Snaking across the sands at Marazion the causeway to St Michael’s Mount only reveals itself at low tide.
As a child I was captivated by the castle in the sea in Mounts Bay. Overlooking the town of Marazion and dominating Mount’s Bay St Michael’s Mount looks like a fairytale castle in the sea. I used to play on the beach and look over at the castle, wondering what it was like to live there.
At low tide a causeway appears from under the sea, a bit like the Yellow Brick Road and inviting people to follow the path past shimmering sands, seaweed, and rock pools. Walking it is fun and feels like a journey to a mysterious place. I love to walk it just as the last of the tide is uncovering those final steps to St Michael’s Mount. Right at those final moments it is almost as if the sea is inviting you to go forward.
It is a short but beautiful walk and essential to read the tide times before you go. At high tide a boat makes the journey for a small fee, but walking the causeway is free. There is a fee to visit the castle and gardens.
St Michael’s Mount is full of history and legend. It is said that mermaids lured sailors here and the archangel St Michael appeared on the western side of the island to warn fishermen of the dangers of hidden rocks. St Michael’s Mount is located where two ancient ley lines cross and has been a site of pilgrimage for centuries. It is said that touching the ancient bedrock on which the castle is built will being good luck in a romantic way. St Michael’s Mount was at the centre of tin trading with the Phonecians and the Greek explorer Pytheas described such an island in the 4th century. It has been a monastic priory and seen action in the Wars of the Roses and English Civil War. Today it is the home of the St Aubyn family. So many have made their mark on St Michael’s Mount over the centuries.
The castle was closed when I visited but that gave me time to explore the historic harbour, see the ancient granite capstans, and reflect on the history of this remarkable place. The causeway walk is just 500 metres but a magical one and one of Cornwall’s treasures. It was a favourite place as a child and filled me with ideas and dreams. Today it is still in my heart.
January Journeys list item- Revisit a favourite childhood place.