King Arthur: Legend of the Sword got us in the mood for re-enacting that epic scene with 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
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
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
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
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.
Where? Forge of Avalon, Glastonbury, Somerset
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.