St Michael's Mount and Castle

St Michael’s Mount is a small tidal island off the coast of Cornwall, England. This picturesque island has long been a popular tourist destination due to its spectacular seascape and unique history. But there is much more to this island than meets the eye.

In this blog post, we will explore the fascinating history and culture of St Michael’s Mount and why it should be on your list of places to visit.

From its ancient origins to its present-day attractions, let’s take a closer look at this fascinating British island.

The legends of St Michael’s Mount

The rocky outcrop has been home to religious settlements since prehistoric times and is steeped in legend and mystery.

According to local folklore, St. Michael’s Mount was once visited by angels who proclaimed it a refuge for pilgrims and saints.

There are also stories that giants lived on the island in ancient times, while other stories tell of mermaids swimming off its shores.

History of St. Michael Mount

The history of Mount Saint Michael began in 495 AD when the first hermit, Saint Ursus, settled on the island. In 933 AD the mountain was given by King Athelstan to the Benedictine monks of Mont-Saint-Michel in Normandy. The monks built a church and monastery on the mountain and it became a popular pilgrimage site.

St Michael Mount Castle View

During the Hundred Years’ War between England and France, the mountain was captured by the French and held for ransom. In 1424 it was recaptured by England and has been under English control ever since.

In 1540 King Henry VIII dissolved the monasteries in England and St Michael’s Mountain became a royal property. It was then leased to various families before being purchased by Sir John St Aubyn in 1659. The St Aubyn family still owns and resides on the island today.

St Michael Mount Cornwall Island
Eole Wind

More recently, the mountain served as an important defensive site, with the remains of an 11th-century castle still standing today. It is now one of Cornwall’s most popular tourist attractions with over 200,000 visitors each year.

What to do in St. Michael’s Mount?

If you are looking for things to do in St. Michael’s Mount, you will not be disappointed. This small island is home to a castle, a monastery and beautiful gardens, as well as stunning views of the Cornish coast.

St Michael Mount Castle Drone View
Anthony de Schoolmeester

The castle on St. Michael’s Mount is well worth a visit, with a long and fascinating history dating back to the 11th century. You can explore the beautifully preserved castle grounds and rooms or take a tour of the medieval chapel.

St Michael Mount Chapel
Lee Pullen

The gardens at St. Michael’s Mount are simply spectacular and there are plenty of quiet spots to sit and enjoy the views. Be sure to explore the subtropical plants in the lower garden before heading up to the main garden where you can take in spectacular views of Mount Bay.

St Michael Mount Inside
Lee Pullen

Marazion Beach

Marazion Beach is a stunning beach located in Cornwall, England. It is known for its sweeping views of Mount St Michael and the beautiful blue waters of the English Channel.

The golden sands stretch as far as the eye can see, making it a great place to relax and enjoy the breathtaking scenery. You can swim or even kayak here if you wish.

The local area also offers plenty of amenities, including cafes, shops and restaurants. Whenever you feel hungry or want to grab a drink, you can make use of them.

Things to know before visiting St. Michael’s Mount?

There are many things you need to know before visiting this magical place, from its rich history and fascinating geography to what to pack for your day trip. Here are a few important things to know about St Michael’s Mount.

  • In addition to exploring the interiors, there are also gardens with numerous spots to enjoy a picnic outside or take in the views of Mount Bay.
  • It can be very windy due to the open sea in front. Take clothes that can protect you from the rain and wind.
  • Wear sneakers for a comfortable walk. Do not choose shoes that are not suitable for the tidal gorge, made of granite blocks, heels, etc.

St Michael Mount Living Island
Lee Pullen
St Michael Mount Things To Do
Lee Pullen

Do you have to pay to visit St Michael’s Mount?

St Michael’s Mount is free to visit, but there is an entrance fee if you want to explore the island’s castle, gardens and attractions. Concessions are also available for students and seniors

The island is owned by the National Trust. So if you are a member of the National Trust, you can visit these places of interest for free. Make a reservation online before you go.

Opening and visiting hours of the castle

You can visit the castle and other attractions between March and October, except Saturdays. But when the castle is closed, you can still go to the mountain for free.

St Michael Mount Hiking
Lee Pullen

It is closed on Saturday because families and residents in the area also have the right to rest against tourists. At the same time, maintenance is also done on these days. Of course, as we always mention, the mountain is always open.

Is St Michael’s mount is dog friendly?

St Michael’s Mount is a beautiful place for visitors to explore and enjoy, and even your furry friends can join in the fun! Dogs are welcome at St Michael’s Mount but must be kept on a leash at all times.

There are plenty of areas for dogs to explore safely, including the extensive gardens and the many beaches in the surrounding area. It is important to note that dogs are not allowed in any of the buildings on site, so it is best to leave them with someone else or keep them outside while you explore inside.

How much time to spend at St Michaels Mount?

The mountain itself is an island connected to the mainland by a cobbled causeway that is exposed during low tide. It takes at least 3 – 4 hours to explore the entire area, including the time spent walking up to St Michael’s Chapel and exploring its grounds.

Depending on your taste, you could easily spend a whole day here, taking in all the sights and dining in one of its restaurants or cafes.

Make sure you plan enough time to explore Mount St Michaels if you are visiting this stunning part of southern England.

Where is St. Michael’s Mount?

If you are looking for St Michael’s Mount, you can find it in the southwest of England. The island is located just off the coast of Cornwall, near the town of Marazion. You can reach the island by foot at low tide or by boat at high tide.

  • On foot

The reason it is accessible on foot is that people have built a causeway connecting the island to the town. This causeway is about 0.30 miles / 0.5 km long. If you especially want to go through the causeway, you will have to adjust your timing accordingly.

The causeway becomes suitable for walking twice a day due to the tides. Sometimes you may even want to cross the causeway before the tide recedes completely. You will need waterproof boots for this, of course.

St Michael Mount Cornwall
Ed Weatherby
  • By boat

When you need to reach the island by boat, you can reach the island by paying a small fee per person. These boats are boats for 8-10 people. You may have to wait in line at busy times.

Due to the tide, the boats do not work when they are too close to the ground. If you are on the island and want to return to the mainland, you may have to wait for the sea to rise.

St Michael Mount Feribots
David Allan
St Michael Mount Natural Sunshine

How to get to St. Michael’s Mount?

There are several different ways to get to St. Michael’s Mount, depending on where you are coming from and which means of transportation you want to use.

If you are coming from mainland UK, the easiest way to reach the mountain is to take a train to Penzance station. From there you can take a taxi or walk the short distance to the mountain.

If you are coming from elsewhere in Europe, you can fly into one of the nearby airports, such as Newquay Cornwall Airport or Exeter International Airport. From there you can rent a car or take a bus or train to Penzance station.

When you arrive at Penzance station, follow the signs that say “To the Ferry” which will take you to the pier. The ferry ride to St. Michael’s Mount takes about 10 minutes and departs every 20 minutes throughout the day.

St. Michael’s Mount is one of the most popular sightseeing spots in the area, and many people drive here during the day. Visitors come with the intention of spending the whole day here. Therefore, parking lots are also charged for a full day.

The parking lots close to the mountain are the ones that fill up the fastest and if they are full, you will have to leave your car further away. It is best to get here early in the morning in case the parking lots are full. And make sure to take coins with you. The parking lots only work by contract.

If you arrive here by public transportation such as bus or train, you can show your ticket as proof and get some money off the entrance fees. It’s a nice gesture in return for your effort.


St Michael’s Mount is a magical place with history, beauty and giant legend. The gorge connecting St Michael’s Mount to Marazion offers spectacular views, especially at sunset or sunrise, when you can really appreciate its unique location.