Saints & Strong winds- Walking The St Michael's Way on St Piran's Day

On 5th March Cornwall celebrates the feast day of St Piran, Patron Saint of Tin Miners, so it seemed appropriate to walk the St Michael's Way for our Sunday stroll. The weather forecast of severe gale force winds and heavy showers made walking the coast path less appealing.

St Piran was said to have been cast out of Ireland with a millstone round his neck. He subsequently floated on the millstone until he reached land at Perranporth in Cornwall were he built a church. St Piran discovered tin within rocks whilst a fire was burning which released white molten tin onto the blackened rock- this is reflected in the Cornish St Piran's flag with a white cross on a black background.

Saint Ia who founded St Ives is said to have floated across the sea from Ireland on a leaf.

The St Michael's Way path runs between Lelant on the North Coast, via Knill's Monument and Trencrom Hill to St Michael's Mount at Marazion on the South coast. It is thought that Pilgrims to Santiago De Compostela in Spain may have taken a similar route across Cornwall when coming from Ireland and the rest of the UK.

The full route is 12.5 miles long. It is quite straightforward to do this as a linear walk either by having a car at either end or by taking the Number 17 bus in one direction and walking back.

As the route passes close by the house at Knill's monument we missed out the Lelant-Halsetown section and walked to Marazion and back. This was a distance of 16 miles and took about 7 hours including refreshment breaks. The return trip between Halsetown and Trencrom hill makes a good half day walk, the views from the top of the hill are lovely on a clear day with good views of both coasts.


   View of Knill's Monument from Trencrom Hill

A weathered rock at the top of Trencrom Hill with St Michael's Mount in the distance.

Also at the top of the hill are the remains of an ancient hill fort.


 St Michael's Mount getting closer


   Daffodils growing wild in fields along the route

 A bright but windy day in Marazion



Looking at the return route towards Ludgvan Church via Marazion Marsh


  Trencrom Hill in the distance with the signpost marking the return route


The St Michael's Way route forks at Ludgvan with a more direct route across fields starting opposite the White Hart pub. Another, longer route goes via Gulval and takes in more of the sea front along Mounts Bay.

Gulval is a pretty village, the Coldstreamer Inn there has a good reputation for food. The White Hart at Ludgvan is also a nice pub. There are various cafes and restaurants in Marazion with Ben's Cornish Kitchen and The Godolphin Arms among the top choices.