Falmouth is both a historic port and an energetic and vibrant modern town. The port, the dockyard, the harbour and University keep it that way. It is also surrounded by some of the most beautiful countryside and coastline in the world. Whilst you can get into your car and visit any number of attractions within an hour or so, we like to stay closer to our home. Here are some of our favourite things to do on foot when we are staying in The Captain’s House:
- Walk to Pendennis Head, looking down into the dockyard as you pass, skirting Pendennis Castle and then sitting on a bench at the tip of the headland to watch the boats go by and those at anchor “waiting for orders” in Falmouth Bay too. Buy a copy of the local paper The West Briton first and look up the “shipping news” so you can spot what ships have recently arrived and where they have sailed from.
- Catch a ferry to St Mawes, and then the much smaller Place Ferry, and walk along the coast to the east. The first kilometre or so is decorated with wind-blown trees which frame a truely breathtaking view as you look back on Falmouth from the other side of the estuary. You pass St Anthony’s lighthouse with its quaint paraffin store and there is also a wonderful bird hide overlooking a peregrine falcon’s cliff top nest. To the east of the lighthouse there is just miles and miles of empty coastline with wonderful secluded, often empty, beaches and caves to explore.
- Get on the water, it really does give you a different perspective on the town: go fishing on a charter boat from Custom House Quay and catch yourself some pollack for tea; or hire a yacht, or just get a lift on one of the several yachts that do day trips around the bay; or catch a ride on one of the fast power boats that go in search of dolphins in the bay.
- Catch a ferry to Truro (at high tide) or get the train there and explore the capital of Cornwall.
- Go swimming from one of the many nearby beaches. Perhaps at sandy Gyllyngvase Beach with its super cafe. At the end of the beach the coast path heads off to the west and is as enchanting as its eastern cousin.
- Visit the National Maritime Museum. It is full of information and history and there really is something for everyone. You must have a go on the radio controlled yachts and see the underwater viewing window. Look down on the classic yachts in the marina from the viewing tower too.
- Buy fish and chips from the Harbour Lights restaurant, or a pasty from Oggy Oggy nearly opposite. You can take either into our favourite pub, The Front, which is curiously located under the chip shop on Custom House Quay – you can sit outside by the water in the Summer months. They don’t mind you taking your own food in and the beer is simply unbeatable. On Monday nights they have Breton dancing and you often have people bursting into song, even when the annual International Sea Shanty festival is not on.
- Walk along the main street by the water and buy some of the super local art, or other things you need, in the shops that often have wonderful views out over the harbour, at least on one side of the street. The fresh fish shop is on the other side but don’t miss it!
- Have dinner at Pizza Express, or the Greenbank Hotel, both of which overlook the water.
- Head over to the Helford River and explore by boat or footpath. Enjoy a great lunch at The Ferry Boat Inn while you’re there.
- Enjoy a wonderfully long sandy beach and visit Gunwalloe Beach on the north west of the Lizard Peninsula.
All this, along with just about any shop you will ever need, is just a few minutes walk from the door of The Captain’s House. Can’t you see why we love it so? It is all so close but the house is just far enough away for it to be a rather peaceful place too.
Have a look at our Top 10 things to do in Falmouth.