Places you might find a sword in a stone

by Rachel Ricks
Thursday 01 January 1970

Fancy re-enacting that epic scene with King Arthur and the sword? Here are some fantastically atmospheric places in the UK which could be straight out of Camelot…

The hidden rock chapel

Where? Pembrokeshire, Wales

St Govans Chapel, Pembrokeshire, Wales

Head for the windswept cliff edge in this secret spot on the Pembrokeshire coast and you’ll find descending the cliff-face 52 stone steps. Or maybe not – legend has it that if you count the steps on the way down, you won’t get the same number on the way up..! At the bottom is a tiny rock chapel built in-between the rocks, there in honour of the hermit St Govan who lived there in the 6th century. Some stories refer to Govan as Sir Gawain, the faithful Knight of King Arthur, who at the end of his adventures retired to these cliffs as a recluse.

The spectacular limestone pavement

Where? Yorkshire

Malham Cove, Yorkshire, England

The bizarre natural phenomenon of Malham Cove was formed back in the Ice Age, leaving a limestone pavement that then plunges into a gorge that is an adventurer’s paradise. The wild and open cliff-top provides spectacular views over the rugged Yorkshire Dales landscape and has unsurprisingly been used as a location for many a dramatic film scene.

The cliff-top castle

Where? Cornwall

Tintage castle, Cornwall, England Pic: Matthew Jessop

Tintagel is the ultimate adventure castle and its setting would surely give Camelot a run for its money. Search for magic as you scramble among the ancient ruins, bridges, tunnels and arches that straddle the Atlantic-pounded craggy cliffs of northern Cornwall. After all, this is the legendary birthplace of King Arthur himself…

The Standing Stones

Where? Isle of Lewis, Outer Hebrides, Scotland

Calanais Standing Stones at dusk, on the Isle of Lewis, Outer Hebrides, Scotland

The Calanais Standing Stones on the Isle of Lewis are believed to be a whopping 3,000-5,000 years old. In the 17th century, the people of Lewis called the stones fir bhrèige – false men – and you can see why! Stand amid them and you’re bound to feel something mystical sweep over you, particularly if you time it for sunset.

The sword-making workshop

Where? Forge of Avalon, Glastonbury, Somerset

Sword making at the Forge of Avalon, Somerset, England

Still haven’t found that elusive sword? Then make your own in Britain’s mystical heartland. In Glastonbury, Somerset is the Forge of Avalon where you can learn the secrets of swordsmithing and forge your sword, all under the watchful gaze of legend-drenched Glastonbury Tor.


Rachel Ricks

Rachel is Britain's biggest fan so she couldn't possibly choose her favourite place to visit in the country! From hiking in the wild and windswept Highlands of Scotland, to moseying around the shops in Brighton's Lanes, Rachel has done it and written about it.

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