Unearth these epic getaways in time for blockbuster King Arthur: Legend of the Sword. Explore ancient sites with claim to legend and dramatic spots that formed the backdrop for the film.
Cornish Retreat – Tintagel
There’s something magical about the Cornish coastline and the iconic clifftop setting of Tintagel Castle sums this up best. Rumoured to be where King Arthur was conceived, kids will love following the giant stone compass, which points to places connected with the legend, and hunting for story stones scattered around the ruins. Relax on the beach below – one of Tintagel’s best-kept secrets – and explore Merlin’s Cave when the tide is out, then check into nearby Camelot Castle Hotel with its stunning sea views.
camelotcastle.com / english-heritage.org.uk
King of the Castle – Carlisle Castle
Legend has it Cumbria’s capital, Carlisle, was King Arthur’s Camelot (or his HQ at least), with Arthur and his adviser Merlin using the Roman fortress here. Located on this spot, at the very heart of the city, is the epic 12th-century Carlisle Castle. Wander around its atmospheric, medieval rooms with interactive exhibits and discover a fortress steeped in legend. Check into nearby Dalston Hall Hotel for a country setting and traditional cooked breakfast fit for a king.
Into the Woods – King Arthur’s Cave
Give them real King Arthur fever by visiting the very place King Arthur’s council scenes were filmed. A real-life, prehistoric 25ft-tall monument called ‘King Arthur’s Cave’ is located in Lord’s Wood, near Symonds Yat in the Wye Valley. Situated within the ultra family-friendly Royal Forest of Dean, combine it with a host of activities from canoeing to Segways. Stay at the Symonds Yat Rock Lodge for great panoramic sunsets and star gazing.
rocklodge.co.uk / visitengland.com
Royal Approval – Windsor Great Park
Used as a backdrop to King Arthur, Windsor Great Park has 4,800 acres of sweeping parkland, award-winning gardens, ancient woodland and forest trails waiting to be explored. They can cycle or even try out horseback amongst the magnificent oak trees and resident red deer roaming the park. Visit the Queen’s Royal residence, Windsor Castle, then check into the contemporary-chic, family-run B&B Park Farm, just a mile away.
parkfarm.com / windsorgreatpark.co.uk
Walk the Wall – Birdoswald Fort
Birdoswald Fort is one of the best preserved of 16 forts along Hadrian’s Wall. Once rumoured to be Camelot, experts believe this was the spot of Arthur’s final Battle of Camlann. Find cycling and walking maps in the visitor centre, step into its cosy tearoom, or for a true taste of the battlefield, explore the brand-new exhibition of Roman Cavalry. Stay at Birdoswald Farmhouse, a 39-bed, self-catering home from home, with stunning views over the hills.
Going Underground – King Arthur’s Labyrinth
Set in an old slate mine in Corris, Snowdonia – the heart of ‘Arthur’ country – King Arthur’s Labyrinth is packed with interactive history. Venture past the underground waterfall to discover exhibits and characters telling the story of the legend – complete with dragons and giants. Set in underground caverns and tunnels, experience the new Dragon River ride too. Check into the lovely Bala Cottages.
balacottages.com / kingarthurslabyrinth.co.uk