Tintagel Tintagel Island Tintagel Castle Old Post Office King Arthur's Great Halls St. Materiana Ponies on Barras Head View from the castle ramparts

Tintagel

Tintagel Castle

Legend has it that Uther Pendragon, disguised by Merlin as her husband, Gorlois, forced himself upon Igraine (Igerna) in Tintagel Castle, resulting in Arthur. The jury is out, but whatever the truth there is no doubt that the castle has a long and interesting history, and is without a doubt one of the most famous and atmospheric places in our country. Evidence suggests that it was a Roman settlement and it is known that the current ramparts date back to the thirteenth century. Discoveries of interest continue, including the 1998 discovery of the 6th century 'Arthur (Artognou) stone'. The castle opens at 10 AM; closing times vary between 4 PM and 6 PM, depending on the time of the year.

Tintagel Haven & Merlin's Cave

Below the castle to the north lies Tintagel Haven, accessible at low tide. It has a small pebble beach, reasonably sheltered, and suitable for snorkeling. On the left side, leading right through Tintagel Island (in fact a promontory) is Merlin's Cave. Be careful not to be caught out by the tide if you explore it. The low headland to the right offers superb views up the coast towards Boscastle.

The Old Post Office

A few yards down Fore Street from Guinevere is the Old Post Office, Tintagel's most distinctive building. The curved roof of this 14th century longhouse will have you reaching for your camera. Now owned by the National Trust the interesting interior houses a collection of postal memorabilia, dating from its 19th century usage as the post office.

King Arthur's Great Halls

King Arthur's Great Halls, a masonic hall but open to the public (for a small fee), is the impressive building just around the corner from Guinevere. Built in the 1930s it has a series of 72 stained glass windows depicting the Arthurian legend.

Camelot Hotel

Of questionable architectural merit on the outside, the Camelot Castle Hotel has a faded grandeur and is very interesting inside; it offers afternoon tea in its lounge, and on the terrace, both with spectacular views. Whether or not you go in, it is well worth the short walk down here from Guinevere at some point in your visit to the signposted castle viewpoint.

St Materiana

Of considerable historical interest, Tintagel's parish church dates back to the 11th century, though there is evidence that a church has stood here since the 6th century. The grade I listed building is attractively situated on Glebe Cliff on the way to Trebarwith Strand and is well worth the 15 minute walk from Guinevere or along the coast path from the castle (you can also drive to it). The views of the castle and down the coast to Pentire Point from here are stunning.

Local Services

Within yards of Guinevere Tintagel has a wide range of pubs, several cafes and restaurants, two minimarkets and a range of other shops, both for local supplies and for souvenirs. Lewis's Tea Rooms are recommended for their homebaked cakes and you will probably not be able to resist Granny Wobbly's Fudge Pantry opposite the gates to the mews. There is a post office, doctor and a chemist and Tintagel is connected to nearby local towns, villages and places of interest by bus. The visitors centre has excellent displays on the history of the area and the staff are incredibly helpful.