Of all the villages in North Cornwall, I think I’ve managed to find one that can certainly be described as the most beautiful village in North Cornwall, as well as one that centres around an extraordinary legend.
I am of course talking about Tintagel, legendary home of King Arthur, and stunning Cornish village.
Tintagel Castle: Legendary Home of King Arthur
King Arthur was first linked to Tintagel in the 12th century. The Historian, Geoffrey Monmouth, claimed Tintagel, particularly its castle, as the place where Arthur was conceived by Uther Pendragon, King of Britain and Queen Igerna, wife of Duke Gorlois of Cornwall.
Later, within the 15th century, Tintagel Castle was also named as Arthur’s place of birth as well as his conception, while the 17th century saw the first mention of ‘King Arthur’s Castle’.
Whether Arthur really was born here (or not) doesn’t take away from the fact that visiting the village and castle today should be on every UK bucket list.
Surrounded by the deep blue ocean and stunning Cornish countryside, the castle is very much perched on the edge of the land. This really makes for some stunning photographs!
The castle itself is in ruins, and the English Heritage have done a superb job at ensuring your visit isn’t too commercialised. Instead, they’ve very much focused on the castle’s history and have provided plenty of opportunity for you to get up close and personal with the castle and its surrounding landscape.
When visiting Tintagel Castle, you’ll need to climb some very steep steps up and back down again. And when I say steep, I really mean it with the climb being of a moderate to excessive exercise level. So do bear this in mind if visiting with young children, dogs or the elderly.
But once you’ve made it to the top, the views and the castle itself really are extraordinary and worth it. You’ll even find a bronze statue of Arthur and his sword.
Tintagel: The Most Beautiful Village in North Cornwall
Aside from the castle, Tintagel is truly a beautiful North Cornwall village and is really traditional looking. Decked in bunting during the summer months and completely bustling with tourists and energy, you’ll want to spend a couple of hours exploring the village after the castle.
There are plenty of independent boutiques and shops in Tintagel, selling everything from gifts, souvenirs and fudge, to clothes, toys and games.
And towards the end of the village furthest away from the castle, you’ll find an inscribed stone rock depicting your entry into the village — worth a quick photo if you have time.
There are also a number of restaurants, pubs and bars within the village. When visiting a Cornish village like Tintagel, I’d highly recommend either scouting out some traditional fish ‘n’ chips, Cornish pasties or typical ‘pub grub’ such as sausage and mash or pie.
Below the castle, there is a small beach known as Tintagel Beach or Castle Cove. Although it’s a pebble and shingle beach, it’s very quiet and is perfect for rock pooling, or just paddling your feet on a hot day. From the beach, it’s also possible to access and walk all the way through Merlin’s Cave when the tide is out (although make sure you know when the tide will be coming back in again).
Travel Tips to Remember When Visiting Tintagel
In case you didn’t have time to read this full blog, here are the top travel tips you need to remember when visiting Tintagel:
- Tintagel Castle has some very steep steps up to it and back down again so visiting it may not be totally suitable for young children, dogs, the elderly or less able. Climbing the steps is moderate to excessive exercise.
- Merlin’s Cave can be accessed when the tide is out via the beach below the castle known as Tintagel Beach or Castle Cove.
- Eating in Tintagel should involve traditional fish ‘n’ chips, Cornish pasties or typical ‘pub grub’ such as sausage and mash or pie.
- Make sure you buy some fudge as a souvenir from one of the little shops in Tintagel village.
Where to Stay in Tintagel
There are plenty of small B&Bs, large hotels and holiday homes that you can stay in within Tintagel, some with a small link to King Arthur by name.
Here are my top 3 picks of where to stay in Tintagel:
- Tintagel Arms Hotel: Located a short walk away from Tintagel Castle, this simple hotel is a very comfortable stay. Breakfast is served daily, and in the eating area, you’ll be joined by statues of knights in armour and other quirky Arthur-related decor.
- The Cornishman Inn: Just 3 minutes from Tintagel Castle, The Cornishman Inn is a very traditional B&B with pub and food served on-site and a large terrace and garden attached to keep the kids busy.
- Camelot Castle Hotel: For those of you who are after a bit of opulence and luxury during your stay in Tintagel, Camelot Castle Hotel is the one for you. With amazing sea views, period features and set inside what was once probably a castle or at least a rich person’s mansion, this hotel will properly take your breath away!
I hope this guide to Tintagel, the most beautiful village in North Cornwall, has been useful. I also hope you’ll agree with my labelling this Cornish village as incredibly beautiful, although I must admit that there are lots more stunning places in Cornwall to visit too. Southern Cornwall is also an incredible place to visit and my 3 days road trip itinerary should help with some inspiration too!
Are you excited for your trip to Tintagel and a step back in time? What do you think you’ll want to see first? Let me know in the comments below…
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