After visiting Le Mont St Michel in Normandy a number of times, we were eager to visit its brother, St Michael’s Mount in Cornwall so we made a special journey down to see it.
NB: Bear no longer lives with us and I’m writing about this now because I was only just able to recover these photos from a harddrive windows destroyed.
Planning the tides
The island is entirely cut off from pedestrian access according to the tides. You can only walk across the causeway at low tide, so you must time your trip according to the tides.
You can plan your trip using this tide chart: https://www.stmichaelsmount.co.uk/plan-your-visit/causeway-opening-times
Parking is seriously limited so I’d advise getting there early regardless of the tides. Parking cost us £5 and we parked almost at the end of the village to the far right of the causeway.
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The first shock was being told to keep our dog off the beach. What!? I thought Cornwall was the dog capital of England.
The beach to the right-hand side of the causeway is not dog friendly (the Eden project is dog friendly). Anywhere left of the causeway is fine but this is difficult to manage because it’s incredibly rocky, slippy and if you haven’t parked on the left of the causeway, you’ll need to cross the beach regardless. I was sure that this was just some old person being unfriendly but nope it was true and it actually got worse the closer we got to the island.
St Michael’s Mount is definitely NOT dog friendly
As we entered the causeway near the Change House, a member of staff reminded us that the area was not dog friendly and we were severely limited as to where we could go. We couldn’t even enter the gardens of the castle with the dog.
I understand why dogs can’t go into the castle but surely if they’re well-controlled and on a lead, they should be able to go into the gardens, right? Wrong.
So What Can You See If You Go With A Dog?
If you take a dog, you’re very limited as to what you can see and do. In fact, you can only really stay outside in the picnic areas and walking past the restaurant areas.
That part of the island is incredibly commercialised anyway and the only reason it exists is so you’ll spend money there! It’s typically National Trust in that very organised, clean, functional but ‘give us all your money‘ way that the National Trust does so well… I’m so cynical!
What Could You Do Instead?
We had the choice to visit the castle as a divided family whilst the other half waited with the dog but we decided this would take a ridiculous amount of time and besides, it was the weekend and we wanted to spend it together.
Instead of visiting the castle, we walked back down the causeway, climbed and jumped the big rocks, searched in the rock pools, ran on the forbidden beach (oops) and then ate chips nearby.
It wasn’t a totally wasted day and we still had fun but it was a bummer not to see the castle and gardens and be treated so bluntly by staff there.
Other Ideas On What To Do In Cornwall
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What Else Could You Do In The UK