Cornwall & King Arthur’s Castle

On Andy’s birthday, Pat and Adrian suggested we head to Tintagel Castle in Cornwall. Cornwall borders Devon, so the drive was just over an hour. We stopped in at the cool surf town of Bude on the way for a wander and some tea before continuing on to the village of Tintagel.

We got a bite to eat at a local cafe before Andy and I split off to wander down to Tintagel Castle. Built in the 13th century, it’s long been associated with the legend of King Arthur. Initially, the link does seem to be rather tenuous, since Geoffrey of Monmouth identified the site as the place of Arthur’s conception in his 12th century book, a full century before the castle was even built. However, archeologists have recently discovered nearby remnants of a much older, Dark Age royal palace, which likely dates from the 5th or 6th century. So, maybe the legends are true after all!

20160623-KRF_2958

The walk to the starting point was all downhill, but we knew we’d be climbing up some serious steps soon enough.

20160623-KRF_2959

We decided to check out Merlin’s Cave first, because who wouldn’t be tempted by a cave named after Merlin?!

20160623-KRF_2991

20160623-KRF_2976

20160623-KRF_2962

It definitely seemed magical. I could easily picture Merlin (or a dragon) rounding the bend.

20160623-KRF_2964

Instead, it was just Andy.

20160623-KRF_2968

We emerged from the mythical cave and made for an equally magical spot further down the beach.

20160623-KRF_2985

20160623-KRF_2983

Andy found a little cave all his own.

20160623-KRF_2995

Now, to conquer the steps!

20160623-KRF_2999

20160623-KRF_3004

I think I caught him mid-speech.

We had to be pretty careful climbing the steep rocky stairs, since it was raining and they were verrrry slippery. Some people had dogs with them, but I couldn’t imagine walking Higgs up (or especially down) these on a lead.

20160623-KRF_3005.jpg

Made it!

20160623-KRF_3007

20160623-KRF_3010

20160623-KRF_3015

There were a lot more ruins and trails to explore atop the cliffs than I’d realized from below, so we set out to see it all.

20160623-KRF_3026

The wildflowers were gorgeous, especially in front of a view like this.

20160623-KRF_3028

You can make out some old walls in that last picture. They covered the entire area, slowly becoming obscured by moss and flowers, returning to nature.

20160623-KRF_3031

When we reached the other side of the promontory, the views were just as stunning as where we’d began. I don’t blame the medieval Cornish for choosing this site for a castle! Besides the amazing vistas, it would’ve been very hard to conquer. If you had Merlin on your side, that wouldn’t hurt either.

20160623-KRF_3034

20160623-KRF_3037

20160623-KRF_3039

And here’s Andy doing what he does best, waiting for me patiently while I take photos (or daydreaming of the pub we were going to that evening for his birthday celebration).

20160623-KRF_3048

And then we found Arthur himself, although he was a bit hollow, and contained an Andy.

20160623-KRF_3050

I couldn’t think of a better spot for the wraith of Arthur to survey his domain.

20160623-KRF_3053

We’d seen almost all that the clifftop site had to offer, and the rain was starting to pick up, so we headed back toward the stairway to visit one last spot before venturing back into town.

Here’s the waterfall from above.

20160623-KRF_3057

20160623-KRF_3062

20160623-KRF_3063

After heading halfway down the stairs, we climbed another set to reach the final bit of the castle we hadn’t yet seen. The last part was definitely the steepest, or it could just be that we’d already climbed so many stairs.

20160623-KRF_3066

20160623-KRF_3068

20160623-KRF_3071

20160623-KRF_3073

We met Adrian and Pat back in town for a couple pints at the local pub before the drive back to Bideford. We then got cleaned up and went for a lovely dinner at an old English pub for Andy’s birthday.

On our last full day in England, the day after visiting Tintagel, we spent our time relaxing in Bideford. We had a verrrry early flight to Boston via Iceland the following day, and the drive to London isn’t exactly short. With Brexit going on, we got out just in time. Stay tuned for some pictures from the good old US of A! (I never thought I’d be blogging about travel to America).

2 thoughts on “Cornwall & King Arthur’s Castle

  1. What a gorgeous spot for a castle. I can just imagine what it was like in its heyday. Your blogs demonstrate how little I’ve actually seen of England — and how much there is to explore. I guess we’re going to have to go back and retrace your steps (and stairs). I especially love your pictures of the foxgloves near the sea. What stunning scenery and remarkable ruins.

    Like

  2. Yes. What he said. The caves are so cool. And the stonework, still intact after all that time. Really incredible stuff. (Andy fit well into Arthur, just not quite so tall.)

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this:
search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close