We love the summer holidays! The work life balance can be such a tricky one but I find if I have a few small things planned in a week, even if it’s only an afternoon baking or a trip to the library we can easily fill our days with bigger days out.
Last week Eva and I visited St. Michael’s Mount in Marazion, we have a National Trust Family Membership so it was essentially a free (or at least a very cheap) day out and as we are members we were allowed to jump the ticket queue, much to the dismay of the 40-odd people in front of us waiting to buy a ticket!
If you don’t know about St. Michael’s Mount it is the most majestically magical Castle (complete with subtropical gardens) perched in the middle of the sea in rugged Mounts Bay, Marazion, Cornwall.
The Mount has inspired storytellers through the ages – sharing tales of magic, myth and mystery. Giants, mermaids, miracles and more. From the moment you set foot on the causeway to make your way across to the island there is an other worldly feel that takes hold.
Tales of seafarers lured by mermaids onto the treacherous rocks surrounding the castle, or fishermen guided to safety by an apparition of St Michael hail from as far back as 495AD. The legend has brought pilgrims, monks and people of faith to the island ever since.
The Cornish legend of Jack the Giant Killer is one locals and islanders know well. We were lucky enough to arrive just in time for ‘storytelling on the green’. As we sat on our picnic blanket on the steep green grass right at the footsteps of the Castle, with Marazion and the ocean stretching in front of us, we were transported to a magical world, I don’t know if it was the surroundings or just the excellent story teller but that in that moment I totally believed giants on the island could be completely plausible!
We hunted for the tiny Giants' Heart on the steep climb up to the castle and Eva loved taking part in the quiz, especially being rewarded with her very own St Michael's Mount medal.
The Island has a rich history, from the causeway, a pilgrim’s path uncovered in the 1950s is now the main route to the castle, but only accessible during low tide. During high tide you will need to board one of the little boats and sail across.
There is a family that live inside the Mount and you might be surprised by the cosy, beautifully decorated rooms, there's even a library. I could move straight in!
I even spotted some rather handsome succulent plants basking in the sunshine.
Every single beam had to be transported to the island by foot or boat. I am amazed, I can't help thinking if I had been on the planning team it may have been a more 'pared back' design.
This is a complete replica of the Mount made from bottle corks! Isn't it fabulous.
There is also a small village of 30 islanders, who call the Mount their home. This always intrigues me how this small community plan their lives around tide and time (and the weather!) There are talks given by the islanders about what life is like it was too busy yesterday, but I am definitely going to book one next time.
We have visited the Mount many times over the years, both as a holiday maker and a local. Every time we visit there is something new to see and explore, it always amazes me how the weather and the sea can affect and enhance any visit. This time were able to walk both across to the Mount and back using the ancient pathway through the sea. If you do decide to do this make sure you leave plenty of time as I have seen many people up to their waists in water by the time they reach the mainland!!
- Before you set off for your visit, check that the Mount is open. It's not open on a Saturday and has reduced opening throughout the seasons.
- I would recommend good footwear, I visited one time in sandals and it was very slippy on the descent pathway. Trainers would be fine.
- Get there early (or later in the day) it gets very busy.
- You can walkover and visit the village, shops and café free of charge without visiting inside the castle.
- There is a fee if you travel by boat so make sure you have some pound coins handy, I don't think they take card!
- The car park is not National Trust.
For more information on news and events visit The National Trust Website.
For more day's out in Cornwall and life in Cornwall click here.