Tintagel Castle information
Famous as the supposed birthplace of King Arthur, Tintagel's stunning clifftop castle has been occupied since Roman times and once served as a residence for Cornwall's Celtic kings, but the present castle is largely the work of Richard, Earl of Cornwall, who established the fortress to cash in on its Arthurian connections and curry favour with the local populace.
Though the Arthurian links may be tenuous, there's no doubt that Tintagel's builders chose a fine spot for a fortress. Clinging to the black granite cliffs, surrounded by booming surf and wheeling gulls, it's most people's idea of a fairy-tale castle.
Though much of the structure has crumbled away, it's still possible to make out several walls and much of the original layout. Part of the castle stands on a rocky outcrop cut off from the mainland, and is accessed via a wooden bridge and a very steep staircase (vertigo sufferers beware). Trails lead along the headland to the atmospheric medieval chapel of St Glebe's .
It's a steep walk down to the castle from the village car parks; in summer, Land Rover taxis shuttle up and down throughout the day.