Tag: tintagel castle

Visiting Tintagel Castle

The sky was a brilliant blue and the sun shone hotly on the day we decided to visit Tintagel Castle. The perfect weather to be climbing a steep cliff!

So I will admit it. Although Tintagel Castle is surrounded in history and legend, I really wasn’t aware of its’ existence until Gareth decided we were going there. The main lure for me was that it’s an English Heritage site and we get in to those for free. I wasn’t expecting much.

Situated in the picturesque village of Tintagel, the iconic castle is famed for its’ links with King Arthur (Geoffrey Monmouth named it as the place King Arthur was conceived.) The ruins sit high up on a cliff overlooking the sea. There’s a small beach there too, with the famous Merlin’s cave tunnelling in to the rock face.

Gareth laughed at my need to stop for a cappuccino at a homely looking cafe. And for then clutching on to it for dear life as we descended an impossibly steep hill on the footpath to the castle. (Obviously London, he poked fun at me.)

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As we rounded the corner we were greeted with the welcoming site of the sea. Shouldered by rolling hills, the path down to the sea and beach was a very pleasant walk.

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As we reached the ticket office it turned out I had failed to print out the necessary coupons to gain free entry. (I didn’t know this was even a thing.) Luckily entry to the castle is very fair at just £8.50 per adult.

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We decided to explore the small, stony beach first as the tide was out and that meant we would be able to venture in to Merlin’s cave.

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In the cold, damp of Merlin’s cave we heard pigeons cooing overhead, obviously discomfited at our intrusion. We had fun clambering over rocks and stones to peer in to the small rock pool with a dark glossy surface.

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Outside on the beach I marvelled at how blue the sea was (a million miles away from Southend!) and we ambled from rock pool to rock pool. I was so desperate to find a star fish. I’m sad to say I didn’t find one. I did however, come across lots of little fish and curious jelly-like creatures.

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From the beach we began our ascent up the cliff. A winding stair case goes all the way up which makes it easy enough to get to the top. But make no mistakes, your calves will start to feel the burn once you are done with all the stairs.

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At the top, the ruins of the castle are accompanied by little plaques describing what each room is. I found the ruins to be interesting but the thing that really captured my attention was the view which was nothing short of beautiful.

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We sat for awhile just taking in the views (and catching our breaths.) It really was lovely to be up there in the sunshine. I can imagine that if it had been raining it would be quite a different experience.

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All in all we spent 3 exciting hours exploring Tintagel Castle ruins and the beach. I am so pleased we went as it was truly stunning and unlike anything else I have experienced before. I would say this is the least child-friendly of the locations we visited due to the amount of steep hills, stairs and general climbing. (So it’s a good job we don’t have children!) Just something to bear in mind if you’re looking for a family day out.

Cornwall Bucket List

I have always wanted to visit Cornwall. Growing up, my mum had shared lots of fond memories of her own childhood holidays there. I wanted to see the sights for myself!

Prior to visiting Cornwall I had made a little ‘bucket list’ of things I wanted to see and do. We have just got back from a wonderful trip and so I thought I would share that list.

Please look out for more blog posts as I should be posting one each day this week. These will go in to more detail about some of the wonderful places we have visited!

Stay in a cottage

Nuthatch is a small and cosy cottage nestled at the top of a very steep hill, surrounded by dense woodland to one side and vast, open farmland to the other. At the heart of Bodmin, this cottage was the perfect location for us to ferry to-and-fro across Cornwall. Plus just look at it, it’s charming!

I loved staying in this little cottage, even if it was impossibly cold in the evenings. Inside were traditional wooden beams, a spacious bedroom, a bath tub and a small but perfectly formed kitchen/living room area. The kitchen window overlooked a field of gentle cows. We would rush to that window every time we heard the metallic calling of a pheasant, who would strut down the lane past the cottage every evening.

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Visit Tintagel

An English Heritage site, Tintagel castle is iconic with its’ links to King Arthur. We visited on the warmest day of our trip, the sky a brilliant blue and the sun beaming down from high up in the sky.

The site itself is absolutely stunning and exceeded all of our expectations. From the stony beach with it’s dark Merlin’s cave and rock pools filled with mysterious creatures to the castle ruins and impressive cliffs- everything was simply wonderful.

There’s lots of walking up steep hills and endless staircases though, so if you’re planning to make the trip I can’t stress that sensible footwear is key.

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Visit The Eden Project

The Eden Project has long since been on my ‘To Do’ list and was one of the major reasons I wanted to go to Cornwall in the first place.

The iconic honeycomb-esque biomes are even more impressive in person than they are on TV or the internet. The vast structures loom up high and are surrounded by tall quarry walls which frame them quite picturesquely. Inside you become immersed in rainforest or mediterranean climes. My personal favourite was the rainforest with it’s curious lizards and partridges lurking in the foliage. The rainforest biome is also home to the Titan Arum which is an absolutely monstrous perennial herb with the largest collection of flowers in the world.

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Visit the Lost Gardens of Heligan

Probably the highlight of our entire trip, the Lost Gardens of Heligan delighted, inspired and sparked my imagination to its fullest.

These historic gardens are set on 200 acres of land and are truly impressive. Personal highlights for me were the incredible giant structures and the swinging rope bridge which had me feeling like a forgotten character in an Indiana Jones film. Seriously though, the Lost Gardens of Heligan is an absolute must if you’re going anywhere near Cornwall.

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Eat a Cornish pasty

Of course you can’t go to Cornwall and not sample a traditional Cornish Pasty! The first one we ate was at The Eden Project where we had to wait a (harder to digest) 40 minutes for it to be served! After that we stuck to the traditional bakeries where pasties and cakes are incredible and seem to (scarily) become a staple part of the holiday diet.

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…and Cornish ice cream!

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Go to the beach

I had heard good things about the beaches in Cornwall but even so I was pleasantly surprised to find myself on one filled with golden sand, not a pebble in sight!

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…and look in rock pools!

I’m not sure why but I have always been fascinated with rock pools and peering in them to see what strange creatures dwell there. Even now at the old age of 27 I still want to stick my nose in them and see what I can find. I definitely spent more time than is probably acceptable just walking from rock pool to rock pool. I had hoped to see a Starfish but unfortunately that was not to be. I did see a lot of other interesting things though!

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Visit fishing villages

We really wanted to explore the fishing villages/villages of Cornwall and get a taste of what life is like on the coast. I think we actually did pretty well as on this trip we managed to see Port Isaac, Padstow, Fowey, Perranporth and Newquay! (Not bad for a Monday-Friday.)

Port Isaac is famously known as being the location for the TV program Doc Martin (although I didn’t personally know this when we went there.) Funnily enough when we visited they where filming a scene for this show and, as we rounded the corner Martin Clunes was just standing there which was pretty surreal. We were ushered to the side whilst filming commenced. Coincidentally Port Isaac is very picturesque.

In Padstow we ate the nicest fish and chips I have ever tasted and managed to locate a lucky pixie for my mum. In Fowey we ate hot pasties from the bakery and shopped in the independent little shops selling quirky mugs and bits and bobs.

It seems to me as if Cornwall is just one gigantic hill! Every village was treacherously steep to climb and certainly a workout for the calves.

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All in all Cornwall is a beautiful part of the world and I throughly enjoyed our little holiday there. I would definitely go back!