The St Michaels Way walking trail runs from Lelant on the coast of Cornwall near St Ives to Marazion, and of course the famed St Michael’s mount. The walk itself is 12.5 miles long; not too strenuous but certainly not for those less-inclined to a bit of exercise! The route meanders along the beautiful north and south coast of Cornwall, and also takes you inland for views of the charming Cornish countryside – definitely bring your camera along for this one.
The views and fresh country air aren’t the only appeals of this route; its strong historical ties are perhaps in fact its biggest selling point. It’s the only walking route in Great Britain to be a classified European Cultural Route due to its historical importance. The path dates back to 10,000AD (pretty old, then) and was used by missionaries and pilgrims who docked at Lelant and walked to Marazion so they wouldn’t have to face the difficult waters at Land’s End. Many of those said missionaries are now recognised as Saints in the names of places throughout Cornwall, and where responsible for the areas conversion to Christianity. The heritage of this route is old, but to us it’s fairly new, having been opened to the public in 2004.
The walk begins at Lelant, and moves to Carbis Bay, sticking by the sea. It then moves inland to Trencrom Hill, then out to the sea again after Ludgvan. You’ll find yourself near Penzance, before finishing up in Marazion and St Michael’s mount. Of course, you’ll pass many more places than this along the way, but for the sake of the article this is just a short outline of the walk.
The Sights and Significant Spots
There are a lot of places to stop off along the route to put your feet up for a little bit and points of interest that you definitely shouldn’t miss. The starting point itself is worth a stop at, even if you have only just begun! The Lelant church is steeped in history and overlooks the medieval harbour. Along the walk there’s also Knill’s Steeple, Bowl Rock and Ludgvan Church, just to name a few significant spots. The peak of Trencrom Hill is something not to be missed; though you may feel tempted to head around its lower edge for an easier journey you should at least try to head up to the top. The incredible views from the top will be worth all the huffing and puffing! Then of course there’s St Michael’s mount – a rewarding end to your day’s journey.
The views you’ll witness on this route are breath-taking and truly unforgettable – that quintessentially British countryside charm and coastal beauty is everywhere you look! There are also many places to stop of for food and drink if you’re feeling in need of a little rejuvenation, and hotels or B&B’s that will welcome you for the night if you wish to extend your journey (just make sure to book ahead).