The spectre of King Arthur looms large over the village of Tintagel and its spectacular clifftop castle (EH; 770328; admission £4.30; 10am-6pm Apr-Sep, 10am-5pm Oct, 10am-4pm Nov-Mar). Though the present-day ruins mostly date from the 13th century, archaeological digs have revealed the foundations of a much earlier fortress, fuelling speculation that the legendary king may indeed have been born at the castle as local legend claims. Part of the crumbling stronghold stands on a rock tower cut off from the mainland, accessed via a bridge and steep steps, and it’s still possible to make out several sturdy walls and much of the castle’s interior layout.
The village is awash with touristy shops and tearooms making the most of the King Arthur connection, but there’s not much to keep you entertained for long. The Old Post Office (NT; 770024; Fore St; admission £2.60; 11am-5.30pm daily Jul-Aug, 11am-5.30pm Sun-Fri Mar-Jul & Sep, 11am-4pm Sun-Fri Oct) is a beautiful example of a traditional Cornish longhouse and mostly dates from the 1500s; it was used as the village’s post office during the 19th century.
The tourist office (779084; email@example.com; Bossiney Rd; 10am-5pm Mar-Oct, 10.30am-4pm Nov-Feb) has a few exhibits exploring local history and the Arthur legend.