St Michael’s Moat
Sometimes, being a mother is like being a detective: you have to decipher lots of clues to work out what’s going on. So it was when Little Brother asked if we to go ‘to the place with the moat’. Given that we were actually in Cornwall at the time, once I’d put my ‘little grey cells’ to work and deduced that he meant ‘St Michaels’ Mount’, it was very easy to make a small boy very happy indeed.
St Michaels’ Mount is a small island just off the mainland at Marazion. It can be reached between mid-tide and low-tide by a walk along the granite causeway, and at high water by a short boat shuttle. Crowned by a castle and a chapel, it is redolent of legend and adventure.
In great excitement, we walked across at low tide, and spent the day exploring the harbour, gardens, and castle. The boys enjoyed hunting for The Giant's Heart – a heart-shaped stone set in the cobbles and said to be the heart of the giant slain by Jack the Giant Killer. The cannons and commanding views were also a hit, as were the ‘secret passageways’ in and around the castle complex.
Although we’d been keeping an eye on the incoming tide, the castle was so interesting that it was hard to tear ourselves away. There were lots of artefacts such as a Parachute Regiment beret worn by a member of the St Aubyn family on D-Day; a set of Samurai armour; and fascinating maps.
The boys, however, were desperate to walk back across the causeway on a rising tide, and so, in haste, we made our way back down to the harbour. Although the causeway was still clear when we set off, the water was rising quickly, and we had remove our wellies and go barefoot. And so, we were able to dip our toes – or more accurately, our knees – in ‘St Michael’s Moat’ which made a really satisfying end to a great day!
About the Author
About Me & Mine
Hi there! Helen and Ian here from the Oxfordshire-Wiltshire border! We have two boys who love everything in the Great Outdoors (especially sticks), and a border collie who also loves everything in the Great Outdoors (especially tennis balls). We also have a toddler daughter who is fiercely independent and proving to be just as intrepid as her brothers.
Favourite place in the world:
A difficult one... There are so many wonderful places to choose from... But it has to be Sandwood Bay in the far north-west of Scotland which can only be reached by a 4-mile walk. Last time we went it was a full-on winter mountaineering experience (with ice axe and crampons!) just to get there. Wild and windswept, it's totally unspoilt.
Favourite things to do outdoors:
Enjoy beaches, woods, and coastal paths; explore waterways in our open canoe; go for a big day out on a small hill; go rock climbing; collect sticks, conkers, and acorns; investigate puddles and rockpools; ride our tandem; fly a kite against a clear blue sky.