Spend the week in Falmouth - the third largest natural harbour in the world. Take a boat trip along the Carrick Waters to a smuggler's cottage, or hop on the ferry to St Mawes. Visit the Maritime Museum, great for children with its hands-on approach, catch some Medieval jousting at Pendennis Castle, or simply sit with a cold glass of white wine and watch the boats glide by.
Indulge yourself with a delicious, locally made ice cream, a luxurious Cornish Clotted Cream Tea - jam first please, we're in Cornwall! Or try a bottle of Cornish Cider.
Wander through the town’s eclectic mix of art galleries, delis, bistros and independent shops. Try a Ghost Walk at dusk, snooze on Gyllyngvase Beach in the sun, or have a go at an array of water sports – sailing, snorkelling, coasteering, kayaking, or stand-up paddle boarding.
Look out for Falmouth Week, UB40 or Jools Holland and his Rhythm and Blues Band performing in Events Square, come and sing along with The Fisherman's Friends at the International Sea Shanty Festival, and if you're brave, try your hand at a bit of schucking down at the Oyster Festival in October.
Falmouth has so much going on, you could easily spend your whole holiday here, but it's also an ideal base for exploring this beautiful corner of Cornwall; Truro, the Duchy's capital, is only thirty minutes away by car, or try Helston, home of the Furry Dance and the gateway onto the Lizard Peninsula. Wherever you go, you're sure of a proper Cornish welcome, and the chance to simply relax.
Get your culture fix at Art World Gallery, a friendly gallery with an interesting mix of Modern and Contemporary British art, as well as a collection of French and Italian artists and sculptors. Simply admire the art, or buy the perfect piece to take home with you.
Art World Gallery, 62 Church Street, Falmouth TR11 3DS (T: 01326 219323)
Through their varied exhibitions programme the National Maritime Museum brings new and diverse perspectives to maritime issues, and highlight their relevance to the present day. They also bring rare objects from around the world to Cornwall to tell local, national and international stories.
Click here for further details
Enjoy £1 off admission with your Toad Hall Cottages Discount Card
One of Henry VIII’s finest coastal fortresses, Pendennis Castle has protected Cornwall against invasion since the Tudor period and operated throughout the period 1539–1956. When you visit you can learn about how the castle has evolved, experience the sights and sounds of battle, and examine the role of the castle as part of Fortress Falmouth during the First World War. The castle dominates a high rocky headland on the south side of the Fal Estuary, overlooking the English Channel. It’s a great day out for families or those who are just interested in the area, with lots of events available throughout the summer months. The castle is open from March to September and prices start at £7.90 for non English Heritage members.
Voted one of the Top 10 Fish & Chip Shops in the UK , you can eat inside in the spick and span quayside restaurant, or take away and enjoy your meal outside with the hustle and bustle of the harbour all around you. All the fish served here is delivered daily from local fishermen and is 100% responsibly sourced.
Harbour Lights Fish & Chips, Arwenack Street, Falmouth TR11 3LH (T: 01326 316934)
Inspired by Rick Stein’s culinary travels, here you’ll find classic fish and chips alongside a host of other delicious fish and seafood, all locally sourced and of the highest quality. Eat in in the family friendly restaurant or order a takeaway to eat al fresco on the quay as the sun goes down.
Rick Stein’s Fish Discovery Quay, Falmouth TR11 3XA (T: 01841 532700)
Unique, quirky and wildly popular you’ll usually need to book at The Kitchen. There are only 20 covers but that adds to the relaxed atmosphere, encouraging eaters to strike up conversations across tables. The menu often doesn’t give much away but you’re advised to have one of every course and the food is all local, sustainable and famously delicious.
The Kitchen , 4 Old Brewery Yard, Falmouth TR11 2BY (T:07543 703973)
Overlooking Swanpool Beach this primarily fish and seafood restaurant has a luxurious feel with rich hues and intimate booth seating. The menu is locally sourced, sustainable where possible and uses the freshest Cornish produce. Although fish has the starring role here, non fish eaters won’t be disappointed with some delicious meat and vegetarian options too.
Hooked On The Rocks, Swanpool, Falmouth, Cornwall TR11 5BG (T: 01326 311886)
Cafe and beach shop right on the sand at Maenporth beach. The cafe serves a great selection of freshly prepared food including crab sandwiches and delicious cornish cream teas, along with ice creams, coffees and lots more. And if you’ve forgotten your bucket and spade you’ll find one in the beach shop along with other beach toys, wetsuits and souvenirs. Cash only.
Lifes a Beach Maenporth Beach, Falmouth (T: 01326 251209)
With its impressive crescent of sand, great amenities and Blue Flag status, it’s no wonder Gyllyngvase Beach is one of the most popular in the area. Found just south of Falmouth town centre this beach is ideal for families, and with its calm seas and gently sloping sand is a good spot for kayaking and paddleboarding too. Local company WESUP are based here offering wetsuit and equipment hire and SUP activities for all ages and abilities. And nearby is the acclaimed Gylly Beach Café with its sun terrace built out over the beach, fantastic views and a menu packed full of local seafood. There’s lifeguard cover from May to September, a large car park and public toilets. Dogs allowed from October to Easter Sunday.
There’s a thin arc of sand and shingle to flop on here at Falmouth’s most northerly beach, but that’s not the main attraction … at low tide a wide expanse of rock pools is exposed where kids and adults alike can spend hours discovering the watery pools packed with miniature sea life. Diving and snorkelling are popular here too, with plenty to see in the clear waters beyond the rocks. If you forget your bucket and net you can buy one at the beachside café, also serving drinks, ice creams and sandwiches that can be enjoyed on their large sundeck with lovely sea views. Keep an eye on the tide times though as at high tide the majority of the beach can be covered. There’s no lifeguard or car park, but plenty of parking along the road running parallel to the beach. Dogs allowed from October to Easter Sunday.
A lovely sandy cove on the outskirts of Falmouth with lots of sand and clear water for swimming. If relaxing on the sand’s not your thing though, the beach backs onto Swanpool Nature Reserve where you can walk dogs on leads or feed the ducks and swans, and there’s also a beach cafe, kayak hire and 18 hole crazy golf course. Dogs allowed from October to Easter Sunday
A scenic sweep of golden sand flanked by cliffs, this family friendly beach looks out across Falmouth Bay towards Pendennis Castle and the lighthouse at St Anthony Head. There’s plenty of sand and shallow water which is great for children and excellent facilities, including a cafe selling great food and beach equipment, plus toilets and car park. Maenporth is also a lovely spot to launch a kayak or paddleboard, both of which can be hired on the beach during summer months. Dogs allowed from October to Easter Sunday.
Found between Maenporth and Mawnan Smith, this is a small, pretty sandy beach with some shingle and rocks accessed by footpath from the road. It’s a five to ten minute walk, meaning the beach itself is often quiet and uncrowded with lovely swimming. No amenities though and the walk isn’t suitable for buggies or those with limited mobility. Also known as Woodlands Beach. Dogs allowed all year round.