Cornwall: St Michaels Mount08:00:00
We went to Cornwall a few weeks back staying at Haven Riviere Sands and decided to go on a few nice day trips. I had a couple of people staying there too ask what places I would recommend to visit after finding my pictures on Twitter and Instagram so decided to share a few.
St Michaels Mount sits in Mount's Bay, separated by the sea from the town of Marizion. At certain times of day when the tide is out you can cross over on foot, with boats available to ferry you across when the tide is in and the Mount is surrounded by Sea. St Michaels Mount is a National Trust property and dates back to the 12th Century.
Once you arrive and have paid for your entrance to the Castle (or/and gardens) it is a steep walk up hill on the old stone paths. Of course this wasn't pushchair friendly but they offer free hire of a HippyChick carrier which made it so much easier to carry Elsie up to the Castle and they offer a sheltered buggy park to store your pushchair. The views from the mount are breathtaking and that is even before you have reached the Castle itself.
Ancient stories tell of fishermen guided to safety by a vision of St Michael in 495AD. It's a legend which has bought pilgrims, monks and people of faith to the island ever since, to pray, to praise and to celebrate.
In Cornish legend, the mount was once home to Cormoran, the fearsome giant, slaid by Jack the Giant Killer. Seek out his stone heart among the cobblestones, some say you can still hear it beating today.
I love reading up on the history and legends behind castles and stately homes so found the stories of St Michaels Mount to be quite fascinating. The kids loved it too and the staff from the lower grounds right up to the castle were all so friendly and happy to talk about the island and Castle.
The castle is very well looked after which is lovely to see. I didn't get any good photos from inside as I couldn't use the camera flash so the few I took where dark or unfocused. At the top of the Castle you can see right over the gardens which are just beautiful. We didn't have time to go and see the gardens but we had a good look from above.
I love how it is completely free to children under 5 making it an affordable day out for young families. My kids love Castles and we are lucky enough to live local to both Warwick and Kenilworth Castles so we get to visit regularly. It is always nice to find new exciting ones to explore though too. The best part of the day out for Gracie and Zach was the quiz supplied by National Trust with answers for them to find in all the different rooms inside the Castle. Once we reached the end of the Castle a man checked all their answers and awarded them with their medals which they were very proud of!
It cost just £17 for the five of us to visit the castle as the kids were free but a family ticket (up to 2 adults and 3 children) is just £21. If we had visited the gardens too it would have cost £23 for us ( £28.50 for a family ticket) but we didn't have time to do both. It is completely free for National Trust members which is something we are going to look into joining this year. If you take a picnic along with you there are picnic areas dotted around making it a lovely low cost family day out.
You can find out more about St Michaels Mount on their website www.stmichaelsmount.co.uk