Tintagel Old Post Office February half-term opening

The back garden of Tintagel Old Post Office, Cornwall

The house and garden team have brought this ancient abode back to its best, ready for the doors to be flung open for the 2020 season. Expect a half term of open fires, the smell of Cornish teatime treats or finding out about the origins of the everyday phrases we still use today.

The house and garden will be open daily from 11am-4pm with last admisison at 3.30pm. Following half term, the house will once again close before opening fully for the 2020 season on Saturday 14 March.

Highlights of half term at Tintagel Old Post Office

  • The lighting of the cloam oven and traditional baking displays. (Free with admission on certain days only - please note, the oven will only be lit on Monday 17, Thursday 20 and Saturday 22 February, 11am-1pm). Cloam is the local dialect word for clay. Similar in style to a pizza oven, this Victorian bread oven will be stoked ready to bake traditional West Country recipes back to life, with a demonstration on how to get the oven to temperature.

  • The hall fire alight. When the cloam oven is not in use, the open range of the hall is lit on most days during the colder months. This great range is known as 'the slab' in Cornwall. It was added during the 1600s and once displayed the coat-of-arms of the middle-class farming family who owned the house at the time and was meant to give a grand impression. The smell and crackle of the seasoned logs we use really brings this past to life. As well as keeping the the staff and visitors warm, lighting the fire helps to look after the house and collections by recuding the affects of the damp - something we need to keep an eye on in a house of this age!

  • Sayings exhibition. (Daily during half term. Free with admisison). Have you ever felt 'left on the shelf' or been told to 'sleep tight'? This exhibition uncovers the meanings and origins behind the sayings we still know and use.

  • Early signs of spring. It might be early in the season, but the daffodils began blooming in the cottage garden in early January, so expect several varieties of narcissus on show. If you're lucky, you may even spot the rare and unusual multi-headed 'tête á tête' daffodil. 

What else is happening?

  • Family history trail. (Free with admission). Follow the trail in the hunt for history! Do you know what some of the items in the house were used for and who would have used them?
  • Victorian dressing up. (Free with admission, weather permitting). Look the part of the postmaster and postmistress with Victorian dressing up clothing. Perfect for a family photo and with sizes for grown-ups too!
  • Garden games. (Free with admission, weather permitting). Challenge your friends and family in noughts-and-crosses.
  • Garden explorer box. (Free with admission, weather permitting). Use the kit in the explorer box to take a closer look at the flora and fauna of the garden and tick-off #31 of 50 things when you make friends with a bug.
  • Second-hand book stall (weather permitting). Grab a bargain from the book stall in the garden. Books are labelled with prices on the back and all proceeds help to look after this special place.
Discover a story spanning six centuries with the family trail
A close up of the children's trail at the house
Discover a story spanning six centuries with the family trail

Walkers welcome

For those walking along the South West Coast Path from Port Isaac or Boscastle, when you reach Glebe Cliff, Tintagel Old Post Office is less than a mile inland. The house was built from slate taken from the numerous cliff quarries you will have walked past.

It's a good place to take off your backpack and recharge your batteries before the next leg of your coastal clamber. You are welcome to leave walking poles in the entranceway and we have a boot scraper near the front door.

The cottage garden is a nice place for your flask of tea or pasty from the village, and if the weather is sour, let the old slate walls shelter you from the westerly winds.

Barras Nose headland offers views of the towering Tintagel Island and Castle ruins
Barras Nose headland, Tintagel, North Cornwall
Barras Nose headland offers views of the towering Tintagel Island and Castle ruins