*Photo Overload Warning*
This was top of out list of things to do, partly due to how close it was to where we were staying, partly because of our interest in the history and legends and also, as an added bonus, it was dog friendly so we could take Alf with us.
The ruins of the castle can be viewed from a distance from the opposite cliffs, behind the Camelot Castle Hotel. We spent quite a lot of time on those cliffs, looking at the ruins, the cove below and out to sea. It was a nice, peaceful and relaxing place to sit, and a good place to take photos from. We did visit the castle as well, but the best shots were taken from the cliffs, sometimes ruins up close are just a lot of rocks.
I enjoyed exploring the ruins, the history was still interesting, even if it is more about the real people who built and lived in the castle rather than the more interesting King Arthur story. Pete and I explored a tunnel that other visitors passed by, and down the cliff edges where we found a little sheltered area where we sat and hid from the wind. One of the highlights had to be watching a pair of sea kestrels hovering over the edge of the cliffs hunting.
The main downside for me was the number of really steep stairs that you have to climb to get into the castle, as well as the really steep hill between the ruins and the town (although there is a land rover shuttle service you can use if you can't face the walk, it is pretty brutal). I know I've been doing a fair bit of exercise lately, but both the steps and the hill were an absolute killer on my thighs!
Below the castle is a small cove with a beach and two caves, one of which is known as Merlin's Cave, in the side of the cliff under the castle, which can be seen without having to go through the main castle, which means you won't have to pay.
After we'd been round the castle we had lunch in the cafe. Choice was limited, Pete had fish and chips with a local ale and I had a ham sandwich with chips and lemonade, all of which was really nice.
I did enjoy seeing the castle, especially the novelty of being able to have the dog with us, but if you're not so bothered about seeing ruins up close then you could easily get away with just looking at the castle from the cliffs and visiting the beach and caves without having to pay to get in. Another benefit of this is that you can avoid the masses of stairs that you have to climb to get into the main ruins.
|Panorama view of Tintagel Castle ruins|
|Cove below the castle with Merlin's Cave (left cave)|
|Pete and Alf venturing into Merlin's Cave|
|Inside Merlin's Cave|
|From the beach below the castle|
|Ruins and view out to sea|
|View of cove from the castle|
|Local traditional lemonade from the cafe|
I had intended to write about more than just the castle but it's turned out longer than I expected, so I should probably leave it there for now.
Follow my blog with