Tintagel- North Cornwall birthplace of so many King Arthur Legends
Tintagel is far more commercialised than its quieter neighbour Boscastle, with attractions such as King Arthur's Halls- the stained glass windows are particularly impressive. Many shops selling souvenirs and gifts of all kinds. Tea shops, a bakery too, perfect for that Cornish Cream Tea. A wide range of accommodation- from Tintagel bed and breakfast to hotels to self catering cottages North Cornwall.
Tintagel, North Cornwall, however, is still well worth a visit if only to see the Old Post Office NT, a fourteenth century manor house with a topsy turvy slated roof, or to walk out to the ruins of the 12th century Castle- birthplace of so many Legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. 15 miles away on Bodmin Moor is Dozmary Pool the last resting place of Excaliber, Merlin 's magical sword, or to walk the Cornish Coastal Path. In Tintagel village there are also several Inns and restaurants.
On the Cornish cliffs overlooking the sea spectacular views are to be had. After stopping to have a look at the castle remains constructed in the 13th Century by Richard Earl of Cornwall. Cross the wooden bridge to the Island and climb the steps to more ruins. The views are even more memorable with a winter gale lashing in from far out in the Atlantic Ocean. Excavation have dated these to the 6th century, a time when the Celts where introducing Christianity to the county, but likely to have been a stronghold of Cornish Kings. The 12th century historian, Geoffrey of Monmouth in his Historia Regum Britanniae ( History of the Kings of Britain ) cites this as the place where King Arthur was conceived. N.B. It is a half mile walk down a hill from the village so, unlike the author, check to see that Tintagel Castle is open before setting out. A landrover runs a passenger service in season for those of you unable to face the walk back up.
Donít miss the opportunity to walk along the Cornwall Coast Path from Tintagel Castle, west along Glebe Cliff to St Matriana's - a Norman church in a stunning setting high on the cliff top. Views back to the castle ruins, north to Lundy Island, and far out into the Atlantic Ocean. Still feeling fit? Continue to walk south along the North Cornwall Coast Path, past the abandoned slate quarries to Trebarwith Strand, hence to Port Isaac.
Whilst visiting the Castle, wander down to the Haven. It is hard to imagine that hundreds of years ago schooners and barques would load slate from this very narrow harbour. For dramatic scenery follow the Coast path around Barras Nose, one of the National Trust's first acquisitions. Continue on to Willapark and Bossinney. Off shore are the two rocks known as the Sisters, the breeding home of a large colony of razorbill and guillemot, you will need a telescope to see them, though if the wind is in the right direction you might just catch their delightful calls in the breeze.
View Larger Map
On the northern outskirts of Tintagel Village, is Bossiney Cove reached via a longish walk down a steep path from the nearest car park. In spring at least 50 pairs of fulmars and hundreds of House Martins nest on the cliffs above the Cove. At low water there is a large sandy beach, and lots of rock pools for the kids to explore. The Coast Path throughout Cornwall offers superb scenery, no more so than the stretch from Padstow to Bude and beyond to the Devon- Cornwall Border.
Between Boscastle and Tintagel, a short walk inland from the Coast Path is St Nectans Glen with its waterfall. Walk out to the Coast down Rocky Valley with its intriguing iron age carvings. An awesome spot in a winter storm so best avoided if a rough sea is running. You have been warned.
Copyright Cornish Light 1998-2017