Falmouth, England, United Kingdom
St Michael's Mount
Local Sightseeing, All
Information not currently available.
Approximately 5¼ Hours
Originally the location of a Benedictine priory, St Michael's Mount is one of the most dramatic and famous sites in Britain, accessible by causeway at low tide, and otherwise by boat. The dramatic castle on top of the crag dates from the 12th century. During its long history the Mount has been a church, priory, fortress and private house, the scene of many military sieges and a well-known place of pilgrimage. It was converted into a private house in the 17th century and has been the home of the St Aubyn family for more than 300 years. The castle at the Mount's peak contains fascinating early rooms, an armory, a Rococo Gothic drawing room and, at the highest point, a 14th-century church. The flanks of the Mount are softened by lush sub-tropical vegetation and on the water's edge there is a traditional harborside community. Formerly an ancient trading place for tin and other Cornish goods, the quay is home to interesting shops and restaurants. Now in the care of the National Trust, this magical island is the jewel in Cornwall's crown and a national treasure. Once on the Mount you'll commence the climb up the steep pathways to the castle entrance. During the climb you're rewarded with magnificent views towards Land's End and the Lizard Peninsula.
You will enter the castle for a self-guided visit via the West Door and cross into the Hall -- the living quarters of the Captain of the Mount during the 16th and 17th centuries. Step into St John's Room, used as the private sitting room of the owner of the Mount. In the Armory you will see sporting weapons and military trophies brought back from various wars. The library is the oldest part of the castle, next to which is the Chevy Chase Room -- originally the monk's refectory, where they took their meals. The room takes its present name from a plaster frieze depicting a series of hunting scenes based on the medieval ballad Chevy Chase. Out on the South Terrace, forming the roof of the large Victorian wing of the castle, you can enjoy more splendid views of Mount's Bay and surrounding coastline.
Before leaving, look into the Priory Church -- this poignant small chapel is still used for public worship and is founded on the rock that forms the summit of the island.
There is a very steep climb with more than 50 steps from the harbor to the castle. Wear closed-toe shoes. Depending on tidal conditions, crossing to St Michael's Mount will either be via walking across the causeway or a short boat transfer. The cobblestone causeway and paths are uneven. Embarkation of the boat is via stepping over a series of boulders on the beach at Marazion. Not advisable for guests with mobility limitations. Bring local currency, as many vendors do not accept credit cards or US dollars. Tour does not operate on Saturdays.