Heading to Falmouth for a family holiday? Or perhaps you fancy visiting this historic harbour town on a day trip? We don’t blame you, there’s buckets going on here for all ages. If you’re looking for a fun day out in Falmouth, you’ve come to the right place.
Here, we round-up ten of the best things to do in Falmouth.
The obvious answer for a family day out is heading to a Falmouth beach. You have four main beaches to choose from; Gyllyngvase, Swanpool, Flushing and Castle. Crabbing and rock pooling at the beaches is always a must – and it’s free.
Gyllyngvase (known as Gylly beach) is the most popular beach in Falmouth. And it’s no surprise. Lifeguarded, it’s great for watersports and is just a ten minute walk from Falmouth’s town centre. It’s easily accessible, with a large car park nearby, public toilets, and a café on the beach.
AK Wildlife Cruises, Falmouth
Kids will love keeping their eyes peeled for whales, dolphins, seals and other marine life on a Falmouth boat trip. AK Wildlife Cruises three-hour wildlife cruises are perfect for families, while this is a condensed timeframe, it still allows ample opportunity to explore the spectacular coastline and discover the incredible wildlife that inhabits Falmouth Bay, without being too long from kids. All aboard!
With 15 galleries over four floors to explore, at Falmouth Maritime Museum families can jump aboard boats, climb the 100-foot Lookout Tower, watch boat-building, go underwater in the Tidal Zone, discover stories of ocean adventures and survival, and sail miniature boats on the waterfront boat pool. Plus, new for 2023 at Falmouth Maritime Museum is Skull Island Play Zone which is sure to be a hit with the kids.
Family and Hydrangeas at Trebah
With fine views over the Helford River, Trebah Garden is open all year round and makes a wonderful family day out near Falmouth. Unlike many gardens, in true Cornish style, at the bottom of Falmouth’s botanical garden leads you to Polgwidden Cove, a sheltered and secluded shingle beach on the Helford river, with its own café for a charming Cornish cream tea.
With 26 acres of footpaths in this sub-tropical valley garden lead to canopies of cascading colour from 100-year-old spring rhododendrons, camellias and magnolia to the china blue hue of the autumn hydrangeas.
With a huge variety of plants to enjoy, children will love the mallard pond and koi pool, plus there are three adventure play areas to explore; Tarzan’s Camp, Fort Stuart and the epic Paraglide.
Pendennis Castle, © English Heritage
For a family day out in Falmouth, why not take a trip to Pendennis Castle? You’ll travel back to Tudor Cornwall, where you can discover poignant tales of wartime, and enjoy acres of green space at this historic gem. Erected in 1540 by Henry VIII to protect the Carrick Roads, a deep water part of the Fal Estuary containing numerous creeks, which could otherwise have provided a weakness for invaders. It has the third deepest harbour in the world, after Sydney and Mahon, so why not immerse yourself in its history?
There’s a fun family trail, exhibition, and a soft play room near the café, there’s plenty for visitors of all ages to discover and enjoy.
There are plenty of dive sites on the peninsula, and lots of opportunities to discover Cornish diving. While you’re planning things to do in Falmouth try the Cornish Diving School, where qualified divers can go out with a divemaster to uncover the beauty of Cornish waters. Those new to diving, and aged 10 years plus, can attend a Discover Scuba Diving session with a fully qualified instructor. While it’s not a scuba certification course, this introduction (approximately 5 hours) demonstrates what it takes to explore the underwater world.
Alternatively, its Bubblemaker Programme is designed for kids aged 8-10 years, a chance for kids to use scuba gear to breathe underwater and swim around in shallow water in te diving school’s pool.
Visitors at Glendurgan Garden, Cornwall
Five miles outside of Falmouth, the National Trust’s Glendurgan Garden is a sheltered valley garden and superb subtropical space. Home to a beautiful mix of exotic and native plants, as well as peaceful orchards, at the bottom of the valley you can access peaceful Durgan Beach.
A highlight for kids has to be the cherry laurel maze which was planted in 1833, this 19th century maze has puzzled visitors for decades, but will you crack it? There’s also The Giant’s Stride to enjoy, which is a rotating rope swing that is perfect for some family fun!
Being surrounded by water, naturally a water-based activity is the way forward in Falmouth. There are plenty of Falmouth boat trips to embark on, broadening your horizons as they connect you to nearby villages. Perhaps you want to catch a boat from Prince of Wales Pier to the pretty village of Flushing, just across the water, or to St Mawes? The Fal River boasts some of the best boat trips in Cornwall and travelling by boat is one of the best ways to enjoy the unique waterways of the Fal River.
Kernow Adventure Park is a fabulous outdoor activity centre just 6 miles from Falmouth. Located in Kessel Quarry, once a successful granite quarry, now it’s flooded with spring water and flanked by steep walls of granite.
Choose from the aquapark, e-boats, paddleboarding or open-water swimming, or perhaps you want to try your hand at all four. The most popular choice for families is the aquapark. Those aged six years plus, will get to jump, bounce, slide and splash their way around the inflatable obstacle course. With a maximum of 40 on one session, there’s lifeguards on hand to ensure everyone’s safety.
Four miles outside of Falmouth, Raze the Roof in nearby Penryn, can be a godsend if the weather isn’t on your side. Featuring a mega play frame, slides, climbing wall, ball cannons and dedicated soft play space for toddlers. There’s laser tag and for older family members, plus razeVR a virtual reality arena, which is Cornwall’s biggest 20 player free roam experience that will thrill and excite the whole family.
Want to book your next getaway in fabulous Falmouth? We have handpicked our favourite self-catering cottages and holiday homes in this stunning Cornish town.