Discover the captivating world of St Michael’s Mount, a standout gem in Cornwall’s treasures. Arrive by boat or during low tide, traverse the causeway to reach this historic island community where the past and present coexist.
St Michael’s Mount is home to the St Aubyn family and a small village and is adorned by a medieval church and castle, the oldest of which date back to the 12th century. Immerse yourself in history, marvel at the architecture, and learn about the legend of Jack the Giant Killer.
Stroll through the sub-tropical terraced gardens and admire stunning views of Mount’s Bay.
Where is St Michaels Mount?
St Michael’s Mount is an island located in Mount’s Bay, near Marazion in Cornwall, England. It is connected to the mainland by a causeway that is accessible at low tide. The Mount is a popular Cornish tourist destination known for its castle, gardens, and stunning views of the surrounding coastline. It’s approximately 2 hours from Exeter and 3 hours from Bristol by car, and is easily accessible by road, train, and bus from many major cities in the UK.
St Michael’s Mount – car hire:
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St Michael’s Mount postcode
The postcode for St Michael’s Mount is TR17 0HT, Marazion, Cornwall, England. This postcode will direct you to the mainland village of Marazion, from where you can take the causeway across to the island at low tide, or take a boat during high tide.
Can you stay on St Michael’s Mount?
No, at the moment it is not possible to stay overnight on St Michael’s Mount. The Mount has several self-catering cottages available for rental, including historic properties with original features and modern apartments but they are located in and around Porthgwarra Cove. The prices are very high so if budget is an issue you will be better off exploring hotels located near St Michaels Mount.
Most visitors stay in the nearby town of Marazion, which offers a range of accommodation options, from budget-friendly options to luxury hotels. Whether you choose to stay in one of the seven cottages or in Marazion, a visit to St Michael’s Mount is sure to be a memorable experience.
St Michaels Mount hotels located nearby:
Learn about other great locations to stay in Cornwall.
Interesting facts about St Michael’s Mount castle
- History dating back to the 8th century: St Michael’s Mount has a rich history dating back to the 8th century, when the island was first used as a chapel dedicated to the archangel St. Michael. The castle was later built on the site in the 12th century.
- Home to a royal family: The St Aubyn family have lived on St Michael’s Mount for over 600 years and still reside in the castle today.
- Battle site: During the English Civil War, the castle was used as a military fortress and was the site of a battle in 1646.
- Garden paradise: The island is home to a stunning sub-tropical garden, which includes exotic plants, palm trees, and colourful flowers.
- Legend of the giant: There is a local legend that says the island was once home to a giant who lived in a cave beneath the castle. According to the legend, the giant could control the tides and would cause the causeway to flood when he was angry.
St Michael’s Mount car parks
There is a car park located near the base of St Michael’s Mount in the nearby town of Marazion. The car park is open year-round and offers a range of parking options, including short-term and long-term parking, as well as seasonal and daily rates.
From the car park, visitors can take a short walk over the causeway to reach the island, or alternatively, they can opt to take a boat ride to the island, subject to availability and weather conditions. Additionally, there is limited street parking available in the surrounding area. Visitors are advised to check the parking conditions and any applicable fees before their visit to St Michael’s Mount.
How many people visit St Michaels Mount every year?
There are about 350,000 visitors to St Michael’s Mount every year – it is a popular tourist destination in Cornwall so it attracts a large number of visitors annually. St Michael’s Mount is known for its rich history, stunning views, and unique atmosphere, and is considered a must-visit location for those visiting the southwest of England.
The mount is open to the public throughout the year and offers a range of activities, including guided tours of the castle, walks along the causeway, and visits to the island gardens.
Whether you’re a history buff, nature lover, or simply looking for a unique and memorable experience, St Michael’s Mount is a destination that should not be missed.
St Michaels Mount booking
Visitors to St Michael’s Mount can book tickets for entry in advance. Booking is recommended, especially during peak season, as it helps to ensure a smooth and enjoyable visit, avoiding queues and ensuring that you are able to see all that the mount has to offer.
Tickets can be booked online through the St Michael’s Mount website, or by contacting the visitor center directly. Visitors can choose from a range of ticket options, including entry to the castle, garden, and island, or a combination of these. Guided tours of the castle and island are also available, and these can be pre-booked in advance.
When booking your visit, it’s important to consider the tide times, as the mount is only accessible on foot during low tide. If the tide is high, you will need to take the boat from Marazion, so be sure to check the tide times before setting off. With advance booking, you can ensure that your visit to St Michael’s Mount is an enjoyable and memorable experience, and that you are able to see all that this fascinating island has to offer.
How long does it take to walk over to St Michael’s Mount?
It usually takes about 10-15 minutes to walk across, but the wait for the right tidal conditions can add time to the overall journey.
How long does the boat take to St Michaels Mount?
The boat trip from Marazion to St Michael’s Mount usually takes about 5-10 minutes each way. However, the actual time may vary depending on weather conditions, tidal conditions, and the number of passengers on board. The boat operates regularly throughout the day, with more frequent services during peak tourist season.
St Michael’s Mount tide times
The tide times at St Michael’s Mount vary depending on the time of year and the phase of the moon. The mount is only accessible by foot during low tide, when the causeway is uncovered, so it’s important to check the tide schedule before planning your visit. You can find tide schedules for St Michael’s Mount online, or by visiting the local tourist information center.
The tidal range in Mount’s Bay is large, so it’s essential to take care when crossing the causeway, as the water can rise rapidly. If the tide is high, the only way to reach the mount is by boat from Marazion. Be sure to check the tide times before setting off and take care to cross at the appropriate time, as the causeway can become impassable during high tide.
Can you drive to St Michael’s Mount?
No, you cannot drive across to St Michael’s Mount. The island is only accessible by foot along the causeway at low tide or by boat from Marazion. There is no road access to the mount, and private vehicles are not permitted on the island. If you need to transport heavy equipment or goods, there are porter services available to assist with transport.
How long is the causeway to St Michaels Mount?
So, how long is the causeway to St Michael’s Mount? The causeway to St Michael’s Mount is approximately half a mile long (0.8 kilometers). It takes around 10-15 minutes to walk along the causeway, depending on your pace. The causeway is only accessible during low tide, so be sure to check the tidal schedule before planning your visit.
If the tide is high, the only way to reach the mount is by boat from Marazion. The causeway walk offers stunning views of the mount and the surrounding coastline, making it a popular activity for visitors to the area.
How long does it take to explore St Michaels Mount?
So, how long to visit St Michael’s Mount? The time it takes to explore St Michael’s Mount can vary greatly depending on individual interests and pace. A leisurely tour of the castle, gardens, and village can take anywhere from 2 to 4 hours.
However, if you plan to include a guided tour or visit the exhibitions, it may take longer. Keep in mind that you can also take as much time as you need to enjoy the beautiful surroundings and take in the views.
What is the history behind St Michael’s Mount?
The history of the Mount is rich and varied, and it has played an important role in the history of the region for over a thousand years.
The mount is believed to have been occupied since the Bronze Age, and in the early medieval period, it was an important religious site, with a chapel dedicated to St Michael. The castle on the mount was built in the 12th century by the Norman conquerors, and over the centuries it was expanded and improved to become one of the most impressive fortifications in the region. The mount was a key site during the English Civil War and was used as a base for the Royalists.
In the 19th century, the Mount became a popular tourist destination, and today it is managed by the National Trust and open to visitors throughout the year. The Mount is a unique and fascinating place, with a rich history, stunning views, and a sense of mystery that draws visitors from around the world. Whether you’re interested in history, architecture, or simply looking for a unique experience, St Michael’s Mount is a must-visit destination that offers something for everyone.
Can you go to St Michaels Mount without paying?
Visitors to St Michael’s Mount are required to pay an admission fee to enter the castle and gardens, explore the exhibitions, and visit the village. While it is possible to walk along the causeway and view the mount from the outside without paying, access to the interior and attractions requires a ticket. The admission fee helps to preserve and maintain the site, so by visiting and paying, you are supporting its future.
What’s inside St Michael’s Mount?
The mount is home to a medieval castle, which has been lived in by the same family for over 800 years. Inside the castle, visitors can explore a range of exhibitions and displays that highlight its history and the stories of its past inhabitants.
The castle also features beautiful gardens and a village, where visitors can take a stroll and immerse themselves in the local community. There are also guided tours available that offer a more in-depth look at the castle and its history. Additionally, the mount offers stunning views of the surrounding coastline and is a popular spot for birdwatching.
St Michael’s Mount things to see
1. St Michael’s Mount The Castle
The castle has a rich and varied history, having served as a monastery, a fortress, and a private residence over the centuries. Today, the castle is open to visitors and offers a fascinating glimpse into its past, with highlights including medieval and Gothic architecture, a chapel, and grand state rooms filled with antique furnishings and works of art.
Visitors can explore the castle and its grounds, including the terraced gardens, which offer stunning views over Mount’s Bay and the surrounding coastline.
2. St Michael’s Mount gardens
St Michael’s Mount has a beautiful garden that covers much of the island and is a popular attraction for visitors. The garden features a variety of exotic plants, colourful flowers, and stunning views of the surrounding coastline. There are also several walking paths that take visitors through the different sections of the garden, including the Subtropical Garden, the Kitchen Garden, and the Victorian Garden.
Additionally, there are several historical structures on the island, such as the castle and the church, that visitors can explore as part of their visit to the gardens.
3. Church of St Michael & All Angels
The church is dedicated to Saint Michael the Archangel and is believed to have been built in the 12th century, though parts of the building may be even older. The church is an important part of the history and heritage of St Michael’s Mount and is considered one of the most important religious sites in the region.
It is noted for its architectural style, which is a mix of Norman, Gothic, and Renaissance styles, and features a striking tower and several stained glass windows. The church has undergone several renovations and restorations over the centuries and today is open to visitors, who can explore its rich history and admire its beautiful architecture.
4. St Michael’s Mount The Harbour & Village
The harbor and village on the Mount provide a unique and picturesque setting that has been shaped by centuries of maritime and island life. The harbor is a sheltered inlet that was once an important landing place for boats, and today provides a secure mooring for a variety of vessels. The village is a small, tight-knit community of locals who have lived on the mount for generations and have a deep connection to its history and traditions.
Visitors to St Michael’s Mount can explore the harbor and village to learn about the way of life on this island, sample local seafood and other regional specialties, and admire the charming old stone cottages and narrow, winding streets. Whether you’re interested in history, culture, or simply enjoying a stroll in a peaceful and picturesque setting, the harbor and village of St Michael’s Mount are well worth a visit.
5. St Michael’s Mount The Steward’s House
The Steward’s House at St Michael’s Mount is a historic building located on the island. It was originally built in the 17th century as the home of the island’s steward, who was responsible for managing the castle and its estate. The house has since been used for a variety of purposes, including as a residence for the castle’s caretakers and as a visitor center.
Today, the Steward’s House is open to visitors and is a popular attraction on the island. It contains a collection of exhibits and displays that provide a glimpse into the history of St Michael’s Mount and its significance in the local community. Visitors to the Steward’s House can learn about the castle’s history, explore its gardens, and enjoy breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape from the windows of the house.
6. St Michael’s Mount Sheila Hichens Collection
The Sheila Hichens Collection is a collection of art and artifacts related to St Michael’s Mount and its history. The collection was created by Sheila Hichens, a local artist and historian who lived on the island for many years. The collection includes paintings, drawings, photographs, and other items that showcase the unique beauty and rich history of St Michael’s Mount.
Visitors to the island can view the collection and learn more about the history and cultural significance of the castle and its surroundings. The Sheila Hichens Collection is a valuable resource for visitors interested in the history and culture of St Michael’s Mount, and it provides a unique window into the rich history of the island and its people.
7. St Michael’s Mount History and legends
The mount is believed to have been a site of religious significance since prehistoric times, and there is evidence of a medieval chapel dedicated to St Michael the Archangel that stood on the site in the 12th century. Over the centuries, the mount has served as a defensive site, a residence for wealthy merchants, and a pilgrimage destination. Today, St Michael’s Mount is managed by the National Trust and is open to visitors, who can explore its rich history and legends, as well as its castle, gardens, and harbor.
The mount is also known for its legends and myths, many of which are associated with the history of the mount and the surrounding area. For example, the mount is said to have been the site of a legendary battle between the forces of good and evil, and is said to be the place where St Michael the Archangel descended to earth to defeat the devil. In another legend, it is said that the mount is guarded by mermaids, who will only allow those with pure hearts to cross to the island.
Whether you’re interested in history or legends, St Michael’s Mount is a unique and fascinating place that offers a glimpse into the rich cultural heritage of southwestern England.
8. St Michael’s Mount The Island Shop
The Island Shop is a gift shop located on St Michael’s Mount. It offers a range of souvenirs and gifts related to the island and its history, including books, postcards, jewellery, and other items. The shop is a popular destination for visitors to the island, who come to browse the selection of products and take home a piece of the island as a souvenir.
The Island Shop is staffed by knowledgeable and friendly staff who are happy to answer questions and provide information about the history and significance of St Michael’s Mount. Whether you are a first-time visitor or a seasoned local, the Island Shop is a great place to find unique and meaningful gifts and mementos to commemorate your visit to this historic and picturesque island.
What is the best time to visit St Michaels Mount?
The best time to visit St Michael’s Mount depends on several factors, including personal preferences and the desired activities. Here are a few things to consider:
- Summer: The summer months of June to August tend to be the busiest and offer the longest daylight hours, making it easier to explore the castle and gardens.
- Spring and Fall: These seasons offer milder temperatures and smaller crowds, making it a good time to visit if you prefer a quieter atmosphere.
- Low Tide: The causeway is only accessible during low tide, so be sure to check the tidal schedule before planning your visit. This is the best time to walk to the mount and explore the surrounding area.
- Sunsets: St Michael’s Mount is known for its stunning sunsets, making it a great place to visit during the late afternoon.
Regardless of when you visit, it’s sure to be a memorable experience.
Can you swim to St Michaels Mount?
Swimming to St Michael’s Mount is not recommended for several reasons. The island is located in the Atlantic Ocean and is exposed to strong currents and unpredictable waves, making it dangerous to swim in the open water. Additionally, there are no designated swimming areas around the mount, and visitors are not permitted to swim in the waters surrounding the island. If you want to reach St Michael’s Mount, the best and safest way to do so is by walking along the causeway at low tide or by taking the boat from Marazion.
Is St Michael’s Mount National Trust?
Yes, St. Michael’s Mount is managed by the National Trust. This means members of the National Trust can enjoy certain benefits such as free or discounted entry to the castle and gardens.
Does St Michaels Mount have a pub?
Yes, St Michael’s Mount has a pub. The Island Inn is a traditional pub located on the mount, serving a range of beers, wines, and spirits, as well as pub food and snacks. The pub is a popular gathering place for visitors and locals, offering a cozy and welcoming atmosphere.
Visitors to the Mount can enjoy a drink or a meal before or after exploring the castle and gardens, or simply relax and soak up the views of Mount’s Bay. If you’re staying overnight on the mount, the Island Inn is a great place to socialize and experience the unique culture of this historic island.
Can you walk from Penzance to St Michaels Mount?
Yes, it is possible to walk from Penzance to St Michael’s Mount. The walk takes approximately 20-30 minutes and follows a well-marked path along the coast. Penzance is a popular starting point for visitors to St Michael’s Mount, as it offers a range of transportation options, including trains, buses, and taxis.
From Penzance, you can follow the signs to Marazion, and from there, walk along the causeway to reach the mount at low tide, or take the boat from Marazion. The walk from Penzance to St Michael’s Mount is a beautiful and scenic journey, offering views of Mount’s Bay and the surrounding coastline.
Who lives in the castle on St Michaels Mount?
So, who lives on St Michael’s Mount? St Michael’s Mount is a castle and former monastery that has been lived in by the St Aubyn family for over 800 years. Today, the castle is the family’s primary residence, and they continue to live on the mount with their staff. The castle and its gardens are open to the public for visits, with a portion of the grounds and exhibitions reserved for private family use.
The St Aubyn family’s residency on the mount and their commitment to preserving its history and heritage make St Michael’s Mount a unique and fascinating place to visit.
St Michael’s Mount vs Mont Saint-Michel
St Michael’s Mount and Mont Saint-Michel are both tidal islands located off the coast of their respective countries, the UK and France. Both have rich histories, dating back to the 8th century, and are famous for their impressive castles and monasteries, surrounded by stunning natural landscapes.
Despite their similarities, there are some key differences between the two:
- Location: St Michael’s Mount is located in Cornwall, England, and Mont Saint-Michel is located in Normandy, France.
- Architecture: St Michael’s Mount is a medieval castle and monastery, built in the Gothic style. Mont Saint-Michel, on the other hand, is a fortified island, known for its Romanesque and Gothic architecture, and has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- Accessibility: Mont Saint-Michel is accessible via a bridge and is a popular tourist destination, with many shops, restaurants, and hotels on the island. St Michael’s Mount, on the other hand, is only accessible on foot at low tide and is a smaller, more tranquil destination, with fewer amenities.
Overall, both St Michael’s Mount and Mont Saint-Michel are unique and fascinating destinations, and both are well worth a visit. Whether you prefer the peaceful atmosphere of St Michael’s Mount or the bustling energy of Mont Saint-Michel, you are sure to be enchanted by these incredible tidal islands.
Which is older St Michael’s Mount or Mont St Michel?
Mont Saint-Michel is older than St Michael’s Mount. Mont Saint-Michel was founded as a religious sanctuary in the 8th century, while the first recorded use of St Michael’s Mount as a religious site was in the 11th century.
Are dogs allowed St Michaels Mount?
Dogs are allowed on St Michael’s Mount but they are only permitted on the causeway and in the village area at the base of the island. They are not allowed in the castle or the gardens. It is advisable to keep dogs on a lead at all times when visiting St Michael’s Mount.
P.s. this is not our dog in the picture 😉
St Michaels Mount tourist information
St Michael’s Mount is home to a medieval castle and a historic harbor, and is a popular tourist destination. Here is some tourist information about St Michael’s Mount:
- Access: St Michael’s Mount can be reached by a causeway at low tide, or by boat during high tide.
- Castle and Gardens: The castle on St Michael’s Mount dates back to the 12th century and is open to visitors. The castle gardens are also open to the public and offer stunning views of the coast.
- History: St Michael’s Mount has a rich history, and was once a pilgrimage site and a stronghold for the Knights Templar. The castle has also served as a family home for centuries and is now owned by the National Trust.
- Wildlife: St Michael’s Mount is home to a variety of wildlife, including seals, seabirds, and butterflies.
- Events: Throughout the year, St Michael’s Mount hosts a variety of events, including music festivals, cultural events, and food and drink festivals.
- Accommodation: There are several accommodation options near St Michael’s Mount, including bed and breakfasts, self-catering cottages, and hotels.
- Food and Drink: There are several restaurants and cafes on St Michael’s Mount, serving local cuisine and seafood.
Visitors to St Michael’s Mount will be able to experience its rich history, stunning natural beauty, and vibrant cultural scene. Whether you’re interested in exploring the castle, visiting the gardens, or simply enjoying the coastal views, St Michael’s Mount is well worth a visit.
St. Michael’s Mount FAQ
There are a variety of accommodations near St. Michael’s Mount, from cozy cottages to luxurious hotels. Marazion, the nearby town, offers several options for visitors to enjoy their stay while exploring this iconic landmark.
No, overnight stays are not permitted on St. Michael’s Mount as it’s a heritage site. Visitors usually stay in the nearby town of Marazion or other surrounding areas.
There are several guided tours available, offering detailed insight into the history and legends of St. Michael’s Mount. These tours explore the castle, gardens, and provide amazing views of the coastline.
The journey from London to St Michael’s Mount is approximately five to six hours by car, depending on traffic. If you prefer public transport, you can take a train to Penzance, followed by a bus or taxi to Marazion.
Tickets for St Michael’s Mount can be purchased at the entrance or online, with discounts available for families and groups. The ticket provides access to the castle and gardens, with a separate fee for guided tours.
The causeway to St. Michael’s Mount is accessible at low tide for about four hours. Visitors should check the local tide times to plan their visit, as at high tide the mount can only be reached by boat.
Is it worth visiting St Michaels Mount?
The Mount is a unique and historic location in Cornwall, steeped in myth and legend, and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding area. It’s also home to a castle and gardens that are open to the public, providing a glimpse into the history and lifestyle of its former residents.
If you’re interested in history, architecture, or simply enjoy scenic coastal walks, then a visit to St Michael’s Mount is definitely worth considering.
Best places near St Michael’s Mount to visit
- Marazion Beach – a sandy beach located in the nearby town of Marazion
- Penzance – a charming coastal town known for its Georgian architecture and harbor
- Land’s End – the southwestern-most point in mainland England
- Minack Theatre – an open-air theatre carved into a cliff
- Trencrom Hill – an Iron Age hillfort with views of Mount’s Bay
- St Ives – a picturesque seaside town known for its art galleries and beach
- The Lizard – a peninsula in Cornwall known for its rugged coastline and historic lighthouses
- Porthcurno Beach – a secluded sandy beach surrounded by cliffs
- Botallack Mine – a historic tin mine with a unique collection of engine houses and chimneys
- Kynance Cove – a stunning cove with crystal-clear waters and unique rock formations.