Cornwall is full of travel treasures and St. Michael’s Mount is one of them!
This tidal island is in Mount’s Bay off the coast of Marazion and has been home to the St Aubyn family since 1650 and is now managed by the National Trust.
I’ve been wanting to go to this beautiful island for many years and feel I’ve definitely ticked this off my travel bucket list.
Headed to Cornwall, put this on your visit list, here’s why…
The weather wasn’t great on the day we visited so I wrapped up for the elements and I am so glad I did.
Getting to St. Michael’s Mount
At low tide you can kick off your shoes and walk between the island and the mainland but at any other time you’re going to need a boat.
It’s a short little 10 minute bob between the mainland and the island and it really feels like you’re on a mini adventure.
Finding the Giant’s Heart
After reaching the island and exploring the village, harbour and entrance, you need to walk up the steep hill to reach the castle.
Top tip – wear really good, grippy shoes, it was raining when we went and it was quite slippery.
There’s a really cool story that we were told when we got our tickets at reception, that gave us something to look for when we walked up the cobbled hill to the castle – the giant’s heart.
According to legend, and that’s how all good stories start, in the sixth century prior to the castle being built St. Michael’s Mount was home to a giant.
The giant was 18-foot tall called Cormoran, he lived in a cave and terrorised local residents for treasure and to eat their cattle and children.
One day a young farmer’s son called Jack dug a big pit, concealed it and then lured the giant into the trap. Jack killed the giant with a giant axe which earned him the name ‘Jack the Giant Killer’.
It’s said the heart of the giant was left on the island and you can see it in the cobbles when walking up the hill to the castle entrance.
Did we hunt down the giant’s heart? We sure did!
Myths and legends are so enchanting and it really brought the beginning of our day on the island alive.
The castle itself is surrounded by cannons but it’s really up high on the very top of the island so the views from it are amazing.
Inside the castle is majestic, it has so many different areas, and a notable grand hall which is actually fairly small and where the family still have Christmas dinner which is so intimate. It has the most gorgeous windows and architectural features.
My favourite room is a toss up between that grand hall or the room full of all the items brought back from the family trips over the years.
From my trips I’ll bring home fridge magnets and postcards, from theirs they bring swords and samurai suits!
It was so interesting learning about the family and the history of the castle, it’s clearly much loved and the heart of the local community.
There’s also a gorgeous terrace area where you can look out across the sea and it genuinely made me feel like a princess stood at the top of a tower. The view is a perfect panorama from Lamorna to the Lizard.
When you looked down you could see the tiered garden and the waves lapping the shore, it was the most bizarre but spectacular view.
It started to drizzle with rain at this point and it felt very freeing to be stood up there, the wind in your hair. It was still and quiet apart from being a bit windy every now and then.
There is a lot in the house to explore from the Map Room to the Library, Garrison Room and the Long Passage.
It’s really well looked after and it’s just full of interesting stories like a visit from HM the Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh in 2013 and other royals throughout history.
The chapel was very beautiful too and it was weirdly at the very top of the castle, I didn’t expect it to be there at all!
We happened to go very early and one of the family was showing some guests around and that really made it feel like a family home as they pointed out items they’d brought back from a variety of trips.
Don’t judge me for what I’m about to say, we did happen to lurk a little to eavesdrop on a couple of the cool stories the family member was telling because it was so interesting – I’m pretty sure you might have done the same. In my defence he was speaking really loudly so we only really had to stand in the same room. 😂😂😂
Soaking up the history and hearing the many stories, film appearances and legends from the exhibitions and staff was a really fun addition to our trip. I can really see the appeal of being a part of the local community. They have beach BBQs in the summer, round the island swims and bonfire night fireworks and it feels like something you’d want to be a part of.
There’s so much to do on the island and you can easily spend a day there exploring the castle and grounds. We never made it to the cafe either which looked lovely!
We had a wonderful day here as part of our Cornish travels and there’s just too much to squeeze into a blog to do it justice. If you’re in the area this is a wonderful trip and it’s part of the National Trust so you can use your membership too if you have one.