We went on holiday over the Easter break and stayed at East Thorne in Kilkhampton, and on the way there we went to one of my favourite places, Tintagel in Cornwall. If you haven’t been to Tintagel before, you really should go (finish reading this first though!).
Tintagel is a lovely village in North Cornwall with small shops, restaurants, tea rooms and everything you’d expect from a picturesque Cornish village, but it also has two things that change it’s rating for me from lovely to exceptional. These are the Old Post Office and Tintagel Castle (Kastel Dintagel).
We went into the Old Post Office First, brandishing our new much loved National Trust family membership to gain entry. I’ll be honest, if it wasn’t for having the membership and Si being determined to get our money’s worth out of it, then we probably wouldn’t have gone in to the post office.
I am so glad we did though, it’s a beautiful old building and really takes you back in history. Si was especially amused that since people used to be shorter, even I had to duck to go in and out of one of the doorways, at 5 feet 2 inches tall, this isn’t something I usually have to worry about.
We should however have worried about the shortest person in our little family, as Harley somehow managed to bash his head on a beam at the side of the room, poor little man, especially as the rest of us found it a little bit funny even though I did give him a cuddle.
I love the little touches that the National Trust make to their properties, such as interesting facts they leave around the place, like the one below.
I haven’t included any indoors photos, as since it is quite a small property, I don’t want to completely ruin any visit for you by showing you everything!
My favourite part of the Old Post Office though, had to be the garden out the back, it was gorgeous especially on the lovely sunny day we visited on, and with more National Trust touches, there were games outside for the boys to play, and a bench for me to sit on and enjoy the sun on my face.
I almost didn’t want to leave that garden, but we had another great place to visit, the castle! Tintagel Castle is a place that has a lot of myths and legends attached to it, including that it was the site where King Arthur was conceived, and it’s entangled with the romantic tale of Tristan and Yseult.
When you visit the old castle site, it’s definitely a romance inspiring spot with beautiful views. The castle is a bit of a walk from Tintagel all mostly steeply downhill, and on the way down to add to the atmosphere there was a lady ‘busking’ playing the Cello, which sounded so beautiful and fitting with the location that I really wish I had thought to record her, but Si did snap a quick picture sneakily.
Tintagel Castle is run and protected by English Heritage, and you do need to pay to go over the bridge to get to the ruins, but believe me it is worth it! Even before you get across the bridge there is the beautiful view of the beach below, the beach is fun with caves to explore – Merlin’s cave obviously!
Once you go across the bridge, which doesn’t seem scary whilst you’re on it as it feels so secure you forget it’s a bridge, you have rather a steep climb. The climb is a really good workout, but luckily when we went it was busy and so it was a slow climb up the stairs, with stops for other people to come downwards in the narrower part, this was a good excuse to have a rest without looking unfit (I am).
Before we got to the very top we passed through a courtyard, where lots of children were play fighting with foam swords with two ‘knights’ and passed through the most amazing ‘doorway’ I’ve ever seen.
Another short climb definitely makes the walk and climb worth it, as when you reach the top, the views are stunningly beautiful, you literally feel on top of the World with good reason.
No one can argue with the value of that view! On the way back from the castle, since it was steeply downhill on the way, it was obviously steeply uphill on the way back!
There is a land rover service where you can pay a small cost (think it would have been £6 for the four of us) to get a lift back into Tintagel village, but unfortunately Simon refused to let us be lazy and tortured us with the walk back up!
This did mean we felt we deserved a big ice cream afterwards though, so that made up for the sore calf muscles the next day. We had to wait til the village for our ice cream, as the cafe at the bottom of Tintagel Castle is currently being renovated, but re-opens later in the year.
If you have never been to Tintagel Castle then GO, honestly you won’t regret it even if your legs feel it for a day or so afterwards, however if you have small children possibly wait til they’re older and less likely to make you carry them up all the steps, and less likely to try to play lemmings at the top!
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