Tintagel, situated in the centre of a rugged and romantic coastline, is the Mecca of every traveller who wanders into the West. The legendary connection with the life of the mystic King Arthur, is undoubtedly one of the reasons for the attraction the village exerts. Yet the group of old and modern houses on the bare upland half a mile inland, the isolated church, and the gigantic headlands with their majestic cliffs falling steeply to the never-ending roar of the Atlantic breakers, hold in themselves the mysterious charm of Cornwall, old and new. Its bleakness and its humanity, its openness and its ancient scenery. The castle ruins which tradition has associated with King Arthur and his Knights, awaken the enthusiasm of sightseers from the world over, but what binds them to Tintagel is the spirit of Cornwall which the place expresses. And if they are very modern and not open to that spirit there is so much for them to love.
Built half on the mainland and half on a jagged headland projecting into the Cornish sea, Tintagel Castle is one of the most spectacular historic sites in Britain. Its association with King Arthur makes it also one of the most famous.
But the history of this enigmatic place stretches back centuries before the first tales of the legendary king shrouded it in the mists of romance. Find out more about Tintagel's history and legends below.
Cornwall boasts a 300 mile section of The South West Coast Path and the sheer variety of the Coast Path means that there are plenty of gentle stretches as well as dramatic headlands, steep coastal valleys, sheltered estuaries, busy harbours, intimate coves, moorlands and sandy beaches.
A walk around Tintagel, made a romantic destination for Victorian tourists by poets such as Tennyson, whose 'Idyll of the Kings' set the tale of King Arthur in what is still one of Britain's most visited resorts. A brilliant walk for children, who will love the atmospheric ruins of 'King Arthur's castle' on Tintagel Island. A great walk in springtime, when the sea is blue in the bright sunshine and there are primroses and new scrolls of bracken under the gorse and the blossoming thorn bushes. In autumn it's at its best on a windy day, when flocks of fulmars and kittiwakes stream by on their way south, and gannets can be seen offshore.
Just a mile along the road from Tintagel towards Boscastle there lies Bossiney Cove, a beautiful hidden gem.
The cove has a small sandy beach which is completely covered by the tide at high water and access to the beach is via a footpath over farmland and then by steep steps, a route which is not suitable for wheelchairs or push chairs. From the beach see if you can spot Elephant Rock hidden in the cliff face.
At the right hand side of the cove there is a great cave to explore that is about 60 feet high at the entrance but only 15-20 feet wide. It opens up into a large cavern with two more caverns which become very dark. The cave continues after this point but the floor becomes rock and very uneven.
The ever popular beach of Trebarwith Strand is located around two miles south of Tintagel. It is one of the few easily accessible beaches along this stretch of North Cornwall coast. Now owned by the National Trust the name comes from the Cornish 'Trebervedh Sian'.
The beach at Trebarwith Strand is a long stretch of golden sand backed by flat rocks and beyond these steep cliffs. At low tide the beach extends almost a mile, however as the tide pushes in this all but disappears leaving just the rocks at the base of the cliffs. If you do visit the beach make sure you check the tides before going for a walk - each year a number of people need rescuing after becoming cut off by the tide.
One of the most popular recreational routes in the country, the Camel Trail runs from Padstow to Wenford Bridge, via Wadebridge and Bodmin.
The trail passes through the wooded countryside of the upper Camel Valley and alongside the picturesque Camel Estuary - a paradise for birdwatchers.
The largely traffic-free trail follows the route of an old railway line once used by the London and South West Railway.
It's ideal for family cycling as its fairly level all the way and the views of moorland, woodland and estuary are spectacular.
The route runs through both a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and a Special Area of Conservation (SAC).
It's a great place to spot otters, bats, dormice, kingfishers, little egrets, marsh orchids and marsh marigolds. The trail is used by walkers, joggers, cyclists and horse-riders.
Once the holiday home of Edward VIII, Rock is renowned as one of the major water-sport centres in Cornwall - sailing, windsurfing, water skiing, canoeing and rowing are all activities, which can be carried out in the relatively calm waters of the estuary. At high tide you can hire a paddleboard for some great exercise on the flat water.
For the less active, Rock is just a great place to find a seat, enjoy a drink and watch the world go by, or take the short ferry ride across to the delightful fishing port of Padstow. Dog-friendly year round, at low-tide a mile of golden sand leads round to the popular bathing beach of Daymer Bay. While a network of coastal paths allows visitors to further explore the stunning coastline by foot.