If anyone ever asks me my favourite Cornish town, I always say Falmouth.
I think for many of my friends, it’s the same answer; Falmouth seems to be universally appreciated as Cornwall’s town that ‘has it all’.
Yes, it’s a student paradise and home to Falmouth Uni – a plus for some and an occasional annoyance for others – but it’s also the home to plenty of history, beautiful coastal and countryside areas, and the third deepest natural harbour in the world!
Below are just a few of the reasons why I love it so much:
1. Independent boutique shops
I’ve written about the different Cornish towns and places to shop here in Cornwall before, with details on what each town/city is great for. But no surprise that Falmouth is my favourite for shopping; it has the perfect mix of useful chain and surf shops, combined with unique and quirky independent places too. I love wandering down the high street and side lanes to find little boutiques here and there.
2. Beautiful beaches
Gylly beach (the main beach of Falmouth!) was voted as the Ultimate Best Beach in Cornwall in our Cornish blogger beach poll a couple of years ago, and whilst yes, that is quite the statement, it’s dubbed a favourite by many locals and holiday makers too. Due to it’s positioning at the edge of the rivers, it’s always pretty calm here, and with the beautiful yellow sand it looks like somewhere from the Mediterranean on a hot Summer day.
But not only that, if you walk along the coast a bit further, or drive out of Falmouth towards the Helford, you also have Swanpool and Maenporth too – both stunning spots for a picnic or BBQ!
3. Busy nightlife
If you like a drink and a dance, Falmouth is a great place for nightlife due to the large student population. There are HEAPS of great bars to visit and a couple of busy nightclubs too; it really has something for everyone. Whether you want a chilled one by the beach (try Gylly Beach Cafe), a pub crawl along the high street, or a weekend sesh – there’s always something going on.
4. Countryside walks
From the center of Falmouth, you can walk along the seafront and straight onto the South West Coast path, and take a stroll all the way along the coast and banks of the river Helford if you wanted to! Or within just a few minutes drive there are places like Enys Gardens or Argal Reservoir which are great for countryside wanderings and dog walks too.
5. Historic interests
Other than its famously large and busy harbour, with tales of piracy and tall ship parades, Falmouth also has its own castle to look around and explore the grounds of too! Pendennis is a coastal fortress built in Tudor times, and is now an English Heritage site, open to the public to look around – or you can just enjoy the walks around Pendennis point for free too.
6. Delicious restaurants
Falmouth has so many delicious independent cafes and restaurants I don’t even know where to start! I even have a long list on my phone of all the places I want to tick out just in this town because there are so many. Whether it’s delicious vegan pizza at The Stable, incredible Thai food at Ploy Thai, tasty lunches at Gylly Beach Cafe or incredible seafood at The Wheel House and Rick Steins, you’ll never get bored of eating out in this town!
7. Boats and watersports
With the popular harbour and beaches obviously come a range of activities and watersports to try! While the waves often aren’t big enough for surfing around here, you can kayak around the coves or even try your hand at paddleboarding too. Or if you’re lucky enough to own (or have friends who own…) a boat there are loads of beautiful scenic trips you can take around the rivers and coastline too – like this one to the Pandora Inn for dinner!
8. Regular festivals and events
As well as all the above, Falmouth is host to a variety of events and festivals all year round; from street food festivals and tall ship regattas, to celebrations of all things seafood & oysters, and sea shanties! There’s always something going on.