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Make sure you visit wonderful Tintagel
Tintagel in General
Member Name: Majmun
Tintagel in General
Advantages: The castle, the history, the pasties!
Disadvantages: Can get quite busy
This was one of my favourite days out when we holidayed in Cornwall last year. It's a really magical place with lots to see and do and I highly recommend a visit there.
Tintagel is situated on the North Coast of Cornwall. It's set in a really beautiful spot amongst Cornwall's finest beaches and bays. On the way to Tintagel itself we passed by the nearby Port Isaac and decided to stop off there for a walk as we thought it looked very pretty. If you have time do try and stop here on your way to Tintagel - its a glorious little town. There is a picturesque fishing village as well as a pretty beach and some fantastic clifftop walks to be done. I didn't realise it at the time but found out afterwards that the TV series Doc Martin was set there!
After driving from Port Isaac we entered the village of Tintagel. There are several carparks with plenty of parking spaces and they are very reasonably priced - it cost £2 (I think, well it was either £1 or £2!) for the whole day so this works out really well and means you can stay as long as you want.
We thought we'd investigate Tintagel Castle first while we still had plenty of energy (it's very steep)! The castle at Tintagel is famously associated with King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table and is full of history and mythical tales. We first walked the 10-15 minutes from the car park to the St Materiana's Church which is set on the top of the cliffs. It is a very old building and dates back to around 1100. It's definately worth a look and good to take a few pictures of. You can then follow the coastal path which leads to the castle. It is a fantastic walk and theres lots of rugged and dramatic coastline to be seen. We sat and just took in the views for about 15 minutes - it really is beautiful.
You can then get to the castle but it is a steep walk with lots and lots of steps! Wear comfy shoes otherwise you might not make it to the gateway! Once you've walked the steps and entered the main castle area you come to the paying area. Although owned by it Duchy of Cornwall it is operated by English Heritage and they charge £4.90 per adult for entry. The people that take your money are very friendly and let you know they are around it need anything. We had our dog with us and were worried they would suddenly say we couldn't walk around with him but you are free to take dogs around with you.
Once you've paid you are in the inner walls of the castle and can wander round and have a look at the remains. The castle is in ruins now and much of it has fallen into the sea but still has an awe-inspiring atmosphere and you can feel that it is a place of mythical legends. This is added to by the fantastic coastline and the turquoise/green waters below. It gets quite a lot of tourists here but it's pretty big and only really feels busy when you are climbing the steps as they are quite narrow so you have to sometimes squash past people.
Once you've had a look at the castle you can go down some steps and see Castle Beach which is a lovely little cove at the bottom of the castle. If it's a low tide you can access Merlin's Cave which is worth a look. We spent about half an hour just chilling out on the beach as it's nice and sheltered although it does get fairly busy down there. Also in the Castle Beach area is a cafe where you can get drinks and ice creams and some toilets which were very clean.
When you are done at the castle then you have to head back to the village up a very steep hill. However, there is the option to get a lift up the hill in a jeep. This costs a small fee but is worth it if you are tired/have mobility problems/have small children. We braved it and walked and it's a toughie!
When we got back to the town we had a wander round and checked out the shops. It's quite a small town but is picturesque and quaint and has a lovely atmosphere. There are lots of gift shops that sell King Arthur themed gifts as well other general Cornwall souvenirs plus lots of books. Everything seemed reasonably priced and everybody that worked in the shops was friendly and welcoming.
If you get hungry make sure you go to the pasty shop to get a traditional cornish pasty. I got a lamb and mint one and my boyfriend got a vegetable one. They are truly divine, you must try one if you go to Tintagel. They are massive and full of flavour. Yum! There are also other places to eat in the town if you don't fancy a pasty - little pubs and restaurants and there is also a Spar type shop. Plus ice cream places to get traditional cornish ice cream.
The other thing to check out in Tintagel is the old post office. It is a delightful medieval building that is over 600 years old. Inside, one room is furnished to how how it would have looked when it was a post office in the 19th century and the rest are furnished with local oak furniture in a 19th century style. Outside is a lovely little peaceful courtyard garden. The post office is quite small and can get quite busy as can the rest of Tintagel. The streets of the village are quite small and narrow but it is a fantastic place and I'm not surprised it's popular. You just have to be considerate and sometimes step back to let people pass.
Overall we had a wonderful and memorable day in Tintagel. It should be on the to-do list of everybody that goes to Cornwall. It's full of history and fascinating legends as well as great shops, fabulous views and delicious food. There is something there for all the family.
Summary: You will love it