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The Lizard Peninsula is the most southerly point of mainland Britain. The National Trust manages Kynance Cove, the coastal path, and the car park.

Kynance Cove situated on the Lizard Peninsula is an unspoilt Cornish gem with lovely beaches at low tide and a brilliant clear turquoise sea. Rocky islands, stacks, and arches attract tourists, artists, and poets as well for hundreds of years. But words will not justice it’s beauty. The cove and coastal path to Lizard Point are always worth to visit no matter what kind of weather occurs. Though during summer it’s packed with hundreds of people each day. 

Avoiding Crowds

Kynance Cove during low tide in the evening without the crowds

More than 250.000 visitors come to explore this beautiful stretch of coastline each year. Kynance Cove is packed with tourists and locals alike during summer and lovely sunny weekends. To enjoy the truly magnificent cove and the coastal path as well come here either during the week or in the shoulder season. During July and August, it’s hard to enjoy this magnificent piece of mother nature and the spectacular views. You are queuing at the car park, the climb down and at the café as well. Hundreds of people try to get a glimpse of this beautiful stretch of beach at the same time. Winter can be nice as well but colder. There is limited parking. The main car park fills up pretty soon during the busy time of the year. There is an overflow parking nowadays which takes an additional 30 minutes to walk. So, if you like to visit Kynance during summer or at an awesome weekend, you should come early (before 9 am!!) or late in the day.

Tides

Kynance Cove cave during low tide

The tides are coming in fast. So, check out the tides before you visit Kynance Cove. The best time for heading down is when the tide is going out without any left footprints. Explore the arches and caves around, There are several small tidal islands and rare serpentinite rocks here. Some of them got eroded by the sea. One of the islands is Asparagus Island which is accessible at low tide. Tide times Kynance Cove

Weather and Crowds by Season

The Lizard Peninsula experiences a very mild climate due to the Gulf Stream and mainly warm winds from the west. The water temperature is pretty cold even in summer usually below 18°C / 64°F. The sea is often quite rough – not safe for swimming - no lifeguards on duty.

Spring (March-May)

Flower carpet along the coastal path from Kynance Cove to Lizard Point

March and April are still pretty chilly with daily temps around 11°C / 52°F. Rain decreases in May and daily temps rise up to 15°C / 59°F. March and April are the low season except for Easter. May is already a favourite month for visitors but still a good time for a vacation. Days are often pleasant and sunny. Wildflowers and orchids are in bloom in May and June.

Summer (June-August) 

The coastal path close to Kynance Cove

That’s the driest time of the year although be always prepared for a rain shower. Daily temps on average are almost 20°C / 68°F and can sometimes even reach 30°C / 86°F. Most cottages and hotels are fully booked and prices are on a high level. If visiting Kynance Cove during summer holidays in July and August, you won’t enjoy this remarkable place. It’s utterly overrun, no space for a towel just queuing. Too many visitors will spoil your visit at the cove.

Autumn (September-November) 

Coastal path from Kynance to Lizard in rain

September is one of the most beautiful months for Cornwall and often remains warm. Average daily temps are still around 17°C / 63°F and 14°C / 57°F during the night. Fewer people visit Cornwall in September. October and November are quiet. It’s easy to find a beautiful cottage to stay. Precipitation increases in October. Temps drop to 12°C / 54°F in November. Bring a snack in October and November; the café could be closed.

Winter (December-February) 

Kynance Cove in winter without any crowds
Photo by John Such on Unsplash

Most rainfall in winter however beautiful blue skies can occur as well. Winter is mild daily mean temp around 10°C / 50°F. Except for Christmas Holidays, it’s peaceful and quiet here. Many cafes and shops are closed. Bring your own picnic to the cove. Plenty of accommodations are available.

Things to Know and Opening Hours
  • Facilities are available at the car park opened from Easter to the end of October, at Kynance Cove throughout the year.
  • The Polpeor Cafe is open between Easter and late October.
  • Dogs are prohibited at the busiest time of the year from Easter Sunday to the end of September from 7 to 7, but most people ignore that.
  • Lizard Point Lighthouse is usually open from Easter to the end of the summer. You can either walk from Kynance Cove to Lizard Point or get here by car. Parking fee is requested if not National Trust member.
  • If you plan to walk the circular trail you can also park the car in Lizard village. Facilities are availble here.
     
Where to Stay on Lizard Peninsula

The Lizard Peninsula is such a quiet and beautiful part of Cornwall that we decided to stay here for three nights. We explored much of this area by feet. There are some hotels and accommodations around. Hotels Lizard Peninsula 
We'd chosen the lovely Top House Inn with Pub. We spent each evening in the pub enjoying the excellent food and fresh Cornish fish as well while drinking cider. They have eight comfy en-suite rooms in the centre of the village. Take your full English breakfast and walk the 3 km to Kynance Cove.

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Situated 500 meters from the mainland and accessible by feet at low tide only, schedule a minimum of three hours for the Mount, better four. It’s such a unique place to visit.

Everything on the Mount is influenced by the tides and the weather. In contrast to Mont St. Michel the island is surrounded by the sea and accessible by feet for a time frame of roughly 3-4 hours. It’s one of the most popular and iconic landmarks in Cornwall with roughly 300.000 paying visitors at the Mount plus many more, so crowds can spoil this exceptional experience. If you spend a couple of days in the Penzance area, come here twice. Notice it’s closed on Saturdays and even boat transfer is not offered. Usually, the island and the castle remain closed from late December until mid-February! Continue reading to get all insights for an unforgettable visit at St. Michaels Mount.

St. Michaels Mount in the evening from the Marazion Beach

Each season is special and worth a visit. If possible try to experience St. Michaels Mont during high and low tide. It’s outstanding waiting on the cobblestone walkway for the incoming tide and the first waves. The exposed causeway to the island is approx. 2 hours before until 2 hours after low tide accessible. Usually, once a day and once in the night. Therefore, check the tide times first. Tide Times The Mount 

Time of Day for Photography

Come here in the evening for a perfect shot of the Mount with the sunset in the back.

Crowds and Weather by Season

Most tourists come here from April to September the “driest” months of the year. However, it’s often misty at the Mount. If possible, come on a sunny day. During the day the Mount gets overrun at low tide. If you are not a National Trust member, you have to queue for tickets for the castle. Avoid late morning and midday when the guided bus tours arrive, and people queue in the entire town of Marazion for a boat ferry at high tide. The same can happen when you want to leave the Mount. During high tide, the boat transfer for 2 £ and kids 1 £ one way is offered. Take your time at the Mount; visit the garden and the castle and walk back on the ancient cobblestone pathway at low tide.

Spring

St. Michaels Mount in the evening at sunset without any crowds

This time of the year gives you the opportunity to experience the unique atmosphere of the Mount. March and April are quieter, while more tourists visit Cornwall from May onwards. However, May is still bearable, and the weather may be good as well. March is still pretty cold on average 10°C at daytime and in May around 14°C but can be warmer as well.

Summer 

The Mount early morning at high tide

June is busier while July and August are the worst time of the year. You almost can’t avoid crowds except late in the evening and early morning. It’s quite difficult to enjoy this unique place with so many people taking pictures. On the opposite, the weather can be gorgeous and warm.

Autumn 

Crowds on the cobbled causeway to St. Michaels Mount

September is similar to May and a pleasant month as well, with daily temps, on average around 17°C. The crowds thin out in October and November is pretty quiet, but therefore it rains often. You can enjoy the special atmosphere that exists at the Mount.

Winter 

St. Michaels Mount in winter with incoming tide

December is also a good month to avoid the crowds except after Christmas. But check first if the castle is open. The opening times change each year. The castle and the island can be closed from late December to mid-February. There is a huge amount of precipitation, and daily temps are chilly below 10°C.

3 Top Tips to Avoid the Crowds

  1. Come early morning before the tour buses arrive.
  2. Another option is the afternoon; stay until the evening, but check tides and boat transfer first. 
  3. If you don’t want to visit the castle inside just the Mount; come on a Saturday. This is the quietest day of the week because St. Michaels Mount is closed. You can access the village always by feet during low tide.
     
Accommodations in Marazion and Cornwall 

We spent 10 days in Cornwall. To get the most out of our stay with less driving, we’d booked two cottages on different locations — the reason that we visited the Mount twice; once in the morning for a couple of hours and again in the evening when most of the people had left the Mount and the castle was already closed. This was a magical moment with a memorable sunset. Check out the hotels and cottages in Marazion, Penzance or in St. Yves. For St. Yves check out if parking nearby is available. Bookmark the link and get the best prices for your stay in Cornwall.

St. Ives

Boat and Amphicraft Rides

You get to the Mount always during high tide from three different landing points in Marazion. Depending on the time of the day you may queue pretty long either going to the Mount or back to Marazion although there is a fleet of boats for your transport, often six and even more.

Amphicraft at St. Michaels Mount used during winter

The sea is often rough during winter. An amphicraft was built in 2002 and is used instead of the slipway in the Marazion car park for 3 £. This is quite an experience with space for 46 guests.

Opening Times Castle

The opening times change pretty often. In between the castle remains closed for a week. From late December to mid-February the castle and island are closed in 2019! Saturdays are also closed. It usually opens at 10.30 a.m. and closes at 5 p.m. except for summer; closure at 5.30 p.m. The last admission is 45 minutes before closing. Check the opening hours first if you like to have a look into the castle. Closures can happen due to a bad weather forecast as well. Opening Times Castle

Opening Times Garden

The castle’s garden is not often open to the public. It’s open from mid-April until late September. During the flower season until the end of June from Monday to Friday. All other months on Thursdays and Fridays only. Last admission 45 minutes before closure. If the garden is open one of the gardeners gives detailed information about the garden and plants at 1 p.m.

Guided village and harbour tours are offered daily at 11.30 a.m., 1.30 p.m. and 2.30 p.m. except for Saturday.

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