Tintagel to Trebarwith Strand
Walk
Cornwall Coast Path

Cornwall Information & Accommodation Guide


Tintagel to Trebarwith Strand

3 miles (approx.) (5 km (approx.)

This section of the walk begins at the entrance to Barras Nose on the outskirts of Tintagel.

Follow the coast path from Barras Nose down towards Tintagel Castle. The path leads into Tintagel Haven beside the stream. There is a twin waterfall cascading down the cliff into the haven.

Tintagel Haven used to be a working port. Donkeys carried slate from the nearby quarries to be loaded onto boats. There are 9 coastal quarries between Tintagel and Trebarwith Strand, some of which date from the 14th century. The quarries stopped working just before World War II.

At this point you can choose to visit Tintagel Castle on The Island by crossing the stream and making your way around the cliff to the entrance kiosk.

At the head of the Island on its western side is a Pen Diu, Cornish for Black Head.

Tintagel Head can be seen at the extreme most south westerly point of The Island.

Continue following the waymarked path as it climbs up steps to the Outer Bailey of the Castle. Continue along the path past the second of the English Heritage kiosks and follow it to the right.

On the cliffs here are the remains of Gillow Quarry. After a short uphill section the coast path levels out as you approach Tintagel's Parish Church of St Materiana.

Now on Glebe Cliff, the mostly level path leads you through coastal scrub and grassland, characterised by plants and shrubs such as bell heather, gorse, sea pinks, foxgloves, kidney vetch, toadflax, spring squill and sea campion. This part of the coast path as far as the church car park is accessible for pushchairs, wheelchairs and trampers.

Glebe Cliff is named after the association with the church. Glebe land was usually donated by the Lord of the Manor. The land was to support the priest of the parish church and provide him with a residence such as a rectory. Sometimes the glebe could be quite extensive, even including a whole farm.

The birdlife here includes resident stonechats, kestrels and rock pipits. Summer visitors include whitethroats who breed here. Sometimes you may be lucky enough to see a peregrine falcon or during the spring and autumn months, a migrating wheatear.
Below you are more caves.

The ancient Cornish hedge surrounding the graveyard is built in the traditional style for this part of Cornwall -'cursy way'. Attractive lichens cover the hedge, their abundance, an indication of the cleanliness of the air.

An earthwork of the round barrow type, probably dating from the Bronze Age, known as Glebe Cliff tumulus, can be seen a short distance from the path, overgrown with vegetation.

Continue along the coast path following the waymarks. Soon you see the Tintagel YHA hostel. Bear left from the Youth Hostel waymark post until you reach another waymark. Walk down the steps then continue along the coast path to a kissing gate.

In the cliffs roughly opposite the Youth Hostel is the Dunder Hole. The name is probably a corruption of 'thunder hole' and is named because of the sound which emanates from it when the force of a heavy swell pushes through the 100 foot slit in the cliff.

Walk along coast path following the waymarks. On Dunderhole Point are the remains of what was the last working quarry in the area. Long Grass Quarry closed in 1937. Looking down the cliffs you can see the remains of the slate waste. The Tintagel youth hostel was created from the quarry's office, smithy and engine house.

Next are the remains of Gull Point Quarry and at the back of Lambshouse Cove, another quarry, Lambshouse Quarry. The quarries worked as separate entities during the 19th century but were later worked together. There are the remains of a horse whim.

Follow the path through a kissing gate and at the next fork bear left. You are now on Penhallic Point. There's a bench to sit and enjoy the view. There are Wild Chives (Allium schoenoprasum) growing here beside the path. They are in flower between May and August.

During the late 19th century a quay was constructed at Penhallic Point. The cliff was cut to give it a vertical face of 100 feet. Ships were able to moor beside the point with the cargo of slate loaded onto them by cranes. Nothing now remains of the quay.

From the top of Penhallic Point a path winds its way down the cliff to a grassy platform. From this platform it is possible to climb down onto the rocks but you should exercise caution and only attempt this if the rocks are dry.

Follow the path across Higher Penhallic Point to another kissing gate.

The path now heads inland beside a wall. Cross the stile and turn right.

Dennis Scale is an area on Penhallic Point. It is believed that the word 'dennis' is a corruption of the Cornish word 'dinas' meaning a castle or fortification. There are no observable remains of an Iron Age cliff castle.

Pass Greek Rock. There are caves below

Just after Penhallic Point you will see on your right Dria Quarry, another old slate working, above Dria Cove. The quarrymen took advantage of the cove, enlarging it into a working quarry. The cove is no longer accessible by foot due to landslides between Dria Quarry and the neighbouring Bagalow Quarry.

Continue along the path. Bagalow Beach is below, a sandy beach and beside the path the walls and ruins are the remains of the buildings belonging to Bagalow Quarry. What is left of a horse whim and powder magazine stand on the top of the cliff. This quarry is over 200 years old. The sheer quarry face stretches from the sea to the cliff top. Over 100 foot of vertical slate cliff.

Follow the path beside the Cornish hedge and cross a stile. Below you is Hole Beach. This sandy beach is one of five which make up one mile of continuous beach at low water stretching from Port William beach in the west to Hole beach in the east. Caroline Quarry was located here on the vertical cliff face.

You are now approaching Lanterdan Quarry. Now owned by the National Trust, this and the neighbouring West Quarry were two of the largest quarries in north Cornwall. An impressive slate pillar has been left standing at Lanterdan Quarry. The slate that once surrounded it has been quarried away but because the pillar contained inferior slate it was left behind and now stands like a solitary sentry on the cliff. The local Cornish dialect name for inferior slate such as this, is a 'scullock'.

The tiny Vean Hole beach is below, attached to its neighbouring beach, Lill Cove, at low tide. It gets its name from the hole which was dug in the cliff to extract a large piece of quality slate.

Until the mid 19th century there was a small copper mine on the cliffs above Lill Cove. It had a water-wheel which was powered by water contained in a reservoir fed by a leat. There are very few remains of the mine due to landslides - most of it has slipped into the sea. There is an adit near here which probably belonged to this mine.

Continue along the coast path and at the waymark bear right. Follow the path right then down some steps to the next waymark. At the waymark keep right to stay on the coast path and go down the steps. Continue along the path to another waymark. Follow the path down the cliff into Trebarwith Strand.



Public Transport

Bus service between Wadebridge and Bude
Service 595 operated by Stagecoach

Visit Cornwall Public Transport for latest timetable


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