WHAT TO EXPECT:
We visited St. Michael's Mount while touring the Southwest and Cornwall during late September. It was meant to be the highlight of our trip for my husband who'd really wanted to visit, but for him, it fell short and was slightly disappointing.This was mostly because we were expecting more of a 'town' around the base of the castle itself (Think: Carcassonne) and there also seemed to be a lack of informational signs in the rooms of the castle. (We were encouraged to ask docents questions, but docents were scarce!) Due to the time of year, the gardens were closed and the dull and windy weather that day also didn't make for nice photographs, so if you go, try and go on a sunny day in the warmer months.
WALKING ACROSS THE CAUSEWAY:
I had phoned from the USA way before our visit in late September to ask what time the tides would be out on the day of our visit and the man on the phone was only too glad to help. As it turned out, there was about a 4 hour period where we were able to walk across the cobbled causeway, tour the castle, have a snack at the cafe and walk back again. Ferries are available for £2 if the tide is in when you visit. TIP: Wear sensible shoes for crossing the uneven causeway, ie. no heels!
There is nearby parking for a fee and there is a gift-shop and also a couple of cafes at the base of the castle. Other than that, there is a beautiful beach with kite-surfers (on the windy day that we were there anyway!) and the small town of Marazion ("Mara-zeye-on") where you park is cute and has great artsy galleries featuring local artists, etc.
Fee for touring the castle in Sept 2012 (minus gardens): £7.50
Overall, it's an interesting visit. We were surprised to find out that the family that owns it still lives there. Some of the rooms are beautifully decorated and the surrounding scenery is stunning. We stayed in nearby Penzance which we thought was a bit of a waste of time. We wished we'd stayed in Marazion or Mousehole. ("Mouzall").
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