Falmouth (Cornish: Aberfala) is a seaside town in south Cornwall. Famous for its beaches, it is home to the world's third largest natural harbour. The four main beaches in Falmouth are Gyllyngvase, Castle, Swanpool, and Maenporth. It is also known for its castles, Pendennis and St.Mawes, both built by Henry VIII as he fortified the south of England.
First Great Western trains run from all over the South of England to Truro, and CrossCountry trains will bring you there from Scotland, the North and Midlands.
At Truro station, make your way to the Falmouth branch line at platform 1 - the journey takes around 20 minutes and the trains run regularly. Falmouth has three stations:
- 1 Penmere station – This station primarily serves the residential areas of Falmouth and is situated on the surprisingly named Penmere Hill.
- 2 Falmouth Town station – This station is situated on Avenue Road, 5 minutes walk from the town (to the North-East) and 7 minutes walk from Gyllyngvase Beach (to the south).
- 3 Falmouth Docks station – As the name suggests, this station is close to Falmouth's economically important Dock, but is also the closest station to Pendennis Castle.
First Devon and Cornwall operate most bus services into the town, with half hourly services from Cornwall's capital Truro. Half hourly services also operate from Camborne (Cornwall's traditional mining centre). Other destinations are also served. While buses in Cornwall are usually reliable, lapses do occur and travellers used to using buses in large cities may be disappointed at the prospect of long waits. For timetable information, visitors are advised to telephone Traveline on 0871 200 22 33, who will provide details of all buses in operation.
Most travellers into Cornwall will come down the M5 and change onto the A30 at Exeter. To get to Falmouth, travellers must turn off the A30 on to the A39 at Fraddon, signposted as Truro. The A39 should be followed all the way through Truro until Falmouth is reached.
It is possible to enter Falmouth by boat from Malpas near Truro, St.Mawes across the Fal river and Flushing across the Penryn river. Falmouth has also become the starting Ferry port for some Mediterranean and Baltic Cruises.
Be warned: Falmouth is extremely hilly in places, and some roads (Killigrew Street, Trelawney Road) will have you cursing town surveyors. Fortunately, most of the attractions are between The Moor and Falmouth Docks, which is relatively flat. The town is generally cycle-friendly.
Falmouth is also on the South West Coast Path, which makes for some excellent walks.
- 1 Pendennis Castle, Castle Close, TR11 4LP, ☎ . 1 Apr-30 Sep: daily 10AM-6PM; Oct 1-31: 20AM-5PM; 1 Nov-23 Dec and 3 Jan-12 Feb: Sa Su 10AM-4PM; 12-25 Feb: daily 10AM-4PM; 26 Feb-29 Mar: W-Su 10AM-4PM;. One of the finest surviving examples of a coast fortress in England. Successive remains chart developments in military engineering and weapons technology and the organisation of coast defence from the Tudor period until the Second World War. adults £8.40, children £5.00, concessions £7.60.
- 2 Falmouth Art Gallery, Municipal Buildings, The Moor, TR11 2RT, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Free.
- 3 National Martime Museum (Cornwall), Discovery Quay, TR11 3QY, ☎ . Home of the National Maritime Museum's small boat collection and other exhibits.
- 4 Glendurgan, Mawnan Smith, TR11 5JZ (south of Falmouth), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. National Trust Garden.
- Boat trips - Regular services take you across the river Fal to surrounding villages and also in the direction of the city of Truro and west towards Helford.
- 1 Ships & Castles, Castle Drive, Pendennis Headland, TR11 4NG, ☎ . A swimming-pool, gym and small café contained within a modern building with a beautiful glass façade facing towards Falmouth town and the Docks.
- Jacob's Ladder. You've not properly visited Falmouth until you've gone up (or down) Jacob's Ladder, a stairway that literally takes your breath away. Fortunately, there is a pub near the top, and it's well-lit at night. If you take a left after the pub you get some brilliant views over the estuary.
- Visit a beach - Falmouth has two beaches;
- The Shop Gallery. Run by students of Falmouth's art college, the shop gallery sells exciting and original print, craft and photography.
- There are a good range of shops for surfers in Falmouth: these can be found around Market Street. If it's Cornish merchandise ye be wantin', have a look round Church Street, which also has an excellent bookshop.
- 1 Harbour View, 24 Arwenack St, TR11 3JB, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Views across the harbour from this small cafe. Most of the seating is outside covered with large umbrellas and heaters. The food is locally sourced, with a large array of seafoods fresh from Cornwall.
- 2 Five Degrees West, 7 Grove Place, TR11 4AU, ☎ . Gargantuan burger meals and a sleek modern interior to boot.
- The Quayside.
- The Harbout Lights. Home-style fish & chips.
- Kessell's Kitchen. On "The Moor" great sandwich shop.
- 3 The Packet Station, 4 The Moor, TR11 3QA, ☎ . Wetherspoon's through and through.
- . Serves genuine Cornish pasties and Emmet freshly cut sandwiches.
- Willy Dynamites. Good burgers.
Falmouth has a special place in every hardy drinkers heart. It's main shopping street runs in a straight line and has a pub every 50 metres on average: with more than 15 bars within a square mile, the town is designed for pub-crawling. Beginning at the Maritime Museum, bars include:
- The Watersports.
- Five Degrees West.
- The Front.
- The Quayside.
- The Chain Locker.
- Rumours Wine Bar.
- The King's Head.
- Mango Tango.
- The Grapes.
- The Waterman.
- Finn M'Couls.
Here the road splits. Head up 'The High Street' to find:
- The Prince of Wales.
- The Star and Garter.
- The Boathouse.
Head towards the Moor to find:
- Wodehouse Arms.
- The Seven Stars.
- The Mason's Arms.
- The Killigrew Arms.
- The Packet Station (JD Wetherspoon's).
Outside the main shopping street there are more pubs to be found including:
- The Oddfellows Arms.
- The Seaview Inn.
- Jacob's Ladder Inn.
- The Four Winds Inn.
- The Red Lion.
- The Ferryboat.
- The Trelowarren Arms.
As a tourist resort, Falmouth has many hotels and B&Bs. Here are some of the largest:
- The Falmouth Hotel.
- St. Michael's Hotel.
- The Greenbank Hotel.
- The Greenlawns Hotel.
- The Park Grove Hotel.
- Arwenack Hotel.
- Hawthorne Dean Hotel.
- Westcott Hotel.
- Lerryn Hotel.
- Hotel Ancapri.
- Tregenna Guest House, 28 Melvill Road, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Classic Cottages, ☎ . Established in 1977, with over 50 handpicked and personally inspected holiday cottages in the Falmouth area