There’s something rather magical about Tintagel, West Cornwall’s Jurassic outcrop overlooking the Atlantic. Not only is Tintagel Castle heavily linked with King Arthur, England’s first king, but Merlin’s Cave – a 330-foot coastal tunnel – was the supposed home of the famous wizard. Here’s Culture Trip’s guide to the best hotels in Tintagel.
Half a mile down the coast from Tintagel Castle, the Camelot Castle Hotel is both impressive and imposing; standing guard over the surrounding coastline. The inside is just as grand, with a large staircase sweeping through the entrance hall and huge fireplaces in the lounge. The rooms vary in luxuriousness – some feature four-poster beds and original stone walls, others are basic twin rooms. If you’re lucky enough, you may bag one with a balcony overlooking the ocean – a great spot to sit with a glass of wine and watch the sun set. There’s a helipad for those arriving in style and a restaurant that serves seasonal fare down on the ground floor.
Though King Arthur’s Arms Inn is fairly basic, its history and location more than make up for what it lacks in luxuriousness. It sits on Fore Street – the main road running through Tintagel – only a few metres from Tintagel Toy Museum, while Arthurian Castle, Port Isaac, Padstow and Rock are but a short drive away. A 14th-century tavern, the Inn is teeming with history – from the original stone walls to the suits of armour decorating the bar. There are seven bedrooms ranging from single to family-sized and, aside from the breakfast you’ll be served each day, there’s a daily lunch and dinner menu that focuses on seasonal, local produce. Book in for the homemade pasta night, which is usually served with the fresh catch of the day.
This family-run hotel is about halfway along the road leading out of Tintagel to Boscastle and is perfectly placed to enjoy everything that both towns have to offer. With a laid-back atmosphere and simple decor, it’s an easygoing place to return to at the end of the day and has beautiful views of the coast and Atlantic Ocean. Each of the 19 bedrooms features modern decor and bathrooms and at the Cedar Tree restaurant you’ll find an extensive menu of great local foods and international wins. Just 200 metres from the South West Coast Path and with an on-site gym and swimming pool, it’s a great spot for active types.
A small but perfectly formed guest house close to Tintagel’s various pubs and inns and just a few hundred metres from Tintagel Castle and Merlin’s Cave, The Avalon is a luxurious haven to return to after a day of exploring Cornwall’s west coast. Four of the seven bedrooms enjoy panoramic views of the coast and in all you’ll find hypoallergenic bedding and the softest, fluffiest towels. The breakfast menu is extensive, with everything from the standard full English to the more exotic Uitsmijter – a heavenly concoction of cheese, ham and eggs on toast – and you can order packed lunches if you’re planning on heading out for the whole day.
The South West Coast Path cuts right through the grounds of the Port William Inn; a boutique hotel overlooking Trebarwith Beach and a haven for surfers and sailors alike. It has only eight bedrooms and, given that it’s one of the most luxurious hotels in the area, it’s worth booking well in advance. The bedrooms are cheerfully decorated in nautical blues and whites – a theme that continues in the modern bathrooms which all feature power showers over the bathtubs. There’s be no better place to hang out with other guests than in the main restaurant, which serves everything from pub classics to wood-fired pizzas. Dogs are welcome here, so your pooch can join you on holiday.