Thursday, 9 July 2009

Mont St Michel vs St Michael's Mount

It's the battle of the English Channel, the contest between two champion tourist destinations. The prize? The prestigious title of Coolest Tidal Island Monastery/Mansion/Fortress Reached By Causeway What Lauren And Tane Saw On A Bank Holiday In May (yes, this entry is waaaaaaaaaaay overdue - I'm a slacker, what can I say).

In one corner is Cornwall's finest, St Michael's Mount, home to a posh old family who chose the right side in the Civil War, lovely terraced gardens, a bunch of retired cannons and a collection of various other cool old weapons.

Cornish flag flying over the battlements. Keep away from our pasties, ye swine!

In the other corner is the pride of Brittany and/or Normandy (it's right on the border of the two French provinces), Mont St Michel. Home to security-conscious monks and sellers of overpriced baguettes, set in the middle of an enormous tidal harbour where they say the sea comes in faster than you can run and capped by a stunning fortified monastery, it's famous for good reason.


Columns by the monastery's garden

It's a tight contest. Both places have exceptionally cool architecture and great views. But despite St Michael's Mount getting bonus points for having seals, many fewer visitors and a lovely chilled atmosphere, we have to give the title to Mont St Michel. It's just bloody magnificent.

And best of all, I could release my inner toddler and go out and play in the magnificent ...

... mud!

So, the original Mike Mountain is still the reigning champ. But do go to both islands if you're even remotely close to them.

Coming up at some point in the future, our favourite UK weekend destination the Isle of Wight vs the ominous smoking lump on Bay of Plenty's horizon, White Island. Green-hilled, historic retirement home vs deadly active volcano. Place your bets.

1 comment:

Kimberley said...

I shouldn't torture myself by reading about the northern hemisphere summer. It's too hard...