When you first arrive in Falmouth you notice the flowers and plants. Everything seems to be a season ahead and there’s more of it! With it’s own microclimate Falmouth and the surrounding areas offer an array of colour and spectacle to the happy visitor.
To me, early summer in Cornwall is hydrangea heaven with the blues, pinks and white mop heads bursting out of the bushes in people’s gardens, along pathways and in parks.
Coming from the Greek word water it is totally appropriate that these ‘water vessels’ should be so abundant in Falmouth.
Exploring Falmouth with family from overseas means we see our favourite place through new eyes and from different perspectives. From the crest of the hill created by the compressive forces that formed the Lizard Peninsula (known as the Carrick Thrust) down to the Fal Estuary and the many rivers and creeks that run from it the flora and wildlife is abundant and bountiful at all levels.
The Fal estuary, which is also known as the Carrick Roads, was created at the end of the Ice Age when sea levels rose dramatically and created an enormous natural harbour, the third largest in the world. This drowned river valley has a deep channel (up to 40 metres) that meanders its way from Falmouth to Truro and is a haven for wildlife and sea birds.
In one week you can see so much from every perspective. From the top of the hill looking out of the Captain’s House windows there is a panoramic view of the sea, the harbour and the Carrick Roads. From astride a horse as we head off for an evening beach ride we see the tops of hydrangea bushes in bloom, across hedgerows to sweeping landscapes of rural countryside, tiny lanes and down to windswept beaches. Taking the Fal River Ferry across to St Mawes we watch the hustle and bustle of the harbour, see the large naval ships manoevering with care and tug boat assistance. Then hopping on to the Place Ferry for a walk along the coastal path to the St Anthony’s Head lighthouse we enjoy the peace and stunning beauty of fields bursting with wheat ready to harvest and the sound of the waves lapping the rocky coast and caves. One blissfully sunny day we sail past Pendennis Head and across Falmouth Bay with yachts of all shapes and sizes enjoying the fair weather and sunshine.
The peaceful perspective of the kayak exploring the Percuil river on a sunny afternoon gives us an opportunity to spot terns swooping down to catch fish, Shags and Cormorants hanging out on rocks. Paddling up river as the tide comes in we weave our way among the boat moorings and there on the water’s edge standing tall with grey back and long beak is the heron – the King of the creeks and mud banks. A stately bird that watches as we paddle past knowing that soon he will have his river to himself as the day moves towards evening.
Enjoy exploring Falmouth and its surrounding area to find your own heron and hydrangeas.
We went riding at Newton Equestrian
We sailed for the day with delicious lunch and tea with Cornish Day Sailing
The Fal River Ferry runs regularly every day – find out more from the Fal River website
Visit hydrangea valley at the sub-tropical Trebah gardens