Destination UK

A Winter visit to St Michael's Mount

Posted on
January 7, 2019

Despite visiting Cornwall on numerous occasions, I still have a long list of places I want to visit in this beautiful county and with just a couple of spare days to squeeze in a day out during a Christmas holiday at Coombe Mill, I had to pick just one.

We have visited the National Trust’s St Michael’s Mount, Cornwall, before when the older kids were small, but it is somewhere I have been keen to re-visit ever since.

St Michael's Mount Causeway

The small small tidal island is crowned by a medieval church and castle, leaving it only accessible by foot along a man-made causeway of granite setts, passable between mid-tide and low water and upon checking the tide times, it was the perfect time to visit.

St Michael's Mount Causeway

St Michael’s Mount is an hour and fifteen minute drive from Coombe Mill and with it being out of season, we were pleasantly surprised to find that parking was free in the main car park when we arrived. It is then a short five minute walk along the promenade to the causeway.

St Michael's Mount Causeway

As the tide was still going out, the causeway was quite damp underfoot, but although uneven, it wasn’t slippery like I expected and took just 5 minutes to cross.

Boats St Michael's Mount

You can wander around the harbour area, where there are around 30 islanders still living and working, but to climb to the castle you have to pay an entry fee, or be National Trust members.

A visit to the island is not suitable for pushchairs, especially the steep cobbled slopes to the castle so if travelling with a young family, I would recommend a sling or back carrier.

Giant's Well

Legend has it that the Mount was built by a giant called Cormoran who would wade ashore to snatch up livestock from local farms and take them back with him and our first mission was to search for the giant’s heart.

Giant's Heart

As you walk up to the castle you come across a heart-shaped stone on the pathway which is the apparently the Giant’s heart and we all remarked it was a lot smaller than we thought it would be. Rumour has it that if you stand on the heart shaped stone you can still hear the Giant’s heart beat and the kids were eager to give it a try.

The walk up to the castle, although tricky underfoot is quite simply beautiful and offers you glimpses of the breathtaking views that surround the island.

St Michael's Mount Castle

There are plenty of places to stop, rest and enjoy the views if you need a breather from the climb.

Sitting on a cannon

Some of the buildings date back to the 12th century and since that time the Mount has been a priory, fortress, a place of pilgrimage before finally becoming the private home of the St Aubyn family in 1659.

Sebby looking through a window

Inside the castle the kids were challenged to find their favourite display in order to win a prize and they happily scampered off to see what they could find.

Armoury

There is a huge variety of things to see, from gun batteries and suits of armour that hark back to the Wars of the Roses and the Civil War, a Bronze Age Hoard exhibition to opulent rooms offering spectacular views over the coastline.

Inside St Michael's Mount

They also couldn’t believe that the sundial told the correct time!

Sun Dial

Kids being kids, they were happiest outside, pretending they were being attacked by pirates and working out a battle plan to defend the island.

St Michael's Mount

One of the highlights of visiting a National Trust property over the Christmas period, is seeing the Christmas decorations and St Michael’s Mount was full of them.

Christmas Tree

The Priory Church sat the Mount’s summit dates back to the 12th Century and features some stunning stained glass windows, which threw colourful patterns onto the walls thanks to the glorious sunny day outside.

St Michael's Mount  Church

It is the terraces at the top of the castle that offer the best views from Lamorna to the Lizard over the turquoise sea.

St Michael's Mount

I was surprised by how much the kids had taken in during their visit and they all came up with a different answer about their favourite exhibit, each winning a medal.

Medal

Sadly the gardens are closed during the winter months, but that really did not detract from our visit at all.

St Michael's Mount

By the time we came back down from the castle, it was low tide, so the kids darted off to play on the beach.

Beach

A Family Ticket to the Castle costs from £20 but National Trust members can get in free.

National Trust Membership gives you free entry to over 500 special places, free parking at most National Trust car parks a National Trust Handbook full of ideas to help you plan a visit, a National Trust Magazine sent to you three times a year and regular newsletters sent straight to your inbox, plus save £8.40 per year when you use Top Cashback to purchase your pass.

Have you visited St Michael’s Mount?

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21 Comments
  1. Reply

    Stacie

    January 7, 2019

    That is such a lovely area. I would love to take the family there for a nice winter getaway.

  2. Reply

    Sara

    January 8, 2019

    The Priory Church looks similar to The Homestead Hotel in VA; it was founded in 1776 and has so much charm like Cornwall!

  3. Reply

    Danielle Wolter

    January 8, 2019

    What a cool place! This look like such a fun trip!

  4. Reply

    Shannon Lyon

    January 8, 2019

    This looks like a great trip!

  5. Reply

    Sam

    January 8, 2019

    St. Michael’s Mount sounds awesome! What great views and the tour around the inside looks fun too. I’m sure it’s great year round, but Christmas seems particularly nice.

  6. Reply

    Jenny Johnston

    January 8, 2019

    Such a wonderful area, we enjoyed our trip there last year.

  7. Reply

    Sam | North East Family Fun Travel Blog

    January 8, 2019

    Oh we’re visiting over February Half Term – I’ve wanted to in so long but haven’t been able to find many blog posts about it so it’s nice to hear it from a real life perspective. I think we’re going to try and time it so we have to get the boat back xx

  8. Reply

    Lydia Smith

    January 8, 2019

    I love adventures that are kids friendly. I’ve been travelling lesser than I want to because my sis kids are in my care. St Micheal’s Mount looks like a place I will love to visit someday.

  9. Reply

    The Tale of Mummyhood

    January 8, 2019

    I’m a National Trust member and volunteer, as well as a regular visitor to Marazion – so I loved this post! It looks like you had a fab day for it too!

  10. Reply

    Mom Life Optimized

    January 8, 2019

    What an amazingly cool experience!! I definitely want to visit this place someday.

  11. Reply

    Sophia

    January 8, 2019

    This looks like a nice place to visit and super family friendly.

  12. Reply

    Lisa

    January 8, 2019

    What a beautiful part of Cornwall to visit! I’ve not been here since I was a child, and so a return visit is clearly long overdue!

  13. Reply

    Jenne Kopalek

    January 8, 2019

    This looks absolutely amazing and beautiful. I’d love a chance to visit there.

  14. Reply

    Yeah Lifestyle

    January 8, 2019

    What a lovely place for a family day out! I love Cornwall, next time I visit I will definitely have to check out St Michaels Mount.

  15. Reply

    Bella and Dawn at Dear Mummy Blog

    January 8, 2019

    Thats one regret we had that we didn’t visit St Michael’s Mount when we were at Coombe Mill! Looks stunning even in the winter time!

  16. Reply

    Amy Dong

    January 9, 2019

    The sights at St Michaels’ Mount look amazing! The architecture, scenery, and decor are so unique.

  17. Reply

    Jasmine Hewitt

    January 9, 2019

    wow, kit’s beautiful there! this is amazing i’d love to take the family

  18. Reply

    Stephanie Jeannot

    January 9, 2019

    Now that sounds like an exciting place to visit. Your kids look like they had such a good time in this vintage 12th century building. Wow! Awesome.

  19. Reply

    Erica D Ardali

    January 10, 2019

    What a fun little trek! the castle at the top is like the icing on the cake. The views were stunning

  20. Reply

    Becca Talbot

    January 17, 2019

    Ahhhh how lovely – looks like you had a fab day out! I haven’t visited this part of the UK yet, but after seeing your gorgeous wintery pics, I think I’m gonna have to visit soon x

  21. Reply

    Nati

    January 19, 2019

    What a wonderful place to visit with the family! My children would love this castle!

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KARA GUPPY
Bournemouth

Are we nearly there yet? is a new online blog run by me, Kara Guppy, and is named as such thanks to my daughter Eliza who always asks that very question when we are less than 5 minutes up the road heading off on our adventures. You may know me from my other family blog chelseamamma.co.uk