St Michael’s Mount

St Michael’s Mount, with its fairytale-like castle perched atop a granite rock rising from the heart of Mount’s Bay, is one of Cornwall’s most iconic destinations.

Accessible by foot across a causeway at low tide or by boat when the waters return, this enchanting island offers a blend of stunning landscapes, rich history, and magical tales.

Discovering St Michael’s Mount

A Rich Tapestry of History and Legend

St Michael’s Mount has a history as captivating as its appearance.

Originally a Benedictine monastery, it shares its monastic origins with Mont Saint-Michel in France.

Legends abound, including tales of the Archangel Michael appearing to fishermen in the 5th century, giving the mount its spiritual significance.

The castle, built by the monks in the 12th century, has been home to the St Aubyn family since the 17th century, who still reside there today, alongside a small community.

The Castle and Gardens

The mount’s castle, parts of which date back to the 12th century, houses historical artefacts and offers insight into centuries of Cornish life.

The terraced gardens, flourishing in the mild maritime climate, boast an array of exotic plants that cling to the steep granite cliffs, offering breathtaking views across the bay.

Planning Your Visit

Getting There

By Foot: The causeway opens at low tide, allowing visitors to walk across from Marazion. The walk offers a unique experience, tracing the path of pilgrims over the centuries.

By Boat: As the tide rises, ferries transport visitors across the short stretch of water from Marazion to the island. There is a small charge for the boat service.

Tickets and Opening Times

Admission to the castle and gardens is managed by the National Trust and the St Aubyn Estates.

It’s advisable to book tickets in advance, especially during peak tourist seasons.

Opening times can vary, so check the official St Michael’s Mount website for the most up-to-date information.

Best Times to Visit

The mount is enchanting year-round, but spring and summer offer the most pleasant weather for exploring the gardens and enjoying the causeway walk.

Early mornings or late afternoons are ideal for avoiding the crowds that midday can bring.

Maximising Your Experience

Explore the Village and Harbour: Before ascending to the castle, explore the quaint village and its harbour. The small community living on the mount adds to its charm.

Visit the Castle: Don’t miss the opportunity to explore the castle’s historic rooms, with their family portraits, antique furniture, and armoury. The castle’s guides offer fascinating insights into the life and legends of this remarkable place.

Wander the Gardens: The terraced gardens are a highlight, particularly in spring and summer when they are in full bloom. The microclimate allows for the growth of exotic plants rarely seen elsewhere in the UK.

Check the Tides: To experience both the causeway walk and the boat trip, check the tide times and plan your visit accordingly. Walking the causeway is a must-do, but returning by boat provides a different perspective of the mount.

Tips for Your Visit

Wear Comfortable Shoes: The walk up to the castle is steep and cobbled, so comfortable footwear is essential.

Pack a Picnic: There are several beautiful spots to enjoy a picnic with stunning views of the coastline. Alternatively, the island café offers refreshments and light meals.

Stay for Sunset: If the tide times allow, staying on the mount until sunset offers a magical experience, with the changing light transforming the views of the bay.

Nearby Attractions

Marazion: The town opposite the mount offers beautiful beaches, galleries, and eateries. Marazion Marsh is also a hotspot for birdwatching.

Penzance: A short drive away, Penzance is home to the Penlee House Gallery & Museum, Morrab Gardens, and the Jubilee Pool, a beautiful Art Deco seawater lido.


St Michael’s Mount is a jewel in Cornwall’s crown, offering a unique blend of natural beauty, historical intrigue, and mythological allure.

Whether you’re crossing the ancient causeway, exploring the medieval castle, or simply soaking in the panoramic views, a visit to St Michael’s Mount promises an unforgettable experience steeped in the magic and mystery of Cornwall.