We’re enjoying our second year of English Heritage membership. Membership for two adults, with L free, is £31 in Tesco Clubcard Vouchers. So it is next to no money. L loves castles, English Heritage have a lot. It’s free days out for a year.
I’m trying to write about all the properties we visit using our membership. What I liked, didn’t like, share some pictures. We more than made our money back on the membership last year and this, so I am very happy it is good value for money.
Tintagel has fabulous facilities. The beach side cafe has a large split between indoors and out, we sat outside to enjoy the views. You can get sandwiches, salads, drinks, ice creams and cake!
There is a very nice gift shop, with plenty of lovely gifts for all ages, you can get ice cream and drinks there as well. At the the very start of the site there is a small shop and ticket point and also at the two entrance points to the cliff top areas of castle there are ticket booths that sell drinks and a few little toys. So it doesn’t matter if you have walked all that way and managed to miss the first ticket point, you won’t have to go back.
There are nice clean toilets, with baby change facilities.
Access around the site would not be suitable for those that have difficulties getting around, there is a smooth and friendly path from the village to the cafe and museum area, as well as a nice path to the Castle entrance. After that if you want to see anything you need to be able to manage stairs and a lot of them, steep at points. L was fine at four, any younger and we would have been carrying. Babies would need a sling or carrier of some description.
You also have to think about getting back and factor that into the amount of walking you do whilst you are there. There is a car service that will take you up and down the hill from the village to the site but it is not EH ran and is quite pricey. I would never pay for the trip down the hill but if L had needed it I would have paid for the trip back up the hill, I seriously considered it just for me!
There are plenty of car parks with lots of space in the village and they are very increasingly priced, only a few pounds for the whole day. Again these are not EH.
The Castle Entrance
This is actually the last part we explored, despite being the entrance. Once an impressive entrance and bridge stretched the gap between the two sections of cliff above the beach, but now it’s just a pleasant walk with amazing views.
With a gentle path one side and steep steps the other you’ve got a choice of ways to look around this smaller section of the site, it’s still very impressive though.
With useful information boards and lots of wall still standing it was a lovely place to sit for a bit and relax whilst L ran around safely and enjoyed himself.
The Main Section of Castle
Accessed by some seemingly never ending steps the main site has so much to see.
Chinks of remaining castle, a chapel, iron age village, various little buildings and an unexplained tunnel!
You can see the amazing statue of King Arthur, enjoy the fabulous views and learn about the long and varied history of the site.
It is just brilliant, it really is. We wandered around for ages just finding different things and enjoying ourselves, we still didn’t manage to find everything!
Down some steps and across some rocks you’ll find a lovely little cove filled with caves and mystery.
Merlin’s Cave is great for exploring if the tide allows and there are plenty of little rock pools and fun places to climb around.
Lots of people were splashing in the water, enjoying the sunny sheltered beach and just relaxing. We were climbing around and exploring the caves.
It’s a lovely spot.
The Museum, Cafe and Shop
There is a small museum area with displays about the history of the site and the legends that surround it. L is now desperate to find the missing round table and we had to buy a book about King Arthur and the Knights as his questions were proving too much for us.
We had a look round the displays after we had explored the site, but I actually think it would have been quite nice to have done this first, just so we already knew a few bits.
The shop is a good size and sells everything you would expect from an English Heritage shop, perfect for some nice gifts to take home or a treat for the kids.
The Cafe is fabulous, we stopped there for our lunch and I had a delicious sandwich with salad and crisps, L had a massive hot chocolate and stole the vast majority of husb’s sausage roll and chips, good thing it was a large portion.
Even if your legs aren’t up to exploring all that is on offer at the end of the steps, a trip to enjoy the views from the cafe and look round the museum displays would be worthwhile and there’s no charge for accessing those parts of the site.
Opening Times & Prices
Open 10am to 6pm Monday to Sunday
|WITHOUT GIFT AID||WITH GIFT AID|
|Child (5-15 yrs)||£5.70||£6.30|
For full details of times and prices please visit the English Heritage Website, these are only a snapshot.
Tintagel Castle is a brilliant place to visit, it was a real highlight of my holiday. A truly magical place that captured L’s imagination and provided us with a full day of entertainment.
I would say we spent a good five hours there and could have spent longer but L’s little legs were tired and mine exhausted!
We went on pleasant and sunny day, it was glorious. During the height of summer it would have been too hot to enjoy properly, with all the climbing and walking involved. A small backpack is well worth bringing, packed with plenty of drinks. It’s a fair walk from one end of the site to the other if you need refreshments, though there are two ticket points that bothe sell drinks too. Equally it could be a bit fresh on a wet day. I would never let any of that stop me though, you just need to be prepared.
There is such a mix of things to see. The caves and rock pools down at the beach. The iron age forts, the castle walls, the stunning coastal views, the unexplained tunnel and magical statue up on the cliffs. The interesting display, gorgeous cafe and shop down below. Plus plenty of coastal footpaths and the village itself, not that we looked round Tintagel Village, we were too tired!
Even though it was busy the site is so large, other than going up and down the stairs to access different points, we never felt crowded or that it was too much.
Value for money wise it is fantastic. I normally judge the amount of time it will take to explore a site by the price, the £5 ish bracket taking an hour, £10 ish maybe two and £30 plus to be a full day. So this was a surprise, we were there ages and still left a few bits unexplored.
I couldn’t recommend it more.