Saturday, 29 January 2011


Thanks to its impressive geographical credentials, the town of Falmouth, at the mouth of the Fal estuary, has a long and rich maritime history. That well-known beheader of wives Henry VIII saw fit to protect the town with not one, but two castles, one one each side of the Fal estuary – Pendennis Castle on the west side, and St Mawes Castle on the east side. This was necessary to deter the would-be enemy invaders, including the Spanish Armada, who considered the natural harbour here a pushover, it being the third deepest natural harbour in the world. The following century, an important shipborne mail service started up called the Falmouth Packet, which provided a vital link between Britain and the countries of its Empire.

Falmouth is something of a town of two halves, with the estuary on one side and a couple of lovely beaches on the other: Gyllyngvase Beach and Swanpool Beach.  The town’s long maritime tradition continues to the present day, as one of the town's major tourist attractions is the National Maritime Museum, which in summer can be reached by catching a “park and float” ferry from a car park further down the estuary.  There are also a number of boat trips and ferry services available from the Custom House Quay and the Prince of Wales Pier. Near the museum is an attractive new development of waterside homes, some of which are available for holiday rentals. There are also a number of sea-based festivals, including a sea shanty festival in June and an oyster festival in October. Falmouth also plays host to the Cornwall Film Festival, and the Greenbank Fal River Festival. For a list of events in the town see here.

Map of the area.

Boats in the River Fal

View of the beach

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