Combine beaches with sheltered rivers, beautiful scenery and a vibrant town and you’re close to imagining what awaits you in Falmouth and the surrounding area. From Penryn, a medieval market town, to Maenporth, a seaside hamlet welcoming kayakers and sunbathers, and all the spots in between, the Falmouth area is a big favourite with residents and visitors. If the clouds appear, wander through the cobbled streets of Falmouth town and wonder at the beautiful artisan shops, enjoy local foods and experience the relaxed but vibrant atmosphere of the restaurants and bars. With the sun shining, explore the coastal footpaths, the beaches and make room for an eye-popping ice cream!
The south coast of Cornwall is known for its calm waters and sheltered beaches, with Falmouth and Maenporth being no exception. Explore the beautiful beaches in the area, from Gyllyngvase, just a short walk from the centre of Falmouth, to Swanpool, the next bay over and on to Maenporth. All beaches offer individual perks – from Gylly’s Beach Cafe with relaxed decking, perfect for enjoying a glass of something cold, to Swanpool’s cracking lunchtime cafe and their decadent ice creams. For the adventurer among you, take to the seas in a kayak or paddleboard to discover one of the many hidden coves in the area – some totally inaccessible by land so you are likely to have a beach to yourself. If you’re up for exploring, head along the coastal footpath from Swanpool towards Maenporth and seek out Sunny Cove – a sheltered, sandy beach that often goes undiscovered by visitors and residents alike.
From Falmouth to Maenporth, there are restaurants with plenty of outdoor dining options. Head to The Cove in Maenporth for an a la carte menu overlooking the beach, or to Hooked on the Rocks in Swanpool for fabulous seafood in an elevated spot looking out over Falmouth Bay. For light lunches or to try the hearty “Roast on the Coast” head to Gylly Beach Cafe (much more than a cafe), and enjoy the outdoor decking, sheltered by glass balustrades and heated by well-placed patio heaters and thoughtful blankets for chillier evenings. In Falmouth there are a multitude of restaurants and bars offering outdoor dining, but our favourite recommendations are The Working Boat, The Lookout and The Shed.
Falmouth is steeped in seafaring history which is glaringly obvious from numerous establishments around town. The National Maritime Museum Cornwall hosts different exhibits along with permanent favourites, from lifeboats to climb in and on to the incredible Tidal Zone where, at high tide, you below sea level and can look out into the harbour, often spotting fish darting past. The Chain Locker is a pub in the heart of town, with a history dating back to the 16th Century, with maritime photos and memorabilia covering the walls – today it’s a great pub serving excellent food after recent refurbishment and is a brilliant place to get to grips with authentic Falmouth. The number of seafaring festivals the Falmouth is home to also indicates its intrinsic connection with maritime life – in June, head to the International Sea Shanty Festival and Falmouth Classics, in October, Falmouth Oyster Festival, and in August, Falmouth Week plays host to numerous events, both on land and on the water.