An hour’s drive from St Merryn Park down to the South Coast takes you to the famous maritime town of Falmouth

Falmouth boasts one of the largest natural harbours in the world, surrounded by Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the town draws people in like a magnet. The town sprawls out towards four beaches, with festivals and events occurring throughout the year, maritime history abounds with the likes of Henry VIII’s Pendennis castle, the National Maritime Museum, and Falmouth Docks. Two universities now share campuses in Falmouth, enhancing the town as a hub of student life, creativity, art, and music. Home to numerous family and dog friendly harbour side pubs, quirky shops as well as chain stores, regular boat trips, and quite possibly the best beach cafe in the UK, Falmouth is a popular day out and no stranger to celebrity visits.

Falmouth is not one to miss when you visit Cornwall, so we’ve put together a list of the best things to do, see, eat and drink when you’re here…

Falmouth Week

If you’re lucky enough to be holidaying in August, there’s an abundance of entertainment on throughout the week day and night in Falmouth.

Events include offshore racing, a food and drink festival as well as a summer market on The Moor, a free carnival party, plenty of live bands in Events Square, along with fireworks and red arrows displays.

A large proportion of events are free, but some do charge, click here for a full list of events and prices.

Gylly Beach Cafe

The award winning Gylly Beach Cafe is so much more than a beach cafe. There’s live music and restaurant-quality food for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Situated it a fantastic location overlooked by Pendennis castle, wherever you sit you’ll be treated to panoramic views of the Lizard Peninsula and the Helford River.

We’d advise booking for evening meals in peak season, as this popular cafe gets full fast!

Pendennis Castle

A great place to visit for all the family, Pendennis Castle has lots to see and do, from cannons and military history going back to Henry VIII, to underground tours and stunning views especially from the top tower. A nice walk from Falmouth town or free parking nearby, this English Heritage site is well worth spending a few hours exploring.

Prices: Adults £7.50, Children £4.50, Family £19.50, or free for English Heritage members

Trebah Gardens

This sub-tropical paradise offers visitors a year round experience. In spring,Trebah comes alive with a colourful array of 100-year-old rhododendrons, magnolias and camellias; in summer, the giant gunnera is a must see for young and old. In autumn, Hydrangea Valley casts clouds of china blue and soft white across Mallard Pond and in winter, our spectacular champion trees dominate the landscape, whist plants from the southern hemisphere flower.

With adventure play areas, children’s trails and special events all year round, not to mention their own secluded beach, Trebah is also family and dog friendly.

Prices: Adults £9.00, Kids £3.00, under 5s go free – admission is half price between 1st November and 28th February.

The Meat Counter

We’ve yet to find a tastier burger or pulled pork bun in Cornwall!

Trust us, if your after reasonably priced, great tasting food, look no further than The Meat Counter.

National Maritime Museum

Located on Events Square, the National Maritime Museum is a great way to spend a few hours – especially on a rainy day! There hands on exhibits and lots of interesting things to see and do, such as Ben Ainslie’s 2012 boat and the inshore lifeboat that kids can climb on. Check out the new Viking exhibit and send the kids on a “smell and search” treasure hunt. Don’t forget to climb to the top of the tower for some spectacular views!

Prices: Adults £12.00, Kids £8.50, under 5s go free, Family £33.50

Sea Kayaking

Your spoilt for choice for beaches in Falmouth: Gylly Beach, Swanpool Beach, Castle Beach and Maenporth Beach are all within walking distance from the town centre.

As well as other watersports, Kayak hire is available from Gylly Beach for guided tours and Swanpool Beach if you want to explore yourself. Discover the coves around Swanpool or kayak over to Maenporth if your feeling particularly confident!

If you’ve got a particularly sweet tooth, Swanpool beach is famous for it’s ice cream slathered in clotted cream and topped with your choice of confectionery.

Cost: £10 per hour for a single kayak, or £15 for a double, from Swanpool.

Beerwolf Books

A relatively new addition to the Falmouth high-street, Beerwolf Books is a quirky bookshop that’s a chilled out cafe by day and a bustling pub by night. A great day to spend an afternoon or evening regardless, but they also run a range of events from vinyl record days and evening live music.

Mini Golf and Pitch and Putt

Choose between Falmouth Pitch & Putt & Crazy Golf & Cafe or Swanpool Beach’s Crazy Golf… both happily accept non-golfers and families, with Falmouth Pitch & Putt also being great short game practice for the keener golfers.

The Shed, The Shack and The Ranch

Situated on Maritime Quay, these three restaurants sit side-by-side and are actually all owned by the same company but specialize in different cuisines.

The Shed is the biggest of the three, specializing in top-notch cocktails and has the most varied menu.

The Shack specialises in fresh local seafood and The Shed is the steakhouse with plenty of choice.

Glendurgan Gardens

Get lost in the spectacular maze at the National Trust’s Glendurgan Gardens.

As well as exploring the gardens, you can wander down the gentle slopes to the village of Glendurgen where there is a small beach.