Cornwall – Boscastle and Tintagel
Our last holiday was in February when Ashwina and I visited Dunwich Heath to celebrate our wedding anniversary. Since we haven’t taken a vacation since then, we planned a week in Cornwall in the first week of September. This was much needed for us to recharge our batteries. And as usual Ashwina made the necessary arrangements for our trip.
We booked a cab to Paddington station in London where we caught the First Great Western train to Bodmin Parkway, which is the closest station to where we were staying in Boscastle.
The journey is nearly 4 hours with views of the countryside that would be be familiar to anyone who leaves the hustle and bustle of the city. The route passes through Plymouth and a few miles before reaching Plymouth you get a glimpse of the sea which is simply breathtaking. And, this wouldn’t be the first time on this trip that I got the same feeling!
We alighted at Bodmin Parkway. Bodmin Parkway shares its name with Bodmin which is famous for the Bodmin and Wenford steam railway. However, Bodmin Parkway is a relatively smaller railway station and does serve as one of the stopping points for the Bodmin and Wenford railway.
We had booked a self catering cottage called The Lugger which was located in Boscastle Harbour. This was a scene of a terrible flash flood back in 2004 which pretty much washed the village away. The place has since been restored and there is little evidence of the destruction that was caused back then.
We hailed a local cab to take us to Boscastle, which is a good 45 minutes drive from Bodmin Parkway. And just before we descended into the village, I had my breath taken away for the second time because the view was simply spectacular!
The Lugger turned out to be a cozy cottage with a separate entrance which was located in the first floor of the National Trust Visitor Centre. This would be our home for the week. We unpacked, had some tea and then took a walk around the village, which has a few pubs, a post office, a car park and a tiny Spar.
Dinner would be a quiet one in our cottage before we set out to explore the area the next day.
We awoke the next day and set of a little before noon to catch the Western Greyhound bus from Boscastle to Tintagel. Tintagel is the legendary birth place of King Arthur.
The key attraction at Tintagel is the ruins of the castle that once sat on the island. This castle was built by Richard (1209-1272), Earl of Cornwall. However, the history of Tintagel dates back to the 6th century marked by pottery and other remains that have been found through several excavations in the region. While one can only guess the real history of Tintagel, the reality is that this is a very popular tourist destination in Cornwall mainly because of the legend of King Arthur.
The main approach to the castle is located at the foot of the valley just before the cove called The Haven. The Haven is also the site of Merlin’s Cave which is so called probably because of Tennyson’s sequence of 12 poems “Idylls of the King” in which Merlin plucks the infant Arthur from the sea and proclaims him to be the heir to Uther.
No amount of words can do justice to the region. So, instead of going into the details of how beautiful this place is, I will let the below photos enthral you. You can also check out the rest of the album on Flickr.
The return journey was exhausting as we made our way back the very steep slope to get back to the main village road. When we reached the bus stop we realised that the bus that would take us back to Boscastle was well over an hour away. Being extremely exhaused, we shared a cab with another couple who were also on their way back to Boscastle.
If you’re ever going to be living in the region of Boscastle, I strongly recommend making a trip to Tintagel. It’s well worth the time and energy spent.
On a side note, Boscastle Harbour has zero mobile connectivity. So, while it might be good to cut off from the world, not having a landline makes it very difficult to contact the outside world. We did have wifi so we were able to use email and browse the net. However, I had to climb some very steep hills to make phone calls.
Wednesday would be a walk around the harbour. But, that’s a story for another post.