With centuries of stories waiting within its castle walls, St Michael’s Mount in Marazion is every child’s dream playground. If you’re planning a family visit, take a look at our practical guide to the island – complete with tips on things to and essential information about facilities.
There are several car parks in Marazion, but if you’re staying in Penzance it’s greener and easier just to hop on a bus from the station – you’ll also get a 10% discount on admission to St Michael’s Mount with a valid bus ticket.
During low tide, you can walk across to the island on the causeway in 5-10 minutes. It can be tricky to push a buggy over the uneven cobbles, so a baby carrier is probably the best choice. When the tide covers the causeway, you can catch a boat across from Marazion – one-way fares are £2 for adults and £1 for children.
It’s not possible to take pushchairs up to the castle, but special hipster seats are available to borrow for free on a first-come, first-served basis. Buggies can be left in the ‘pushchair park’ until you’re ready to leave again.
Opening times and tickets
The castle is closed on a Saturday, and the garden is protected by reduced opening hours, so it’s best to check opening times on the website.
Family tickets for the castle (for both single and double parent groups) are available from £13.50 (one parent and three children) or £22.50 (two parents and three children). Because the island is jointly managed by the National Trust and St Aubyn Estates, entry to the castle and gardens is free for NT members (you’ll still need to pay for parking).
The island has two cafes: the Sail Loft and the Island Cafe. Both offer high chairs and a selection of healthy snacks and meals for children. There are also plenty of spots for a picnic with a view if you’d rather bring a hamper and blanket.
You’ll find baby changing facilities on the harbour (just along from the Barge House Visitor Centre) and toilets near the garden entrance and castle ticket point.
Things to do
Visiting an island as ancient as St Michael’s Mount is sure to fire the imaginations of little ones. Here they can watch for invaders from the castle battlements and play at manning the cannons. Tell children the story of Cormoran the giant and watch them look for his heart among the cobblestones. During summer, they can learn more about the island’s adventurous past with storytelling sessions held on the Dairy Lawn.
If you’re heading up to the castle, get children involved with the family quiz (available from the ticket office) and help them hunt for the clues in every room. To really unearth secrets, ask the helpful castle guides to tell you more – you could hear stories about a mummified Egyptian cat, Samurai warrior and Jack the Giant Killer.
To find out more, visit the St Michael’s Mount website.