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Tintagel and Barras Nose

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Tintagel and Barras Nose
Author: clairesharpuk, Published: 07 Jul 2012 Walk rating : Rating:star0 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UKstar0 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UKstar0 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UKstar0 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UKstar0 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK
Cornwall, North Coast
Walk Type: Coastal
Tintagel and Barras Nose
Length: 4 miles,  Difficulty: boot iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK boot iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK boot iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK
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A 3.5 mile circular walk along the coastline at Tintagel on the north Cornish coast. The cliff top route will give you spectacular views across this section of the Atlantic coast and of course you’ll also be able to enjoy the famous local myths and legends.
The village and nearby Tintagel Castle are associated with the legends surrounding King Arthur and the knights of the Round Table. The village has, in recent times, become attractive to tourists from many parts of the world and is one of the most-visited places in Britain.

The walk follows some steep sections of the coast path with lots of steps and some uneven rocky, slippery surfaces. Some of the fields you pass through will be holding cattle and the cliff edge fields are home to goats, horses and cattle so take care with dogs. There are seven stiles (a mixture of stone and wooden), all of which should be easy for most dogs to negotiate, plus a few gates. There are public toilets available in the car park at the start and also at the castle gift shop half way round. Approximate time 2 hours.

The walk starts from the Visitor Information Centre in Tintagel which has a large pay and display car park alongside. The village can get very busy at peak times so it is wise to arrive early. The car park is accessed from the main B3263 road through the village. Approximate post code PL34 0AJ.

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Walk Sections

Car Park to Stone Stile
Car Park to Stone Stile

Start point: 50.6621 lat, -4.7481 long
End point: 50.6594 lat, -4.7528 long

Leave the car park and turn left along the road heading for the centre of the village. Go straight ahead at the mini-roundabout. Turn left immediately after the Tintagel Arms Hotel marked with a slate footpath sign. Walk through the car park and leave in the bottom right hand corner over a two bar metal stile to reach a small track.

Turn left onto the gravel track and follow this as it swings right and downhill. At the next marker post turn right down some steps under an arch of trees. Use the wooden footbridge to cross the stream. Go straight ahead through the kissing gate onto the field edge path signed towards Trevillick.

Cross over a wooden stile into a second field and keep ahead. Cross another wooden stile into a third field and this time follow the path diagonally right to reach a stone stile.

Stone Stile to Bungalows
Stone Stile to Bungalows

Start point: 50.6594 lat, -4.7528 long
End point: 50.6581 lat, -4.7565 long

Cross this stile to reach a confined path with a fenced pasture to the left. Cross another stone stile and pass through the centre of this field and through an opening to a narrower field. Keep left to follow the path going uphill with a wall on the left.

Pass over the double stile – wood then stone – to the left of the gate at the top. You will emerge to a junction with bungalows to the left.

Bungalows to St Materiana
Bungalows to St Materiana

Start point: 50.6581 lat, -4.7565 long
End point: 50.6629 lat, -4.7604 long

Take the second track on the right, signed for the Youth Hostel, and heading to the left of the church on the horizon. As you pass through an open gateway ahead, turn left on the path signed for the Youth Hostel Coast Path passing by the National Trust sign for Glebe Cliff on the right.

Follow the track as it swings right to become the coast path. After a little distance keep right towards St Materiana Church. The church is Grade I listed and mainly Norman but is thought to be built on a pre-Christian sacred site. You will emerge at the church car park.

St Materiana to Castle Entrance
St Materiana to Castle Entrance

Start point: 50.6629 lat, -4.7604 long
End point: 50.6673 lat, -4.7584 long

As you reach the church car park, turn sharp left on the well-surfaced narrow path. Follow the path for some distance and then continue down some rough steps heading quite steeply downhill. Ignore the first stile on the left, instead continue a few paces further to pass through the squeeze gap in the wall on the left.

Keep right to join the stepped track heading downhill with a stone wall on your left. Follow the path as it swings round to the left to reach the castle entrance. Go into the castle to explore if you wish (entrance fees apply).

Tintagel Castle is a medieval fortification located on the peninsula of Tintagel Island, which is now managed by English Heritage. The castle has a long association with the Arthurian legends, going back to the 12th century when Geoffrey of Monmouth described Tintagel as the place of Arthur's conception in his mythical account of British history. According to the tale told by Geoffrey, his father, King Uther Pendragon, was disguised by Merlin's sorcery to look like Gorlois, Duke of Cornwall the husband of Ygerna, Arthur's mother.

Castle Entrance to Barras Nose
Castle Entrance to Barras Nose

Start point: 50.6673 lat, -4.7584 long
End point: 50.6713 lat, -4.7568 long

When you’ve finished exploring the castle, return to the entrance board. Turn down a couple of steps opposite and follow the gravel path as it zig-zags down steps towards the tarmac lane below. The path emerges at the cafe and gift shop. Turn left into the cafe complex and walk straight on between the buildings heading for the cove ahead.

Cross right over the stream using the narrow concrete bridge and turn immediately right to follow the narrow steep steps heading up onto the cliff path. As you reach an open clearing, keep right and then just before you reach the cafe ahead, swing left to join the coast path up the steep steps.

Follow the path as it winds up and down along the coast until you cross a small wooden bridge and reach a junction. Keep left here, heading for the summit of Barras Nose. Continue to reach the summit and take time to enjoy the views this position provides.

Barras Nose to Farm
Barras Nose to Farm

Start point: 50.6713 lat, -4.7568 long
End point: 50.6674 lat, -4.7507 long

When you’ve finished admiring the views turn back and, as you head back inland, keep left on the grassy path and follow this to reach the coast path once again. Turn left onto the path signed to Bossiney. Continue on the coast path through a gate and a squeeze gap in a wall soon after.

Follow the coastal path hugging the cliff edge and after some distance it will begin to swing right, heading inland with a cove on your left. Pass through a gap in a very low stone wall and then a few paces later at the wooden sign post, turn right up the grass slope. Follow the path swinging right to reach a gate to the left. Go through this gate and go straight ahead following the wall on your left.

On this inland stretch of the walk you are likely to see Cornish Chough, a type of crow. This bird is emblematic of Cornwall and is also said to embody the spirit of King Arthur.

Cross over the stream via the small slate bridge and continue to the end of the field. Pass through the metal gate ahead to reach the farm buildings.

Farm to End
Farm to End

Start point: 50.6674 lat, -4.7507 long
End point: 50.6631 lat, -4.7506 long

Continue straight ahead on the track heading gradually uphill, passing a caravan park on the left and stables on the right. Keep straight ahead onto the road and follow it as it continues to swing left through the village.

You will notice that the village is also steeped in mythical history with plenty of retail therapy available for budding witches and wizards!

Pass by the Old Post Office on the right, a Grade I listed building, and continue until you reach the car park on the right.

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Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2012 by the author clairesharpuk and may not be reproduced without permission.


The information in this guide has been provided in good faith and is intended only as a guide, not a statement of fact. You are advised to check the accuracy of the information provided and should not use this guide for navigational directions nor should you rely on the accuracy of the weather forecast. You are advised to take appropriate clothing, footwear, equipment and navigational materials with you according to the current and possible weather and nature of the terrain. Always follow the country code and follow any additional warnings or instructions that may be available. Some walks may be very strenuous and you are advised to seek medical advice if you have any doubts as to your capability to complete the walk.

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