Ever heard of St. Michael’s Mount? No? I’m not too surprised, very few have. But maybe you’ve heard of Le Mont Saint-Michel in Normandy, France? If you haven’t, allow me to fill you in. This stunning island is topped with a castle-esque medieval monastery that would make the most beautiful fairytale princess turn green with envy. It is among France’s most stunning sights, and one of the most visited tourist attractions.
But I bet you didn’t know this little secret. This extraordinary fantasy castle-island actually has a twin. Yes, it’s true!
The Secret of St. Michael’s Mount
What is St. Michael’s Mount?
Located in Cornwall, England, meet St. Michael’s Mount. St. Michael’s Mount is the smaller, and less attention seeking, twin to France’s, Mont Saint-Michel. Perched on top of the island is a castle-turned monastery, that you can walk through and tour. Recently I made a visit to St. Michael’s Mount, and it was one I will treasure forever.
Besides the island’s obvious photo-op, the real intrigue and appeal is that these islands are tidal islands. Don’t know what that is? Keep reading, it gets good!
Basically it means, at high tide the island is well, an island. The only way to reach the castle is by taking a ride (for a small fee) with the boatmen. They will ferry you across the water to the island.
However at low tide, the ocean slowly but surely, drifts back out to sea. When this happens, an ancient, cobblestone causeway is revealed. This causeway actually allows visitors to walk across to the castle. The experience is truly magical!
Causeway Opening Times
Since the tidal movements vary depending on the date and time of year, I unfortunately can’t provide specific times for you. I’d recommend checking out the St. Michael’s Mount visitor site (under causeway opening times) before the day of your visit. This way you can plan ahead, and aren’t waiting around for the ocean to do its thing.
- For the complete experience, I recommend to take a boat out to the island at high tide, and then walk across at low tide.
- The monastery is quite small and shouldn’t take more than an hour or two to explore.
- And if you get hungry during your visit, no worries. There are dining options on the island. 😉
- Be sure to find the giant’s stone heart hidden in the cobblestones walkway. You’ll see it as make your way up to the castle.
- Also be sure to make a romantic wish touching the bedrock stone at the mount’s highest point.
St. Michael’s Mount was one of my favorite experiences in England! Take in the magic of the island and enjoy your trip. 🙂
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Have you been to St. Michael’s Mount? Let me know in the comments below!