The ancient market town of Marazion is a great place to visit at any time of the year. Safe, sandy beaches are lapped by the clear, turquoise waters of Mount's Bay and guarded by the island fortress of St Michael's Mount.
St Michael's Mount
Marazion beach is a vast sandy shoreline within Mount’s Bay. Backed by the bustling village of Marazion, the focus of this charming coastline is St Michael’s Mount and the fascinating cobbled causeway that leads to the legendary island.
St Michael’s Mount is the well-known unbridged tidal island just off the coast of Marazion, one of the oldest chartered towns in the UK. The iconic St Michael’s Mount is home to a small community, medieval castle, and church and visitors can access the island by boat or on foot at low tide when the ancient stone causeway, constructed in 1425, is revealed, but only for four hours each day.
Take a stroll...
Take a walk along the main street running parallel to the sea and discover a variety of gift and craft shops along with art galleries showing established and upcoming local artists and plenty of places to eat and drink.
Aside from the ever present view of the Mount, the long sweep of Mount's Bay is a great place to watch wind and kite surfers with the newly improved walking/cycling route along the bays edge, providing a great viewpoint.
Marazion’s two natural jewels, Mount's Bay and Marazion Marsh are home to hundreds of species of wildlife, from seals, dolphins and basking sharks to egrets, sparrow hawks and starlings. The marsh has even been known to attract bitterns, though you are more likely to hear them than see them.
Marazion makes the claim to be the oldest town in Cornwall, having a charter granted in 1257. It also claims that St Michael's Mount is the isalnd of Ictis, where the Romans traded for tin.
With the ancient Cornish name for St Michael's Mount being Karrek Loos yn Koos, meaning 'hoar rock in woodland', and the remains of fossilized trees found buried in the sand of the bay, it is believed that prior to 2000bc, the 'island' was surrounded by woodland, not water and may have been a prehistoric fortification. A monastery was first created here in the 9th century.
However, the claims that Marazion got its name from being a market place of the Jews, (see also Market Jew Street in Penzance) is now thought to be wrong, the original name meaning 'small market' in Cornish.
In 2021 Marazion's council put the town forward for city status as part of a competition for the Queen's Platinum Jubilee celebrations. They were not successful!
Enjoy a pasty while taking in the view of the bay or treat yourself to a sumptuous meal at one of Marazion's restaurants and cafes. Marazion is also home to a fabulous selection of art galleries and unique gift shops
A short distance to the east along the coast is the attractive village of Perranuthnoe, which boasts what is supposed to be the oldest inn in Cornwall. The sandy, sheltered beach is popular with families. It's also a good spot for surfing.
The parish church, dating back to the mid 14th century, is one of three churches in Cornwall dedicated to St Piran, the patron saint of Cornwall's tin miners. At one time there were several mines in and around the village.
Plan your trip
Everything you need to know to plan your perfect trip to Marazion
Follow the M5 to Exeter, and then join the A30 towards Penzance. Before arriving in Penzance you will see signposts for Marazion following the A394. You can also access Marazion from Helston and Falmouth using the A394.
National Express coaches drop off in Penzance from where local connections can be picked up for Marazion.
The U4 service runs between Falmouth and Penzance stopping in Marazion.
Great Western Railways and Cross Country Trains operate services to Penzance where the line terminates. Local bus connections to Marazion can be picked up here.
Marazion Station closed in 1964.
One of the most instantly recognizable landmarks in the country, St Michael's Mount is a National Trust property, family home, island community and entrancing visitor destination all in one. In 1954 Francis St Aubyn (the third Lord St Levan) gave most of St Michael's Mount to the National Trust, along with a large endowment fund for its upkeep. He retained a 999 year lease for the family to live in the castle and a licence to show the historical rooms to the visiting public.
Spoilt for choice!
St Ives alone has five wonderful beaches, with both Porthminster and Porthmeor being awarded Blue Flags in 2022. Across the bay you will find three miles of golden sand stretching north from the Hayle Estuary. Then there's Porthtowan and Portreath just up the coast...
Sennen Cove right down near Land's End is another popular stretch both with surfers and families, whilst Mount's Bay provides endless walking and is often home to kite surfers.
There's also countless small secret coves, ideal for hiding away in, we would tell you where they are, but they wouldn't be secret then!
The majority of shops in Marazion are aimed at the tourists who visit St Michael's Mount, including a handful of galleries. There is a pharmacy, a Post Office come general store and a bakery, but most useful shops tend to be in Penzance. Between Marazion and Penzance there are a selection of supermarkets.
It will take you around 10 to 15 minutes to walk across the causeway from Marazion to the ticket station at the entrance to the Mount. The National Trust recommend three hours to visit all there is to see, including the gardens.
Access to the castle itself is via a sttep and uneven path. This is difficult for visitors with limited mobility although there are some benches along the route to the summit which can be used as a resting stop.
Unfortunately, it is not possible to take wheelchairs or pushchairs up to the castle and even going across the causeway can be difficult.
No, not unless you are a National Trust member. Also, you now have to book in advance, even to get on the island. (November 2022)
Discover your Cornwall
Long sandy beaches, hidden coves, rugged moorland, quaint fishing villages, deep wooded valleys, bustling seaside resorts, industrial heritage, rocky headlands, colourful gardens, idyllic rivers and a bijou city, Cornwall has a bit of everything for those who want to explore.
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