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Caves in Cornwall

Cornwall is made for exploring and discovering, with much of the county steeped in legend and myth, the mysterious caves in Cornwall make the perfect place for exploring for those who love an adventure.

Discover these four unique caves whilst on holiday in Cornwall.

St Neot, near Liskeard, Carnglaze Caverns

Set in Ancient Oak Woodland, on the southern edge of Bodmin more, Carnglaze Cavern’s in a unique attraction waiting for you to discover it. Explore this former slate mine, which is part of Cornwall’s mining heritage. Head 60 metres underground when you will find an enchanting underground lake, with crystal clear blue, green water. You will be equipped with a hard hat and torch as you make the descent. There is a self-guided tour around the cave, which has information points so you can learn about the miners and the Carnglaze. Carnglaze Caverns are 10 degrees Celsius throughout the year, so it is cooler than outside in the summer and warmer in the winter.  Sensible footwear is a must.

Above the cave there is a magical woodland walkway, which goes through Quarry Wood which has 4 acres of bluebells in the spring. It is said to be a perfect place for fairy spotting! Also browse the crystals and crafts shop.

Holywell Bay Cave, CornwallHolywell Bay, Pink Caves

Holywell is an expansive beach is not far from Hendra, and is a soft sand beach with sand dunes, and National Trust car park opposite. It is also home to a unique pink cave which can be found tucked under the southern cliffs of Kelsey Head. It is only accessible at low-tide so you must check times carefully. It isn’t easy to find, and from the beach it is just a mere slit in the rocks, but it is worth it. There are steps that lead to the several pools ascending towards a hole in the cave roof. The steps can be very slippery, so be careful.

The outline of the pools has a creamy-white chalky deposit which has built up from the mineral rich water dripping from the roof. This deposit is also tinted with pink, red and blue and looks grotto like. It is worth taking a torch and another person to explore with.

Crantock Beach, horse carving and poem

Crantock beach is in a picturesque small village just outside of Newquay, so this cave is also close to Hendra. In the early twentieth century a woman was horse riding along Crantock beach. She and her horse got cut off as the tide came in and the rough seas swept them away drowning them both. Her distraught lover carved a poem into a rock, in a cave on the beach, along with a portrait of his lost love and her horse. The poem reads:

‘Mar not my face but let me be

Secure in this lone cave by the sea

Let the wild waves around me roar

Kissing my lips for evermore’

This poem and carving of the anonymous woman can still be seen today when you walk across the beach, past the dunes, and on to explore the caves.

Tintagel, Merlin’s CaveTintagel Castle, Merlin's Cave, Cornwall

Steeped in legend, this cave is perhaps the most magical and certainly the most well-known cave on the list. Located beneath Tintagel Castle, it is 100 metres long passing completely through Tintagel Island from Tintagel Haven. The sea cave is formed by marine erosion. Victorian poet Alfred Lord Tennyson made the cave famous in his poem Idylls of the King, describing waves bringing the infant Arthur to shore and Merlin carrying him to safety.

Tintagel castle above can be visited for further history and magic, with the castle dating back to the 13th century.