St Michael's Mount

...the jewel in Cornwall's crown

Cornwall’s crown glistens with an abundance of jewels, but there’s arguably one gem which shines just that bit brighter than the rest.

Just three miles from Penzance and four hundred yards off-shore from the ancient town of Marazion is St Michael’s Mount, a diminutive island which makes up for what it lacks in size with an enchanting sense of history and wonder.

Connected to the craggy island by a man-made causeway and known by locals as The Mount, it towers 230 feet above sea level and boasts a past steeped in medieval myth and legend. Built in the 12th century and occupied by the St Aubyn family since 1659, The Mount is now in the safe hands of the National Trust, with the St Aubyn family retaining a 999 year lease to continue their residence in the castle.


The Mount is no cobwebbed museum relic, however. More than thirty islanders inhabit the cottages at the water’s edge, and all play an active part in island life today. A small harbour nestles on its northern shore, with picture-postcard houses, restaurants and shops dotting the sea-front.

The island is accessed on foot via the causeway at low tide, or alternatively by boat, which moor in the harbour. Terraced gardens offer breathtaking views across the bay to Penzance, Land's End and the Lizard Peninsula.

The Mount’s castle and stunning gardens are open to the public between April and October and is a great day out for all the family. The castle’s grounds include hanging gardens featuring sub-tropical trees and shrubs, which thrive in the near-Mediterranean Cornish climate.

Summer at The Mount

Summertime in particular finds St Michael’s Mount a romantic, sub-tropical haven in splendid isolation, with wonderful views punctuated by dolphins vaulting out of the luminous waters below. A trip to The Mount is as essential as a Cornish Pasty – no trip to Cornwall is complete without it.

Sean Cummins

June 2010

Last Updated: 28 Apr 2015