King Arthur’s Realm
Steeped in myth and legend, Cornwall has long held tales of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table.
Explore Cornwall’s north coast where Arthur allegedly lived and died. Find out where Camelot may have been, where Excalibur was thrown into the lake and what became of the Round Table.
Tintagel, his birthplace
Tintagel Castle is reputed to be the birthplace of King Arthur. Carved into the steep rocks, the dramatic ruins inspire mystery and romance. Merlin’s Cave lies below whilst steep steps lead to the towering headland, magnificent in its outlook.
The 18 acre site is now run by English Heritage and is one of the most popular attractions in Cornwall. A visitor centre explains the associated legends and holds regular exhibitions. There’s also a beach café, situated in the old Cornish silver and lead mine offices.
For centuries historians have debated whether Tintagel or Camelford is the site of King Arthur’s famous Camelot.
Dozmary Pool in Bodmin is said to be the location of the famous Excalibur. Arthur was also allegedly returned here, wounded, after his defeat at nearby Slaughter Bridge. He was then taken to the Isle of Avalon, which some believe are the Scilly Isles.
King Arthur’s Hall and King Arthur’s Bed are also situated on Bodmin Moor. Located near to St Breward and Trewortha Tor respectively, the names have been passed down throughout the centuries.
Other Cornish locations for King Arthur
- Camelford – one of two alleged locations of Camelot, the other being Tintagel.
- Bossinney Mound – north east from Tintagel, this is where the legendary round table is said to be buried.
- Slaughter Bridge – a stone dated from the 6th century marks where the decisive battle of Camlann is said to have taken place between Arthur and Mordred. The battle ended the Fellowship of The Round Table. Arthur killed Mordred but received a fatal wound from his opponents poisoned sword.
- St Nectan’s Glen – north of Tintagel and said to be where Arthur received a blessing before embarking on his quest for the Holy Grail.
- Castle Killibury – a small ancient hill fort known as ‘Kelly Rounds’ just off the road near Wadebridge and Camelford may be where 11th century writers refer to as ‘Kelliwic,’ where King Arthur held court.