Being one of the few villages in the uk, that seem to openly welcome the Motorhome community, how could we not pay a visit to this magical village, that holds an extra special place in our hearts, Today we took a trip to Tintagel, supposibly the legendary home of King Arthur. As we near the parking spot the Memories of childhood stories of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table came flooding back along with memories of one of our first dates…..
Along the wild northern coast of Cornwall, Tintagel Castle is where history meets legend bringing together the ruins of a Dark Age castle with the mythical stories of King Arthur.
Better still all of this comes with the dramatic backdrop of probably the most spectacular stretches of coastline of our land.
Part of what makes Tintagel castle so special is its location. It’s site almost upon an island, just joined onto the mainland by a narrow neck of land.
You need a real good head for heights as to get to the top you climb across over a wooden bridge and up a steep flight of stairs cut into the side of the rocky cliff, from there you can look down onto the sea way below, and the waves crashing onto the rocks with the full force of the Atlantic behind them. With the rugged Cornish coastline stretching off into the distance on each side, it’s a magical spot.
Add to the steep climbs on the cliff edge, some great British February weather, had us both freezing cold and wind swept, luckily for us at the bottom of the castle, English Heritage have had the sense to build a cafe, which served much welcomed hot coffee!
Legend has it that this was where Arthur was conceived. His father Uther Pendragon was besotted with the Duke of Cornwall’s wife Ingraine.
So when he heard the duke had been killed, Pendragon got Merlin to use his magic and disguise him as the duke.
Ingraine, under the magic spell thought he was her husband so she slept with him and Arthur was conceived and like all good fairy tales when she learned the truth she agreed to marry Pendragon and forgave him (really)….
So Tintagel remained a Cornish Blackwood until fame was thrust upon it again, Lord Tennyson’s poems revived interest in the legends of Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table.
That and the expansion of the railway network in Cornwall brought an explosion of visitors to the site,even on a Cold February day the place was buzzing with visitors from across the world..
Climbing backup from the epic coast views we enter the stunning village.
Tintagel is a lovely little village with a number of lovely old buildings including the Old Post Office. The Old Post Office dates from the 14th century and is currently managed by the National Trust. Built from stone with a local slate roof the house was originally built as a longhouse with a thatched roof.
At one end steps built into the wall lead to a sleeping platform. Another legend but “back in Ye Olde Days” unmarried women slept on sleeping platforms away from men.
Could this be where the expression being “left on the shelf” comes from?
Just around the corner is something very special, I imagine you could have spent rather a lot of time there. It is, apparently, a family-run business which, as well as being a model and general collectors’ shop, it also houses Cornwall only toy museum, including ‘The Geoff Cann Collection’ of toys dating from the 1920s to the 1980s. I was certainly very impressed with the wonderful collection of old toys……
After visiting Tintagel Castle, the toy musem come shop and the Post Office we were pretty hungry, lucky finding a place to eat in Tintagel is pretty easy. Cafe’s, restaurants, inns and bakeries line the streets. But when in Cornwall You just have to eat Cornish pasties from the local bakery.
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