Coastal castle and village described as the ‘most beautiful spot’ in the UK

If you are looking for a trip filled with history and legends with some incredible views, then you should consider a visit to Tintagel village and castle. 

Tintagel is located in the rural countryside of North Cornwall and is thought to be one of the most beautiful places in Britain due to its ancient scenery, where the medieval castle is perched on windy cliffs overlooking the sea. 

Not only is this place an incredible visit due to its dramatic location, but it is also a place where history meets legend as Tintagel is famous for its connection to King Arthur, as it is rumoured to be the birthplace of the ancient king or even the location of the legendary Camelot itself. 

To get to the castle is an experience in itself, as visitors have to walk across the rugged landscape to go across the modern footbridge, which is over a 58-metre drop between two cliffs.

Or, they can climb the 148 steps onto the small Tintagel island to get to the castle and go up the big arching wooden door which once led into the Great Hall. 

On social media, Tintagel has become extremely popular due to its stunning views and medieval legends, and one popular social media traveller described it as the “Hidden gem of Cornwall and one of the most beautiful spots in the UK.” 

Located below the castle is Merlin’s Cave, a natural sea cave which is also steeped in legend, as in the poems of the famous poet Alfred Tennyson it is the location where the wizard Merlin discovers a baby Arthur and then brings him to safety.

The cave can be accessed by anyone and is free to go inside, but it should be warned that the cave fills with water during a high tide, so visitors should time their visit for when there is a low tide. 

Near Merlin’s Cave is the gorgeous yet secluded Tintagel beach, also known as Tintagel Haven, which is perfect for relaxing in warmer weather or taking a stroll across the majestic scenery. 

Tintagel Castle and the surrounding island have also been marked as a Site of Special Scientific Interest due to the remarkable wildlife and flora in the area. You can often find many coastal birds in the area and can occasionally spot seals while wandering the beach. 

While exploring the medieval castle visitors will come across Gallos, the 8-foot-tall statue of a ghostly knight wearing a crown who is said to watch over the area. 

It has often been nicknamed ‘King Arthur’s Statue’ but was commissioned by English Heritage to represent the history of the area – Tintagel has links to the ancient Celtic kingdom of Dumnonia, which existed after the Romans between the 5th and 8th centuries. 

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However, the medieval castle was built in the 1230s by Richard, Earl of Cornwall, who was inspired by the area’s association with King Arthur and ancient Cornish kings. 

In the castle, there is a visitor centre which goes into detail about the castle’s fascinating 1,500-year-old history, which includes many rare and ancient artefacts plus an impressive 3D model which showcases what the castle would have looked like throughout the centuries. 

You can also discover the remains of a medieval walled garden located on the castle grounds, which is thought to have been inspired by the famous chivalric romantic legend of the Cornish knight Tristan and the Irish princess Iseult. 

Once you have had an exciting day exploring both history and myth, you can have a taste of Cornwall at the Castle’s Beach Cafe, which has locally sourced treats of cakes, scones and, of course, Cornwall’s famous Cornish pasties.

However, if you have already explored the castle then Tintagel village is worth a visit as there are many cosy pubs, cafes or teashops as well as even more historical landmarks for you to explore. 

This charming village features many medieval buildings such as the Old Post Office, which is said to be more than 600 years old and has now become a historic museum which explains the area’s local history. 

Located in the heart of the village is also King Arthur’s Great Hall, a museum completely dedicated to the King Arthur legends. It features a replica of the famous round table from the legends, as well as stained glass windows, colourful banners, suits of armour, swords and even a throne and a brilliant light show. 

There is so much to do and see in Tintagel due to being steeped in history and natural beauty, but this stormy yet mythical location is definitely worth a visit.

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