St Michael’s Mount in Winter

I have taken you to SMM many times before but usually to explore the garden which has to be one of the most unusual in the county if not the country, clinging as it does to the almost vertical cliffs and full of exotic and tender plants. During the winter months the garden is closed and I have to wait until late April to visit it again, but the harbour village itself is open as is the castle on certain days (you still need to book tickets for this online) and it is a nice place for a winter’s day stroll.

Time it right for the causeway to the island to be open. There are no boats across during the winter months so it is essential to consult the tide timetable.
The cobblestones are rather uneven as you approach the narrow entrance so take care where you step.
Once on the island take a walk along the harbour wall with views back to the village of Marazion.

Look back towards the castle beneath which are the villagers’ homes.

The Steward’s House (below) was built around 1815 to act both as a residence and an office for the Mount Steward. At the time, the population of the village was about 300 people and included three pubs, a school and various activities connected to a thriving harbour. It is the grandest building in the harbour area and one of the few that survives from before the great Victorian restorations on the island that started in the 1870s.

The Steward’s House (in white) is currently home to the Sheila Hichens Collection which comprises artwork by Newlyn School artists that depict life in West Cornwall from that period.

It’s well worth visiting to see how life was lived in West Cornwall before the middle of the last century.

At the back of the house is a small beautifully paved courtyard with a sculpture by Tom Leaper called ‘St Michael’ The abstract artwork represents Saint Michael; the archangel, the sweeping wings, the sword and the slaying of Satan. When sunlight falls upon the work from the west, it casts a shadowy silhouette of the serpent on the ground.
Marazion and Mount’s Bay from the harbour wall and I imagine that water was as cold as it looks.
The Causeway – heading back to the Mainland.
The view of the island from Marazion.

Information about the Steward’s House, the Sheila Hichens Collection and the sculpture is from the St Michael’s Mount Website.

This was on a dull winter day when not only did the sun not shine, but it was incredibly windy too. But I am sure that won’t put off Jo who loves all things maritime.

Jo’s Monday Walk


  1. When we went it was October, and an unseasonably warm one, so we saw it in the sun. This looks equally beautiful in a different way.

  2. I’ve wanted to visit here for a long time and it will be a while before we get there so in the meantime I will enjoy your lovely photos and commentary. Thanks, Jude.

  3. Suzanne says:

    I would swap our summer to be there in winter to visit there. It’s wonderful that people with families are keeping the place “alive”.

  4. Graham says:

    A great tour and great photos. I lived down in that part of the world through one winter and it was wise to dress warmly. Just visited the Mount once during that time, but it is a special place.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Indeed, that wind can be awfully cruel.

  5. Ann Mackay says:

    I enjoyed this tour and it makes me want to have a wander around the Mount myself… 🙂

  6. Cathy says:

    I had no idea there had ever been such a community there, Jude – how many people live there now?

  7. I visited SMM in the summer years ago. I enjoyed your pictures and seeing it again in the winter. Thanks!

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