Walk - The Tintagel Circulars

Walk information provided with help from Natural England. Map reproduced by permission of Ordnance Survey on behalf of HMSO. © Crown copyright and database right 2018. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100022021.

Route Description

Whether you buy into the Arthurian legends and accompanying gimmicks or not, it is still possible to find peace and wilderness on the Coast Path around the honeypot centre of Tintagel. The village makes a useful starting and finishing point to a family walk as there is plenty of car parking, to allow for the busy summer months, as well as a number of usefully located public toilets. The hungry tourist is well catered for with Tintagel’s selection of shops, cafes and pubs - which walkers can use to source picnic supplies or find refreshment at the end of a walk.

There are many good footpaths and tracks between Tintagel and the Coast Path which makes it very easy to change your plans and adapt your walk if necessary. We had intended to walk at least the Glebe Cliff Circular, but my husband, 6 year old and 3 year old twins only completed the Barras Nose Circular. The boys walked all the way and thoroughly enjoyed it. Although this is not a long walk, it took us about 2 hours, what with a couple of visits to toilets, stopping to buy pasties, talking to horses, eating the pasties above Gullastem, throwing stones in the stream and telling tales of magic above Merlin’s Cave! There were certainly plenty of things to see to keep the boys going, as well as thoughts of ice creams at the end! As well as encouraging children to ‘lead the way’ by using the acorn sign posts, you can give them things to look out for along the route.

Here are just a few of the highlights of the Tintagel area:

  • Tintagel’s Old Post Office is a 600-year-old traditional Cornish Longhouse owned by The National Trust. It has a beautiful enclosed cottage garden.
  • Tintagel Visitor Centre has lots of information about the area, including history, archaeology and wildlife as well as a good collection of books about Arthurian legends.
  • Look out for seals around Willapark. On top of the plateau are the remains of an Iron Age cliff fort.
  • Have you noticed the beautiful stone walls? A lot of them are built using the ancient ‘cursyway’ style (herringbone).
  • Barras Nose, which was the first piece of coastline to be bought by the National Trust in 1897, offers fantastic views and is a good place to rest and picnic.
  • Tintagel Head was originally a Roman settlement and a Celtic fortress, but the majority of visual ruins are those of the
    13th century castle built by Earl Richard. Geoffrey of Monmouth visioned the 12th century castle here as the home of Igraine: mother of the legendary King Arthur.
  • Glebe Cliff is thought to be the site of a royal cemetery.
  • If you are interested in history and architecture then it is worth visiting the medieval church of St. Materianas to see its Norman font and windows and the Roman milestone situated in the south transept.
  • The fastest animals in the world - the Peregrine Falcon - are sometimes seen around this area.
  • The Coast Path passes the remains of several slate quarries which have left dramatic shapes in the landscape. Some of this slate was exported from a wharf situated below Penhallic Point.
  • Can you identify the flowers? Banks of yellow Gorse and other wildflowers such as Sea Pink, Toadflax and Sea Campion add beautiful spring and summer colour to your walk.

Barras Nose Circular Route description: This walk starts at the car park opposite the Old Post Office. Follow the main road through Tintagel and round to the right to join the footpath by the Headland Camping and Caravan Park. This leads down a track, across a field and through a gate to meet the Coast Path above Gullastem. Take the Coast Path out towards Barras Nose and follow the sign to Tintagel Castle. Cross the stream and follow the wide track (steep but suitable for pushchairs) past the English Heritage shop and toilets, and back up to Tintagel village.

Glebe Cliff/ Dunderhole Point Circular Route description: This walk starts at the car park opposite the Old Post Office. Follow the main road through Tintagel and round to the right to join the footpath by the Headland Camping and Caravan Park. This leads down a track, across a field and through a gate to meet the Coast Path above Gullastem. Take the Coast Path out towards Barras Nose and follow the sign to Tintagel Castle. Cross the stream, then follow the Coast Path sign to Glebe Cliff. Pass the medieval church and head for the Youth Hostel. Just before the Hostel you can pick up the track to join the lane to Trevillick Farm. From here you can pick up a path across the fields and back into Tintagel.

Hole Beach Circular Route description: This walk starts at the car park opposite the Old Post Office. Follow the main road through Tintagel and round to the right to join the footpath by the Headland Camping and Caravan Park. This leads down a track, across a field and through a gate to meet the Coast Path above Gullastem. Take the Coast Path out towards Barras Nose and follow the sign to Tintagel Castle. Cross the stream, then follow the Coast Path sign to Glebe Cliff. Pass the medieval church and the Youth Hostel, then continue to Penhallic Point for some fantastic views, and then on to Hole Beach, which is just beyond the National Trust sign for Bagalow. Here you can pick up a path across the fields to Trevillick Farm and back into Tintagel.

Nearby refreshments

Tintagel has a selection of shops, pubs and cafes. For locally sourced produce visit The Good Food Deli & Cafe on Bossiney Road or the cafe/bar Cream on Atlantic Road.

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