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Tintagel town itself holds appeal for those seeking the myths and legends of King Arthur and Excalibur, but its main attraction is the spectacular coastline below the town.  The fortified and monastic remains of medieval Tintagel Castle are reached by an award-winning footbridge, completed in 2019, taking you to a precipitous off-shore island.  Beneath the castle a newly installed vertical stairway takes you down tumbling cliffs to the beach at Castle Haven and the chance at low tide to explore Merlin's cave which runs right under the island to meet the sea on the other side.

Stay the night here, and you will be rewarded by the chance to visit the area outside of peak times.  Only then can you soak up the atmosphere and drama of this spectacular spot, and contemplate the black foreboding ruins in semi-isolation, allowing your imagination to take you back 1000’s of years.

The remains of the 6th century castle  have drawn and inspired artistic and literary greats for many hundreds of years, including Turner, Tennyson and Dickens, all reinforcing the fanciful histories of King Arthur.  According to legend, Merlin smuggled Uther Pendragon into Tintagel using magic to disguise him as the Duke of Cornwall so that he could make love to Igerna, the Duke's wife, Arthur was duly conceived here and the legend born. In reality, historians believe Arthur may have been a great leader named Arturus, who championed the Celtic Britons' cause against the Anglo-Saxons in the 5th century. In the following centuries, an enduring legend has been created through bodies of literature from French writer Chretien de Troyes in 1160 creating the romantic fiction of Sir Lancelot and Guinevere for Arthurs’ Queen, as well as choosing Camelot as the name for his court.

Beyond the tourist trappings of the town, there is everything you might need to refuel ready for your next stretch of coast path, with plenty of good options for eating and drinking and interesting and eclectic shops in the town if you wish to explore.

Returning to the village, the Old Post Office is a fascinating 14th century National Trust manor house, well worth investigating for its gallery and buttress construction. For those more interested in Arthur, visit King Arthur's Great Halls a granite building of church like proportions dedicated to the Arthurian legend. With over 70 stained glass windows depicting the deeds of the knights, granite thrones, sound and light shows and of course the obligatory round table, this visitor attraction is an attempt by a 20th century eccentric to encompass all things Arthur on an appropriately monarchic scale.

If you have had your fill of all things Arthur,  head inland to St Nectan's Glen (also accessible from Rocky Valley and the Coast Path between Boscastle and Tintagel), where at the head of a lush valley a stunning 60ft waterfall crashes through a natural rock arch into the forest floor.

The Kieve (the natural bowl at the base of the falls) is now a hermitage reported to be on the site of St Nectan's Cell and is claimed to have been a place of reverence, worship and healing since pre-Christian times. If you can stand the water temperature you can still bathe in its mysterious and therapeutic atmosphere but if it all sounds a bit chilly, with plenty of good pubs boasting roaring fires in the colder months Tintagel town will happily accommodate the weary and hungry as they look for rest from the coastal climbs.

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