There is so much choice of things to do and places to visit in Cornwall, from beaches and gardens to adventure parks and coastal walks. There’s something for all ages, couples, families, adventure addicts and furry friends alike. You can choose to stay in Falmouth and make the most of an abundance of beaches and a cool yet creative scene or explore the nearby towns and coasts, heading to the famous surf centre of Newquay, the cosmopolitan Cathedral city of Truro or the pretty winding Cornish streets of St Ives, Mousehole and Charlestown. Here is our pick of ten fantastic things to do on your visit to Cornwall.
This historic castle was built by Henry VIII and is only a five minute walk from our doorstep. Cross over the bridge over the moat and enter into another era. Explore the circular stone keep, the barracks and the panoramic views of the coast from the castle roof. If you time it right, you may even witness the canons being fired! Why not take a trip on the ferry across the water to visit the sister castle at St Mawes?
Gyllyngvase Beach is just a ten-minute stroll along the seafront and is the longest stretch of sand in Falmouth. Wander the coastal path from Gyllyngvase and it will take you along the cliffs to the next beach (Swanpool) in just five minutes. You can continue on a longer hike from here to Maenporth or just enjoy a coffee or a spot of lunch at Hooked on the Rocks at Swanpool where you can enjoy a slap up seafood delight. For a spot of sand in less than ten seconds head straight to Castle Beach. Just a minute from our door, this is the beach that the locals love and is perfect for a morning swim with a view of the castle.
The Princess Pavilion is the hub of music and entertainment in Falmouth and is where all of the concerts, shows and events take place. Set in the pretty historical Gyllyngdune Gardens with the stunning Edwardian bandstand as the piece de resistance, enjoy coffee or lunch admiring the flower displays and pretty setting or dance the night away with tickets to the latest act performing on stage. You won’t even need a taxi to get back as we’re within walking distance!
Image © Copyright Tony Atkin
This pretty garden on our doorstep is the location of The Princess Pavilion. With the grand bandstand at the centre, the garden also contains a verandah, greenhouse, a rose garden, a secret grotto, monolithic arch and lots of ideal seating spots, including our favourite, the hidden shell caves which are completely unique and beautiful. Cornwall is a garden lovers paradise with many beautiful gardens nearby including world famous Trebah Gardens, one of the Great Gardens of Cornwall and rated among the 80 finest gardens in the world.
Image © Copyright David Dixon
Marine Gallery is a working studio of local artist Nick Gibbard. A variety of drawings, paintings and prints are available to purchase, from technical to abstract, with still life, landscapes, cartoons and nudes all on offer. Come and experience some Cornish art being created. Falmouth is known for our art scene – The Poly often has exhibitions taking place and there are many independent art boutiques selling original artworks, prints, textiles, jewellery and ceramics.
The National Maritime Museum is a multi-award winning museum, designed to celebrate our relationship with the sea. Featuring a rich exhibitions programme, award winning education initiatives and boat building and conservation, the museum works to preserve and promote Cornwall’s maritime heritage, making maritime history inspiring for everyone.
With a ferry to all of the pretty places on our doorstep, Falmouth really does make the world your oyster (and what a picturesque way to get around!) Hop on the St Mawes Ferry every day of the year except for Christmas Day, taking in the incredible scenery, two historic Cornish castles and myriad marine life, delivering you to this renowned romantic town on The Roseland in less than 30 minutes. Alternatively, in season, catch The Enterprise Ferry to the city of Truro. Sailing six times a day from spring, The Enterprise also stops at the iconic Trelissick House and Gardens, so whether you’re after a beauty spot or a place to shop, this ferry has a front row seat, showcasing incredible scenery and Cornish landmarks with an onboard commentary, hot drinks served and furry friends welcome as well.
Cornwall is great for walking and there are many wonderful walks to be found all around the coast. Whether you’re looking for a simple stroll or a more ambitious hike, the South West Coastal Path makes up the longest national trail in the UK. Enjoy walks such as Falmouth to Portloe or Falmouth to the Helford Passage, enjoying the Cornish sea breeze, the flora, fauna and wildlife on your travels. Be sure to check out the South West Coast Path website for further information on recommended walks and their difficulty level.
The Falmouth School of Sailing is an established and reputable sailing and powerboat school. Learn to sail with one of their renowned courses or perhaps charter a boat for the day and get out on the open water to ride the waves and search for whales, seals and other sea life.
Stand up paddleboarding is extremely popular in Falmouth. We have calm waters, wonderful sunrises and two fantastic watersports centres, Wesup at Gyllyngvase and Elemental at Swanpool. Try your hand at surf lessons or canoe sessions at Swanpool or go steady on a paddleboard with a lesson at Gylly. Enjoy a taster lesson or head out to a secret beach, pausing to snorkel and enjoy a picnic. For the more adventurous with a little more experience, why not enjoy a night paddleboard, guided by the light of the moon and the stars.