The charming village of Tintagel in Cornwall is definitely worth adding to your next cornish itinerary. Apart from visiting the famous home of King Arthur, Tintagel Castle, and Merlin’s Cave, there are still plenty of other things to do. In the village, you can visit places like King Arthur’s great halls, the Old Post Office and Tintagel Toy Museum.
Just outside Tintagel village, you have St Nectan’s Glen, St. Materiana’s Church, coastal walks, and Bossiney cove. If you are looking for somewhere to drink or eat, Tintagel also has a great selection of restaurants and pubs. The best bit is that Tintagel village, Castle, and all the surrounding beaches are dog-friendly.
Things to do in Tintagel
Tintagel village lays between Bude and Padstow on the north coast of Cornwall England. Visitors usually come to Tintagel to visit the castle while holidaying in other popular Cornwall destinations, like Bude and Newquay.
Here is our in depth guide on things to do in Tintagel Village, as well as information on where to park and stay in Cornwall. Hopefully, we are able to answer questions you may have before planning your visit to this popular destination along the Cornish coast.
Table of Contents
- Things to do in Tintagel
- 1. Visit Tintagel Castle
- 2. Cross Tintagel Castle Bridge
- 3. Have your picture taken with King Arthur Statue
- Things to do in the centre of Tintagel Village
- 4. King Arthur’s Great Halls
- 5. The Old Tintagel Post Office
- 6. Tintagel Toy Museum
- Other things to do just outside of Tintagel Village
- 7. Tintagel Haven Beach
- 8. Merlin’s Cave
- 9. St Materiana’s Church
- 10. Watch the sunset over Tintagel Castle for free
- 11. Try a traditional Cornish Pasty
- 12. Looking for things to do with your dog in Tintagel
- 13. Do one of the coastal walks near Tintagel
- 14. Where to eat in Tintagel Village
- 15. Hotels in Tintagel Village
- 16. How to get to Tintagel from London
- Helpful information about visiting Tintagel Village
- 17. Where to park in Tintagel for the castle and village
- 18. Best time to visit Tintagel
- 19. Tours to consider for visiting Tintagel
- 19. Tintagel Information Centre
- 20. Quick Information about Tintagel Village
1. Visit Tintagel Castle
There is no denying that one of the top things to do in Tintagel is to see the famous Castle and bridge. It is estimated on average that more than 250,000 people visit this historical site every year. Managed by the English Heritage, Tintagel Castle has been a tourist destination since the mid-19th century.
Located within working distance to the village, Tintagel castle and surrounding area are famously associated with King Arthur and Arthurian history. Your Tintagel Castle ticket will cover the ruins of the fortress, island, bridge, statue, beach, Merlin’s cave, and exhibition.
Things to know about Tintagel Castle
You roughly need 2-3 hours to visit Tintagel Castle but add on an additional hour, during peak season. This is factoring in visiting the Tintagel bridge, island, beach, Merlins cave, seeing the exhibition plus getting from the car park. Here is an informative guide on things to consider before visiting Tintagel and what to do in detail.
Where you can easily see Tintagel Castle without paying
Tintagel castle is not free to visit, however, you can easily see it without paying from the mainland. The best spot to see it is either along the ‘easy coast walk’ from St Materiana or from Barras Nose headland on the Camelot Castle Hotel side.
National Trust is not associated with Tintagel Castle, however, it is part of the England Heritage.
Buying your tickets for Tintagel Castle
It is best to buy your Tintagel castle tickets online and in advance, as they are limited. Then you are guaranteed a time slot and not disappointed, especially during the peak season. Even if you are an English Heritage member, you will still need to book your tickets online.
Here is the English Heritage site for buying your Tintagel tickets and checking the prices and availability.
Tintagel Castle opening times
Opening time for Tintagel Castle is 10 am daily with closing times varying with seasons. The last entry though is always an hour before closing time. Due to its location and terrain sometimes the castle will be closed because of high winds for the safety of its visitors. It’s best to check the weather for Tintagel beforehand.
⇒ Another great English Heritage site to visit with your membership is The Jewel Tower London.
2. Cross Tintagel Castle Bridge
The grand Tintagel Castle Bridge is 229ft (70m) long, it connects the mainland to Tintagel Island, and is bright red. It is one of the first things you will notice once you get close to the famous historical site.
Tintagel bridge was built with a 4cm gap in the middle to represent the transition from present to past and history to legend. It only opened in 2019 and was one of the upgrades to the site was made by English Heritage. Before this, the only access to the island was via steep steps cut into the cliff and a smaller lower bridge.
Where to see Tintagel Bridge for Free
While you can’t cross Tintagel Bridge unless you have a ticket for Tintagel Castle, you can see it for free from the mainland. Just like Tintagel Castle, you can see the spectacular footbridge from afar on the mainland without visiting.
I think the best spot to see the Tintagel bridge for free is in front of Camelot Castle Hotel on the mainland.
3. Have your picture taken with King Arthur Statue
Have your picture taken with the spectacular 8 foot tall King Arthur statue, located on the left hand tip of Tintagel Island. The bronze sculpture was designed by Rubin Eynon and is known as Gallos which represents the meaning of power in Cornish.
It was inspired both by King Arthur and other stories from the Castle’s history. King Arthur Statue is very much part of the visitor’s experience of learning about the castle’s history and ties together the legend and Tintagel.
Things to do in the centre of Tintagel Village
4. King Arthur’s Great Halls
For all those Arthurian enthusiasts it’s not a trip to Tintagel without a visit to King Arthur’s Great Halls. This Grade II* listed building is another great historical attraction is in the centre of the Tintagel village. It was built in the 1930’s for the social organisation, Order of the Fellowship of the Knights of the Round Table.
King Arthur’s Great Halls has a Great Hall, the famous round table, as well as beautiful 72 pieces of stained glass windows that tell the stories of the Arthurian legend. Other things on display are the colour banners, grand armour, ceremonial swords, and throne. There is also a book and gift shop devoted to all things King Arthur, which is worth a visit afterward.
5. The Old Tintagel Post Office
Located along the main road in the village is the Old Post Office, a charming medieval building with a slate roof. This historical building dates back more than 600 years and is one of the top things to do in Tintagel. Before becoming a Victorian letter receiving office for the village, the property was originally a farmhouse.
Today the Old Post Office is a historical museum that exhibits the history of the way people used to live over the years from the area. Once inside, you can venture into living quarters where you feel like you have stepped back in time, before heading out into the lovely cottage garden at the back.
The Old Post Office is one of the earliest acquisitions of The National Trust and it’s free for its members visiting Tintagel.
6. Tintagel Toy Museum
The Tintagel toy museum is a quirky collectors shop full of old toys, lots of miniature cars, comics, and souvenirs to purchase. Also on display are dolls, wind-up toys, board games, and memorabilia from 50s and 60s. This little place is a great way to spend some time in the village and it is free to enter. You might even be able to reminisce from when you were a child.
Other things to do just outside of Tintagel Village
7. Tintagel Haven Beach
One of the best kept secrets in the area is Tintagel Haven Beach and Merlin’s cave, located below the castle and island. The Haven used to be used as a small port for ships that served the Cornish area and Tintagel Castle during high tide.
Today Tintagel haven is a dog friendly beach perfect for escaping from the crowds, cooling down with the family. During high tide, the beach is covered over by crystal blue water, which looks amazing from above. When the tide goes out, you are greeted with a stunning waterfall, rock pools, and the famous Merlin’s Cave.
8. Merlin’s Cave
Tucked away at the base of the Tintagel island on the west side of Beach is the famous Merlin’s Cave. During low tide, you can enter the 100 metre (330 ft) long cave and see through to the other side.
Legend has it that Merlin lived in the cave and saved King Arthur as an infant carrying him to safety, then later becoming his teacher. Near the entrance of the cave, keep your eye out for Merlin’s face carved discreetly into the rocks.
There are no lifeguards on the beach, so please be careful.
How to access Tintagel beach and Merlin’s Cave
Access to the beach and Merlin’s Cave is via the steep steps and over rocks, it may not be suitable for visitors with limited mobility. If you can physically get down on the beach there is a nice sitting area above it that is also good.
It is possible to access Tintagel beach and Merlin’s cave for free. All you need to do is go via the coastal path on the mainland just underneath Camlet castle hotel. We used this path to leave the castle and head back to our hotel and found it easy to do.
Checking Tintagel Beach Tide Times
Check the tide times before heading to Tintagel haven beach and Merlin’s Cave. This is so you don’t get disappointed and you can make the most of your time while on the beach. Also, you don’t want to get suck when the tide comes in. You can check the Tide Times here to help plan your visit.
9. St Materiana’s Church
St. Materiana’s Church is a beautiful church located between Trevena and Tintagel Castle on the coast. It is also where you can start your ‘easy coast path’ walk where you can see Tintagel castle and bridge for free. Built almost entirely as it appears today between 1080 and 1150 with its cruciform shape of nave, chancel, and transepts.
The church is free to enter and interesting to check out the Roman inscribed stone from the early 4th century. There is also parking that you can use to visit Tintagel Castle or for the coastal walks. Not to mention it is a great spot to take in the views of Tintagel Castle Island and bridge for free.
10. Watch the sunset over Tintagel Castle for free
What better way to end your day than watching the sunset over Tintagel Castle for free from the mainland. You can grab a drink from the Camelot Castle Hotel bar and then go sit outside at one of their tables, taking in the views. Or bring a warm drink and sit near Barra Nose headland and watch it from there.
Just remember it can get cold, so make sure to wear a warm jacket.
11. Try a traditional Cornish Pasty
You can’t get any closer to Tintagel Castle for something to eat than the Cornish Bakery located at the entrance walkway and ticket office. It is a great place if you are looking for a quick bite and wanting to try a traditional Cornish pastry.
The Cornish Bakery offers a small sitting area if you want to eat in or they do take away. We tried two different types of pasties, a traditional and a chicken and leek and both were delicious. The best bit is that they were reasonably priced and felt satisfied.
12. Looking for things to do with your dog in Tintagel
Tintagel village is a dog friendly area, you can even take your dog to Tintagel castle. I saw lots of dogs wandering around with their owners all over Cornwall, in the shops and in the pubs and restaurants. Even where I stayed at Camelot Castle Hotel, dogs were welcome to stay with their owners.
Where to take your dog walking in Tintagel
There are three beaches located near Tintagel where you can take your dog walking all year round. These beaches are Trebarwith Strand with Hole beach, Tintagel haven, and Bossiey Haven. You can access these beaches by car or even walk along with one of the dog-friendly coastal walks.
13. Do one of the coastal walks near Tintagel
Cornwall coastline known as Cornish Riviera has some of the best walking trails in England. Walking or hiking is a great activity, especially if you enjoy nature. It is a great way to see Tintagel footbridge and island from a different viewpoint and one of the top things to do on the coast.
We walked some parts of the trail on Barras Nose located on the headland just underneath Camelot Castle Hotel. The trail is managed by the National Trust and is free to walk along. It is also one of the ways to access Tintagel Haven Beach and Merlin’s Cave.
14. Where to eat in Tintagel Village
King Arthur’s Arms Inn
King Arthur’s Arms Inn is a nice spot for something to eat or for having a drink. They offer pub favourites like burgers, fish and chips as well as good wine and beer. It is best to book as the King Arthur’s Arms Inn is a popular pub in Tintagel village and gets busy.
After spending the day walking around, we stopped off at King Arthur’s Arms Inn for dinner one night. They used the track and trace system and online ordering when we were there. The staff was friendly and it was a great way to end the day exploring Tintagel.
They also offer affordable accommodation here too, which is within walking distance to Tintagel Castle.
15. Hotels in Tintagel Village
There is a generous selection of accommodation and hotels in Tintagel village that are close to the popular Tintagel Castle and other things to do in the area. Some suggestions are King Arthur’s Arms Inn in the centre of the village or Camelot Castle Hotel overlooking Tintagel Castle.
Other options in regards to accommodation are Bosayne Guest House or The Headland Caravan & Camping park all within walking distance to the village centre and Tintagel castle. Book and search for availability for hotels in Tintagel Cornwall.
Camelot Castle Hotel for best views of Tintagel Castle
We stayed at Camelot Castle hotel, which I personally think had the best views of Tintagel Castle. It is a 4* hotel located on a cliff on the outskirts of Tintagel village. Our ocean view room overlooked Tintagel island and the Cornish coastline. It was wonderful waking up in the morning and taking in that scenery. One of the nights, we had dinner in the hotel restaurant where we watched the sunset behind Tintagel Castle.
While I have mixed feelings about staying at Camelot Castle after reading the reviews. I did enjoy the views and the staff were friendly enough to us. If I was to stay there again, the hotel would need to be renovated or even updated to show its full potential. Here are the reviews on TripAdvisor, so you can make your own choice.
16. How to get to Tintagel from London
Getting to Tintagel village from London can be a bit difficult if you don’t have a car, as there isn’t a train station and the bus is infrequent. The main car park address and postcode to put in your sat nav is Bossiney Rd, Tintagel PL34 0AJ.
Here are the directions to Tintagel from the most popular destinations, London, Bude, and Newquay by car.
London to Tintagel by car
London to Tintagel village by car is about 235miles or roughly 4 hr and a half hours. Driving from central London is pretty straightforward with most of the drive being down the A303 and A30 freeway. If you are coming from Bude or Newquay to Tintagel take the A39, which is a nice drive.
Getting public transport to Tintagel from London?
The closest train station to Tintagel is Bodmin Parkway which is roughly 15.5 miles away. From there you can take the 75 public bus to Wadebridge, then change onto the 584 bus to Camelford before changing onto 595. This last bus will drop you off at the Tintagel Visitor Centre, the perfect starting point.
If you are coming from London you will need to catch take the train from Paddington to Penzance first, then follow the above directions. These lines are serviced by the Great Western Railway and can be booked online.
Think about getting an Interrail Great Britain Pass, if travelling by train to other parts of England, Wales or Scotland. They are convenient and you can save money.
Helpful information about visiting Tintagel Village
Here are some other helpful things to know about visiting Tintagel Village, like where best to park and if it is worth visiting. I have also given you the postcode and address for the Tintagel information centre.
17. Where to park in Tintagel for the castle and village
Tintagel village has multiple parking areas where the public can park for visiting the castle, bridge, and beach with some offering long stay. All car parks are pay and display with hourly rates and some with all-day rates and are all within walking distances to most of the things you can do in Tintagel.
The closest parking area for visiting Tintagel castle and bridge is Old Tintagel Country Club Car Park. Which is roughly about 100 meters away from the Tintagel ticket office, under the Cornish bakery. The address and postcode for the castle and bridge parking is Atlantic Rd, Tintagel Cornwall PL34 0DD
18. Best time to visit Tintagel
The best time to visit Tintagel is during the spring or autumn seasons of April, May, June, and September. Try to avoid the summer months of July and August as this is peak season and it gets extremely busy especially on the weekends. If you are visiting Tintagel Castle during this period, it will take a lot longer to get around and see everything.
19. Tours to consider for visiting Tintagel
It is possible to take an organised tour to Tintagel but if you are coming from London they will over a few days. You can also take tours from other parts of Cornwall, Devon, and even Glastonbury. Here are just a few tours to consider for visiting Tintagel Castle with different companies:
- 5 Day Historical Tour from London to Devon and Cornwall, visiting such places like legends of King Arthur, Celtic Kingdoms and Roman towns.
- 2-Day Tour from Glastonbury, visiting King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, as well as Boscastle and Dartmoor.
Related things to do near Tintagel Cornwall England
19. Tintagel Information Centre
The Tintagel information (also known as the visitor) centre is located on Bossiney Rd just as you are coming into the village. It is a great starting point if you are looking for things to do in Tintagel, as well as recommendations for pubs and restaurants in the village.
It is open daily until 1 pm except for Saturday and Sunday when they are open till 5 pm. There is also long stay parking here for Tintagel, as well as public toilets. The bus stop is located here if you do decide to visit via public transport from Camelford.
20. Quick Information about Tintagel Village
- Tintagel Castle is not part of the National Trust but the Old Post Office in the village is.
- Guide Book – I used DK Eyewitness (Pocket Travel Guide), for visiting Cornwall. It was a great size for carrying it in my backpack.
- There are several parking areas in Tintagel for visitors with the main one being at the information centre.
- Address and postcode for Tintagel village visitor centre is Bossiney Rd, Tintagel PL34 0AJ
- Tintagel Castle is free for England Heritage members
- The new Tintagel bridge is part of your Castle ticket.
- I wore my Merrell Women’s Ontario Mid Wp 39S Boot while visiting Tintagel Village, the castle, and the bridge. They are super comfortable, lightweight, and great for ankle support.
Thank you for reading my guide on things to do in Tintagel Village Cornwall. I hope I was also able to answer any questions you might have had. Why don’t you check out our detailed guide on visiting Tintagel Castle, to complete your cornish itinerary?
It has lots of amazing information on things to consider before visiting, plus top tips like the best place to park and how to see the castle for free.
⇒ Looking to discover other parts of England, please feel free to head to my English Page
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Have you been to Tintagel before? Is there anything else that I can add to this article for people looking for things to do in Tintagel village, Cornwall?
Disclaimer: All views are based on my own personal experience while staying in Tintagel village Cornwall.