Thursday 16 May 2019

A Walk With Stunning Views At Tintagel, Cornwall: King Arthur Country - 20 Photos

A lovely walk at Tintagel with stunning views

The 20 photos today were snapped while on a quite special circular walk at Tintagel, Cornwall. It's only about 3.5 miles but it takes in a cliff castle - often known as King Arthur's castle - stunning coastal views, an old church and the south-west coastal path. It's quite up and down - well actually it's down and then up again but it's worth the effort.

The starting point is the cliff top St. Materiana's church - photo below- where there is a convenient car park. It is believed that the church is 11th or 12th century though there have been various alterations since then. It's worth a visit

St Materiana's church, Tintagel, Cornwall

From the church it's a right turn along the coastal path. Within a short distance a flat topped island can be seen. This is the home of Tintagel Castle (King Arthur's castle) - 250 feet above sea level. 

The flat topped island on which Tintagel Castle sits

Following the path brings glimpses of the castle - much of it in ruins. The photo below shows the height of the building and also the small bridge that separates the island and castle from the mainland.

First view of King Arthur's Tintagel Castle

Another view from on high.

Looking across to ruins of Tintagel Castle

Below can be seen one of the castle walls looking out to sea. Keep following the path, but it's time to start going downhill.

Looking across to parts of King Arthur's Tintagel Castle

The path leads to steps - quite a lot of them - which takes walkers down to sea level and also to the entrance of Tintagel Castle - there is an entrance fee.

Steps down to sea level and entrance to King Arthur's Castle at Tintagel

Walking down the steps emphasises the height of the cliffs. High, on the opposite side of the valley is the Camelot Castle Hotel.

Camelot Hotel, Tintagel, Cornwall high on the cliff top

At last down to sea level.

Sea at Tintagel, Cornwall

From here, on the small beach, there is Merlin's Cave - everything seems to be linked to King Arthur in Tintagel.

One version of the story is that is that King Arthur was conceived at the castle. His father, supposedly Uther Pendragon, the king of much of England, had a dalliance with Ygerna (or Igraine) the wife of Gorlois, the Duke of Cornwall. It's a long story but eventually the two were able to marry and Arthur's birth was legitimised. It is also claimed that King Arthur was born in the castle.

But there are many other stories. In Alfred Lord Tennyson's Idylls of the King, for example, he describes how the waves of the sea brought the infant Arthur ashore to Merlin. Thus the cave below is associated with Merlin and King Arthur.

Merlin's Cave, Tintagel, Cornwall

But time to get walking again: cross the bridge over a stream by the small beach and start climbing - with a promise of lovely coastal views to follow.

Coast path at Tintagel

But, first, a view looking back at the path just travelled ...

South west coastal path at Tintagel, Cornwall

... and a view again of Merlin's Cave and also walls of King Arthur's Tintagel Castle.
Looking down on Merlin's cave, Tintagel

Another scene looking back towards the castle.

View of bridge and steps leading to Tintagel Castle

Keep walking upward along the coast path, it's quite a steep climb to the Barras Nose headland but from here there are wonderful coastal scenes.

Stunning views of coast from coastal path, Tintagel

The day of our walk the weather wasn't that great ...

Views of cliffs from coastal path at Tintagel, Cornwall

... but the coast still looks magnificent, almost mystical. 

Cliff top views from cliffs at Tintagel, Cornwall

We were tempted to walk further along the coastal path but followed the circular walk taking the path inland.

Footpath sign and footpath leading to Tintagel village, Cornwall

The final photo of the walk. From the gate keep on until Tintagel village is reached. Walk through the main road, turning right at the church sign, where the car was parked. It's a bit of an uphill road!

Gate and looking back at path to cliffs at Tintagel

It's quite easy to include a tour of Tintagel Castle within the walk as it's only a small detour to the entrance - the cost is around £10 for adults unless English Heritage members. Note though that the castle will be closed for some essential maintenance during 2019, so check their website for details of when they are open.

I snapped the photo below of the castle on a previous visit - and on a very sunny day!


  1. Great views on this walk Mike, lovely photos.

    1. Hello David, wasn't the best of days when we did the walk but the views are quite magnificent. Best wishes.



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