’ve never seen before in Cornwall. The gardens were sadly closed; though we enjoyed some of the colour along the way. You can spot the Victorian dairy on the way and also the well, and more!
On the island you can find out all about Jack and the Giant Killer, and of course this well, while a focal point in the story, was also the source of water for the castle. a little further up the path, you can also try to find the Giant’s Heart stone!
You soon reach the watchtower, featuring gun batteries from the 18th century, and marvellous views! You’ll be happy to know here, you are just a few steps away from the castle! Exploring the castle is delightful; still lived in by the family that entered the partnership with the trust in the ’50s; it’s been beautifully kept; and there is so much to see! Several rooms, filled with curiosities and historically important items, as well as anecdotal family memories.
Check out our recent trip to Glendurgan Garden here.
The room uses have changed throughout the years, the castle has been a Benedictine Priory, a fortress and a family home, so there are many eras of stories and histories you can learn about. One of my favourite parts of the castle, was the South Terrace. The Victorian extension added this large roof terrace, and the views were incredible!
You can look down to the beautiful walled gardens, or out to the nearby coastline! This photo shows the view of Marazion showing the causeway we crossed to reach the island!
The summit of the island; the highest point of which is on the left of the door of the Church; is also the oldest part of St Michael’s Mount. Though refurbished and restored many times throughout the 14th, 17th, 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, the medieval church, dedicated to St Michael, dates back to 1135, built by the Abbot of the namesake, Mont-St-Michel in Normandy.
A simple church; but incredibly beautiful; and it is quite heartening to find that it is still used for local Sunday services; from May to September.
Here I learned about the Giant, and his place at St Michael’s.
After visiting the church, there are more rooms to explore, including the blue drawing rooms, and the map room where you can find the model above, made by a butler to the family from champagne corks! It is so accurate, the crafter in me loved seeing it! Of course there is SO much more to see and do though I don’t want to give it all away!
We had such a lovely time visiting the castle and the church, and really enjoyed talking to all of the staff. Everyone was so well-informed and friendly, answering what were possibly some rather random questions… For example how Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip managed the walk!
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