Falmouth Things to Do

  • Things to Do
    by EasyMalc
  • Things to Do
    by EasyMalc
  • Things to Do
    by EasyMalc

Most Recent Things to Do in Falmouth

  • EasyMalc's Profile Photo

    Keeping the simple pleasures in life alive

    by EasyMalc Written May 3, 2015

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I hate seeing local public parks and gardens decline into neglect, and so it’s nice to see one that has had some major investment ploughed into it.
    It’s cost £2.3m to refurbish this 100 year old garden and pavilion, with half of it coming from the Heritage Lottery Fund (where would we be without the lottery?) and it’s money well spent in my opinion.
    Situated above Gyllyngvase Beach, the gardens include the Princess Pavilion, an Edwardian bandstand and a 150 year old Shell Grotto that’s not been touched over the years except for a clean up in 2011. Most of the shells probably originated in the West Indies and many of them would be protected today.
    Should you feel peckish there’s the Garden Room Bar and Bistro that is open during the day and for Pavilion pre-show dinners.
    Even if it sounds a bit old-fashioned in some ways, there’s something quite re-assuring about an English seaside town still keeping alive these type of places that kept many people happy years ago - and I’d like to think that it will do for many years to come.

    Was this review helpful?

  • EasyMalc's Profile Photo

    National Maritime Museum Cornwall

    by EasyMalc Written Sep 1, 2014

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Since 1937, The National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, London (NMG), has been the home of Britain’s rich maritime history, but like many other museums it doesn’t have enough space to showcase everything.
    The Cornwall Maritime Museum in Falmouth, not only had its own history, but also the location which suited the NMG to house its small boat collection, and after some consultation it was decided to build a new museum on the site of an old boat-builders yard - and the National Maritime Museum Cornwall (NMMC) was born.
    Unlike its London counterpart, it doesn’t get government funds and has to be self supporting, but nevertheless, since it opened its doors in 2003 it has given a big boost to the local economy and its Lookout Tower has become a symbol of Falmouth’s waterfront.
    Entrance to the museum is in Events Square. Up to date opening times and prices are best viewed on their website below, but bear in mind that there is unlimited admission for a year if you can take advantage of it.
    Inside the museum there is a cavernous Main Hall which houses many of the small boats previously mentioned, many of which hang from the ceiling above. ‘The Flotilla’ as it’s called have small boats of various descriptions, some more interesting than others.
    Most people want to take a look out over the harbour from the Lookout Tower and a lift will whisk you up there in a jiff, and from there you can work your way down through the floors. It’s much easier than walking up and catching the lift back down! From a photography perspective the views are great but it’s all behind glass I’m afraid.
    Walking back down through the floors will give you a birds-eye view of The Flotilla and a chance to look at the Cornwall Galleries with information about local maritime history including the Falmouth Packets.
    There are also plenty of activities to interest the kids as well as special events. The one on here at the moment (and will be for quite a while I reckon) is ’Search and Rescue’, which I found extremely interesting. The highlight is the 70ft long Sea King helicopter which you’re allowed to board. Quite fascinating!
    There’s the usual facilities that you would expect from a modern museum, such as a shop, cafe etc but there are other places to eat and drink just outside in Events Square if you prefer.
    Visiting the NMMC should be on every visitor’s list - but I would like to know why the museum has to be run by a charitable trust and charge admission prices whilst every other national museum (as far as I know) has free entry for all. To help ease the burden there are plenty of leaflets around the town which offer a 10% discount on admission prices.

    The Main Hall A Mail Packet Re-created Pilcard Cellar
    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Sailing and Boating
    • Museum Visits

    Was this review helpful?

  • EasyMalc's Profile Photo

    Custom House Quay

    by EasyMalc Written Aug 30, 2014

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Inevitably, at some point you’ll find yourself walking through the main streets of Falmouth which are just off of the waterfront.
    What might appear to be one long street from the Prince of Wales Pier to Events Square, is in fact four, comprising of Market St, Church St, Arwenack St and Grove Place. There are plenty of bars and restaurants along here, but if you want something off of the main drag it’s worth checking out Custom House Quay. This quay is as old as it gets in Falmouth and is a great spot to stop for a drink and maybe a bite to eat.
    The quay was in use as far back as the 17th cent when Falmouth was given the role as the Royal Mail Packet Station. For 150 years between 1688 and 1850 Custom House Quay was used by the Falmouth Packet ships for the loading and unloading of the British Empire’s mail.
    No doubt there were plenty of watering holes for the sailors back then and there are still a few here now. Sitting outside the Chainlocker and Shipwrights on a warm summers day is definitely one of my favourite Falmouth pastimes.

    Outside the Chainlocker

    Was this review helpful?

  • EasyMalc's Profile Photo

    The Prince of Wales Pier

    by EasyMalc Updated Aug 27, 2014

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Prince of Wales Pier should be one of the first places to visit in Falmouth. There are three reasons why. Firstly, there’s a great view of Falmouth Harbour. Secondly, it’s where most of the boat trips go from, and thirdly, it’s where the Visitor Information Centre is situated.
    The pier’s construction was started in 1903 when HRH Prince of Wales, later to become King George V, laid the foundation stone on 20th July. It was opened on May 5th 1905, but to be honest there’s not much for pier enthusiasts to get excited about.
    One thing that is worth taking note of though is the memorial to the British forces who left Falmouth for St. Nazaire on the western coast of France on 26th March 1942 on Operation Chariot.
    This operation involved marine commandos who were given the unenviable task of putting the German occupied port of St. Nazaire out of action to prevent it being used to maintain its increasingly destructive Atlantic fleet. The raid was successful and put the dock out of use for the rest of the war. It came at a price though. Out of 622 who took part, 168 were killed, and apart from 27 who managed to escape, the rest were captured. There were 5 Victoria Crosses awarded (the highest military decoration for gallantry) for what became known as ‘The Greatest Raid of All.’
    If you’re interested in making a less demanding boat trip of your own, then there are plenty of kiosks here touting for business. There’s any number of options available, and you made find it useful to pop into the Visitor Centre first to pick up some information. The staff are very friendly and knowledgeable. I’ll be covering some of these options in later tips.

    The Packet Quays from the Pier
    Related to:
    • Sailing and Boating
    • School Holidays

    Was this review helpful?

  • EasyMalc's Profile Photo

    Maenporth

    by EasyMalc Updated Jul 24, 2014

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The summer months bring an influx of visitors to Cornwall and consequently places like Falmouth can get very busy at times, and so it’s good to know that there are some beaches not too far away where you can get some respite.
    Maenporth is just a couple of miles outside of town and can be reached by Greyhound bus 500 if you don’t have your own transport.
    Being so near to Falmouth means that it won’t be a complete oasis of calm as the holiday village here will remind you, but there should be plenty of space for everyone, although the car park can quickly fill up on sunny days.
    My days of lying on the beach getting tango’d are long gone and the watersports that are available are no use to me as I can’t even swim.
    Fortunately there’s a beach café that allows me to enjoy the scenery without getting wet. Run by the ‘Life’s a Beach’ crew, which as its name suggests is run by younger people, there’s the usual sort of thing on offer that you would expect from such a location.
    I have to confess that I probably wouldn’t come to Maenporth in the height of the summer but when we here recently it was absolutely sublime - for me at least.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Beaches
    • Water Sports

    Was this review helpful?

  • EasyMalc's Profile Photo

    Pendennis Castle

    by EasyMalc Written Jun 22, 2014

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Along with St. Mawes Castle, on the opposite side of the estuary, Pendennis Castle was built by Henry VIII to secure the entrance to this veritable haven for any enemy that managed to worm its way into this part of England - which at the time would most likely have been Spain.
    Although they’re similar in appearance, Pendennis commands the most prominent position on Pendennis Point and it’s been used as a guardian of the Fal estuary ever since it was built in the 1540s.
    During the Civil War, Pendennis was loyal to the King and suffered the consequences when the Parliamentarians took control. Since then however, as the fortifications were strengthened, it seems to have done the job it was intended to.
    Today the castle is well looked after by English Heritage and for a leisurely visit you would still need a good couple of hours here. Even if you’re not that bothered about castles as such, they always seem to be in great commanding locations and Pendennis is exceptional in that respect. The headland is surrounded by water and the views up Carrick Roads, across to the Roseland Peninsula, and down the Cornish coastline towards The Lizard will take your breath away, even if the wind doesn’t.
    If that’s not enough, the castle is still intact - and definitely not a ruin - but it’s never been used as a stately home as far as I can tell because it just wouldn’t have been practical. You’ll probably find yourself wandering around the bastions, batteries, and barracks more than you will the castle, but that’s all part of the experience. You can read up about all the history when you get here but if you come to Falmouth without visiting Pendennis Castle you’ll be missing the reason why Falmouth exists in the first place.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Castles and Palaces
    • Photography

    Was this review helpful?

  • St Mawes Castle & St Mawes

    by macroderma Updated Jan 9, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    St Mawes is the companion of Pndennis Castle on the eastern side of Carrick Roads

    Like its partner it was built to defend Carrick roads, however it is sited much lower, which is good for targeting shipping, but not so defensible from landward attack. When attacked during the civil war it surrendered quickly, whereas Pendennis held out for 6 months.
    St Mawes is one of the finest examples of Tudor military architecture (especially as unlike Pendennis is has not changed markedly since Tudor times) and is much smaller than Pendennis, being built on a clover leaf pattern. It is also quite decorative with some fine carved stone.

    Excellent site for a picnic, there is a small shop

    There is not so much to do as at Pendennis so make it a day trip. Take the ferry from Falmouth and visit the castle, then the village of St Mawes. If you have a boat this is a good opportunity to explore the Percuil River
    The village is a typically Cornish village with some nice pubs (esp The Victory), gift shops, two south-facing beaches on either side of the harbour.
    Beware of seagulls - don't feed them! Your kids will get divebombed if they walk around the streets with food in their hands near people feeding them

    Other short trips by ferry to St Anthony's Head lighthouse, Lamorra Gardens (bautiful sub-tropical), and also a good base for coastal walks

    St Mawes Castle[www.cornwallcam,com]
    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Historical Travel
    • Castles and Palaces

    Was this review helpful?

  • Stunning, simply stunning

    by macroderma Written Jan 9, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    St Just in Roseland

    A wonderful subtropical garden surrounds a 13th century church in this Cornish hamlet set off a tidal creek on the Percuil river. There are camellias and rhododendrons, together with a rich variety of rare tropical plants

    Can be very romantic, good for couples or a Mum and Dad day out, perhaps not so good for kids - although they will enjoy the walk and exploring the churchyard

    The path from the road to the Church is lined with granite blocks carved with quotations and verses taken from the Bible and is very steep so you are actualy looking down at the Church

    St Just in Roselan [www.achurchnearyou.com]
    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • Pendennis Castle

    by macroderma Updated Jan 9, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Visiting a castle can seem a bit worthy and dull, but it is surprisingly good fun, even for quite small children

    Pendennis Castle commands the entrance into Carrick Roads - the 3rd largest natural harbour in the world. It dates back to Tudor times, with the main fortifications being built by Henry VIII and Elizabeth I. However, this being SW Britain there have been periodic invasion threats ever since and the site was expanded and amended in Napoleonic times and WW1/2
    Interestingly, although originally built to defend against invasion, the only time the Castle was attacked was during the civil war when it was a royalist stronghold (in fact only one place held out longer for Charles I,and the seige lasted over 6 months). This is in part why everything is in such excellent condition - no war damage!

    There is a good Discovery centre which follows the whole history of the castle (the WW2 info is particulary interesting), there are turrents and ramparts to explore in the keep (steps very steep for small children), and stunning views from the top. There are often renactments in the keep, and displays in the grounds (for example military vehicles on D Day anniversary weekend). On the curtain walls there are cannons to climb on and the WW2 gun emplacements, complete with plotting room and ammuntion stores.

    A good site for a picnic on a sunny day (it is always windy though, so be prepared to wrap up smaller children) and the cafe is quite reasonable

    A nice break from the beach - ideal for a dull morning before (as often seems to happen) the sun breaks through in the afternoon and you can hit the beach

    Pendennis Castle [(www.castlexplorer.co.uk]
    Related to:
    • Castles and Palaces
    • Family Travel
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • Ash59's Profile Photo

    The National Maritime Museum information

    by Ash59 Updated Nov 16, 2003

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Museum is open seven days a week. Closed Christmas day & Boxing day.

    Opening hours are from 10 - 5pm

    From 19 February 2003, the following admission prices apply:

    Adults ? 5.90
    Seniors (persons 60 or over) ? 3.90
    Students (valid NUS,ISU card) ? 3.90
    Children (5 - 15 yrs) ? 3.90

    If you are lucky when you visit this museum, you may come when volunteers are overhauling small boats that they have salvaged around Cornwall. There is detailed and interesting history about where the boats came from and pictures that show the original state that they found in.
    Children Under 5 free free


    Family - 2 Adults and up to 3 children (5 ? 15yrs) ? 15.50

    We actually ended up here for 5 hours. The problem was that the car park in the immediate vacinity of the museum is only a short term carpark, maximum waiting time of 3 hours (cost ?2.10). You can leave the museum and then return, just make surre that you get your ticket stamped on the way out.

    We were told that there is a long term car park but that it was a walk between it and the museum.

    The museum is fully accessible to wheelchair users.

    The National Maritime Museum, Falmouth, Cornwall
    Related to:
    • Trains
    • Family Travel
    • Museum Visits

    Was this review helpful?

  • Ash59's Profile Photo

    The National Maritime Museum

    by Ash59 Updated Nov 16, 2003

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The National Maritime Museum sits on Falmouth harbour front. It contains the history of small boats and Cornish maritime history. Do not expect large ships to be here, just boats, canoes and sailing yachts, yet what a wealth of information can be found at this place.

    The National Maritime Museum, Falmouth, Cornwall
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Road Trip
    • Trains

    Was this review helpful?

  • Ash59's Profile Photo

    The National Maritime Museum

    by Ash59 Written Nov 10, 2003

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The museum also has a viewing tower. I took the picture of Falmouth Harbour from the top of it but there is something just as interesting at its base.

    The base of the tower is built into the seabed and has windows through which you can watch any sealife that happens to amble by.

    We saw lots of small fish, one large fish, a crab and alongside the edges of the window, we spotted some shrimp.

    The windows are triangular in shape due to the fact that the base of the window has to withstand a pressure of 5 tonnes per m2. Higher up the window, the pressure is less, so the window can be wider. The window is made up of 4 layers of glass, bonded together to form a thickness of 80mm.

    The gallery is designed to be fully underwater at high spring tide and completely out of the water at low spring tide. If you are here long enough, you can actually see the water rise or lower, depending upon the tide at the time of your visit.

    The National Maritime Museum, Falmouth, Cornwall
    Related to:
    • Museum Visits
    • Road Trip
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • Ash59's Profile Photo

    The National Maritime Museum

    by Ash59 Written Nov 10, 2003

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The museum does not just contain static displays of boats. There are many interactive displays that show how the weather is formed, how a river can affect a boat as it travels across the flow and many other things that will entertain kids and adults alike.

    The National Maritime Museum, Falmouth, Cornwall
    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Trains
    • Museum Visits

    Was this review helpful?

  • Ash59's Profile Photo

    The National Maritime Museum

    by Ash59 Written Nov 10, 2003

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This is the first display that you will encounter when you visit the museum. It looks complicated until you realise that each boat on view is a replica of a true sailing ship and that you can access information about each individaul boat, giving details of who built it and when. It must have taken absolute hours building these models, something that I would never have the patience to do..

    The National Maritime Museum, Falmouth, Cornwall
    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Museum Visits
    • Road Trip

    Was this review helpful?

  • Monique_T's Profile Photo

    Falmouth.

    by Monique_T Written Aug 25, 2002

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    It is a nice town to walk around and do a bit of shopping. In the harbour you can take a ferry to the island St. Mawes. I don't recommend it when the weather is bad but otherwise it is a nice trip. It is a small island, not that much to do but just nice to have a look around.

    Was this review helpful?

Instant Answers: Falmouth

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

33 travelers online now

Comments

Falmouth Things to Do

Reviews and photos of Falmouth things to do posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for Falmouth sightseeing.

View all Falmouth hotels