Welcome to Falmouth
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Falmouth has been shaped and influenced by its strong connection to the sea. combining a fascinating maritime heritage and modern creativity, falmouth is building a name for itself as one of the south west’s leading cultural and festival destinations., sea shanty fundraiser.
Are you ready for the Spring Fundraiser for the 2024 Falmouth shanty weekend? A rollicking, rousing evening of shanties and Cornish songs, featuring three much-loved Falmouth groups and compered by Betty Stogs.
The Moor in Falmouth has been a market space for hundreds of years, and that tradition is still alive today. With a lovely bunch of market traders and a fantastic selection of stalls to choose from, it is definitely worth a visit to The Moor on a Thursday or Saturday, all year round!
The Princess Pavilion, Falmouth is a year-round live music venue and theatre complex offering a wide programme of excellent entertainment..
Eat and Drink
Falmouth has a superb range of restaurants catering for all food tastes and requirements...
Shops & Businesses
Falmouth has a fascinating mix of independent retailers nestled alongside high street names. A bustling centre with a charming mix of specialist shops, professional services, galleries and marine businesses.
Falmouth has a great choice of quality accommodation from superb guesthouses to gorgeous waterfront hotels and cottages...
Falmouth is home to many spectacular beaches, offering a wide range of water sports and beach activities suitable for everyone..
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Top 10 things to do in Falmouth
Whilst Falmouth is one of Cornwall's largest towns it is still easy enough to explore this port town on foot. Situated in a relatively sheltered bay on the south coast of Cornwall, Falmouth is all about the water. The pretty old harbour and docks on one side of town and sandy beaches on the other; a grassy headland complete with Tudor castle separating them. Make no mistake, this is a working port with some pretty big ships many of which are here to take advantage of what is purportedly the third largest natural harbour in the world.
Falmouth is a relatively well off town, something that has been further boosted with the development of the University. This air of prosperity continues along the south coast of the town where grand hotels overlook the beaches with their upmarket beach cafes.
National Maritime Museum
Climb Jacob's Ladder
Take a Boat Trip
Visit The Helford
St Mawes and the Roseland
All things to see and do in Falmouth »
- Top 10 dog friendly beaches in Cornwall
- Top 10 Events
- West Cornwall Harbours
- Falmouth Tide Times
- The River Fal
- Fal River Festival
- Top 10 Gardens
Falmouth, and the rest of Cornwall alike, offers a huge range of activities for the entire family. Falmouth itself hosts some outstanding attractions, such as the Maritime Museum and Pendennis Castle. Explore the rest of Cornwall during your stay in Falmouth. The Eden Project and the Royal Cornwall Museum are nearby and excellent choices for a day out in Cornwall.
AK Wildlife Cruises
We are a multi award-winning wildlife boat touring operator, the first to establish in West Cornwall back in 2002. We now have our brand-new Catamaran (images attached) and we offer trips all year round. We work alongside the likes of Exeter University, NatureTrek and SeaWatch, and are WiSe accredited (wildlife-safe marine wildlife watching). Feel free to contact us to book or for any information.
We mainly offer 4h wildlife trips but also 3h wildlife trips tailored for families with children, and 7h pelagic trips for wildlife enthusiasts and birdwatchers. We also offer private hires for special events, corporate hires, production filming, etc...
The beautifully maintained Enterprise fleet sail along the stunning banks of the Fal River between Truro, Falmouth and St Mawes. The cruise from Falmouth up the scenic and peaceful River Fal is very special.
Constructed between 1540 and 1545, Pendennis Castle forms part of the chain of coastal castles built by Henry VIII. There are a wide range of attractions at the castle including an interactive exhibition.
National Maritime Museum Cornwall
For a variety of nautical themed experiences. Fun for all the family.
Falmouth Uncovered is a historical walking tour that peels away the centuries and reveals Falmouth as it used to be — a raucous melting pot of pirates, sailors and adventurers. This is a history tour with fire in its belly, and with gripping stories for grown-ups and fun activity sheets for children, there is something for everyone to enjoy. There’s nowhere else in the world quite like Falmouth, and after you’ve experienced the tour you’ll never see it in quite the same way again.
You'll also be helping to make Cornwall the best it can be — 10% of every ticket is donated to local charities.
THE GREAT OUTDOORS Cornwall Adventures offers unforgettable outdoor experiences that can help you learn new life skills and create some fantastic holiday memories. We believe that immersing yourself in nature is a huge benefit to our wellbeing. Let the salty sea air fill your lungs and the power of the mystical Cornish landscape energise your soul.
Another World Play in virtual reality against your friends in Cornwall’s only 20 player free roam arena.
Free roam & solo pod paradise with portals to multi virtual experiences
Raze The Roof
Here is something for the whole family from tiny tots to adults. Kids love to play in our mega play frame, slides, climbing wall, ball cannons, astro glide – and tiny tots explore too, in their own safe space. 3 birthday party rooms with amazing themes to choose from, complete with your own party host for maximum fun and entertainment. Take the mess and stress away!
Virtual Reality Arena, razeVR is Cornwall’s biggest 10 player free roam experience that will thrill and excite the whole family with games from 6 years plus.
The adults can enjoy a refreshing cup of coffee and their favourite magazines in our comfortable cafe with our fantastic fresh food and drink menu for the whole family complete with complementary Wi-Fi.
ShelterBox Disaster Relief Visitor Centre
Truro’s new attraction tells the story of Cornwall’s much loved disaster relief charity through a unique interactive exhibition. Families can pack a ShelterBox and explore the tents, shelters and equipment we send to people affected by natural disasters. It’s the perfect solution to a wet Cornish day and entry is free.
A Rainy Day in Cornwall
A great website with a wide range of activities and attractions in Cornwall for those very rare occasions when it rains in Falmouth.
Elemental UK Watersports
Elemental are based at Swanpool Beach and offer a range of watersport activities. Immerse yourself in the challenges of the natural world while learning valuable skills and having fun.
Located on the High Street in Falmouth, Star Glazers offers a creative space for pottery painting fun for all the family. Enjoy hot and cold drinks and snacks while you paint too. Bookings and walk-ins welcome.
Experience the Victorian Village and Britain in the Blitz plus thrilling rides, play areas and entertainment. Suitable for all ages.
Visit the beautiful plants and gardens of the Rainforest and Mediterranean Biomes plus The Core education centre.
Royal Cornwall Museum
Home to fascinating exhibitions and collections, with regular visiting attractions, events and lectures. Check out the museum's famous Egyptian mummy!
Falmouth is a very straight forward destination to reach by road, rail or by air.
Explore Falmouth in many different ways, including by bus, traing and by boat.
Falmouth is a destination for any taste, whether it is a beach holiday in Cornwall, a sailing trip or a cultural holiday.
View various web cameras in Falmouth and the surrounding areas to get a live view.
Home » Travel Guides » United Kingdom » England » 15 Best Things to Do in Falmouth (Cornwall, England)
15 Best Things to Do in Falmouth (Cornwall, England)
Now a cosy seaside town, Falmouth was once the second busiest port in the British Empire.
From 1668 to 1851 Falmouth was a Royal Mail packet station, handling post and precious shipments from across Europe and the Empire.
The location was no coincidence as Falmouth Harbour (Carrick Roads) is the third largest natural harbour on the planet.
Such a vital piece of England’s coastline had to be defended at all costs, and Pendennis Castle and St Mawes Castle are two artillery forts from the reign of Henry VIII. The south coast of Cornwall has a climate that allows subtropical plants to thrive, and there are gardens around Falmouth with outsized Chilean rhubarb and species that flower in winter.
Let’s explore the best things to do in Falmouth :
- 1. Pendennis Castle
A big system of coastal forts was built during the 1540 in the reign of King Henry VIII to prepare for an invasion by the French or the Holy Roman Empire.
On the Carrick Roads at the mouth of the River Fal, Pendennis Castle is one of the finest of these artillery forts.
It is also one of the largest, having been expanded at the end of the 16th century following the Spanish Armada.
Pendennis Castle was updated during the Napoleonic Wars, and installed with artillery in the First and Second World Wars.
All these eras are recorded at this English Heritage site, with displays of Tudor, Georgian, Victorian and 20th-century heavy weapons, and details about life at the fortress, complemented by letters, photos and other artefacts.
2. National Maritime Museum
Falmouth’s history as a harbour and Cornwall’s seafaring heritage are charted at this museum that opened in 2003. You can dip into topics like Cornish boatbuilding, emigration, shipwrecks, trade and fishing, and find out more about the packet ships that carried the British Empire’s mail in and out of Falmouth harbour for almost 200 years.
The National Maritime Museum also features the National Small Boat Collection, which has Olympic medal-winning dinghies and hydrofoils, a Falmouth Quay Punt, which was sailed to the Antarctic and a Thames steamer launched in 1866. Falmouth has also been the first and final port of call for round-the-world solo expeditions by Robin Knox-Johnston and Ellen MacArthur, and the museum recounts the story of these feats.
3. Gyllyngvase Beach
Under ten minutes on foot from the town centre, the Blue Flag Gyllyngvase Beach is the largest and most popular beach in Falmouth.
The beach has a broad crescent of golden sand, bathed by moderate, shallow waters.
The sand is raked clean at the start of every day in summer and is patrolled by RNLI lifeguards throughout the season.
At the back is the stylish and award-winning Gylly Beach Cafe, open all day long and preparing local meat and seafood caught in Falmouth Bay.
On a crisp winter’s day you can take shelter from the wind with a cup of tea on the sun terrace.
4. Seafront Promenade
If you’re up for idling by the water for a while, Discovery Quay around the National Maritime Museum has lots to hold your attention.
On the quay you can size up some of the vessels in the harbour, among which are Royal Navy vessels undergoing maintenance at the A&P shipyards.
There’s also a large plaza framed by new weatherboard building hosting eateries like Pizza Express, Rick Stein’s Fish and Zizzi.
This space is used for the annual Falmouth Sea Shanty Festival at the end of June.
Arwenack Street behind merits a walk for its townhouses and the Killigrew monument, a pyramid commemorating the Killigrew family, which oversaw Falmouth’s development.
It was under Peter Killigrew’s watch in the 1680s that the town became a Royal Mail Packet Station.
5. Trebah Garden
A quintessential Cornish valley garden, Trebah Garden is open all year and has something amazing to see in every season.
Exotic subtropical plants do well in this part of England, and in winter you’ll see species from the Southern Hemisphere in bloom in Trebah Garden.
Spring is the most memorable time to come, when the century-old rhododendrons, camellias and magnolias are all in flower, while a little later the giant gunnera (Chilean rhubarb) steals the show, and the hydrangeas are magnificent in Autumn.
There are four miles of paths to navigate at Trebah Garden, as well as an quiet little beach on the Helford River.
6. Falmouth Art Gallery
On the first floor of Falmouth’s handsome Municipal Buildings you’ll be greeted by one of the richest art collections in the Southwest of England.
This assortment of English and French Impressionism, Old Masters, maritime art, Surrealism, children’s book illustrations, prints and automata was mostly put together by the local collector and philanthropist Alfred de Pass.
The exhibition of prints is astounding and has lithographs, woodcuts and engravings by Rembrandt, Picasso, Matisse, Albrecht Dürer, Warhol and Francis Bacon to name a select few.
The gallery has also made some big recent acquisitions, including etchings by Munch and Renoir, 20th-century paintings by Prunella Clough and works by stars of contemporary British art like Mary Webb, Simon Burton and Marguerite Horner.
In summer 2018 the gallery’s spellbinding automata were on show at the Cabaret of Mechanical Movement.
7. Swanpool Beach
A mere 1.5 miles from the centre of town, Swanpool Beach is a sheltered sandy beach, facing southeast and one of the local picks for family days out.
There’s safe swimming here, although it’s worth noting the absence of lifeguards.
In summer the beach is complemented by a 18-hole crazy golf course, a bouncy castle kids, a cafe and a place where you can hire kayaks.
Right behind is the Swanpool Lake Nature Reserve, a lagoon formed in the Ice Age by a shingle bank, and a habitat for eels, kingfishers, tufted ducks and Eurasian siskins.
8. Queen Mary Gardens
On a hot day at Gyllyngvase Beach you can escape the sun at Queen Mary Gardens, inaugurated in 1912 to celebrate the coronation of Queen Mary, wife of George V. Like all the gardens around Falmouth this space has species that flourish in Cornwall’s special climate, like palms, viper’s-buglosses, lily of the Nile, sugarbushes and enormous Chilean rhubarb.
These are all in carefully tended flowerbeds and borders, traced by flawless lawns.
9. Castle Beach
As convenient as it gets, Castle Beach is right in the town, beginning just west of Pendennis Point.
In a rather exposed position, this beach’s main appeal lies in its rockpooling and sunbathing at low tide, rather than as a place to swim.
But in the right conditions Castle Beach has a bounty of starfish, mussels, crabs and curious sea creatures like lepadogasters (Cornish suckers) for kids to inspect up close.
There’s a huge tidal range at Castle Beach, with high tide covering nearly all the sand and shingle, so it’s worth keeping the height of the sea in mind.
On the calm waters of the third largest natural harbour in the world, you can bet there are plenty of opportunities to get active.
Falmouth Watersports Centre is at the Boat Park on Grove Place, a few steps along the waterfront from the National Maritime Museum.
The centre is home to a variety of watersports clubs for rowing, sailing and canoeing, and also has a bar terrace overlooking the harbour.
At Gyllyngvase Beach and Swanpool Beach you can hire a paddleboard or kayak to paddle off in search of hidden caves and secret beaches.
The hire centre equips you with safety gear, monitors weather conditions and will give you tips on the best places to go.
11. St Mawes Castle
In the 16th century the west side of Carrick Roads was reinforced with St Mawes Castle, a cloverleaf-shaped defence modified by the military right up to the end of the Second World War.
When the circular fort had become outmoded in the 19th century it was turned into a barracks and then an anti-aircraft gun position after 1939. What’s remarkable is just how much of Henry VIII’s artillery fortress remains today, and you can even read Latin inscriptions in praise of the king and his son Edward VI.
12. St Anthony Head
From the harbour in St Mawes there’s another short ferry ride to St Anthony Head at the southern tip of the Roseland Peninsula.
St Anthony Head is a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest and merits the crossing for the views across Falmouth Harbour.
There are some compelling sights to track down, like a gun fort guarding the eastern lip of the harbour, and St Anthony’s Lighthouse, dating to 1835. On the coastal path you’ll come by secluded beaches, pine woodland and far-reaching cliff-top vistas.
The circular trail down to the lighthouse takes you past an old paraffin store for the former light.
13. South West Coast Path
Like any coastal town in Cornwall, Falmouth is on the Southwest Coast Path, the longest waymarked long-distance footpath in the UK. The South West Coast Path is a National Trail running from Minehead in Somerset to Poole Harbour in Dorset.
Walking south Cornwall’s indented coastline you’ll have to catch ferries across rivers and inlets.
You can set off in either direction, crossing the Fal to trail around the Roseland Peninsula and gaze back at Falmouth, or venture around the Lizard Heritage Coast crossing the Helford River by boat.
If you have a day to spare you could make the trip to Portloe, tackling rugged slopes as the trail winds up cliffs and drops into deep wooded valleys in the Roseland Heritage Coast.
14. Glendurgan Garden
This garden is another of the horticultural wonders in easy reach of Falmouth, and has a sense of whimsy that children will connect with.
Glendurgan Garden a typical Cornish valley garden, tucked into a ravine and harnessing the humid microclimate.
The lower valley almost feels like a rainforest and enormous rhubarbs, and if you keep going down you’ll arrive at the tiny beachside hamlet of Durgan on the Helford River.
Glendurgan Garden was planted in the 1820s by the Falmouth pilchard magnate Alfred Fox and its defining feature is its cherry laurel maze, dating from 1833. Be here in spring when the magnolias and camellias are in bloom, while the displays of unusual shrubs are impressive in any season.
15. Maenporth Beach
A couple of miles into the Lizard Heritage Coast, Maenporth Beach is a sandy cove looking east across Falmouth Bay.
There are no lifeguards on patrol at Maenporth Beach, but the placid, shallow water means safe swimming for all ages, as well as a haven for watersports like paddleboarding and kayaking.
There are also lovely vistas over the bay to Pendennis Castle and the lighthouse at St Anthony’s Head.
When the tide is out you can make out the wreck of the Ben Asdale, and see what you can find in the rockpools on the fringes of the cove.
15 Best Things to Do in Falmouth (Cornwall, England):
- National Maritime Museum
- Gyllyngvase Beach
- Seafront Promenade
- Trebah Garden
- Falmouth Art Gallery
- Swanpool Beach
- Queen Mary Gardens
- Castle Beach
- St Mawes Castle
- St Anthony Head
- South West Coast Path
- Glendurgan Garden
- Maenporth Beach
Visit Falmouth: our guide
What makes Falmouth special?
Based around a thriving harbour, Falmouth, located on the south Cornwall coast, is gateway to the beautiful Fal River which runs through an Area Of Natural Beaut y.
The town is famous for its creative buzz with many art galleries displaying contemporary works and venues showcasing independent films and live bands.
The many reasons to visit (Besides The National Maritime Museum Cornwall of course) include:
- Fascinating maritime heritage
- Four world-class beaches; Castle beach, Gyllyngvase beach, Swanpool beach and Maenporth beach, brilliant for families
- Positioned next to Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty along the Helford and Fal Rivers
- Watersports – surfing, windsurfing, sailing, snorkeling, diving
- Home to the world’s third largest natural deep-water harbour
- Excellent family friendly attractions
- Great festivals and events calendar all year round
- Creative buzz; think art galleries; exhibitions; independent shops
- 8 gardens nearby, 4 main beaches and over 20 family attractions
- Foodie paradise; expect freshly caught seafood, delicious delis, food festivals, beachside restaurants, traditional pubs, a wide-range to suit all budgets
- Beautiful walks and trails nearby
Falmouth’s maritime legacy and coastal culture is a huge part of its charm boasting world class watersports on its sheltered waters including gig rowing, kayaking, diving and regularly hosting sailing events such as Falmouth Regatta , and the Pendennis Cup .
Things to do in Falmouth
- The multi award winning National Maritime Museum Cornwall houses a huge collection of boats, retells stories of intrepid explorers and provides an observation window where you can see what’s happening underwater in the harbour
- Pendennis Castle is one of the finest fortresses built by Henry VIII. Explore the restored Victorian and WWII defences complete with sounds and smells and head to the Discovery Centre where hands-on activities allows visitors of all ages to really get to grips with history
- The award winning Falmouth Art Gallery (free entry) is one of the leading galleries in the South West and is family friendly too. It has changing displays of some of the best British art with a regular programme of special exhibitions complementing works by luminaries such as Henry Scott-Tuke and Sir Alfred Munnings
- Exotic sub-tropical plants thrive in Falmouth’s mild maritime climate and at the well cared for Kimberly Park Municipal Garden you can sit amongst the immaculate oasis of ornamental trees and formal flower beds and enjoy a picnic
- Other gardens include the internationally renowned Trebah Garden , family and dog friendly with a dramatic coastal setting on the Helford River and at Glendorgan Garden , a restored National Trust garden by the sea
- Falmouth’s beaches offer surfing, snorkelling, sailing and plenty of lounging around in the sun, everyone can enjoy the area’s varied seaside activities. Spend a family day on the beach at Gyllyngvase , just fifteen minutes from the town centre, where it’s great for rock pooling at low tide, and has plenty of facilities close by including a café/restaurant. Falmouth’s other beaches include Castle beach , Gyllyngvase beach , Swanpool beach and Maenporth beach
- Explore the Fal estuary on the ferries that criss-cross the water connecting Falmouth with the charming harbour town of St Mawes and the city of Truro . The ferry runs all year round
- Falmouth is a foodie paradise, tuck into freshly caught seafood from the delicious delis, food festivals, waterside restaurants, traditional pubs and the famous Rick Stein’s Fish and Chips.
Useful Falmouth links:
- Falmouth: our guide to getting afloat
- Falmouth: our guide to hotels and self-catering holiday accommodation
- The official Falmouth Town website
- Visit Cornwall
Exhibitions, live performances, events and activities throughout the year.
Pay once and get in free for a year.
The Museum is open every day of the year from 10am – 5pm, except Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day.
How was your visit? Let us know on tripadvisor .
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Search the blog, falmouth, cornwall: a guide full of hidden gems.
October 5, 2021 by admin
There’s no denying Cornwall holds a special place in many hearts, being the leading destination for staycations in the U.K . and a place of unimaginable beauty to global viewers. Its sparkling turquoise sea is hugged by rugged coastlines dotted with romantic ruins of old tin mines and castles. Poldark fans to surfing enthusiasts adore this landscape, and the famous Cornwall microclimate adds an unusual weather system to the U.K. that we Brits crave. Of course, the city has its busy days during the summer, but this tried and tested guide to Falmouth, Cornwall, is full of hidden gems and natural wonders . We even cover the alternative things to do in Falmouth, like eating Jordanian cuisine in an ancient castle. So, get ready to be inspired to book your next trip as we go into detail on where to stay, eat and explore in and around Falmouth, Cornwall.
How to get to Falmouth, Cornwall
For those heading to Falmouth, Cornwall from South West Wales like we did, or London, you’ll need to take the M4, M5 and then the A30 . Alternatively, there are train or bus journeys you can opt for from all over the U.K. as Falmouth does have a train and bus station .
Where to stay in Falmouth, Cornwall
There are many luxury hotels in Falmouth, Cornwall , like The Greenbank Hotel , the oldest hotel in Falmouth with harbour views. Another great option is St Michaels Resort Hotel which overlooks Gyllyngvase Beach. Equally, there are numerous luxury houses and cottages in Falmouth to rent , including a quirky shepherd’s hut. However, if you’d like a combination of the two, then I have the perfect gem for you.
The Merchants Manor Falmouth is an adult-only hotel in a 100-year-old building with vintage furniture, exposed wooden panelling and local artwork. The rooms range from single to king-sized beds with duck-down duvets and walk-in showers, some of which have a private balcony overlooking the pool area. The master bedrooms are situated in the original house and close to the Linen Rooms Spa. If you desire a massage, book well in advance because the spa’s small team are only reachable via email and can take a while to respond. This caused a lot of confusion during our stay.
However, unique to the Merchants Manor Falmouth are the two luxury self-catering private residences. The first, Lookout , has a 22m glazed terrace with views of the sea, two bedrooms and a private jacuzzi.
We opted for Landlubber, a two-bedroom apartment with timber frames, oak cladding, green and white handmade tile interiors, and glass walls. There’s a Scandinavian vibe rather than Cornish, and the 30m private deck and jacuzzi overlook the hotel’s fantastic sub-tropical garden. In summer, this garden is a haven for catching a few rays as there are multiple jacuzzis, sun loungers, an outdoor dining space and a garden bar that serves the best watermelon cocktails.
Both apartments give you access to the hotel’s spa and three AA rosette restaurant , which was voted Falmouth’s best dining experience.
Where to eat in Falmouth
Aside from the restaurant at the Merchants Manor Falmouth, there are three other dining options that I want to point out. For those looking for a laid back environment, where spending hours drinking is a social pastime, head to Beerwolf Books . The pub is somewhat of a secret, presumably because it is tucked away from the main streets. It has a mock Tudor facade with a traditional pub and bookshop interior . In addition, it is only a couple of minutes from Falmouth’s main high street and the St Mawes ferry terminal.
Secondly, the Thai Orchid Falmouth is the town’s first and oldest Thai restaurant . The interior is like stepping off a plane into Thailand, with authentic wall hangings, carpets and lanterns adorning the space. The food is equally exquisite, with the Chicken Satays and Yellow Curry being among the finest dishes served.
Lastly, the Harbour View is another great place to eat in Falmouth as it’s not only allergy-friendly, but it also allows your fluffy four-legged friends to accompany you. It also has a 360-degree view of Falmouth Harbour . Its smashed avocado, chilli, lime and coriander dressing with tomato, pumpkin seeds, rocket and pitta bread is to die for.
Things to do in Falmouth, Cornwall
Along Falmouth’s many high streets, there are some fantastic boutique shops, as well as bakeries. Of particular note is the Cornish Bakery that serves delicious delicacies like the Vegan Curried Cauliflower and Onion Bhaji, and Raspberry Croissants. Visiting t he Maritime Museum in Falmouth for the town’s national and international history, or lounging the day away at some of the best beaches in Cornwall, like Gyllngvase and Swanpool beaches , are popular recreational activities. Even sitting a while at its natural harbour and horseshoe-shaped bay allows you to watch the sailing boats and cruisers glide by. However, there are some less popular activities you should try and hidden gems to discover!
1. St Mawes in Cornwall
From Falmouth, there is a short ferry to St Mawes . St Mawes has rows of white-washed, and pastel cottages intermix with a Mediterranean climate. The Carrick Roads – a large natural harbour – the English Channel and its sheltered bay glisten under the sun, and traditional British summer activities like fishing, crabbing, sailing, and seashell hunting are enjoyed by all ages.
There’s a cluster of top-notch places to stay beyond renting a twee cottage, and The Idle Rocks is amongst the best luxury hotel in St Mawes with its sea-view terrace. The sunny disposition of the locals also makes choosing a place to eat local cuisine feel like winning the lottery. A personal favourite is another luxury hotel in St Mawes called the St Mawes Hotel . It has a “from the heart, from the hearth” philosophy, meaning they only serve locally sourced ingredients from farmers and fishers.
The lighthouse on St Anthony Head and St Mawes Castle have exquisite sea views, adding charm and appeal to the village. Walking to both is a pleasant pastime and feels like strolling along a Portuguese harbour, leaving little doubt as to why St Mawes is one of Cornwall’s Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty .
St Mawes Castle has a fascinating history, being one of several fortresses built between 1539 and 1545 to counter an attack from France and Spain. Today, it is one of the best-preserved coastal artillery forts historically belonging to Henry VIII.
2. Pendennis Castle
Situated on the Falmouth headland is the mighty and commanding Pendennis Castle . This is St Mawes’ twin castle in both appearance and age , having been built at the same time to defend Falmouth Harbour against invasion. Like its counterpart, Pendennis Castle features a similar circular design, with a round tower and surrounding quarters. This design was intended to allow gunfire from any angle and level.
3. Trebah Gardens
Those visiting Falmouth, Cornwall tend to opt for The Lost Gardens of Heligan or Glendurgan Garden , especially as the latter has its famous maze. However, Trebah Gardens is equally phenomenal and has the bonus of fewer crowds. Its whopping 26 acres of Cornish valley includes footpaths stretching over four miles and a private beach on the Helford River!
You’ll find canopies brimming with exotic flowers and 100-year-old rhododendrons, camellias and magnolias. There’s also the Mallard Pond which is Trebah Gardens’ most iconic view, and you can also find the Koi Pool. This was created in the 1980s and is home to a dozen 10-15-year-old Koi Carp.
Day Trips from Falmouth
Outside of Falmouth’s immediate vicinity, there are so many historical, cultural and natural sites to see that’ll leave you wondering what on earth is worth visiting. In keeping with the article’s theme, our suggestions only include the best hidden gems in Cornwall that allow you to escape the crowds this autumn and enjoy Cornwall’s vast countryside in all its glory.
1. Marazion + St Michael’s Mount
St Michael’s Mount in Cornwall is perhaps one of the county’s most famous attractions. But the true hidden gem is the village it resides in, Marazion. A little over 30 minutes from Falmouth, Marazion is a quaint fishing village in Cornwall that’s often overlooked by many in a rush to get to the castle.
Yes, St Michael’s Mount’s serpentine (and rather slippery) causeway is as alluring as the myths surrounding the giant that once lived here. The St Michael’s Mount castle is equally mind-blowing, with its facade evoking serious Harry Potter vibes. If you come at low tide, you can approach the island on foot. Otherwise, a small boat will take you across.
However, Marazion has some of the best restaurants in Cornwall, with the Godolphin – a hotel, restaurant and bar – taking first place. The charred local broccoli with roasted garlic hummus, dates and toasted sesame is among the finest dishes here. There are also many shops in Marazion , including boutique jewellery outlets and small side alleys with white-washed cottages that scream Cornwall’s rustic charm.
2. Carn Brea Castle Restaurant + Carnkie
As cliche as this will sound, Carn Brea Castle Restaurant is the definition of a hidden gem and one of the best restaurants in Cornwall. It’s a 30-minute drive from Falmouth, Cornwall but well worth the adventure as the outcrop in which Carn Brea sits was first inhabited over 6000 years ago. The castle itself was first built in 1379. Its purpose was to be a chapel to St. Michael. In 1790, it was converted into a castle folly by the Basset family, who used it as a hunting lodge. Now, it specialises in Jordanian and other middle eastern cuisines . Surrounding the restaurant is the idyllic countryside of Carnkie, a honeypot bursting with derelict mines, known as the Basset Mines .
3. Carn Euny Ancient Village
A little over an hour from Falmouth, Cornwall, this village has the best-preserved remains of an ancient settlement in South West England. With no other visitors around at the same time we went, this ancient site truly is one of the hidden gems in Cornwall. It is free to enter. Occupied from the Iron Age to the Roman period , Carn Euny has stone houses from the 2nd-4th centuries and an incredible stone-walled underground passage. This is known as a fogou, a feature that can only be found in Cornwall.
Nearby is a sacred Madron Holy Well – a wishing well encompassed by the Madron clootie tree . This tree is adorned with multi-coloured ribbons and personal objects. Here, the custom of tying cloth to the tree dates to Pagan worshipping. It’s continued today as many wish to believe in the tree’s healing powers .
4. Lanhydrock House
Another favourite amongst the hidden gems in Cornwall is Lanhydrock House , which I consider the best of National Trust in Cornwall. So, if you’re looking for a day spent in luxury, timeless elegance and pretty autumnal walks with no crowds, then look no further!
Built of local granite and grey slate around an inner courtyard, the manor dates from 1640 and sits between Bodmin, Lanlivery parish and Lanivet parish, and is less than an hour from Falmouth, Cornwall. What you can see today is the Victorian architectural style used to rebuild after a fire. However, the property’s lavish gatehouse and its 116-foot long gallery survive from the earlier house.
Outside, the gardens include a formal parterre , herbaceous borders and a higher garden containing rhododendrons, magnolias and camellias. Its ancient woodlands and riverside paths are full of cattle grazing and the occasional deer, so why not pack a picnic and enjoy the sights?
5. Chapel Porth Beach + Wheal Coates
Just over 30 minutes from Falmouth, Cornwall is Chapel Porth Beach. This is one of those hidden gems in Cornwall that gets overlooked for its neighbouring Wheal Coates Mine . However, the beach is expansive with acres of sand, smugglers coves , waves made for surfers , and a dramatic cliffside carpeted with gorse and heather.
6. Porthleven Harbour
Under 30 minutes away from Falmouth, Porthleven Harbour is a quaint fishing village in Cornwall . It is the most southerly working port in the United Kingdom with massive sea walls and historic buildings. In the old days, Porthleven harbour had over 100 drifters used to fish pilchard and mackerel. Today, it retains the character of a fishing village in Cornwall, with its unspoilt views , famous clock tower , and granite harbour and pier.
Porthleven is a great place to start walking the Cornish coastal path as it has a quiet and friendly atmosphere and several restaurants. In addition, many shops display and sell local arts and crafts , and there’s a beach that is well-known to surfers .
West of the harbour entrance, and only at low tide, you can find rock pools and the Trigg Rock . This is a 50-ton rock, and what’s unusual is that it cannot be found anywhere else in the U.K
7. Wheal Owles + Botallack Mine
Over the last few years, Botallack Mine has become another famous National Trust in Cornwall location due to Poldark filming there. It is just over an hour from Falmouth, and you can see the counting-house, sawmill, a carpenters’ shop, workhouse and the famed Crowns engine houses. The latter cling to the rugged landscape, making it the perfect Instagram photo spot .
However, less than 10 minutes away, near St. Just, is the lesser-known Wheal Owles engine house that sits atop the cliffs peering down to Botallack. In my opinion, being at Wheal Owles gives you a much better view of Botallack Mine and the coastline .
8. Kenidjack Valley
Near Botallack Mine and only an hour from Falmouth is Kenidjack Valley. This valley has a secret cove and eerie arsenic works. These are my favourite hidden gems in Cornwall. The coastal path leading down to the cove passes the Kenidjack Arsenic Works . These are one of only a handful of arsenic works used in Cornwall to roast sulphur and arsenic. From here, you’ll see Porthledden Cove , which is perhaps one of the prettiest beaches in Cornwall as it stretches 300m and has outcrops of granite dykes and pink tourmaline. Be aware that there’s little to no beach at high tide, but at low tide, there are excellent snorkelling opportunities, rock pools to explore, and it’s great for surfing . Photographers or artists will likewise adore this location as its view is of Cape Cornwall .
9. Mullion Cove
Of the two fishing villages in Cornwall included on this list, Mullion Cove is smaller and more mysterious. It is only 40 minutes from Falmouth and is situated on the west coast of the Lizard Peninsula . The cove also has unusually shaped islands that emit a Nordic vibe. It is considered a historic lifeboat station and has retained this authenticity by not allowing cars to park at the harbour. The beach and cove can be explored at low tide; otherwise, opt for one of its coastal paths .
I hope you enjoyed this guide to Falmouth, Cornwall and if you’re interested in hidden gems, check out the best secret castles of South Wales.
Do you have a favourite from this list of hidden gems in Cornwall or a place in Falmouth that you can’t wait to visit?
Let me know in the comments below!
And make sure to sign up for my newsletter (sign up is below) to stay up to date with the best places to visit in the U.K.
October 5, 2021 at 4:36 pm
The pictures are amazing! It feels like I was on the trip with you! Thanks for sharing these great tips, this will be handy for future visits to the area!
January 10, 2022 at 4:33 pm
Thank you so much for your kind words! Taking my readers on a journey through my photos is a goal of mine and I’m glad to have made you feel that way!
October 5, 2021 at 7:14 pm
Fab suggestions! I’d really love to visit Falmouth one day, it looks absolutely beautiful. I love the look of St Mawes and Pendennis Castle! Thanks for sharing, you’ve given me so many ideas for when I eventually visit 🙂
January 10, 2022 at 4:32 pm
Thank you for reading the article, and I’m glad to have inspired you with my suggestions. I hope you get to see them in person soon! St Mawes was one of my favourite places to visit and it’ll definitely blow you away!
October 6, 2021 at 2:39 pm
I live in Cornwall, so knew about most of these, (I’ve blogged about a couple of them!) but it’s always fun to see if there’s anything I didn’t know! You’ve definitely made me want to revisit Trebah Garden, we haven’t been for ages; and I wonder if I can persuade the boyfriend to take me to dinner in a castle? Thanks for sharing!
January 10, 2022 at 4:30 pm
How lucky you are to live in Cornwall! Where there any places in this guide that you didn’t know about? I’m so glad to have inspired you to revisit Trebah Garden and the castle for dinner!
October 6, 2021 at 11:40 pm
That looks like such a great and fun place to visit. Thanks so much for sharing all about it!
January 10, 2022 at 4:29 pm
No worries at all! I’m thrilled that you enjoyed the article and I hope you get to visit these places yourself soon!
October 7, 2021 at 10:53 am
Wow this looks so charming, love the vintage feeling. Amazing gardens and castles. Definitely would love to visit..
January 10, 2022 at 4:28 pm
I hope you get to visit soon! Cornwall has so many things to see and do – and they’re affordable too!
October 8, 2021 at 11:20 am
Lovely article. We had been to Cornwall a couple of years ago. It is beautiful. Thanks for sharing this information on Cornwall. It is very helpful as there are still many places we haven’t visited. Maybe will visit them when we go next to Cornwall.
Thank you so much! Cornwall is truly breathtaking and there are certainly more places I still need to visit. But the ones on this list were an amazing start. I hope you get a chance to visit them soon!
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Falmouth Tourist Information Centre – Explore Falmouth with good Advice and local knowledge
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This TIC is situated at the entrance to the Prince of Wales Pier in Falmouth. The pier is the starting place for many river trips including the ferry to St Mawes in the Roseland. You can also get boat trips to Trelissick Gardens, Malpas and the Helford river famous for Frenchmans Creek. Check out our list of things to do in Falmouth .
Holiday Accommodation and today’s deals in Falmouth
We have a list of the beaches in Falmouth
One of the most interesting trips you can take if you are lucky to be in Falmouth when the tidal conditions are right is the “Up the Creek” trip. This involves catching a boat that will explore the many creeks that run into the Fal river between Falmouth and Truro.
These creeks are only accessible on the very high tides and are rarely seen by the public unless in a Kayak. The only boat currently offering these trips are Truro River Cruises . with an experienced and knowledgeable skipper, this is one of the most interesting boat trips you can ever take. We have an article here on one of their “Up the Creek” trips.
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Falmouth Guide Books
The St Nazaire Raid
St Nazaire Raid Memorial is only a few steps from the Falmouth Tourist Information Centre
As you walk on the Pier away from the Falmouth Tourist Information Centre look to your left and you will see the memorial to the famous St Nazaire raid “Operation Chariot”.
On March 26 1942, HMS Campbeltown and 16 motor launches packed full of commandos departed from Falmouth with what was recognised as an almost suicidal mission of blocking the St Nazaire docks. This would make the port unusable by the German Navy and the Battleship Tirpitz.
The raid was successful and HMS Campbeltown rammed the dock and exploded, destroying the gates and ensuring the giant dry dock was out of action for the rest of the war.
Falmouth Weather Forecast & Falmouth Tide Times
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Falmouth’s Maritime History and Video.
Falmouth is where the first news of Nelson’s victory at Trafalgar was received, it was the home of the Packet ships which carried mail to all corners of the British Empire, it was the landing place for Ellen Macarthur in her world record beating around the world trip.
Click on the image above to play the Video
It was where D Day landings left during the D Day invasion by the Allies in the second world war, It is where RFA Argus left and returned on its mission to fight Ebola in Sierra Leone.
It is home to the last surviving sail-powered fishing fleet that dredge for Oysters in the Fal River and a great deal more.
It is home to the famous Falmouth Marine Band a unique music experience for all who are fortunate to see them perform.
The Falmouth Tourist Information Centre can provide details of all the sights and events in Falmouth.
Visiting Cruise Ship As seen from Falmouth Lifeboat Station
Falmouth Tourist Information Centre, Prince Of Wales Pier 11 Market Strand Falmouth TR11 3DF
T: 0905 3254 534
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Top Things to Do in Falmouth, Cornwall - Falmouth Attractions
Things to do in falmouth, explore popular experiences, tours in and around falmouth.
Falmouth Uncovered Walking Tour (Award Winning)
Soldiers, Miners and Fairies. (Private Tour of West Cornwall.)
4 Day Tour in Cornwall, Devon and Stonehenge from Bristol
Falmouth Tour App, Hidden Gems Game and Big Britain Quiz (1 Day Pass) UK
Horrors of Falmouth Ghost Tour
Full Day Private Tour in Lizard and West Cornwall
Virtual Reality Escape Rooms
Make Your Own Wedding Rings in Cornwall
West Cornwall Tour with Poldark Filming Locations
Half-Day (2hr) Surf Experience in Newquay - Beginners & Improvers
Cultural & theme tours.
Top Attractions in Falmouth
1. Trebah Garden
2. Pendennis Castle
3. The Flicka Foundation - Donkey Sanctuary
4. Glendurgan Garden
5. National Maritime Museum Cornwall
6. Maenporth to Swanpool Path Walk
7. Gyllyngvase Beach
8. Falmouth Seafront Promenade
9. Falmouth Art Gallery
10. Falmouth Lifeboat
11. Swanpool Beach
12. Queen Mary Gardens
Walking & Biking Tours
Private & Custom Tours
Tours & sightseeing, multi-day tours, outdoor activities, what travellers are saying.
- Pendennis Castle
- Glendurgan Garden
- Gyllyngvase Beach
- National Maritime Museum Cornwall
- Falmouth Seafront Promenade
- The Flicka Foundation - Donkey Sanctuary
- Trebah Garden
- Swanpool Beach
- Maenporth to Swanpool Path Walk
Falmouth Attractions Information
Plan Your Trip to Falmouth: Best of Falmouth Tourism
Embark on an extraordinary journey to Europe
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Falmouth Is Great For
The great outdoors
Art & history
Eat & drink
- St Michaels Resort
- The Greenbank Hotel
- The Royal Duchy Hotel
- The Falmouth Hotel
- Indidog Eatery On The Harbour
- The Mulberry Falmouth
- Star and Garter
- Pendennis Castle
- Glendurgan Garden
- National Maritime Museum Cornwall
- Falmouth Seafront Promenade
- Gyllyngvase Beach
- Falmouth Uncovered Walking Tour (Award Winning)
- Horrors of Falmouth Ghost Tour
- Falmouth Tour App, Hidden Gems Game and Big Britain Quiz (1 Day Pass) UK
- Beginner Surf Lesson
- Discover Falmouth's unique mindboggling history!
18 things to do in Falmouth and the surrounding area
Looking for family days out on a limited budget? Here is our guide to Falmouth and surrounding area
- 16:05, 4 AUG 2021
- Updated 12:16, 19 JUL 2022
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It doesn’t have to cost a fortune to enjoy what Falmouth has to offer.
There are lots of things to do and with a bit of planning and research, you can get out and explore the local area without it costing an arm and a leg.
In fact, you could even do it without spending a penny if you really wanted to and still enjoy a range of activities.
To give you a helping hand, we've rounded up the top 18 things to do in Falmouth and the surrounding area.
Of course, the list includes some things that cost a little bit more if you wish to spend some money!
Falmouth Art Gallery
For a free day out go to Falmouth Art Gallery which offers free workshops and events for babies and toddlers and families and has a collection of more than 2,000 artworks that includes 19 and 20 Century master painting, British impressionist paintings, the RCPS Tuke Collection, contemporary prints, photography and a children’s illustration archive.
It has a vibrant exhibitions programme featuring selected works from the collection and loans from artists, museum collections and private lenders, so the works on display from the collection are constantly changing and there is always something new and exciting to enjoy.
The gallery offers free workshops and events for babies and toddlers, families, all community groups, schools and higher education to see more. When staffing allows we are happy to take you into our art stores for a peek at a few more treasures!
Falmouth Town trail
Falmouth Civic Society has a walking trail that enables you to discover some of its rich histories.
You can walk through the town centre following a map available from the tourist information office that highlights key buildings and monuments, including the Packet Ship Monument created in 1898 to commemorate the service which operated worldwide from Falmouth between 1688 and 1850, St George's Arcade, a cinema from 1912-1948 and has an impressive ornate facade, including a carving of St George and the dragon, Arwenack Manor, built by the Killigrew family who was responsible for the early development of the town, Killigrew Monument: 1737 A plain granite obelisk to Sir Peter Killigrew was re-erected on this site in 1871 and the Prince of Wales Pier.
There is also Jacob’s Ladder, which is worth a climb. However, depending on your physical condition it might be better to descend it.
There are 111 granite steps leading down to Falmouth's main square, ‘the Moor'. The sweeping views of the harbour and estuary from the top are worth the slog.
Contrary to what you may assume though the Jacob in question is not the biblical one, merely a local businessman who wanted a shortcut from his house to his business.
How long the trail takes is up to you and it can be combined with browsing our shops and restaurants.
Visit one of Falmouth's churches
King Charles Parish Church was built in the 17th Century after the English Civil War and dedicated to 'King Charles the Martyr' by Charles II. It was paid for by Sir Peter Killigrew and has been extended and altered, the last being in 1896.
Other churches include Falmouth Parish Church and All Saints, as well as several others.
Falmouth Methodist Church on The Moor first stood on this site in 1791 as a Wesleyan Chapel but was completely rebuilt in 1876 to look much as it does today.
After being bombed twice in World War Two it was reconstructed as the Central Methodist Church in 1956 with a three-storey interior.
All Saints was built after Sir Peter Killigrew gave land for a church, parsonage and churchyard and with the help of funds provided by King Charles II, the Duke of York and “diverse honourable and worthy persons “built the church of King Charles the Martyr around 300 years ago.
It is built with beautiful Plymouth limestone, with a dressing of Doulting stone. Hopton wood stone is used for the base of the Devonshire marble font, and to a large extent in the chancel, combined with Pennant stone.
See some donkeys at the Flicka Foundation
A horse and donkey rescue sanctuary in Mabe, the Flicka Foundation is open to the public to meet the animals and watch them enjoying their lives in peace after the trauma they have endured.
You can stroll along a walkway through the paddocks, visit the stables and enjoy a stop at the café.
There are currently around 100 donkeys, horses and ponies at the sanctuary. In addition, there are cows, rabbits, cats and dogs.
The lake was once part of the sea cut off by a shingle bar creating a freshwater lake. A culvert was dug out in 1826 which drained much of the lake out and it's about a third of its original size.
The culvert means the water flows in and out, creating a brackish lake, a mix of salt and fresh water.
It is home to a huge range of wildlife, including ducks, moorhens and nesting swans.
It has an abundance of plant life and is home to an animal not found anywhere else in Britain – the Trembling Sea Mat. It is a Local Nature Reserve and a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and managed by the Swanpool Forum.
Enjoy the Falmouth coast or the countryside
There are so many trails covering coastal paths, bridleways, quiet lanes as well as the South West Coast Path, which runs right through Falmouth.
You can walk the coastal path from Gyllyngvase to Swanpool and on to Maenporth and beyond, depending on your level of fitness.
Visit one of Falmouth's beaches
Falmouth has some really good beaches – Castle and Gyllyngvase, Swanpool and Maenporth. They all have their own cafes, while Swanpool has a lake behind it and Gyllyngvase has the beautiful Queen Mary Gardens.
Whether you enjoy having a lazy day, walking, swimming, watching wildlife or watersports, there is something for everyone and each has something different to offer.
Visit a garden
There are plenty of green spaces in Falmouth that you can go for a walk in and enjoy some fresh air and flowers.
In the summer the parks and gardens are perfect for a picnic, while at other times of the year you can watch the changing colours.
Fox Rosehill is the work of the Fox family who ran a shipping business. The garden contains many exotic specimens from far-flung destinations and includes Banana, Lemon and Eucalyptus trees and numerous palms and ferns.
Kimberley Park is set over seven acres and includes many ornamental trees and along with the formal bedding areas which have helped Falmouth win many Britain in Bloom competitions.
The gardens pre-date 1877 and are named after the Earl of Kimberley, who leased the parks to the Borough of Falmouth.
For families, there is a substantial play area.
Queen Mary Gardens are laid out in a formal style and framed by Monterey Pines, nestled behind Gyllyngvase Beach and are a nice place to relax. They were opened in 1912 to commemorate the coronation of Queen Mary, the wife of George V.
Gyllyngdune Gardens Falmouth was completed in 1907, with the Princess Pavilion added in 1910. The gardens include an Edwardian bandstand, secret shell grotto and monolithic arch which has views of Pendennis Castle and the beaches.
If you are happy spending then you could visit the National Trust Glendurgan Gardens (also created by the Fox family), or the next-door Trebah, both of which are valley gardens overlooking the Helford River.
Pop along to BF Adventure
COST - VARIOUS
Set in more than 60 acres of land, including three former granite quarries, BF Adventure offers a chance to try out canoeing, climbing, kayaking and zip wire among other things.
You can try archery, quarrysteering (scrambling across quarry faces, traversing ledges and following wild routes) or take part in bushcraft.
Visit Falmouth's iconic National Maritime Museum Cornwall
ENTRY FEE (with free entry for a year with a ticket) - £14.95 adults, £7.50 under-18s, under-5s free
The museum features 12 galleries over three floors with a huge amount to see. Exhibitions cover all sorts of things including the history of the boat, the port's history, weather, wildlife and a number of more interactive displays like the boating pool with its fans to provide all the wind needed to sail model boats.
Other great features are the Look Out tower and the two large underwater windows.
This year its new exhibition is Titanic Stories, which examines the stories of the Titanic’s sinking on April 15, 1912, re-appraising many of the myths, controversies and assumptions that still linger around one of the most well-known historic events of the 20th century.
Go to the Poly in Falmouth
FREE TO VISIT; COST FOR SHOWS
The Cornwall Polytechnic Society (the Poly) was founded in 1833, the inspiration of Anna Maria and Caroline, the teenage daughters of Robert Were Fox of G.C. Fox & Co, a prominent Falmouth firm of shipping agents.
The charity owns the Poly building, an old but much-loved space steeped in history and character and ideal for theatre shows, films, lectures.
It runs exhibitions, clubs, conferences and workshops and holds a significant collection of paintings by Henry Scott Tuke and has a history archive.
Check out Kennall Vale
This Cornwall Wildlife Trust nature reserve in Ponsanooth is a picturesque woodland with some open glades and a water-filled quarry.
The Kennel Vale gunpowder factory was located here; however, it closed in the first decade of the last century. You can still see ruins of mill buildings and old water-wheels there.
Visit the Helford a few miles from Falmouth
One of Cornwall’s most scenic areas is just a few miles along the coast from Falmouth.
This estuary reaches from the edge of Falmouth Bay to the old trading port of Gweek and has a number of lovely little beaches including Polgwidden, Porth Saxon and Helford Passage.
Further upstream are seven creeks leading off from the river, the best known being Frenchman's Creek, made famous by the Daphne du Maurier novel of the same name.
Go boat watching in Falmouth
Pretty much any direction you walk from in Falmouth, you end up at the waterfront. The town has a bustling harbour, with fishing boats in the old quay, with its small granite harbour, to a host of marinas with everything from pleasure cruisers up to superyachts and the docks.
If you go around Pendennis Point or Falmouth Bay you can spot some of the largest ships anchored offshore.
Things to do in Cornwall
Attend one of Falmouth's festivals
SOME FREE, SOME COST
Falmouth has a festival for nearly every month of the year.
Falmouth boasts one of the biggest calendars of events - with no less than nine annual festivals.
It has a spring festival, Zestival, Fal River Festival, International Sea Shanty Festival, Falmouth Street Food & Craft Ales Festival, Falmouth Week (which includes a display by the Red Arrows), Oyster Festival, Falmouth Beer Festival and Christmas festival, as well as having hosted the Tall Ships regatta four times.
Each festival runs a host of free events, from art workshops to markets and music as well as paid-for events.
Visit Falmouth's premier Pendennis Castle
ENTRY FEE - £13.10 adult, £7.90 children age 5-17, £11.80 concession, £34.10 family (two adults and three children). Prices that include gift aid are slightly higher
With a history dating back 450 years, the castle was one of Henry VIII’s coastal strongholds and its last military role was as a secret Second World War base.
A Discovery Centre packed with hands-on activities allows visitors of all ages to really get to grips with history. There is visitor access to the restored underground Victorian and WWII defences complete with sounds and smells.
The everyday life of the garrison at Pendennis is brought to life in the War Shelter, whilst the drama of Pendennis at War is also recreated. At the turn of the 20th century, Barrack Block has undergone renovations to provide a new interactive exhibition and enhance the visitor facilities.
Guided tours lead visitors through the underground magazines during a WWII air raid, whilst in the recreated Battery Observation Post they can experience what happens as the alert sounds warning of an impending enemy attack.
You can book online too if you wish - click here
Go to Kernow Adventure Park
Kernow Adventure Park is Cornwall’s hidden outdoor activity centre, for family days out and thrill-seekers, with an Aquapark, open water swimming, wakeboarding and paddleboarding all set on a secret, tranquil, crystal-clear lake sunk into the earth.
Nothing brings smiles to faces faster than its Aquapark, where you can bounce, slide and climb on this massive, floating, inflatable “Total Wipeout” assault course, with free-fall slides, trampolines, a jungle gym and narrow, slippery platforms.
18. Take a boat trip from Falmouth
Where you go is up to you – you can explore the River Fal, catch a ferry over to St Mawes and the Roseland or head seaward in search of fish/wildlife spotting.
A popular trip from Falmouth is up the Fal Estuary to Cornwall's county town Truro, or you can go up the Helford River.
Alternatively, you could book a specialist wildlife trip, where you might be lucky enough to spot dolphins or whales.
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National Maritime Museum Cornwall
National Maritime Museum Cornwall Discovery Quay Falmouth Cornwall TR11 3QY
nmmc.co.uk [email protected] tel: 01326 313388
With over 15 galleries, the National Small Boat collection, a boatbuilding workshop, exciting exhibitions, artworks, maps and charts, memorabilia and other objects, there’s plenty to explore!
Your voyage of discovery begins in the Main Hall, where you can orientate yourself in the building, admiring the hanging flotilla of small boats on display over your head.
Flying across the top of the Main Hall is our flotilla of small boats from The National Small Boat collection. Preserving a collection of international importance, including craft used for survival, work, competition, leisure, pleasure, exploration and war… from the Inuit kayak, a deadly hunter’s tool of skin and driftwood with an unbroken pedigree stretching back 10,000 years to the Mirror dinghy, as much a part of the ’60s social revolution as the Mini car. The museum doesn’t just tell the story of inanimate objects – it relates the tales of the lives and the times of those who made and used them.
Dashing and daring or bloodthirsty and greedy – were pirates of the 18th century heroes of the age or nothing more than callous cut-throats? For generations, pirates have been portrayed in fiction, film, art and fashion as symbols of freedom, adventure and transgression. Despite the often-brutal reality of pirate life, they are still celebrated. But how and why has this image been created?
From the perceived ‘Golden Age’ of piracy through to the myriad of ways that pirate identity has been consumed and appropriated through the years, PIRATES asks audiences to jump on board and uncover how a small group of robbers became the most unlikely of folk heroes.
From the Pirates of Penzance and Captain Hook, through to LGBTQ+ interpretations of pirates and piracy-inspired catwalk collections, audiences will be invited to meet the man who inspired Long John Silver, land on Treasure Island, and dance a hornpipe with Horatio Pugwash, before discovering the dark world of the real pirates of the Caribbean. Spanning from the 17th century to the present day, the show will also feature an immersive experience of the Sea of Thieves game, specially created for NMMC by Microsoft development studio, Rare.
Co-produced in association with Royal Museums Greenwich (where the exhibition will open in 2025), the rich array of objects on display at NMMC will include costumes, weapons, globes, maps, telescopes, first edition publications, film posters and illustrations. Highlights include original artwork from Captain Pugwash, a reproduction of the very first costume for Captain Hook and real ‘pieces of eight’ on loan from the British Museum.
Filled with fascinating facts and sensory experiences, this major exhibition explores how popular culture has shaped how we think of pirates today, diving beneath the surface to uncover the timber-shivering truth. An accompanying events programme including cultural talks and a Skull Island play zone will be presented alongside the main exhibition.
Opens April 2023
Address: National Maritime Museum, Cornwall, Discovery Quay, Falmouth, Cornwall, TR11 3QY
- Tel: 01326 313388
- Email: [email protected]
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Falmouth ranked as one of the top 15 places to visit in the UK for 2024
A Cornwall town has been included among the top 15 UK places to visit in 2024 according to Time Out.
Falmouth featured in ninth place on the list and was Cornwall's only representative.
It beat out the likes of Manchester, Norwich and Wrexham in terms of placement.
Discussing the list, Time Out said: "The full list of 15 UK destinations features picturesque seaside towns, buzzing cities and other-worldly islands, demonstrating that Brits don’t need to travel far to experience some of the best food, drink, culture and attractions in the world.
"The list was curated by Time Out’s network of editors and contributors, who ranked the places based on their current dining, drinking and arts scenes, as well as exciting new openings and big events in the year to come."
The full Time Out list and information about the locations can be found on their website here .
Top 15 UK places to visit in 2024
According to Time Out, these are the 15 best places to visit in the UK for 2024:
- Isles of Scilly
Discussing Falmouth , Time Out praised it as being " Cornwall’ s cooler town" with student life bringing "a bit of vibrancy and edge to the quiet cobbled streets".
It added: "From Klub Nos Lowen, a cult folk music night, to up-and-coming indie bands, this spot is the ideal place to absorb some of the county’s best culture."
Detailing some of the best things to do in the town , the writers recommended going along to Gyllyngvase Beach, checking out independent boutiques such as Mirri Damer jewellery, heading to Chain Locked for a "harbourside pint" and taking in a gig at The Cornish Bank.
Chiara Wilkinson, Features Editor at Time Out UK, said: “We’re over the moon to share our Time Out list of the best places to visit in the UK in 2024.
"These destinations have buzzy new openings, excellent food and drink offerings and pinch-me-moment landscapes.
"With its vibrant cultural scene set to get even bigger next year, Bristol was a deserving winner – but it was also great to see underrated destinations like Hull, Wrexham and Falmouth take their spots in the top 15. If you need an excuse to book a staycation, surely this is it.”