Steeped in magic and mystery, Tintagel’s connection with King Arthur has made the area popular with tourists, artists, and writers for centuries. Situated on a dramatic coastline pounded by the Atlantic, there’s much more to offer than just legends.
The land of Arthur
Tintagel’s association with King Arthur can be traced back to Geoffrey of Monmouth’s book ‘History of the Kings of Britain’, written sometime in the first half of the 12th century. According to the book Tintagel Castle was the home of Uther Pendragon, Arthur’s father. Over the years countless other authors have created their own versions of the story, introducing us to Merlin, Guinevere, and the Knights of the Round Table.
How much truth is there in it, that’s up to you to decide. But we challenge anybody to not come away from Tintagel without feeling some of the magic.
A wild coastline
The rugged Cornish coast, in and around Tintagel, offer stunning views and equally stunning, if tough, walking. The South West Coast Path leads you along the cliffs, passing close to Tintagel's abandoned slate quarries, where men worked precariously on narrow ledges above the boiling sea. Going east brings you to Rocky Valley leading inland to the mystical St Nectan’s Glen, whilst going west a mile or so, you will reach Trebarwith Strand.
Here at low tide there’s a lovely beach to explore, but time it wrong and all you will find is a rocky foreshore and views offshore to Gull Rock.
Tintagel is a real landmark in history, with an immersive aura that will transport you right back to the time of King Arthur. And yet, even without the history, Tintagel stands up as one of the most breathtaking locations in all Cornwall simply as it is.
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Plan your trip
Everything you need to know about getting to Tintagel.
From the M5 at Exeter take the A30 until a few mile east of Launceston. Turn off onto the A395 following it to the A39. From here follow signs to Tintagel.
There are multiple pay and display car parks in the village.
The main bus serving Tintagel is the 95 bus, which runs between Bude and Wadebridge via Boscastle and Camelford. (Summer 2022)
The nearest train station to Tintagel is Bodmin Parkway, about 16 miles away. You can journey by bus from there, but it requires changing in Wadebridge.
There is no access to the castle or surroundings by vehicle (apart from a LandRover that operates a service down to the Visitor Centre and cafe in season)
You have to park in the village and walk to the bridge where your entry to the castle starts.. Th walk to the entrance is usually around 20-30 minutes, English Heritage recommend arriving early as the car parks in the village can get very busy in the main season.
Yes, it's all part of the castle experience. An adult ticket is £14.80 (2022) or free to English Heritage members.
Yes, but you probably need to be interested in King Arthur and mythology. There are other things to see, the old post office, the clifftop church and the spectacular coastline, but the shadow of the King is always lurking over your shoulder.
Many believe so, and who would we be to argue? Like any legend, there's sure to be some truth in the story, but it's very difficult to prove anything.
A visit to Tintagel is a great way to discover the myths and legends and make your own mind up.
Discover your Cornwall
Long sandy beaches, hidden coves, rugged moorland, quaint fishing villages, deep wooded valleys, bustling seaside resorts, industrial heritage, rocky headlands, colourful gardens, idyllic rivers and a bijou city, Cornwall has a bit of everything for those who want to explore.
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