Stunning, isn't it? This is the rocky, magical coast of Tintagel in North Cornwall, with the view from the top of Tintagel Head. Where the remains of a rich Baron's castle now stands, and, if you believe the legends, where Uther Pendragon disguised himself as King Gorlois of Cornwall to seduce his wife Igraine, mother of Arthur. Tintagel, where Morgan Pendragon - Morgan Le Fay, of the Faeries, the witch - played on the beach and learnt the mysteries of the ocean in the turquoise but violent waves.
In CROW MOON, Danny is made a witch on Tintagel Head and the village there is run by Lowenna Hawthorne, Head Witch of the ecopagan Greenworld. There couldn't be a more perfect, romantic and magical location for a story about the power of nature and the power of love - in my opinion.
Last time I visited Tintagel I was lucky enough to find the tide out and so could go inside Merlin's Cave, a place of magic between worlds - water and land - submerged then reappearing like the realm of faerie where humans must take care, or they will be lost forever. I set a few scenes with Danny and Saba in a (drier and more hospitable) cave off this same beach - again, how cool would it actually be to have a safe yet magical lovers' retreat cave, listening to the waves crashing outside while your heart beat madly in your chest with the sheer passion of it all? Hard stone floors or damp patches be damned. It's ROMANTIC.
Last, Scorhill stone circle outside the village of Gidleigh in Dartmoor. Dartmoor is home to many witches, and many writers too. It must have something. Dartmoor is a rough, wide, wild place where, thousands of years ago, our ancestors honoured the land by erecting stone circles like this one as well as burial mounds, designating the land as sacred. Scorhill is Danny's local stone circle (lucky thing) and of course he totally doesn't appreciate it at all. But we can imagine that his mum, Zia, spends a lot of time out here, speaking to the ancestors and keeping the intricate balance of life and death for the villagers that rely on her.
I'm in Cornwall this weekend at the Truro Festival and I'm looking forward to the opportunity to reconnect with this most magical and beautiful landscape. If I can, I will be sitting in the circle, listening to the earth, listening to the sky and feeling the vibrations of ancient feet, of the wise ones that came before us.
This weekend, visit the most local stone circle or sacred site to you; be respectful; touch the stones gently; feel the energy of the pace. It requires no more skill than being present, being quiet and letting your mind wander.