Tintagel Castle Footpath

North Cornwall

Cormac designed and built a new footpath and steps to make the English Heritage site Tintagel Castle more accessible, in alignment with the new footbridge that links the island to the mainland.

Tintagel Footpath

Tintagel Castle Pathways

A site seeped in history

The iconic and mythical site of Tintagel Castle is imbued with Cornish history and Arthurian legend. It was, by design, difficult to access. For unwelcome and welcome visitors alike, a trip to Tintagel always involved a perilous scramble down and then up the cliff face on the other side. 

Working closely with English Heritage and the American Bridge Company – who built the giant 70m footbridge spanning the chasm between the mainland and the island – we devised a solution to make the castle accessible to everyone. 

The project came with its own unique challenges…

Treading gently

Sympathy with the local environment

As a Site of Significant Scientific Interest (SSSI) within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), the flora, fauna and the physical landscape had to be treated with respect and consideration. Add to that the site’s heritage and archaeological significance – our design and planning team had a big job on their hands.

We adopted a ‘no-dig’ policy on the footpaths and edges, to ensure minimal disruption to the soil and environment. Topsoil could not be removed or replaced, so any excavated material had to be retained and carefully re-integrated into the landscape. 

The paths were widened, re-surfaced with local stone and slate and made more accessible by removing steps and installing oak-topped hand-rails, along with plenty of seating for rest-stops.

Because of the inaccessible terrain, all the materials had to be brought in by helicopter – a logistical feat in itself, not least to work around the timing of winter closure of the site and sensitivity to nesting birds on the clifftops.

Access to All

Tintagel Castle, open for business

The new pathways and iconic sweep of the bridge connecting the two parts of the Tintagel site now make this attraction accessible to all – and with 230,000 visitors a year, that has a big impact.

Combining major infrastructure works within a specific timeframe, in a remote location, with major environmental challenges, Cormac completed a highly acclaimed landmark project with far reaching benefits for both tourists and the local community.

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    Foot Span of The Gorge

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    Meter Span of The Double Cantilever Arched Footbridge

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    Thousand Visitors to the Site Annually

  • Tintagel Castle has been made whole again. Once more, people cross from one side of the castle to the other and their footsteps will echo those from hundreds of years ago. As a charity English Heritage’s core purpose is to care for historic sites like Tintagel Castle and to inspire people to visit them.

    Kate Mavor

    English Heritage’s CEO

News (10)


Cormac began as a business with a remit to service all the civil engineering needs of Cornwall. As a consequence we have an extensive range of specialist skillsets, and can offer a true end-to-end service to our clients in Cornwall and beyond.

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