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Tintagel Further Information

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About Tintagel

]A truly spectacular location with an awe inspiring coastline, the cliffs do not get any higher or more rugged anywhere in Cornwall.
A place of legend, a place of King Arthur and the Round Table.

It all starts from 'Tintagel Island' joined to the mainland by a narrow neck of rock. The island faces all that the Atlantic has to offer. From the island onto the mainland the scattered remains of a medieval castle are to be found.
The remains of this 13th century ruin and the setting are quite breathtaking, hence the many thousands of visitors who visit this site every year. Steep stone steps, thick walls and rugged cliff edges encircle the 'Great Hall' where Richard, Earl of Cornwall once feasted.
A Roman settlement was once here with a military outpost. Tintagel is thought to have once been a trading centre of Celtic Kings during the 5th and 6th centuries. It is said that on, King Mark, whose nephew 'Tristan' fell in love with 'Yseult' and so the King Arthur legend was born.

Even at this late date new revelations are being discovered. In 1998 an excavation on the sheltered side of the island discovered pottery dating from the 5th and 6th centuries as well as glass believed to be also from this period coming from Malaga in Spain. Even more remarkable was the discovery of a 1500 year old piece of slate with two Latin inscriptions. The second inscription reads 'Artognou, father of descendent of Coll has had this made'. Who 'Coll' is is subject to much speculation.

Access to the castle is difficult for the disabled via 100 steep steps. There is a Land Rover service from the village which takes visitors to the exhibition and shop. Here, there is a short audio visual tour through the ages introducing visitors to the castle and its legends. Also during the summer there are special talks. For further details on the castle and the King Arthur legend please see the English Heritage website.

The Catholic church of St Paul is to be found here, it has a 30000 piece mosaic within its walls.

St Materianas Church
The church is on the hill above the ruins and built between 1080 and 1150. Well worth a visit in its own right.

In the village centre there are all your usual gift shops/cafes/restaurants/tea rooms/pubs. There is also a visitor centre and the 'Hall of Chivalry'. A weekly market is held on Thursday's.

The coastline around Tintagel is composed of old Devonian slate. About a mile south of Tintagel the slate was quarried extensively for its hard wearing roofing surface. The turquoise green water in this region is caused by the slate/sand containing elements of copper.

The nearest beach to Tintagel is Trebarwith strand. An excellent sandy beach, half an hour walk or short drive from the village. It has excellent surfing and some good rock pools when the tide is out, and some good caves to explore. The beach is nearly a mile long at low tide but the beach is completely tidal, there is no sand left at high tide, care should be taken or you might get cut off. There is a life-guard service during the summer months, their advice is strongly recommended.
Service include, toilets, beach shop, café.
Access to the beach is over rocks and is therefore not suitable for wheelchairs.
Approaching Trebarwith via the cliff path you will pass by 'Hole Beach'. There is a steep track down, perhaps more suited to a mountain goat, the beach is only really accessible at low tide. Quite close to this is the old cliff quarry workings which are quite spectacular, again only really accessible at low tide. There are also several mine shafts along this stretch of coast, one of which has stalagmites and stalactites. It should be emphasized that great care should be exercised when exploring anywhere along this coast.