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Falmouth beaches — which will you choose?

Bigstock Gyllyngvase Beach In The Summe 1834320

It’s not often you come across such a vibrant town with so many brilliant beaches within easy walking distance of the centre. From family-friendly, lifeguarded beaches with cafes, paddleboard hire and nature reserves to explore, to just-out-of-town coves with shipwrecks and rockpools, here’s a round-up of Falmouth’s beaches, all within a gentle stroll of Falmouth town.


Falmouth’s favourite beach, Gylly (pictured above) is sheltered from most of the Atlantic swell, making it the perfect year-round spot for swimming and paddleboarding, and its rocky reefs on either side are great for snorkelling. Its flat waters are lifeguarded in the summer and it has recently been awarded the prestigious Blue Flag status for its clean, safe waters. If you want to venture out on the water, you’ll find paddleboard and kayak hire on the beach. The award-winning Gylly Beach Café is right on the sand, serving delicious food from its cool, contemporary glass-fronted building. You can pick up a loaf from its bakery on the beach next door.

Lifeguarded? Yes, from mid May to end of September
Dog restrictions? No dogs from mid May to end of September, 10am-6pm


Swanpool Falmouth

This beautiful beach is a short 20-minute hop to the west of Falmouth’s centre. It’s a sand and shingle cove with a gorgeous nature reserve behind — there are thought to be over 100 different species of bird here (the cafe on the beach sells bags of seeds for little ones to feed the swans and ducks). Although this beach isn’t lifeguarded, it’s dog-friendly and a lovely calm spot for a swim or paddle whatever the season. Those that want to get out on the water will find kayak and bodyboard hire at the watersports centre by the cafe. If you’re feeling peckish there are a couple of options: the wonderful Hooked on the Rocks serves up brilliant seafood and has wonderful views over the nature reserve and beach, whilst the cheerful Swanpool beach cafe sells teas, snacks and ice cream, including the famous Hedgehog, a decadent cone of ice cream, hazelnuts and clotted cream.

Lifeguarded? No
Dog restrictions? No dogs in July and August, 10am-6pm

Castle Beach

castle beach, falmouth

Castle Beach, just along from Gylly beach, is just south of the town, set below the road leading to Pendennis Castle, and has amazing views over Falmouth Bay and the castle beyond. A slope leads down to a platform lined with colourful beach huts and the Castle Beach Cafe, which sells breakfast and small bites, as well as sourdough toasties, soup and ice cream. The clear waters are great for snorkelling at high tide, when the beach disappears completely; low tide reveals a narrow strip of shingle and sand, and rockpools where children can hunt for crabs. The Gylly Beach Cafe and Bakery is an easy 10-minute stroll away. 

Lifeguarded? No
Dog restrictions? No dogs in July and August, 10am-6pm


Beach near holiday cottages near Falmouth by Forever Cornwall

An easy 30-minute walk along the coast path from Swanpool — and just a couple of miles out of Falmouth — Maenporth has glorious views across Falmouth Bay towards Pendennis Castle. Although it isn’t lifeguarded, this beach is a great choice for families with younger children, with its soft sand, sheltered waters, and stream running down the beach for paddling and dam building. You’ll find the Falmouth Surf School here, with watersports hire, kids’ club, surf lessons for the over 50’s and beach yoga, plus the Life’s a Beach Cafe. At low tide, the fascinating shipwreck of the trawler Ben Asdale can be seen. There are also caves further along the beach but check out the tide times before you head off to explore!

Lifeguarded? No
Dog restrictions? No dogs in July and August, 10am-6pm

Thinking about Falmouth for your next coastal adventure? We’ve got some lovely holiday cottages in and around Falmouth