Tintagel, a small village on the North coast of Cornwall is a wonderful place for a day trip. It’s a very traditional Cornish village full of independent shops and cafes with a magical vibe. There are loads of things to do in Tintagel for all ages.
Tintagel, land of myth and legend is most famous for being the home of King Arthur. The Castle ruins are what draw most people to the village but there are plenty of other things to do in Tintagel. Most have fully embraced the mysticism surrounding the once and future King.
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Some stories suggest that Tintagel was home to Camelot and King Arthurs famous Round table, others suggest that King Arthur was conceived at the Castle. Whichever you choose to believe (or tell the kids), the Castle certainly feels “otherworldly” and makes a fantastic place for some child friendly imaginative play.
This is not a complete castle, it’s very much in ruins but I think that just makes it the perfect place to bring history alive for little minds.
There’s more to explore here than simply the 13th century ruins. Kids will love the life sized bronze sculpture inspired by King Arthurs legend titled Gallos which means power in Cornish. You can also spot plenty of local wildlife and visit the remains of the medieval walled garden.
Below the castle you can access the rocky beach where you’ll find plenty of rock pools and Merlins cave which can be explored when the tide is out.
If the Cornish winds get too high then the Castle and bridge will close. Always check the website before you set off.
Tintagel Castle Bridge
In 2019 English Heritage built a new bridge connecting the Castle Island to the mainland removing the need to navigate the precarious steps to the Castle. The steep walk up from the valley has previously made the castle pretty tricky to visit for those with little kids or not so confident hikers. The new bridge makes it easily accessible to everyone.
The stainless steel bridge is paved with Cornish Delabole slate from a local quarry and is a magnificent addition to the village. The original land bridge collapsed into the sea sometime in the 15th century. The new bridge connects the two sides and allows visitors to approach the castle in the same way knights (if you’re a believer) will have marched towards it all those years ago.
The bridge is undoubtedly a modern structure but has been designed in such a way that it adds to the castle rather than stands out for the wrong reasons. It’s offered up some amazing views of the ruins and I love it!
How many steps at Tintagel Castle?
Previously there were 148 steps to scale at Tintagel Castle and something I’ll always remember climbing when we visited when I was a child. It wasn’t too taxing but I wouldn’t try it with a pushchair or uncomfortable shoes. Take the new bridge and you’ll be fine.
Parking Tintagel Castle
There is no official carpark for the castle. But there are several pay and display carparks in Tintagel village. We found one on the way into the village which cost just £4 for the whole day.
How to get to Tintagel Castle
Wherever you choose to park, it will be an easy walk to get to the castle entrance. The walk to the bridge, across the bridge and to the Castle ruins is the challenge. If you are visually impaired of disabled, you can hop on board the Landrover which runs from April – October.
that will take you to the exhibition for an extra charge. Most people, with only basic fitness should be ok with the walk. But even with the new bridge it’s still a pretty challenging walk, I’d recommend baby carriers above pushchairs.
The views from the castle, bridge and surrounding coastline are absolutely stunning. On a good day it’s well worth packing a picnic and taking the time to enjoy the area.
Are dogs allowed at Tintagel Castle?
Dogs are most definitely welcome at Tintagel castle. It’s always best to keep them on a lead however as there are lots of steps and cliff edges, the last thing you would want is for them to run off chasing the birds that regularly nest here.
Tintagel Castle entry fee
You’ll need to book a timed ticket to visit Tintagel Castle. These were introduced to ensure the bridge and island never get too overcrowded and will make your visit feel extra special. You can chance it and walk up but to secure your preferred slot I highly recommend ordering online. You’ll also save yourself a few pounds versus buying at the gate. Online tickets are £13 for adults, 7.80 for kids and just £33.80 for a family of two adults and 3 kids.
Join English Heritage
You can join English Heritage here. Membership includes entrance to Tintagel Castle as well as 400 other historical venues in the UK. You can take up to 6 kids for free and will receive a lovely membership book full of exciting places to inspire your next visit.
Annual membership for a family of 2 adults and up to 12 children is £105 so if your planning on visiting several historical venues during your visit to the UK, it’s well worth signing up. It’s also a good idea to follow English Heritage on their various social media channels as they regularly discount sign up prices saving even more money.
Tintagel Castle Address
Tintagel Castle Opening Hours
Hours vary depending on the time of year you want to visit. It’s always best to check up to date times on the English Heritage website.
Things to do near Tintagel Castle
It’s impossible to explore Tintagel without becoming immersed in myth and legend, shops, hotels and restaurants have fully embraced this, most are named in some way after King Arthur.
King Arthurs Great Halls
This is a place totally dedicated to Arthurian legend and has been used as a setting for many TV and Films dedicated to the myths. It’s a worthy monument to the King and a fun place to explore if you’re in the area. The halls have been extravagantly decorated and include a round table and some stunning stained glass windows. Little ones will love a peep inside and even a sit on “Arthurs Throne” but there’s not loads to do, you don’t need to spend long here .
King Arthurs Great Halls are open to the public from the 1st March to 31st October between 10am to 5pm, 6 days a week.
Tintagel Post Office
One place not dedicated to the legend of King Arthur is the village post office. Tintagel Post office is a delightful 14th century building that is now owned by the National Trust. There are a few rooms to explore and a cute cottage garden. A perfect place to escape the busyness of Tintagel high street. During the summer months they put out some traditional old games on the lawn for the kids to enjoy.
Join the National Trust
Tintagel post office is owned by the National Trust and will cost you £12 for a family ticket. If you’re planning on exploring several stately homes or historical sites on your visit to the UK then I highly recommend annual membership. Family membership for 4 is just £126 and includes admission to over 500 venues. It also gives you free parking in many car parks around the UK which more than pays for itself!
St Materiana’s Church
Located just south of the village is the St Materiana’s Church, which is thought to have been built in the 500’s! Obviously it’s changed quite a lot since then. It’s a beautiful and historic building and offers some fabulous views back to the village. There’s also a National trust car park here with free parking for members.
Tintagel is one of the few places I’ll waste precious traveling time and actually explore the shops. There are so many fantastic gift shops, crystal shops and places to pick up King Arthur themed souvenirs. It’s not a big village so won’t take you too long to pop into each one.
Do not leave Cornwall without picking up some Cornish fudge for the drive home. Tintagel is the perfect place to do it from Granny Wobbly’s Fudge Pantry. You can’t miss it, it’s bright pink inside!
Restaurants in Tintagel
If you’re only on a day trip to Tintagel, I would recommend ditching a traditional restaurant and grabbing a Cornish Pasty. Either to eat hot straight out of it’s paper bag as you wander the village or if you need a sit down, from one of the many cafes in town. These ones are from the Cornish Bakery, right next to the entrance to the Castle.
Cornish pasty’s are thick pastry pockets full of meat, veg and potatoes. Over the years many interesting varieties have been created. If you’re a first timer then stick to the traditional beef and potato, it will keep you going all day. These ones are pretty pricey at almost £4 but just bite the bullet, you will not be disappointed.
If you are after a sit down meal for the family, then Tintagel has several pubs which offer great food. I love the food at the King Arthurs Arms and the relaxed atmosphere makes it a great choice for eating with kids.
For some other ideas for great places to eat in the area, check out this post on the best restaurants in North Cornwall.
Hotels in Tintagel, England
During this visit we stayed at the family friendly Bedruthan Hotel and Spa which is about a 45 minute drive from Tintagel. If you fancy staying in the village itself then the King Arthurs Arms Inn also has rooms and is right in the middle of town. It’s a 4 star bed and breakfast above the main pub.
How to get to Tintagel from London
The nearest Train Station to Tintagel is Bodmin Parkway which is around 15 miles away. From there you could take a taxi or if you’re on a budget hop on the bus to Wadebridge. Then to Camelford and finally the one to Tintagel. It’s much easier to hire a car when you get to Bodmin and will give you the freedom to explore the local area. Although there are buses to several villages in North Cornwall they’re not always regular.
Tintagel is definitely one of the prettiest villages we visited in North Cornwall. The Castle and legends make in an ideal place to visit if you’re in Cornwall with kids. Another of our favourite Cornish villages is Padstow, a little further West. Read my post about what to do in Padstow with kids to discover more.
For more North Cornwall inspiration, check out my favourite road trip in the area – the route from Newquay to Tintagel.
Make sure you pin for later for your next visit to Tintagel, the Cornish village linked to King Arthur.