Tintagel Castle

Perched dramatically on Cornwall’s rugged coastline, Tintagel Castle is a site of myth, legend, and breathtaking natural beauty.

Said to be the birthplace of King Arthur, this historical site offers a fascinating glimpse into Britain’s Celtic past, intertwined with stories of knights and folklore.

For holidaymakers venturing to Cornwall, a visit to Tintagel Castle is a journey into a world where history and legend merge against a backdrop of sea-sprayed cliffs and panoramic ocean views.

Discovering Tintagel Castle

The Legend of King Arthur

Tintagel Castle’s most enduring legend is that it was the birthplace of King Arthur, the mythical king who, according to legend, defended Britain against Saxon invaders.

The castle ruins and the rugged landscape have fueled imaginations for centuries, making it a must-visit for anyone fascinated by Arthurian legend.

Historical Insights

Beyond the myths, Tintagel Castle is a site of significant historical importance.

Archaeological evidence suggests that the area was inhabited during the Roman era, but the castle as it is known today dates back to the 13th century, built by Richard, Earl of Cornwall.

The ruins that remain offer a glimpse into medieval life, set in a location that has been strategically important for thousands of years.

Planning Your Visit

Getting There

Tintagel Castle is located on the north coast of Cornwall.

The nearest town is Tintagel, accessible by road, with parking available in the town.

From there, it’s a scenic walk to the castle itself, part of which includes a steep and rugged path, so be prepared for a bit of a hike.

Tickets and Opening Times

Admission to Tintagel Castle is managed by English Heritage, and it’s advisable to purchase tickets in advance, especially during the peak summer months.

Check the English Heritage website for the most up-to-date information on opening times and ticket prices.

Best Times to Visit

The castle and surrounding landscape are stunning in all seasons, but the site truly comes to life in spring and summer when the weather allows for uninterrupted exploration of the ruins and the coastal paths.

However, visiting in the off-peak seasons can offer a more tranquil experience, with the dramatic Cornish weather adding to the site’s atmospheric beauty.

Maximising Your Experience

The Bridge: Don’t miss the iconic footbridge that links the mainland to the island, offering spectacular views of the cliffs and sea. This architectural marvel makes the site more accessible while adding a dramatic entrance to your visit.

The Great Hall: Explore the remains of the Great Hall, where feasts and gatherings would have taken place during the castle’s medieval heyday.

Merlin’s Cave: At the foot of the cliffs, accessible at low tide, is Merlin’s Cave, adding a layer of mystical intrigue to your visit. According to legend, this is where the wizard Merlin lived.

Interactive Exhibits: Make sure to visit the exhibition which brings the history and legends of Tintagel to life through interactive displays and artifacts found during archaeological digs.

Tips for Your Visit

Wear Sturdy Footwear: The terrain around Tintagel Castle can be uneven and slippery, especially after rain. Wear comfortable, sturdy shoes for your visit.

Check the Tides: If you’re planning to explore Merlin’s Cave, check the tide times to ensure it’s accessible.

Pack a Picnic: There are few experiences more magical than enjoying a picnic with the stunning views of the Cornish coastline as your backdrop. There are several picturesque spots around the castle grounds perfect for a lunch break.

Nearby Attractions

Tintagel Village: Explore the charming village of Tintagel, with its Arthurian-themed shops, cosy cafes, and traditional Cornish pubs.

St Nectan’s Glen: A short drive from Tintagel, this area of woodland with its stunning waterfall and hermitage is steeped in myth and is a perfect spot for a peaceful walk.

Boscastle: Visit the nearby picturesque fishing village of Boscastle with its beautiful harbour, museums, and art galleries.


Tintagel Castle is more than just a historical site; it’s a place where the past and the present, myth and reality, are woven together against the majestic backdrop of the Cornish coastline.

Whether you’re drawn by the Arthurian legend, interested in Cornwall’s Celtic heritage, or simply in search of stunning views, Tintagel Castle offers an unforgettable experience.