St Michael’s Mount is set to extend its Local’s Pass to ensure free entry onto the Mount all year round for anyone from the West Penwith parishes that ring the historic island.
The Local’s Pass was first introduced as the Marazion Pass after the Covid-19 pandemic forced St Michael’s Mount to limit the number of people visiting the island.
After a 12-month trial with free access available to anyone living in Marazion, the scheme is to be opened to anyone living in the parishes from Sennen in the west to St Hilary and St Erth in the east.
That means that people living locally will be able to visit the harbour and village for free whenever the Mount is open for business.
Residents from the 16 parishes of Sennen; St Just; St Levan; St Buryan, Lamorna and Paul; Sancreed; Morvah; Madron; Marazion; Zennor; Penzance; Perranuthnoe; Ludgvan; St Hilary; St Erth; Towednack can now apply for a Local’s Pass on the day they visit the island.
Access for all other visitors to the island during the months of May to September will continue to be only with a castle or garden ticket. From October to April access to the harbour and village will be free for all visitors.
Ticket-only visiting has significantly reduced pressure on the island’s infrastructure and its team, made visiting the island more enjoyable and lessened traffic congestion in Marazion.
St Aubyn Estates chief executive Harvey Thomas said:
“During the early part of the pandemic, we had to make decisions to protect the Mount in a hurry. Making the island ticket only was vital. We were always aware that this impacted our local community.
“We introduced the local’s pass and included everyone living on our immediate doorstep, in Marazion, with a commitment to review the success of the system and, having operated it for 12 months, it’s clear that we can widen it out.
“We know that many people living in West Cornwall have a strong connection with the Mount – it’s part of the sense of place that we all feel.
“The extended pass will mean that anyone who lives within the 16 parishes around the Mount, the people who see the Mount every day, can apply for a pass and visit any time when we’re open to the public.”
The Mount’s access arrangements will continue to be reviewed to ensure that the sensitive infrastructure of the Mount, which is also home and workplace to its own small community, are protected.
People living outside the 16 parishes can still apply for a Mount Memories Pass, these single-use passes are available on application to anyone who feels a special emotional tie to the island.
Applicants for a Local’s Pass just need to show proof of primary residency – a driving license, bank statement or an electoral roll polling card – at the Change House on the Mount’s harbour front the first time they visit, when staff take a photograph and issue a pass. This should only take a few minutes.
The pass will be renewable every three years.