Although Cornwall is home to many myths and legends, it’s best-known for its connections to the fascinating tales of King Arthur. One of the most famous characters in British history, many stories surround this legendary figure and the magical kingdom he is said to have once ruled.
From mysterious waterfalls to elaborate castles, there are plenty of places close to our holiday parks in Cornwall where you can uncover the secrets of Arthurian legend. Here at Parkdean Resorts, we’ve unearthed some of the most magical places to discover the tales of King Arthur.
Tintagel Castle, Tintagel
Sitting high on Cornwall’s rugged cliffs, just 30 minutes from St Minver Holiday Park, you’ll find the majestic Tintagel Castle. Immerse yourself in history, legends and stunning scenery at this romantic spot, and learn all about its rich and fascinating past.
King Arthur has been linked to the castle since the 12th century when Geoffrey of Monmouth named it as the place where the legendary king was conceived. Start your journey at the exhibition centre, where you’ll see artefacts that were unearthed at the castle, and a model of the headland, showing you how this beautiful site has developed over the years. Head outside and follow the story of Tintagel’s history and discover a stone compass that points to the place connected to King Arthur. Look out for the bronze sculpture that was inspired by the legend, along with other historical royal figures that are associated with the castle.
Climb the 148 steps on the island, soaking up the beauty that surrounds Tintagel. Whether you want to walk along the dramatic headland, relax on the beach below or explore the secrets of Merlin’s Cave, there’s something for all ages around this fascinating castle.
Dozmary Pool, Bodmin Moor
Just over 30 minutes from both Looe Bay Holiday Park and White Acres Holiday Park you’ll find Dozmary Pool, one of the most mysterious locations connected to King Arthur. This small lake in the middle of Bodmin Moor sets the scene for many myths, but it’s most famous for being the place where King Arthur’s legendary sword ‘Excalibur’ now lies.
It’s thought that King Arthur was given the sword by the ‘Lady of the Lake’ after rowing out to meet her. Fatally injured after the Battle of Camlann, Arthur instructed his loyal follower Bedivere to return Excalibur to the lake. It’s said that after he threw the sword into the pool, the Lady of the Lake’s arm rose to capture it before vanishing back beneath the waters.
Located on the beautiful Bodmin Moor, there’s lots to see and do around this mysterious spot. Visit Carnglaze Slate Caverns, just 20 minutes from Dozmary Pool, and learn how the Cornish miners worked here many years ago and discover some of the secrets that lie beneath the ground. Head underground on a tour of the old slate mine, then experience the crystal-clear waters of the magnificent underground lake.
The Arthurian Centre, Slaughter Bridge
Situated on the site of King Arthur’s last battle, the Battle of Camlann, the Arthurian Centre is one of the best places in Cornwall to discover the stories of King Arthur. From the exhibition centre itself to the wonderful surrounding woodland, walk in the footsteps of King Arthur at this fantastic family attraction.
Under 30 minutes from St Minver Holiday Park, the exhibition centre is filled with fascinating photographs, information and illustrations, telling the story of over 1,500 years’ worth of history. Follow the trail from the centre into 20 acres of magical woodland, where you’ll stumble across the presumed site of the battlefield. Head further into the trees and you’ll find Arthur’s Stone, inscribed in both Latin and Ogham, a form of Celtic runic writing.
Located next to the River Camel, there’s lots to enjoy in the scenic surroundings of the Arthurian Centre. If you’re a fan of outdoor activities, take a stroll or a bike ride along the river banks and explore what the mysterious Bodmin Moor has to offer.
St Nectan’s Glen, Trethevy
If it’s natural beauty you’re looking for, then a trip to St Nectan’s Glen is a must. Under an hour from several of our holiday parks in Cornwall, St Nectan’s Glen is home to magnificent waterfalls, wonderful walks and a variety of woodland wildlife.
The glen also has a historic and mysterious past, and there are many myths surrounding this beautiful area. It’s believed that when King Arthur’s knights set out to find the Holy Grail, they would have bathed in the Glen’s waters in preparation for their spiritual journey.
As well as King Arthur and his knights, St Nectan’s Glen has also set the scene for many other enchanting tales, including the legends of Saint Nectan and Saint Piran, and stories of witches, fairies and pixies. Follow the path through the ancient woodland along the banks of the River Trevillet and discover three spectacular waterfalls. Relax in the fantastic café, which is the perfect place to unwind and admire the breathtaking views.