Things To See and Do
Welcome to Tintagel Castle
We have introduced limits on visitor numbers to help keep everyone safe, and you won’t be able to visit without your booking confirmation. If you’re a Member, your ticket will be free, but you still need to book in advance. To book your visit, click here.
Although things might be a little different when you visit, you’ll still be able to enjoy exploring the places where history really happened. And you’ll still be given a warm and safe welcome by our friendly – if socially distant – staff and volunteers.
- Tintagel Castle Bridge - The bridge will be open for you to cross onto Tintagel Island while following social distancing rules. We will have a one-way system in place with visitors leaving via the original steps.
- Tintagel Castle Beach & Merlin's Cave - These will be open (depending on tide times). Access is via steps and rocks on the beach so may not be suitable for visitors with limited mobility.
- Island Walk - The island walk will be open for you to explore while following social distancing rules.
- Exhibition - The exhibition space will be open.
- Cafe - The kiosk will be open for light refreshments.
- Shop - The shop will be open. You can also buy a range of gifts and souvenirs from our online shop.
- Toilets - There will be toilets available.
- Landrover service - The Landrover service is running with a separate charge.
- Face coverings - Face coverings must be worn in Tintagel Castle's indoor spaces and for the Landrover service. We won’t be able to give you a face covering, so please come prepared so you don’t miss out.
- Access - There is currently a one-way system in place at the castle, which means leaving via 140 steep steps. For those with limited mobility or disabilities to be guided back across the bridge, there can be a long delay while staff halt the flow of arrivals. It important to us that all our visitors with access requirements have an enjoyable visit, and we therefore highly recommend booking the last timeslot of the day. At this quieter time, there will be fewer people arriving, so our staff can safely guide visitors back across the bridge and along the step-free path without a long wait.
Entrance to the Castle
Begin your journey by climbing the step free path up to the mainland courtyard – the medieval gateway to the castle.
Take in the dramatic cliff-top views, before you follow in the footsteps of Tintagel’s medieval inhabitants and cross the footbridge to the island. You will need a timed-ticket to enter the castle, cross the bridge and explore the island - book today and plan your visit at the best time for you.Book now
On the Island
Explore the remains of the 13th-century castle and imagine the feasting and merriment of Richard, Earl of Cornwall’s court. Discover the ruins of the Great Hall, the heart of the castle, where Earl Richard’s guests were entertained and important business undertaken.
Our outdoor displays guide you through the history of the castle and the role that legends have played in shaping the site. Soak up the natural beauty of this dramatic headland as you imagine life here centuries ago.
Early Medieval Buildings
Discover the dramatically-sited remains of Tintagel’s early medieval settlement, where Cornish rulers lived and traded with far off shores, importing exotic goods and trading tin. You can see the deep defensive ditch which protected the settlement as you pass through the castle entrance.
Imagine what life was like at Tintagel as you walk through the footprints of houses built between the 5th and 7th centuries AD on this remote and beautiful headland. Recent excavations have given a fascinating insight into the people who lived at Tintagel at this time.
History Meets Legend
Tintagel was a stronghold for early medieval rulers. It may have been memories of this seat of Cornish kings that inspired Geoffrey of Monmouth to name it as the place where King Arthur was conceived. It was almost certainly this link to the literary hero that inspired Richard, Earl of Cornwall, to build his cliff-top castle here.
Today as you explore the atmospheric landscape, outdoor works of art bring to life these regal connections. You won’t want to miss the brooding figure on the island – Gallos (meaning 'power' in Cornish) – a life-sized bronze sculpture inspired by the legend of King Arthur and Tintagel's royal past.
The Island Garden
Discover the remains of the medieval walled garden, which Earl Richard may have built in reference to the famous love story of Tristan and Iseult. Engraved stepping stones around the garden retell the tragic medieval tale.
As you explore the island, take a moment to look out for wildlife on the clifftops. The island is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and home to plenty of flora, fauna, wildlife and birds through the year. You can often spot seals in the water, and the cliffs team with coastal birds enjoying shelter from the winds.
Down on the Beach
Relax on the beach below the castle - one of Tintagel's best kept secrets - it's perfect for a quick paddle, or to explore the rock pools.
In winter you can blow away the cobwebs with a walk along the shore or stop and admire the waterfall falling onto the sand from the cliffs above. In summer, children can build sandcastles or explore Merlin's Cave when the tide is out.
Please note that there is no lifeguard service in operation on the beach, and you may wish to check the tide times when planning your visit.
A Taste of Cornwall
With its bright and airy decor which reflects the coastal setting, the Beach Cafe is the perfect place for a tasty snack, light lunch, cream tea or delicious home-made cake.
The ingredients are locally sourced and prepared to order with plenty to choose from, including fish and chips, crab sandwiches and Cornish Rarebit made with Yarg cheese and a local beer.
You can take your lunch on the terrace whilst enjoying the views out to sea, or cosy up in the corner of the cafe on colder days.