St. Michael’s Mount is a fascinating journey. Where else can you cross the water by a causeway to a castle? You have to be careful about days and times on this journey because of the tides and weather. It’s best to have a backup plan for the day. The day I went it was too rough to cross. I made the most of the day, but wished I had not left St. Michael’s Mount till the end of my journey in Cornwall.
To get to the island, you must either be there when the tide is out and can walk across the manmade causeway (a unique experience), which takes about five to ten minutes. It’s less than a 1/2 mile in length. You must walk down to the beach that is in front of the Godolphin Arms (easily spotted) in the little town of Marazion. Or if the tide is in, a boat ferries about 12 passengers at a time over to the island. It costs £2 for adults (£4 roundtrip) and £1 for children (£2 roundtrip). You might have to do a combination of ferry and walking. The first trip you take, I would concentrate on being able to get over there, and not which option, as it’s not as straight forward as visiting other castles. You can always walk into town from the island for lunch or a stroll around (the town is worth a look) when the tide is out, if you were ferried over.
St. Michael’s Mount website has a reliable calendar of tide times to assist you in planning. But as I said, the weather can close down the island, so flexibility on the date is required. They also state, and I’ll stress that though accurate as they can be on the tides, it’s not always spot on. You might get a little wet in the crossing as well.
To get to Marazion, the town that St. Michael’s Mount dwells, you can either drive (there’s a parking lot for St. Michael’s Mount), take a taxi (usually from Penzance, which is only about 10 minutes away), take the bus from Penzance to Marazion, or my favorite, walk on the South West Coastal Pathway from Penzance to Marazion.
It’s conveniently located by the train station. This part of the path is a paved boulevard. It is 3.8 miles one way and is an easy leveled walk. You’ll find a lot of interesting views on the way, fields, homes, the coast. The best part is seeing St. Michael’s Mount in the foreground. It certainly builds the excitement. You’ll need about 1 hour 15 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes one way. It’s a good workout.