Little girls and fairytales. It’s in our DNA as was St. Michael’s Mount in Cornwall from when I can remember. The magic of being able to literally walk across water to reach a castle. It was the stuff my little girl dreams were made of and this big girl was not disappointed when visiting Marazion.
I must admit I arrived in the tiny coastal town around sunset and decided to watch the tide rise over the walkway at least twice before venturing across on foot. After all, how quickly would this water rise and cover my path with prehistoric-looking seaweed? Who knew? I didn’t want to be washed away under some enchanted spell.
Timing is not always perfect so I took a ferry to the magical island the first thing in the morning. I piled into the tiny boat with the huddled masses and off we went to climb St. Michael’s Mount. It’s not a hike for the weary or out of shape but once at the top you’re rewarded with magnificent panoramic views stretching for miles along the Cornish coast and the open sea.
You can peel back the layers of legends on the Mount. There are tales of giants who left their hearts, soldiers and fishermen who left their souls and chanting monks who left their echoes.
The castle itself has been home to the St. Aubyn’s family for more than four hundred years. They’ve even entertained Queen Elizabeth, although I dare say, on good authority, that she was driven uphill in a Range Rover. You can feel the family’s presence everywhere as you walk through the nooks and crannies and intimate corners of this vast space.
The building itself looms over exquisite, exotic gardens and various outbuildings as well as a village of lucky inhabitants who get to live there full-time. With only thirty or so residents on St. Michael’s Mount, you get to know your neighbors very well.
I walked the causeway several times during my stay, each time daring the water to rise around me. I was enchanted, delighted, mesmerized by the beauty of St. Michael’s Mount, under the starry nights and sunlit mornings of a Cornish day.