Drive to Cornwall
Chances are you’re starting your trip somewhere far, far away from Cornwall. We started in Brighton, and it took us 6 hours (with one quick stop) to reach Tintagel, the starting point of our Cornwall road trip.
If you’re coming from London, plan on 5 hours of driving without any breaks. It’s best if you can get an early start today so that you can enjoy the dazzling Cornish coast for sunset.
Renting a Car in England
We recommend using the Discovercars.com car rental reservation platform to search for and book car rentals in England. This easy-to-use booking platform compares car rental deals from 500+ trusted providers, so that you can choose the best option for your trip.
Tip: If you can only drive automatic transmission cars, as opposed to manual transmission cars (stick shift), book your can rental as early as possible.
Check car rental rates here.
- Car Park: Tintagel Country Club Car Park
- Exact Location: Google Maps
Tintagel Castle is the legendary birthplace of King Arthur. Brittain’s legendary figure was first linked to Tintagel in the 12th century by Geoffrey of Monmouth. Overlooking the sea, the castle ruins occupy the eroding Tintagel Island and part of the mainland (see entrance fees here).
Though it’s the Arthurian legend that continues to breathe mysticism into this medieval site and thus entices visitors to come, it’s the natural beauty of the headlands that will leave the most lasting impression.
Walk from Tintagel to Boscastle along the South West Coast Path
- Starting Point Tintagel
- Ending Point: Boscastle
- Distance: 8 km (5 miles) point-to-point
- Time Needed: 3 hours
- Difficulty: Easy
- Elevation Gain: 334 m
- Elevation Loss: 404 m
Grab a Cornish pasty at the Cornish Bakery on 1A Castle Road before walking down Castle Road to Tintagel Haven. During low tide, you can access Merlin’s Cave from the beach.
During high tide, the cave fills up with water. Just past the Tintagel Castle Cafe, you’ll find a trail that leads east in the direction of Boscastle.
We highly recommend walking along the South West Coast Path for a few hours, taking in the flower carpeted cliffs awash with vibrant yellows, purples, and whites. You don’t need to walk all the way to Boscastle to enjoy this path, as the views are glorious throughout.
If you arrive early in the day, take bus 95 from the Tintagel Visitor Center to Boscastle Car Park and then walk back to Tintagel.
Stay in Tintagel
Budget | Adults-only Dolphins is a centrally located hostel in Tintagel offering dormitory and private rooms. Guests have access to a shared kitchen, lounge, and garden. Stay here for the warm hospitality, location, and unbeatable price.
Midrange | Gordon House B&B features bright bedrooms, fabulous breakfasts, and a perfect location in the heart of Tintagel.
Luxury | Set in a Victorian castle, the stately Camelot Castle Hotel occupies a dreamy location overlooking the sea and the Tintagel headland. Reviews are mixed. Stay here for the views and the historic atmosphere rather than the facilities.
Look for accommodation in Tintagel.
Or, Stay in Port Isaac
Or, you can continue your journey to Port Isaac, one of the most scenic fishing villages in Cornwall.
Midrange | Cornish Arms Inn is set in a 16-century coaching inn in Pendoggett, 2.5 miles from the Port Isaac fishing village. Guests love the friendly atmosphere, the breakfasts, and the spotless and comfortable bedrooms. If you don’t feel like venturing far for dinner, you can always eat in the inn’s restaurant.
Midrange | The Slipway is a historic guesthouse, which served as a smuggler’s hideaway in the 16th century. Located in the very heart of the fishing village and overlooking the harbor, this quirky B&B and restaurant is a perfect base for exploring the village and coastal trails around Port Isaac.
Luxury | Port Gaverne Hotel is located in the secluded cove of Port Gaverne, a 5-minute walk to Port Isaac. Dating back to the 17th century, this atmospheric inn is full of character and heart. You can expect excellent service, divine seaside views, and delicious food. The hotel restaurants serve seasonal produce, locally caught fish, and freshly baked bread.
Look for accommodation in Port Isaac.