Tintagel Haven (Castle Beach)

Tintagel Haven - the beach next to Tintagel Castle in North Cornwall
Tintagel Haven
Tintagel Haven - photographed from Tintagel Castle in North Cornwall, by Angela Channing
View from the castle
Tintagel Haven - sunset from Barras Nose
Sunset from Barras Nose
Merlin's Cave beneath Tintagel Castle, photographed from the inside looking out onto Tintagel Haven
Looking out from Merlin's Cave
Kayaking at Tintagel Haven
Kayaking in Tintagel Haven

Below the the island upon which Tintagel Castle is perched, there is a small sheltered pebble beach, known locally as Castle Beach although on maps you'll see it marked as Tintagel Haven. Slate from the coastal quarries was brought here by donkey, and loaded onto beached ships which also brought in cargoes such as Welsh coal. Beside the waterfall is the remains of a derrick which was used to winch the cargo to and from the beach. In order to manoeuvre them around the dangerous rocks, ships were "hobbled" (towed by rowing boats then manoeuvred by gangs of men pulling on ropes).

On the left side of the beach is Merlin's Cave, and to the back of the beach is a waterfall where the stream running through the Vale of Avalon meets the sea.

Being sheltered by Castle Island on the left and Barras Nose on the right, it is a good spot for a swim or snorkel and is rich in marine life. There are kelp beds along each side inhabited by pollack, bass and several species of wrasse and grey seals are often around.

There is a large flat rock just out to the right from the beach which you can climb down to from the coast path. This is a good spot to fish from at high tide for mackerel, bass and, at dusk, pollack.

Although the sheltered beach is in principle a good spot to launch kayaks, the lack of parking and the long flight of steps to the beach make this more challenging (but not impossible).

Directions

You can walk along the coast path from Trebarwith Strand to Tintagel Haven (about a mile) so you can do a 4-5 mile circular walk starting at Park Farm and coming back through Tintagel (there is a circular route mapped out on our walks page). Alternatively if you drive, there are a couple of possibilities for parking:

  • Park at St Materiana church (5 min drive) and walk 15 minutes along the cliff path.
  • Park in Tintagel (10 min drive) and either walk 15 mins or catch the landrover service down to (or more likely back up from) the castle.

For a short circular walk: park in Tintagel, walk through the vicarage to the church, along the coast to the castle, continue along the coast to Barras Nose then take the path inland to the Castle Hotel and back along Atlantic Drive into Tintagel.

Photos of Tintagel Haven on Flickr

More info