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The town of Falmouth is the ideal destination if you’re looking to head off on a Cornwall short break. It’s not only the gateway to the beautiful Fal River which runs through an Area of Natural Beauty, but the town itself is famous for its creative buzz with numerous art galleries and venues showing independent films. If you’re wondering what to do in Falmouth, UK then wonder no more! There are so many things to do in Falmouth! There are the Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty along the Helford and Fal Rivers which are perfect for walking and family days out. Then there are watersports including gig rowing, kayaking and diving, as well as the fantastic beaches it’s easy to see why Falmouth holidays are so popular. Here’s why you should visit Falmouth!
About Falmouth and where is Falmouth in Cornwall?
Falmouth is a town on the coast of Cornwall in southwest England. It’s known for its deep natural harbour on the Fal Estuary which is the deepest in Europe and one of the deepest in the world. It’s also well-known for its beaches like Swanpool and Gyllyngvase.
How to get to Falmouth
If you plan on taking public transport, you’ll be pleased to know that Falmouth is well connected to the rest of the UK.
Nearest airports to Falmouth, UK
The closest international airports to Falmouth are; Newquay (30 miles), Exeter International Airport (106 miles, Bristol (166 miles) and Bournemouth (184 miles).
I’d recommend booking your flights through Skyscanner as they make it super easy to compare flight deals.
Getting to Falmouth by train
Falmouth is well served by trains with journeys from most cities in the UK requiring a change at either Exter or Truro Stations. You can compare prices and see train timetables from wherever you live in the UK to Falmouth with Omio (if you’re from the US, Canada, book using this link).
Getting the bus to Falmouth
The journey from London to Falmouth by bus takes a long time (9.5 hours) but a return ticket only costs about £30! The buses go direct between London’s Victoria Coach Station and Falmouth.
Best accommodation in Falmouth
Looking for a hotel or B & B in Falmouth? Here are some of the best places to stay in Falmouth.
Best hotels in Falmouth
These hotels and Airbnbs in Falmouth are ideally located for a quick trip to the beach and into town.
Camping in Falmouth
There are lots of great campsites in Falmouth whether you’re into glamping or more traditional camping!
Best things to do in Falmouth, Cornwall
Add these awesome Falmouth things to do to your list of what to do in Falmouth! There’s always something going on in Falmouth!
Visit the world’s 3rd largest deep-water harbour
One of the top attractions in Falmouth has to be its harbour. Not only is it the world’s third largest natural deep-water harbour but it’s also the deepest in all of Western Europe. This means that huge liners and boats can dock up in Falmouth which makes for great people watching and photo opportunities!
Learn about the record-breaking voyages in Falmouth
Many of the world’s record-breaking voyages have started or finished in Falmouth. This includes the journey of Dame Ellen Macarthur who beat the record for the fastest solo circumnavigation of the globe which started and ended in Falmouth. She completed this incredible feat on 7th Feb Feb 2007 having been at sea for 71 days, 14 hours, 18 minutes and 33 seconds.
Discover the Fal River
The beautiful Fal River which runs through an Area of Natural Beauty reaches the sea in Falmouth. Take a walk inland along the river and enjoy the stunning scenery.
Spend a day (or more) at one of the 4 world-class beaches in Falmouth
Falmouth has not one, not two, but FOUR world class beaches at its doorstep. THat’s Castle Beach, Gyllyngvase Beach, Swanpool and Maenporth beaches. They’re all great for watersports and adrenaline junkies so what are you waiting for?
Enjoy the creative buzz in Falmouth
Falmouth is full of art galleries, exhibitions and a tonne of independent shops. That’s in part because of the great university in the town which specialises in creative courses. The award-winning Falmouth art gallery is free to enter and is one of the leading galleries in the South West.
Drink great coffee in Falmouth
Falmouth has a lot of coffee shops. The cafes in Falmouth are dominated by Espressini which has two branches in Falmouth but there are many other great places to get your morning cup too. Jam Records is effortlessly cool with leather sofas and a selection of new and used vinyl. It sums up Falmouth with its interior alone!
Discover Falmouth’s sub-tropical plants
Falmouth has an unusually mild climate for a British seaside town. This means that exotic, sub-tropical plants can, and do, thrive here. The Kimberly Park Municipal garden is the best place to go to witness this. Sit in amongst the oasis of ornamental trees and flower beds with your lunchtime picnic.
Stay in a cute seaside cottage
Falmouth and the nearby area has some of the most stylish accommodation in Cornwall. With large open plan living rooms, plenty of light, balconies and outdoor pools there’s not much more you could ask for. Plus, many of the cottages near Falmouth are dog-friendly so your four-legged friends don’t have to miss out!
Eat, eat and eat some more at the best places to eat in Falmouth
As you might expect for a seaside town, Falmouth is famous for its fresh fish dishes and you’re going to want to do lots of eating out in Falmouth’s restaurants. The delis in the town are the place to head to for freshly caught fish but there are also regular food festivals, waterside restaurants and traditional pubs to try out.
Rick Stein has also branched out from Padstow and opened a walk-in seafood restaurant in Falmouth. The restaurant serves his favourite seafood dishes. These include sea bream fillets, moules marinère, grilled lobsters and shucked oysters. He’s also got a takeaway serving the best fish and chips, tiger prawns and fish chilli burgers around.
Drink some local beers at Falmouth’s best bars
Two of the best bars in Falmouth are in Old Brewery Yard. HAND bar and bottle shop have over 200 craft beers and on warm evenings you can drink out in the yard. There’s also The Chintz which is a small, Alice in Wonderland-themed bar selling wine, cheese and charcuterie. They also have live music regularly including blues, funk, spoken word and jazz.
Another great way to see Falmouth is from the sea! The sheltered waters in Falmouth make it perfect for exploring on a paddleboard as you won’t get thrown off by waves! The company WeSUP on Gylly beach organise tours, safaris of local shipwrecks, and sunset and night paddles which is one of the top Falmouth activities.
Enjoy a Falmouth festival
Some of the best Falmouth events are the festivals. Falmouth is home to a growing number of annual festivals with roots in the town’s maritime heritage. Perhaps the biggest is the Henri Lloyd Falmouth Week in August centred around what is the largest sailing regatta in the South West.
Other festivals celebrate the produce of the sea, the most notable being Falmouth Oyster Festival in October; a 3-day showcase of Cornish seafood. A couple of weeks later is the Beer Festival!
You could also time your visit with the Fish Festival in May, the Sea Shanty festival in June or the festival of maritime music which promote heritage and raises money for the RNLI.
Spot seals & dolphins in Falmouth
There aren’t many places in England where you can find a place to spot seals and dolphins without being on the water. Pendennis Point in Falmouth is the best place to go to spot wildlife and, on a clear day, you can see the Manacles rocks on Cornwall’s Lizard peninsula. This area is where Henry VIII’s iconic fort, Pendennis Castle is located. You can also do a great walk here by starting at the Pendennis Point car park and heading out on the South West Coast Path. The walk takes you to 3 of the beaches near Falmouth: Gyllingvase, Swanpool and Maenporth.