The beach at Marazion is dominated by the distinctive feature of St.Michael’s Mount which frames Mount’s Bay, reputed to be one of the top ten most beautiful bays in the world. Marazion itself is the oldest chartered Town in Britain and was known by the Romans as Ictis or ‘tin port’. Its name is derived from the Cornish ‘Margasynow’ meaning Thursday Market.
The main beach which faces south west is a continuation of Long Rock Beach sweeping past the sand dunes of Marazion Green, then the town itself, and Top Town Beach (sometimes called Pig Cove). At high tide St.Michael’s Mount is an island but at low water it is joined to the mainland by a wonderful granite stoned causeway over 360m in length and was once the route taken by pilgrims visiting the buildings at the top of the Mount which between the 8th and 11th Centuries was a Monastery; the Mount is now owned by the National Trust but continues to be the official residence of Lord St.Levan. The Mount was originally called Karrek Loesy’n Koes meaning ‘grey rock in the woods’. There is a sandy beach within the Harbour on the Mount. Geologically it is interesting as it is a ‘granite outlier’ from the distinctive granite intrusions of West Cornwall. There are ferries from Marazion to the Mount when the tide is high.
TR17 0EQ or TR17 0EG On the A30 at the Long Rock roundabout 2kms east of Penzance take the road through Long Rock itself and continue past the car park on the right next to Long Rock Beach and after 1km there is a car park on the left (capacity 120cars) next to Marazion Bridge over the Red River. The main car park for the beach, Marazion itself and The Mount is a further 300m on the right (capacity 370 cars+). A smaller car park (capacity about 100 cars) is a further 280m nearer the town on the right. Coming from Helston direction on the A394 at the junction with the A30 take the road signposted to Marazion and the car parks are as described above. Similarly from Hayle on the A30 at the roundabout junction with the A394 follow the signs to Marazion. There is only very limited roadside parking in Marazion.
From the Marazion Bridge car park cross the road and there is a path through the dunes on to the westerly end of the beach. However, it means a walk of some 700m to the beach below the Town and the causeway and ferries to the Mount. The main large car park is nearer the Town and access to the Mount and is right next to the beach and the way on to the beach is suitable for pushchairs and wheelchairs. The smaller car park next to the Town Centre has a slipway access on to the beach and again the access is suitable for pushchairs and heelchairs; it is only a short walk to the causeway and ferries to the Mount. There are a number of pedestrian paths from the Square and Market Place in the centre of the Town down to the main beach and the causeway.
To get to the Top Town Beach when it is separated from the main beach by the tide there is a footpath access from Fore Street (which is 300m from the Square) down Leys Lane and steps to the beach.
The westerly end of Marazion Beach, as it joins up with Long Rock, tends to be a mixture of sand and shingle above high water but a fine flat sandy beach at low water. Below the town in the vicinity of the causeway and Chapel Rock there is little or no beach at high water but a substantial area of sand at low water that stretches all the way to the Harbour on the Mount. The only sandy beach on the Mount is in and around the Harbour. The Top Town Beach is separated from the main beach by a small jetty and harbour and an area of rocky foreshore at Top Tieb; it is a mixture of sand, shingle and stone above high water and sand at low water. The westerly end (adjoining Long Rock) of the beach can be quite exposed but in the lee of the Mount it is usually more sheltered. Marazion Beach is often much underrated and is very good for families as there is a well appointed play area next to the main car park.
There are a number of safety/rescue points above the beach and at the Harbour on the Mount. RNLI Lifeguards operate from the beginning of July until the beginning of September on the main area of beach only. All the beaches are fairly safe for bathing. Swimming at low water means wading out across shallows and it more pleasurable to wait until the tide rises and there is a better depth of water.
It is not a surfing beach but conditions are often suitable for bodyboarding. Like Long Rock it is popular with windsurfers and kite surfers and on occasions it can seem quite crowded. Kitesurfing tuition can be obtained at Long Rock. The beach owners (the St.Aubyn Estate) do not permit kitesurfing on the south side of the Red River. It is a good beach to launch sailing dinghies and kayaks. When conditions are right there is good snorkelling around the Mount and Top Tieb on a high tide. The rock pools on the southerly side of the causeway and Top Tieb are rich in wildlife, especially small crabs and fish.
Dogs are not allowed on the main beach from the beginning of May until the end of September from 8.00hrs to 19.00hrs.However, there are no restrictions on Top Town Beach. There are toilets next to the playground (behind the dinghy park) and off the Square in the middle of Town. There are a range of shops, cafes, pubs and restaurants close to the beaches in the Town. There are slipways next to the Town and main car parks for launching craft but the launching of Jetskis is prohibited.
The beach is cleaned. Sea water quality on the main beach can vary because of the Red River but is generally good; the quality of water at Top Town Beach tends to be more reliable. Chapel Rock, which has a half tide ferry service to the Mount, was once a shrine where pilgrims worshiped. Marazion Marsh Nature Reserve (managed by the RSPB) next to the Red River is very special.
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