However, the character of this town isn’t simply measured by its attractions. It’s measured and created by its people; those who know the backstreets like the back of their hand, the ones who keep the eateries busy during the winter months, and who greet new travellers like old friends. It’s through speaking with locals that you’ll discover the real hidden gems.
The memories of a first visit to Falmouth are like a series of old photographs. Taking a boat across the River Fal to the romantic town of St Mawes for lunch at seaside star, Idle Rocks. Being happily lost amongst the tangle of pastel-coloured houses and ocean-fronted shops. Walking along the shore during early evening, soft sand beneath cool toes, the ocean a radiant reflection of the salmon pink sky. Sitting by the quay watching the yachts come into the harbour, feet dangling over the edge of the pier and an icecream in hand. These particular moments are memories, but Falmouth remains long after enamoured excursionists return home.
When the summer buzz of visitors quietens to a soft hum and Falmouth transforms back into a working port, populated by long-stay residents, reasons to stay close to home remain in abundance. As loyal locals, the Cornish Holiday Cottages team all have our individual reasons for living here. Below you’ll find, in our own words, the moments that helped solidify why we love Falmouth.
Falmouth, for me, is the heartbeat of Cornwall. The word I would use is nirvana: there are places here that feel like a glimpse of paradise. It was an early morning at the start of May, maybe around 6am when I stepped out of my Falmouth flat by the harbour to the sound of singing gulls, the sight of the pink sunrise peeking above the clinking masts and shimmering on the glassy water, that I just knew I’d call nowhere else home.
It’s the silence of the start of the day while everyone else is tucked up in bed when I enjoy the town the most. I wander aimlessly following the light. Through the subtropical Fox Rosehill Garden, above the dockyard populated by the huge military boats, through the wooded coastal path towards Pendennis Point where I’ll look out towards St Mawes, and past thickets of bright yellow gorse to the turquoise waters of Gyllyngvase Beach. Falmouth is full of beautiful surprises.
A Cornish girl born and bred, I moved to Falmouth over 40 years ago. This is now hopefully my forever home and I know that wherever my children live in the world they will always call Falmouth home also.
Everything I need is right here in Falmouth and since the pandemic, I have appreciated this even more. Easy access to the sea, coastal footpaths, and countryside walks, to me, is priceless and something I think all of us who live locally have grown to value and not take for granted in our busy lives.
From Falmouth’s bijou independent shops, bakeries, and cafes, to the town’s bright and busy annual events such as The Sea Shanty Festival, Falmouth Week, and the Oyster Festival, all help to create this as a place of uniqueness and creative vibrancy. Of course, I cannot leave out the fabulous choice of restaurants in the town. We are extremely lucky to be so rich in options, the foodie scene here is definitely cause for celebration and sampling!
In my eyes, it’s the beaches and the promenade that makes this town so beautiful. The sea feels like a big part of Falmouth to me. Wild dips in secret swimming spots, feeling the last of the summer sun, sitting on the golden beach with a takeaway meal from one of my favourite local eateries… There’s a year-round energy here that I absolutely love, which is why I chose Falmouth as my home.
When describing Falmouth to friends who haven’t visited, it always feels contradictory when I speak of it as being a buzzing busy town with a real sense of tight-knit community, but that’s the reality! Summer brings with it numerous popular events, visitors, and atmosphere but underlying this is an ongoing feeling of being part of a small community that everyone who’s local to here feels.
I love how everything you could ever need is all in one beautiful place – breath-taking scenery, mouth-watering food, interesting shops, and a friendly atmosphere.
The beaches are so easily accessible, practically on our doorstep… How many people get to say that they’re just popping over the road to the beach?! Falmouth has such an eclectic food and drinks scene. We are spoilt for choice when it comes to independent eateries, there is always something new popping up and when it comes to fresh seafood this is definitely the place to be.
I always encourage my friends to visit during one of the many fantastic waterside events such as Falmouth Week or the Falmouth Sea Shanty Festival, when the whole of Falmouth comes together outside to celebrate the Cornish way of life.
I love the Cornish landscape, especially the water, and I also need to have a vibrant neighbourhood not too far away. This is why I love Falmouth. I can take a day trip out on a boat to St Mawes or the Roseland and still be back in time to enjoy an evening out over a glass of local wine and seafood in the heart of the town.
There’s a long stretch of golden beach at the far end of Falmouth half an hour’s walk along the coastal path beyond Swanpool. Its name is Maenporth and it’s the perfect combination of solitude and nature. The summer crowds here are smaller, the water transparent and the bay sheltered from coastal winds. Walking along the coast path there are surprises every turn – groups of black fishing cormorants, clusters of colourful wildflowers, lightly trodden passageways that lead down to secret coves. It’s a place for forgetting about the everyday and welcoming moments of adventure.
Falmouth has a year-round vibrancy that’s unique to this part of Cornwall. I highly recommend braving a boat trip and looking back at the town from the water, watching the people, the boats coming into the harbour and the bustling high street from this secret spot makes me really notice Falmouth’s idiosyncratic atmosphere and culture.