Falmouth and Pendennis Head
Falmouth is a cultural and historical hub, and a must-visit if you happen to be in south Cornwall. Jodie, from local walking group Cornish Ramblings, takes us through an easy walk from the town and around Pendennis Point. Distance 5 miles.
Sometimes you don’t need a walk that’s too labour-intensive, or will take you all day to finish, but something that is short yet sweet. Falmouth is a wonderful place if you are looking for a bit of diversity and culture. Falmouth has many literary connections, such as being the birthplace of the characters Toad, Mole and Rat from The Wind in The Willows. Falmouth has also been the setting for several films and television series, is home to many theatre groups as well as the wonderful Falmouth Art Gallery. With its own radio station and winning awards for its high-street and coastal community, Falmouth really is a gem of Cornwall with so much to see and do. Don’t forget to visit the Falmouth International Sea Shanty Festival in June, or the Falmouth Oyster Festival in October.
I decided to take my 24 ramblers through part of the high-street and along to Pendennis Head, eventually leading us to Gyllyngvase and Swanpool Beach. Some of this route consists of pavement walking, but as you make your way towards the docks and up around to Falmouth Harbour, you can see why this is a picturesque spot and worth putting up with a little road walking. Falmouth Harbour is one of the largest natural harbours in the world and the docks are worth a look just for the sheer magnitude of it all. Making your way past the docks to Castle Drive, you’ll take the ‘Scenic Route’ which gives you some wonderful views of the sea.
A short while later you will reach a car park, also known as Pendennis Point. This is a great stop and a popular place for locals and tourists to park up, get themselves an ice cream and stare out at the views. Here you will also notice St. Anthony’s Lighthouse which was designed and built way back in 1835. It can be a bit blustery if the wind is up, but a good opportunity to get some pictures and do a little exploring of the headland where you will take in views of The Roseland Peninsular, the Fal Estuary mouth, Falmouth Bay and across to the Lizard Peninsular.
Once the group had looked around, we made our way down along the path towards Gyllyngvase Beach. We diverted across the sand and let the dogs have a splash about in the water, before making our way along the coastal path to our next destination of Swanpool Beach. The name Gyllyngvase comes from the Cornish words ‘an gillynn vas’ which means ‘the shallow inlet’ but is known more fondly to us locals as Gylly Beach. Swanpool Beach (below) is another lovely popular beach where you can stock up on more ice cream. It is also home to Swanpool Lake, which was once part of the sea until the last Ice Age decided to cut it off from the sea and thus, created this freshwater lake.
Making our way around the lake, we eventually ended up in a more residential area before turning up at Killigrew Street, which would ultimately lead us back through to Falmouth town and the end of the ramble. As we got near to the town, our tummies were definitely signalling that it was lunchtime. Some said their farewells and as the group slowly dissipated into various cafes and shops, I led the last of my Cornish Ramblers back to the car park with a satisfied smile on my face. Another successful ramble.