Falmouth is famous for its harbour. Together with the Carrick Roads, the estuary of the River Fal, it is known to be the third largest natural harbour in the world, and is the deepest in Western Europe, measuring up to 34 metres in depth. It is only trumped by Sydney Harbour and The Port of Mahon.
Falmouth Harbour is also famous for being the start or finish point of various round the world record breaking voyages, including Robin Knox-Johnston’s in 1969, who was the first person to sail around the world non-stop and single-handedly.
Fish Strand Quay is also the place where news of the victory of Trafalgar, and Nelson’s death first reached Britain, so there’s plenty of history here.
If you’re looking to explore the local area on foot, we’ve put forward some of our favourite Falmouth walks.
If you want to discover more of the town itself, try the historic town trail, which takes you to all the buildings of note. Or don’t follow a map, just follow your sense of adventure and wander at will. The town is pretty, while the harbour is rich in history and as one of the English Channel’s major ports, you’ll see a barrage of maritime activity here.
Be sure to keep enough energy in reserve to take on Jacob’s Ladder in Falmouth town which has 111 steps. The concrete steps are named after local businessman, Jacob Hamblen, who commissioned the stairway to link some of his properties and businesses.
It will take around 10 minutes from Gyllngvase beach along the South West Coast Path to reach Swanpool beach. If you’d like to clock up some more steps on your Falmouth walk, then keep going to Maenporth, a beautiful sandy cove with a gently sloping beach. This Falmouth coastal walk, simply follows the coast path for two miles, but is mostly flat.
There are some lovely landscape walks, too, such as the Pendennis Headland walk. Take in views of Falmouth Docks and Pendennis Castle as you embark on this 5 mile circular walk, which starts in the streets of Falmouth and ascends to Pendennis Point, past the National Maritime Museum and along quiet wooded paths of Pendennis Point.
You’ll then follow the route to the seafront, passing the lake within the nature reserve and then crossing the railway line to descend back into Falmouth.
The Falmouth to Plymouth stretch of the South West Coast Path is a whopping 76 miles. While completing this Falmouth walking challenge would take days, you may choose to complete a smaller section.
Keen walkers may be interested in a Falmouth walk to Portscatho, which is just over 6 miles. To begin this jaunt, you’ll need to catch a couple of ferries, but Fal River provide award winning services which will add some fantastic views to your Falmouth walk. The first ferry is over to, St Mawes and then onto Place. You’ll need to check ferry times before you head off, but the website is exceptionally helpful and always up to date.
St Anthony Lighthouse at Roseland, Cornwall
Once you reach Place you’ll follow the coast path, where you’ll see the iconic St Anthony’s Lighthouse at National Trust owned St Anthony Head, where you may see kittewakes, gannets, fulmars, shags and cormorants. The views at Zone Point are rather impressive too, as you can look out to Nare Head and the Dodman, wildlife lovers may be in for a treat as you may also spot grey seals from here. There’s a lovely small beach at Porstcatho, which is a rare find because it’s an east-facing cove. It’s mostly rocky but there are some sandy patches.
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.