St Michael’s Mount in England is renowned for its myths and mystery. How to make the most of your time here at the superbly located Godolphin Arms
When you visit the astonishing Cornwall coast in England, you can’t miss visiting the iconic landmark, St Michael’s Mount. At low tide, you can simply stroll across the causeway to this island where a legendary giant once walked. The best place to stay for incredible and unfettered views of this island, that is home to a medieval castle and close-knit island community, is the charming Godolphin Arms in the historic market town of Marazion.
Giants, mermaids and miracles
Magic, myth and mystery are deeply embedded in the heart of the legend of the mount. The story of St Michael’s Mount goes back to 495AD when seafarers were said to have been lured by mermaids onto the rocks, or guided to safety by an apparition of St Michael. Tales of miracles abound, and have drawn pilgrims to the site from around the world.
It is said that its unique energy stems from age-old ley lines under the sea that cross at the heart of the Mount. People also believe that touching the stone grants romantic wishes.
The legend of Jack the Giant Killer only adds to the intrigue. The fearsome giant, Cormoran, terrorised the land and stole cattle for food. Jack, a young lad from Marazion, made his way across the causeway one moonlit night to lay a trap, and lured the monster out with a blast on his horn. Perhaps when you venture up the Mount, you’ll find the giant’s stone heart?
Where better to keep an eye out for Cormoran than a sea-facing coastal restaurant with rooms? In fact, Godolphin Arms has a deep connection to the community for there has been an inn on this site for over 200 years. And recently, Godolphin Arms has seen a generous multi-million pound refurb by the St Aubyn family as part of their commitment to Marazion town.
The Godolphin Arms is part of St Aubyn Estates that has owned land in West Cornwall for over 600 years. James St Aubyn, 5th Lord St Levan and his wife Mary live in St Michael’s Mount which they run in partnership with the National Trust.
The National Trust and St Aubyns alongwith the 30-strong island community, help look after over 300,000 visitors who travel to the island every year. We do love a good back story on Ecophiles!
My husband and I chose Godolphin Arms for its spectacular location, right on the water’s edge of Mount’s Bay along a two-mile stretch of beach. Also, the contemporary beachside restaurant and colourful bar on the lower terrace sounded very inviting. Godolphin Arms is not just ideal for St Michael’s Mount but also makes for a very good base to explore West Cornwall.
At low tide, you can simply stroll across the historic cobbled causeway to St Michael’s Mount from Godolphin Arms, and during high tide, a boat ferries you across (boat ride costs £2). There’s something immensely therepeutic just watching the ebb and flow of the tides from our room or the bar.
The town, which claims to be the oldest in Britain, is home to painters, potters, galleries, cafes, and restaurants. In fact, Marazion has become the 13th community in the UK to earn the ‘Plastic Free Community’ status by Surfers against Sewage. If you can tear yourself away from the view, the South West Coastal Path runs through Marazion, which is perfect for leisurely walks or long hikes. Godolphin Arms is also dog-friendly, and the whole vibe is just very coastal and relaxed.
Even though we went as winter was ending, we found people indulging in a brisk spot of walking, swimming and stand-up paddle boarding. There’s so much to do in this charming holiday spot.
We were greeted by a very welcoming staff and shown to our lovely sea-view room with a spacious balcony on the first floor. The contemporary decor reflects the coastal theme with soft blues, white and greens. The room and bath are generously proportioned, with a lounge off the side of the bedroom for a spot of tele watching, if you’re so inclined.
We were on a digital detox of sorts, so we ended up spending most of our time on the balcony. The view is unparalleled, the overall effect is welcoming and warm, and we soaked in the lovely, soothing sense of time slowing down.
Food and drink
Even if you’re not staying at Godolphin Arms, we’d highly recommend a meal here. Choose a bottle from their extensive wine list, and you’re in foodie heaven.
Pop out into the bar for a pint as the sun sets against the backdrop of the Mount, and it’s a glorious sight.
Godolphin Arms is focused on food that is local, seasonal and sustainable. We were probably among the first to try their new menu, and from Cajun Calamari to Cornish mussels, the food was fresh and simply divine. The portions are hearty, and the reasonable prices reflect very good value for money.
Breakfast was another leisurely meal with a view. The staff was extremely friendly and helpful, we never felt rushed or were made to wait for anything. Cornwall has high hospitality standards, and we were delighted with the professionalism and warmth of the hospitality at Godolphin Arms.
We would highly recommend a stay at Godolphin Arms for the enviable location and the fabulous hospitality. We just wanted to relax, explore at an unhurried pace and let the sea work its magic. And we found that cheerful vibe in spades here. When we wanted a bit of buzz, we popped over to the bar, when we fancied some quiet quality time, we chilled out on the terrace of our room.
It was easy to walk to St Michael’s Mount, wander around the town and just do nothing when we felt like it. We emerged rejuvenated and ready to take on London again – though I’m pretty sure we’ll be back in no time!