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Falmouth (Cornwall)

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Falmouth 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. The town is also known for its castles, Pendennis and St. Mawes, both built by Henry VIII as he fortified the south of England.

Get in[edit]

Gyllyngvase Beach, Falmouth

By train[edit]

First Great Western trains run from all over the South of England to Truro, and CrossCountry 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 min, and the trains run regularly. Falmouth has three stations:

  • Penmere - This station primarily serves the residential areas of Falmouth.
  • Falmouth Town - This station is on Avenue Road and is a 5 min walk from the town (to the North-East) and a 7 min walk from Gyllyngvase Beach (to the south).
  • Falmouth Docks - This station is close to Falmouth's economically important dock, but it is also the closest station to Pendennis Castle.

By coach[edit]

National Express operates coaches from London [5], and along the south coast from Eastbourne, East Sussex [6].

By bus[edit]

Falmouth - for a small regional town - is relatively well served by buses due to the presence of two universities, and significant tourist traffic. Key inter-urban services run as follows:

U1 - Falmouth-Penryn-Truro
U2 - Falmouth-Penryn-Redruth
U4 - Penryn-Helston-Penzance
35/35A - Falmouth-Trebah Gardens-Gweek-Helston

There are also several suburban bus routes running around the town:

68 - Serves Swanpool Beach/Golden Bank/Longfield
69 - Serves Penwerris/Old Hill/Penryn/Flushing/Mylor Bridge
366 - "Townlink"- Town centre loop (inc railway stn)
367 - "Shorelink" - Serves Pendennis Castle/Castle Beach/Gyllyngvase Beach/Swanpool Beach

Inter-town services, the 68 and 69 are operated by Kernow. The 366 and 367 are provided by the town council and operated by OTS.

While buses in Cornwall are usually reliable, lapses occur and travellers used to using buses in large cities may be disappointed at the prospect of long waits for routes out into the countryside.

For timetable information, see the websites of Kernow buses or the council (linked above), or call Traveline on 0871 200 22 33 or visit [7], which will provide details of all buses in operation.

By car[edit]

Most travellers into Cornwall will come down the M5 and change onto the A30 at Exeter. To get to Falmouth, turn off the A30 on to the A39 at Carland Cross, signposted as Truro. The A39 should be followed all the way through Truro until Falmouth is reached. As with everywhere else in Cornwall, be aware that being stuck behind a tractor can significantly delay your journey. Free parking is hard to come by in the town itself, but there is pay-and-display parking on the Moor (town centre), Gasworks (off Church Street), the Quarry (behind Berkeley Avenue) and at The Dell car park beside Falmouth Town train station, as well as at the National Maritime Museum Cornwall.

By boat[edit]

Foot passenger only ferries serve Falmouth from Malpas near Truro, St. Mawes across the Fal and Flushing across the Penryn. In addition and vehicle chain ferry service operates accross the Fal to the north of town, between King Harry Ferry and the Roseland peninsula. Details of all ferries can be found at the Fal River website

Falmouth has also become the starting ferry port for some Mediterranean and Baltic cruises.

Get around[edit]

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 centre is semi-pedestrianised and thus relativly cycle friendly. However, outside of the centre roads are often extremely steep, and surprisingly busy for a small town, particularly in rush hour, and in summer.

Falmouth is also on the South West Coast Path, which makes for some excellent walks.

The bus service has good coverage, but be sure to check on the timetable. Aside from the Ux trunk routes and the town loop service, most buses only operate hourly, and may finish quite early. Some routes don't operate on Sundays and bank holidays.

See[edit][add listing]

  • Pendennis Castle, +44 1326 316594.
  • National Martime Museum (Cornwall), Discovery Quay, +44 1326 313388, [8].

Do[edit][add listing]

  • Boat trips - Regular services take you across the Fal to surrounding villages and also towards the city of Truro and west towards Helford.
  • Ships & Castles - A swimming pool, gym and small café contained within a modern building with a beautiful glass façade facing towards town and the docks.
  • Jacob's Ladder - You have not properly visited Falmouth until you have gone up (or down) Jacob's Ladder, a stairway that takes your breath away. Fortunately, there is a pub near the top, and it is well-lit at night. If you take a left after the pub, you get some brilliant views over the estuary.
  • Visit a beach - Gyllyngvase Beach, which has an excellent cafe (try the hot chocolate); and Swanpool Beach, a 20 min walk from the former. Swanpool also has a cafe with very good ice creams.

Buy[edit][add listing]

  • Trago Mills

There are a good range of shops for surfers in Falmouth: these can be found around Market Street. For Cornish merchandise, have a look round Church Street, which also has an excellent bookshop.

Eat[edit][add listing]

Harbour View Cafe- 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.

Five Degrees West - Award winning food, gargantuan burger meals and a sleek modern interior to boot.

The Quayside - Some legendary lunches.

The Harbout Lights - Fish & Chips that taste like home.

Kessell's Kitchen - On "The Moor" great sandwich shop.

The Packet Station - Wetherspoon's through and through.

WC Rowe - Get Cornish and have a REAL Pasty, or act like an Emmet and wolf down a Freshly Cut Sandwich.

Pizza Express - Does exactly what it says on the tin.

Willy Dynamites - best burgers in town!

Burger King - Erm...

The Wodehouse Arms - Great Homemade food at Great prices!

Drink[edit][add listing]

Falmouth has a special place in every hardy drinkers heart. Its main shopping street runs in a straight line and has a pub every 50 m on average. With more than 15 bars within a square mile, the town is designed for pubcrawling.

  • The Watersports
  • Five Degrees West (open until 3am most nights)
  • The Front
  • The Quayside
  • The Chain Locker
  • Rumours Wine Bar
  • The King's Head (good for live football, a friendly atmosphere and its legendary Sunday roasts)
  • Mango Tango (recently redeveloped, previously somewhat shabby)
  • The Grapes
  • The Watermans
  • Beerwolf Books (up an alley beside Santander bank is an excellent pub with a bookshop in it, or a bookshop with a pub built around it, depending on how you look at it!)
  • Finn M'Couls

Here the road splits. Head towards the Moor at the Center of the Town to find:

  • Wodehouse Arms - Great little bar with Poker on Mondays and karaoke on Saturdays, good food served 11am - 3pm daily and 6pm to 9pm Evenings Monday to Friday
  • The Seven Stars
  • The Mason's Arms
  • The Packet Station JD Wetherspoons

Head up 'The High Street' to find three pubs with beautiful views of the harbour:

  • The Prince of Wales
  • The Star and Garter
  • The Boathouse

Outside the main shopping street are more pubs to be found:

  • The Oddfellows Arms
  • The Seaview Inn
  • Jacob's Ladder
  • The Killigrew Arms
  • The Four Winds Inn
  • The Red Lion
  • The Ferryboat
  • The Trelowarren Arms

Sleep[edit][add listing]

As a tourist resort, Falmouth has many hotels and B&Bs. Here are some of the largest:

  • The Falmouth Hotel
  • The Falmouth Beach Hotel
  • St. Michael's Hotel
  • The Greenbank Hotel, Harbourside, Falmouth, Cornwall, TR11 2SR, 01326312440 (), [1].  edit
  • Merchants Manor, Western Terrace, Falmouth, Cornwall, TR11 4QJ, 01326 312734 (), [2].  edit
  • The Park Grove Hotel
  • Arwenack Hotel
  • Hawthorne Dean Hotel
  • Westcott Hotel
  • Lerryn Hotel
  • Hotel Ancapri
  • Tregenna Guest House, 28 Melvill Road, 01326 313881 (), [3].  edit
  • Harbour's Reach Waterfront Holiday Apartments, King Charles Quay, Falmouth, TR11 3RS, 07710 252583, [4].  edit

Get out[edit]

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