Visit Cornwall: St Michael’s Mount

Last month, having booked our Hoseasons holiday, down in Newquay, Cornwall, we decided that, as a family of six, it would be worth our while joining The National Trust, costing just £10 a month. Having looked on the website we discovered that there are a whole host of National Trust sites in Cornwall, and with our passes we could visit as many as we liked with free entry, inclusive of parking. One of the first places on our list was, unanimously, St Michaels’s Mount.

St Michaels Mount is the most incredible island separated from the mainland via the causeway and reached by walking at low tide and boat at high tide. Home to 30 islanders, St Michaels Mount is bursting with history and although the castle is still inhabited by the St Aubyn family, who have lived there since the 17th century, parts of the castle are still open to visitors.

With the tide in, we waited for the boat to take us across to the island which, when you have children, is all part of the adventure.

On the day we chose to visit the weather wasn’t great and, with high winds and rain, the crossing was a little choppy to say the least! The children thought that part was amazing and we were over and across within five minutes at a cost of just a couple of pounds each.

As we arrived on the island we decided to get a hot chocolate and warm up, although I will warn anyone who visits that the cafe prices are extortionate! But then I suppose when you’re cold and wet, a warm drink is priceless!

The island itself is so lovely and peaceful and I can completely understand why 30 people still inhabit the island. The buildings are all beautiful, with the most stunning views out, although I think I would struggle to live somewhere so cut off from the mainland, albeit it at such a short distance.

The island is rich with history and legend, with Jack the Giant Killer being one of the most well known. A gruesome beast who terrorised the land, Cormoran the giant made the Mount his home, stealing cattle when his tummy began to rumble. Only Jack, a young boy from Marazion, was brave enough to rid the town of its curse. One moonlit night, it’s said that he made his way across the cobbled causeway to lay a trap, before luring the monster out with a blast on his horn. And as you walk up the Pilgrims Steps to the castle you can actually see the Giant’s heart on the pathway!

The castle is stunning and as we approached it the views out to see, and across to the castle gardens were spectacular. I think castles are so special in that anyone, of any age, can really appreciate them and, as a family, they are definitely one of my favourite places to visit.

As we were greeted at the castle entrance, a member of staff explained that every child would receive a prize if they could tell the lady at the exit their favourite thing they had seen at the castle. I loved this idea as far too often these kind of rewards involve things too complicated for young children, but sharing just one thing they enjoyed was something every child could take part in. Although I knew the moment I saw the swords exactly what Harry would choose!!

A family home for centuries, the castle holds mementos, memories and moments of magic at every turn. From monks seeking solace in the priory, to HM the Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh visiting in 2013, there is so much to see, do, and imagine.

Outdoors up in the towers you can see right across the coast, watch the boats out to sea, and take in the views. Although the weather wasn’t great on the day of our visit, it was easy to take cover as and when the showers came, making it a great day out all year round.

One of our favourite parts of the castle was the Priory Church, dating back to the the 12th century and still used for Sunday services today. 500 year old alabaster carvings of biblical scenes and a 15th Century granite Lantern Cross, now shelter in the safety of the priory walls, and it is utterly beautiful!

Throughout the castle are countless information points sharing important moments of history, interesting artefacts, and historical displays. For Gaz, Lewis and I, it was interesting to read more about the St Michaels Mount, and for the children it was great to hear them asking questions and debating over what their favourite thing would be at the exit.

In the end Harry chose the swords (standard!), Eva chose a silver teaspoon, and Megan chose the armour of a samurai warrior! They were rewarded with a gold medal which I thought was a really lovely touch.

As we walked back down towards the village we could see that the tide was going out decided to explore the island for a little longer so that we could walk back along the Causeway.

With a couple of shops and cafes, as well as an exhibition centre, there is still lots to do before, or after the castle. I imagine in the Summer months it would be lovely to bring a picnic and enjoy a paddle in the sea and explore the rock pools.

I think the most magical part of the day for me was the look on the children’s faces as, if by magic, the Causeway appeared and we could walk back over to the mainland.

We had such a fun day at St Michael’s Mount and it was lovely to tick off another castle on our list. Plus all of that fresh air completely wiped the children out which, let’s face it, is always a bonus.

With prices starting at £37.50 for a family of four, I think it’s very reasonable for a day out. You can find out more over at www.stmichaelsmount.co.uk.

 

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34 Comments

  1. Candy
    November 20, 2018 / 2:51 pm

    We enjoy visiting historical places. Walking around old ruins and learning the history. We would enjoy visiting

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      November 20, 2018 / 3:38 pm

      It’s a gorgeous place to visit, the views are just beautiful! We had a fab time! Xx

  2. November 20, 2018 / 3:38 pm

    The boat ride is definitely part of the experience when you have kids. I would love to visit a castle someday and your photos are amazing.

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      November 20, 2018 / 3:39 pm

      Thank you! I totally agree, the boat ride made it seem so much more magical to the children! Xx

  3. November 20, 2018 / 3:47 pm

    oh my goodness these pictures and post are everything- boat rides are so fun to experience as a family and def this would be so fun to bring them too someday! what a great time for you and our family!

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      November 20, 2018 / 5:24 pm

      Ah thank you. We had such a lovely day, there is definitely something magical about visiting castles, my children get SO excited! xx

  4. November 20, 2018 / 4:07 pm

    That island looks magical and a real step back into the past. It is great that you could enjoy it, I would love to some day.

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      November 20, 2018 / 5:25 pm

      It was a fantastic day out, we had such a fab time exploring! xx

  5. November 20, 2018 / 6:20 pm

    One place I have never been and always wanted to visit is Cornwall, we were going to stay in a friends Cottage last year but my Daughter was too ill, It really is such a lovely part of the country x

  6. November 20, 2018 / 6:34 pm

    Love your photos! So much to see and do, this looks like such a fun experience.

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      November 20, 2018 / 7:26 pm

      Thank you, it was a fab day out! xx

  7. November 20, 2018 / 6:50 pm

    Love your photos, the place looks so interesting and picturesque. I have been meaning to get a National Trust member x

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      November 20, 2018 / 7:27 pm

      Thank you! You should look into it, it’s not very much at all if you’re just joining as a single person. It has saved us a fortune! xx

  8. November 20, 2018 / 8:45 pm

    We last visited St Michael’s Mount when my older children were little and hope to visit again when we are in Cornwall for Christmas – fingers crossed the weather is good

  9. November 20, 2018 / 10:32 pm

    Looks very historical and a great trip for any family 🙂 I think the scenery is stunning and the harbour area is just so picturesque 🙂 xx

  10. Shelley King
    November 21, 2018 / 12:22 am

    This looks like an amazing trip. We are looking for new places to go this coming year. Your pictures are beautiful!.

  11. November 21, 2018 / 2:33 am

    This looks like a place my family would love to visit. I love historical spots.

  12. Pam
    November 21, 2018 / 2:47 am

    Wow, what beautiful photos. Even though the weather wasn’t great, it looks like you had a nice trip.

  13. November 21, 2018 / 8:55 am

    I totally need to get myself to Cornwall next year. It seems like a really up and coming destination at the moment, and I have never even been!

  14. November 21, 2018 / 10:26 am

    What an absolutely amazing place to visit – I have to plan a trip to Cornwall soon! And that last photo is so sweet…

  15. November 21, 2018 / 12:23 pm

    Heading off on a boat really makes a trip an adventure, doesn’t it? I’m with you, Priory Church looks so beautiful and it has such a peaceful vibe there. I suppose the cafe knows they can charge what they wish and people will pay – it’s crazy when a few hot drinks add up to a big bill though, I’ve had that myself. St Michaels Mount looks really lovely I’d love to visit someday.

  16. November 21, 2018 / 2:42 pm

    This looks like such a lovely place to visit, for both adults and children. It looks so beautiful.

  17. November 21, 2018 / 4:38 pm

    Such a beautiful place to visit from I can tell its really cold up there now. We have lots of historical landmarks here with a beautiful view.

  18. November 21, 2018 / 4:48 pm

    What a beautiful place to explore. I love visiting places like this, not only you see its beauty but you learn the history as well.

  19. November 21, 2018 / 5:06 pm

    What a great family trip–and such a cool experience! I would absolutely LOVE to visit that castle. It’s absolutely beautiful!

  20. Kathy
    November 21, 2018 / 5:27 pm

    Those are some gorgeous photos! What a beautiful place to be. I would love to go there someday.

  21. November 22, 2018 / 8:04 am

    I wish we are near that. If we are, we would totally visit it. For now, I will enjoy reading over and over again this post. It’s as if we were there virtually through your writings.

  22. November 22, 2018 / 1:55 pm

    What an incredible place! I would love to visit one day, I’m all about history and seeing places like this. Thanks for the recco!

  23. November 22, 2018 / 11:43 pm

    I didn’t realise that the National Trust memberships were so affordable! If you use it often I think its a great deal xxx

  24. November 25, 2018 / 4:21 am

    What a great location to stay! Whenever I travel, I like to know some of the history of the area. Your pictures really captured your trip!

  25. November 25, 2018 / 9:28 pm

    Oh your pictures are just beautiful. We love our National Trust memberships – best things we have ever bought!!

  26. November 26, 2018 / 9:49 pm

    St Michaels Mount was my favourite place we visited in Cornwall this summer, its stunning. My girls loved walking across the causeway too, such an excitement for them. We use our NT membership so much x

  27. Debra
    November 27, 2018 / 7:10 am

    Oh my word! What a beautiful place. I think the national trust is such a brilliant idea! We visited many such places when we were there last month!

  28. November 27, 2018 / 6:16 pm

    Looks like an amazing location and I’m tempted to get a yearly pass.

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