A Guide to Tintagel Castle: Merlin's Cave and more

Tintagel Castle, also known as The Castle of Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table, is an atmospheric and dramatic medieval fortress carved into a cliff face in the North Coast of Cornwall. It’s home to many secrets and stories that have been handed down through the centuries. This article uncovers everything you need to know about Tintagel Castle, Merlin’s Cave, and the best ways to explore this magical spot.

What is Tintagel Castle?

Tintagel Castle is a medieval fortress perched on the rocky coastline of Cornwall, England. Today you can only explore the ruined foundations of the castle, which have stood here since the 12th century. The ruins of Tintagel Castle are a great example of what a medieval fortress looked like.

How ancient is the castle? Some stories suggest that Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table may have lived here. There’s no firm evidence to prove this theory, but the castle is mentioned in Cornwall’s legends and is a popular tourist attraction.

It’s located on the north coast of Cornwall, just a short car journey from the towns of Bude and Camelford. Tintagel Castle is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and one of the most important historical sites in the region.

Getting to Tintagel Castle

There is car parking (The Castle Car Park) in the village of Tintagel to visit the Castle. From the car park it’s around a 10-minute walk to the Castle.

It is quite a steep and rugged walk to the castle, due to its coastal cliffside location.

Visiting the Ruins of Tintagel Castle

You need to buy tickets to enter the castle and cross the footbridge to the island. You will need to select a date and time that you would like to visit. Tickets can be purchased via the English Heritage site here – Tintagel Castle Tickets and Dates (seetickets.com)

Visiting Tintagel Castle is like stepping into a mysterious and magical history lesson. The ruins of this ancient fortress are carved into a huge rock face, towering above the Atlantic Ocean.

The views from the castle are spectacular, as you can see the rugged Cornish coastline stretching out below you.

The ruins of Tintagel Castle are impressive and evoke a real sense of what a medieval fortress might have looked like. The gardens in the area are also well worth a visit.

The gardens contain plants that were grown during the medieval period, and they’re a great example of what life in Cornwall was like back then.

You can also find out more about the history of the castle by visiting the nearby Tintagel Castle Visitor Centre. The Visitor Centre offers excellent information and guided tours of the site.

A Guide to Tintagel Castle: Merlin's Cave and more
Tintagel Castle

Merlin’s Cave at Tintagel Castle

The legendary Merlin’s Cave is located in the ruins of Tintagel Castle, down on the beach.

The cave is carved into the rock face and is filled with mysterious and captivating stories. One story suggests that it was in this cave that Merlin received his visions from the gods.

Another story suggests that the cave was used to store the Cornish crown jewels. The cave is now sealed off but is still a popular stop on the Tintagel Castle tour.

Other things to do at Tintagel Castle

Tintagel Castle is an excellent place to explore the history of Cornwall. You can also enjoy plenty of activities at the site, including walking, cycling, or even visiting the gardens.

The gardens are planted with Cornish plants that were common in the area during the medieval period, so they’re a great example of what life would have been like back then.

You can also take part in some special events held at the Tintagel Castle site. In August, the site holds a Medieval Festival that brings the castle to life. You can enjoy music and entertainment, as well as dressing up in medieval costumes.

There is also a cafe at Tintagel Castle, Tintagel’s Beach Café, the perfect place to enjoy a snack or a meal whilst enjoying the beautiful views out over the sea.

Tips for Visiting Tintagel Castle

There are a few things to bear in mind when visiting Tintagel Castle. The first is to come prepared.

The ruins are exposed to the elements and are not covered by any roofs or walls. It can get very windy and cold up there so it’s essential to bring warm clothing, such as a jacket, scarf, and gloves especially if you’re visiting in the colder months.

You will also need to wear sturdy footwear, as the site is open and can be quite rocky in places. The site is also very steep in places, so it’s not suitable for pushchairs or those who have mobility issues.

There are plenty of car parks near the site, but they do get full at busy times. It’s best to visit early or late in the day to avoid the crowds.

Can I use my National Trust card at Tintagel Castle?

No, Tintagel Castle is an English Heritage property so is only free to English Heritage members.

How long do you need to spend at Tintagel Castle?

We would recommend spending at least a few hours here as there is plenty to see and do with the castle ruins, the footbridge, down on the beach and also if you want to eat at the cafe.

How much did Tintagel bridge cost?

The 70-metre steel footbridge connecting the mainland to the headland was built by English Heritage at a cost of £4 million.

Final Words

Tintagel Castle is an atmospheric and dramatic medieval fortress carved into a cliff face. It’s home to many secrets and stories that have been handed down through the centuries. The ruins of this ancient fortress are carved into a huge rock face, towering above the Atlantic Ocean. Tintagel is a must-visit spot if you are visiting Cornwall.

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