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Tintagel Old Post Office

tintagel old post office

Step Back in Time at Tintagel Old Post Office

At the heart of Tintagel, on the North Cornwall coast sits a curiosity for history lovers – the Tintagel Old Post Office. Transformed into an eccentric row of independent shops, this slate-fronted building provides the ultimate window into Cornwall’s traditional ways of life.

Our guide shows families how to immerse themselves in nostalgia across the floors of this creaking Georgian house brimming with antiquities centred around a fully restored 19th century post office.

tintagel old post office from air

Getting to Tintagel Old Post Office

In Tintagel village, follow signs from the main car parks towards the Central Square and Old Post Office just off Fore Street. Use postcode PL34 0DB for the car park then walk downhill 5 minutes.

By Car – Several public parking options exist in Tintagel village charging around £1-£3 per hour. There is no onsite parking

By Bus – The 595/597 coastal bus routesconnecting Bodmin, Boscastle and Bude stop in Tintagel outside the Hardware Store.

Walking – The South West Coast Path is within ¾ mile. Find the post office opposite King Arthur’s Arms pub, in the middle of Fore Street.

Opening Times and Prices

Open daily March – December 11am – 5.30pm

Entry Prices (2024) for Tintagel Old Post Office:

Adult£7.20 | Child £3.60 | Family £17.90 | National Trust Members Free

national trust sign

Top Things To See and Do

The house, modified over six centuries, served as a letter-receiving office during the Victorian period, providing a glimpse into the past when communication was a slower, more tangible affair.

Cottage Garden

The charm of Tintagel Old Post Office extends to its cottage garden, a traditional Victorian-style Cornish oasis that welcomes picnickers. The garden, thoughtfully planted with an array of shrubs and flowers, serves as a haven for wildlife. Beyond the historical significance, visitors can immerse themselves in the serenity of the surroundings and enjoy a leisurely picnic in this idyllic setting.

garden at tintagel old post office

Wonky Roof

One of the distinctive features of the Old Post Office is its wonky roof, a testament to the passage of time and the weight of locally-quarried rag slates. Dating back to the Tudor period, the roof, once straight, has gracefully warped, adding character to the structure. This architectural quirk invites visitors to marvel at the resilience of the building and the craftsmanship that has stood the test of centuries.

Post Room

Stepping into the post room, visitors are transported to the 1870s, a time when the space was bustling with letter-receiving activities. The room showcases Victorian postal items and early communication systems, providing insight into a bygone era. It’s a journey through the evolution of mail services, highlighting the artifacts and tools that were once integral to the postal process.

Against a backdrop of original brass scales, pigeon holes and vintage postal ledgers, kids delight dressing up in thick woollen uniforms and pill box hats to pose as Victorian postal clerks. Feel the weight of precious packages tied with string or try cancelling letters using ink stamps under the watchful eye of the Post Mistress herself!

counter at tintagel old post office

Sleeping Platform

Exploring further, visitors will discover the sleeping platform, a peculiar extra bedroom with medieval origins. Although its appearance may resemble a minstrels’ gallery, historical records indicate that it was never utilized as such. This enigmatic space adds an air of mystery to the Old Post Office, inviting speculation about its original purpose and the lives of those who once occupied the premises.

bedroom in tintagel old post office

Fireplace

The 16th-century fireplace, locally known as ‘the slab,’ stands as a grand centerpiece in the house. Adorned with a plasterwork coat of arms in its heyday, the fireplace exudes a sense of grandeur. Its presence serves as a reminder of the social and cultural elements that were integral to the lives of those who called Tintagel Old Post Office home.

Needlework Samplers

Art enthusiasts and history lovers alike will appreciate the collection of 13 needlework samplers adorning the walls, with the earliest dating back to 1768. Additionally, Victorian bedspreads on display in the bedrooms add a touch of period authenticity. These textiles provide a tangible connection to the daily lives and artistic expressions of past residents.

Second Hand Bookshop and plant sales

For those looking to take a piece of Tintagel Old Post Office home with them, the second-hand book shop in the post room and the stand in the cottage garden offer a diverse range of titles. Weather permitting, visitors can peruse through the books and, in the cottage garden, explore seasonal plant sales, adding a touch of the historical charm to their own homes.

open fire tintagel old post office

Tuck into Classic Cream Teas

There is no cafe directly attached to the Post Office, but you can refuel in the patchwork-style Tearooms nestled right behind the Old Post Office where indulgent Cornish cream teas come served the traditional way jam first with fruity Tintagel jams, silky Rodda’s clotted cream and Preheat’s just-baked scones. Take a pew at one of the heavy oak settles flanking the open fireplace for a cosy atmosphere.

Guidebook

national trust guide to tintagel old post office

Explore the rich history of Tintagel Old Post Office with the National Trust Book. Discover medieval tales, architectural wonders, and the charm of a bygone era.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is Tintagel Old Post Office wheelchair accessible? – While the historic nature of the building presents some challenges, efforts have been made to ensure limited accessibility.

Are dogs allowed on the premises? – Only assistance dogs are permitted inside the Old Post Office.

How long does the average visit take? – The average visit duration is about 1 hour.

Nearby Attractions

Pair vintage vibes at the Old Post Office with exploring more magic around Tintagel like:

  • Tintagel Castle – Immediately next to the Post Office are the impressive ruins of this medieval castle perched dramatically on a headland with links to the legend of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table.
  • The Eden Project – Just under an hour’s drive away, this popular eco attraction consists of huge tropical biomes containing impressive global plant life displays from regions worldwide.
  • King Arthur’s Great Halls – Also in Tintagel village, explore a reproduction medieval hall complex said to be the legendary Camelot, containing King Arthur’s Round Table.
  • St Nectan’s Glen – Take the steep walk down into this magical fairy glen with enchanting waterfalls, rivers, dense woodlands and abundant wildlife.
  • Bossiney Beach – A peaceful stony cove with a backdrop of rolling hills and tranquil harbour near Tintagel, neighboured by a charming cluster of fishing cottages and coastal views.
  • Trebarwith Strand – This popular surfing beach has great waves, golden sands, a small sea cave to discover and the quaint Port William Inn overlooking the ocean.
  • Port Isaac – Recognisable as the fishing village setting of TV’s Doc Martin, Port Isaac has winding narrow lanes dotted with cafés which lead down to a picturesque tiny harbour.
  • Padstow – Take a 25 minute drive from Tintagel to enjoy Rick Stein’s famous seafood restaurant in Padstow harbour or wander the pretty town’s pastel coloured Georgian houses.
  • Camel Trail – Take a scenic trip along the Camel Trail through Bodmin, Wadebridge and Padstow
  • Bodmin Moor – Explore Cornwall’s bleakly beautiful, rugged moorland around 45 minutes’ drive from Tintagel, with walks across the landscape and near mysterious ancient monuments.

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