England’s best view? Tintagel, Cornwall, where seas of turquoise crash on slate tinged with copper

Simon Jenkins chooses Tintagel, Cornwall as one of England’s best views.

‘A dark headland hovers over a massive rock. Round it crash seas of a turquoise colour produced by light acting on copper embedded in slate. This is a place where history has conceded total victory to myth. The small village is surrounded by a rampart of hot-dog stalls and an outer bailey of caravan and camp sites.

‘The exploitation of Tintagel is not new. The link with Arthur derives from a 12th-century cleric, Geoffrey of Monmouth, who wrote a work of fiction with the unhelpful title of History of the Kings of Britain. The story consumed all Europe throughout the Middle Ages and beyond.

‘The setting is tremendous, a vista of brutal rocks and headlands stretching in either direction along the Atlantic shore. ’

This piece originally ran in Country Life in 2013, and was extracted from England’s 100 Best Views by Simon Jenkins, published by Profile books in October 2013.