Falmouth is the principal resort of the Southern Cornish Riviera. It boasts one of the highest average sunshine records in Britain and in winter has a climate comparable to that of the Mediterranean. Located at the southern end of the Fal estuary, the town has beautifully laid out exotic gardens, a large vibrant harbour and a Tudor castle overlooking the bay.
Other attractions include a growing arts centre and the state-of-the-art National Maritime Museum, which documents Falmouth's historic Cornish past and plays host to many of the town's cultural events. Falmouth's immediate surroundings are something of a naturalist's delight.
The town lies close to the Lizard, Britain's most southerly point and an open, wild and largely untouched landscape. Further up the Fal estuary, the riverside is interspersed with tiny villages and hamlets, creeks and caves which may be seen by taking a river cruise from Falmouth. At the same time, the town affords swift access to more commercial areas, such as Truro, the acknowledged retail centre of Cornwall.
Above all, Falmouth's unique mixture of excitement and relaxation appeals to all ages.
Falmouth is well-known for its fascinating mixture of buildings and shops. They vary from modern stores to much older listed buildings, often occupied by antique and craft shops, which lie in picturesque alleyways leading down to the sea.
Beach and Gardens
Falmouth's main beach, Gyllyngvase, is a stretch of soft golden sand with excellent facilities and breathtaking views across the bay. Falmouth's gardens, which are found dotted around the town and extensively around its edge, are uniquely unusual and colourful and provide an excellent backdrop for reflection and relaxation.
Activities and Attractions
Tourist Information Tel:01326 312300
Falmouth Art Gallery Tel:01326 313863
The gallery was established in 1978 to house the town's permanent collection, mainly donated from private collectors such as Alfred de Pass.
Pendennis Castle Tel:01326 316594
Follow the castle's history from Tudor times to the re-fortification in both world wars. See the museum, discovery centre and former secret installations.
National Maritime Museum Tel:01326 313388
A former winner of Cornwall's Family Attraction of the Year, the museum features hands-on displays and maritime video footage.
Glendurgan Gardens Tel:01326 250906
One of the greatest sub-tropical gardens of the South West. Exotic trees and shrubs flourish amidst the open glades carpeted with wild flowers.
Trellisick Gardens Tel:01872 862090
Situated at the head of the Fal estuary, the 40-acre garden itself is a year-round display of colourful blooms, noted for its camellias, rhododendrons and a collection of photinia and azaleas.
Trebah Gardens Tel:01326 252200
A dramatically beautiful 26 acre sub-tropical garden. The wooded ravine is filled with glades of 100 year old trees mingled with rhododendrons and magnolias, cascading waterfalls and narrow streams and a private beach.
Falmouth Week Held in August, main events are yacht racing, regattas and live music.
Falmouth Classics is a series of maritime events held throughout the summer.
Fal River Festival A celebration of the culture and heritage of the Fal Estuary is held in May.
Falmouth Oyster Festival takes place in October. The festival celebrates the quality of Cornish seafood and also features a programme of live music.
Falmouth Spring Festival is held in March and features flower shows, coastal walks, talks and film shows.
Truro Carnival is held over the second weekend in September and features street entertainers, samba dancers, carnival parade and fireworks finale.
Fowey Festival Held in May at Fowey, the festival features ten days of drama, music, talks and guided walks.
Helston's Flora Day Tel:01326 565431
In May, thousands of visitors descend upon the town to spectate or take part in the ancient Flora dance, where everybody wears formal dress and the children are adorned in white.
For a summary of events in the region see:
Places of Interest
St Ives is one of Britain's most picturesque towns with steep, winding streets leading down to its bustling harbour. The town is a haven for artists and even boasts its own Tate Gallery.
Newquay is Cornwall's largest holiday resort which boasts some of the finest coastline and beaches in Europe and a wide range of bars and restaurants.
Padstow is a charming fishing village on the Camel Estuary. The village and its peaceful surroundings was an area made famous by the late Poet Laureate, John Betjeman.
Land's End is renowned for its breathtaking rugged beauty. It is also a well-developed tourist centre and theme park which provides entertainment, refreshments and restaurants.
National Seal Sanctuary Tel:01326 221361
Situated near Helston, the sanctuary is Europe's leading marine animal rescue centre, which cares for dozens of sick, injured and orphaned seals every year.
Trevarno Estate Gardens - Helston Tel:01326 574274
A garden experience that combines Victorian and Georgian gardens with a fountain, garden conservatory, workshops and museum.
Truro is a former tin-mining town which has flourished over the centuries into the thriving administrative centre of today. With the Victorian cathedral as its centrepiece and numerous historic buildings, including the Royal Cornwall Museum and City Hall, its range of markets and tranquil parks and gardens, there is something for everyone to enjoy.
St Michael's Mount Tel:01736 710507
Perched astride a volcanic rock, this romantic castle/house dates from the 12th Century and is steeped in history and legend.
The Lizard Peninsula is a stunningly beautiful stretch of coastline, interspersed with picturesque coves, charming fishing villages and tiny hamlets. There is an abundance of wildlife and a constant profusion of colour; thanks to the mild climate it is not unusual to spot camellias open in December or daffoldils blooming in January!
The Roseland Peninsula is a designated part of Cornwall's Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty due to its picturesque landscape and unrivalled coastal scenery. St Mawes, the principal village, is home to the most perfectly preserved fortress of Henry VIII. Other villages in the area include the twin villages of Gerrans and Portscatho, Veryan with its famous roundhouses and Portloe with its tiny harbour.