England Hiking Places to Stay

St Michaels Mount Mini Adventure

Dolphin overlooks St Michael's Mount in Marazion at Godolphin Hotel
Written by Kirstie Pelling

St Michaels Mount Mini Adventure

Kirstie Profile SmallThinking of Cornwall for the summer? Then head down to the market town of Marazion which overlooks the picturesque St Michael’s Mount. One of the joys of a visit is to walk down the causeway at low tide. It may not seem like much but it can be a cool mini family adventure, especially if you set out in the dark…

Night Crossing

It is windy. Very windy. And Hannah and Cameron are suddenly very bendy as their bodies banana around the force of the gale. Not that I can see them well. Because it is dark. But I can’t stop to take a closer look. We have a short window of time to make it down the half mile causeway (that in local legend a giant once used) before the tide comes back. On this summer night the dark and the wind add a little drama to what might have seemed a fairly tame adventure by day. We are like hobbits on an expedition to Mordor before bedtime, venturing out along a slippery moss causeway, heading for a dark mound sitting out in the sea, knowing we must turn before the tide does.

Blowing in the wind on the causeway to St Michael's Mount in Marazion

Blowing in the wind on the causeway to St Michael’s Mount, at Marazion

Majestic St Michael’s Mount

You’ll know the mound I mean. You’ll have seen it in brochures selling you a slice of Cornish heaven along with a pasty and a pint of cider. St Michael’s Mount is an island fortress that looks like a fairytale castle and is cut off from the mainland for much of the day and night. The people who live there don’t seem to mind the isolation – there’s a smallish settlement that even has its own pub. And ferrymen to take you there and back when the tide denies access on foot.

Godolphin Arms Hotel Marazion

St Michael’s Mount from Godolphin Arms Garden, Marazion

Location motivation

Choosing a holiday is a bit like buying a house. Both can pull you in with promises of luxury, exclusivity and a better class of neighbour. But in the end, it’s all about location. If the location sucks then all the pocket springs in the universe aren’t going to give you a good night’s sleep. Marazion, which claims to be the oldest town in Britain, and is situated two miles east of Penzance, has location in spades. In buckets and spades to be exact. This Cornish corner of the world is a magnet for families who come to play in the sand.

St Michael's Mount from Marazion

St Michael’s Mount from the beach at Marazion

Room with a view

There are buckets and spades hanging on the walls of one of two family suites at the stylish the bedroom Godolphin Arms Hotel that overlooks Mounts Bay. But you don’t notice them at first because your eye is drawn to the round window and St Michael’s Mount.

“Obviously the Mount is the big attraction” says Angela Collins who has run the newly refurbished hotel with her husband and son for the last six years. “But the beach is nice and safe and you can do paddleboarding and other activities.”

Not today. It is now early morning and I watch a dog walker being blown away down a beach while more brave souls set out on the mound pilgrimage. But that’s ok. There’s lots to do in the wider area.

Through the Round Window at Godolphin Arms Hotel, Marazion

Through the round window at Godolphin Arms Hotel, Marazion

Lots to do locally

Penzance is just fifteen minutes away. The Eden Project about an hour’s drive. You can also become a human wind sock at the Land’s End monument and attraction, chat with the RSPB enthusiasts who monitor the bird life at the end of England and watch the Groaters have their souvenir photo taken before they depart to wind their way up by bike through England and Scotland. The spot brings back happy memories for us- we set of for our very own Land’s End to John O’ Groats biking adventure when the children were younger and Hannah was a baby in the buggy.

St Michael's Mount from Marazion with the tide in

Ferryman takes visitors to St Michael’s Mount while the tide is in

Or jump off for something Scilly

And just a few miles drive away is Lands End airport where you can get SkyBus flights for a Scilly Adventure. You’ll need your own bucket and spade to explore the Isles of Scilly’s miles of deserted beach. But don’t be tempted to steal them from the Godolphin Arms hotel. They don’t grow on walls you know!

Godolphin Arms Hotel Marazion

Godolphin Arms Hotel Marazion

Disclosure Note: Our accommodation was provided by the Godolphin Arms Hotel. All views, observations and sandcastles are our own.

About the author

Kirstie Pelling

Kirstie is the Editor of The Family Adventure Project. A professional writer and poet, she's the creative and journalistic force behind many of the stories and features published here. She's a co-founder and co-director of The Family Adventure Project and also works as the #poetinmotion producing and performing poetry for print, video and live performance.


  • Ah, Mont Saint Micheal. I love it and have been there several time. Its really fun to walk at night despite the wind. When you get there you feel amazing and I can’t wait to go do it again. Hope you guys had so much fun. Keep up the great adventures 🙂

  • […] stayed in the town of Marazion, two miles east of Penzance, with views of the Lizard Peninsula. We hiked out to the fairytale location of St Michael’s Mount, half a mile offshore, in the late evening. The causeway, only revealed at low tide, is long, […]

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We're Kirstie & Stuart. We share an adventurous spirit, a passion for indie travel and 3 kids. The Family Adventure Project is our long term experiment in doing active, adventurous things together. Find out more...


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