The King Arthur Trail
Discover Arthurian sites and stories throughout the dramatic North Cornwall landscape. Find out just how much fascinating history lies behind the fantastic legends.
Geoffrey of Monmouth told us about 885 years ago that Arthur was conceived in Tintagel Castle and was probably born there. Therefore, it makes sense to start at the beginning of the story!
Park in one of the many car parks in the town and head for the castle ( run by English Heritage). crossing over the amazing modern bridge to explore this fascinating headland stronghold and learn of its history dating at least back to the early medieval ‘dark ages’ when Arthur was said to live.
Afterwards head down onto the beach, and if the tide allows, journey deep into Merlin's Cave, but beware, strange magic lurks in those dark corners.
Day One Continued:
Next visit King Arthur’s Halls in Tintagel High Street. The 72 stained glass windows by Veronica Whall depict the Arthurian stories and you get a feel for medieval feasting in the great hall, complete with throne and Round Table!
After campaigns to keep the expanding Saxon Kingdoms in the east of Britain, Geoffrey of Monmouth tells us that the story ends in civil war. Arthur’s son, Mordred, raises an army against him and makes a final stand in Cornwall.
Now journey to Slaughterbridge, about five miles from Tintagel. This is said to be the traditional site of Camlann, Arthur’s last battle. A 1500 year old high status memorial stone marks the spot. Visit The Vale of Avalon/ Arthurian Centre to find out more.
Today head for Dozmary Pool on Bodmin Moor ( Near the iconic Jamaica Inn!). This is the often claimed to be the body of water associated with The Lady of the Lake and Excalibur. Arthur was given Excalibur by The Lady after he was crowned king. The sword was returned to the Lady after the catastrophic last battle of Camlann.
Sit and take in the atmosphere here, high on the Moor, the last chapter of an enduring legend. Also on the moor you can visit King Arthur's Hall, a large square earthworks near St Breward, the origins of which have baffled historians for many years.
Lastly it is worth visiting the ‘Tristan’ stone on the roadside leading into Fowey. This memorial stone is another tantalising piece of this enduring and fascinating story, that also includes Castle Dore, just outside of Fowey.
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