The River Fal Festival 2019

April 26th, 2019

Next month, the renowned Fal River Festival will return to one of Cornwall’s most popular holiday destinations. The charming harbour town of Falmouth will host the fantastic ten-day event, which will run from Friday 24thMay to Sunday 2ndJune. The celebration, which is now in its 13thyear, will hold over 150 events, from music and drama shows to sporting events and everything in between. For anyone staying in our luxury Cornish cottages during this time, we’ve created a guide to each area of events and when they’re happening so that you can plan your holiday in Cornwall accordingly!

Music and Drama

For those with a love for all things show business, the River Fal festival won’t disappoint, with a diverse range of performances scheduled over the ten days. Head out on the 24thMay to celebrate opening night with Betty Stoggs and the Beer Fleet revellers at the Greenbank Quay, enjoying Cornwall’s best Ceilidh and Barndance Band SPLANN. A Jazz night will take place on the Quay on the 27thMay or check out the talented solo violinist Thomas Bowes on the 30thMay. Whichever event you choose, the atmosphere is sure to be second to none as you enjoy some of Cornwall’s best talents. 

Arts and Crafts

Numerous exhibitions will pop-up for the festival, including sightings of Morgawr, meaning sea giant in Cornish, at the Fish Factory Art Space. St Ives artist Kate Nicholson will also exhibit a wide range of her work, demonstrating the breadth of her creativity at the Art Gallery. The picturesque village of Flushing, which faces Falmouth from across the river will also get involved, with houses and businesses displaying their favourite works of art in windows for all to admire. From jewellery-making to political postcards, there’s any number of workshops over the ten-day festival, so be sure to browse their website to see if there are any that you and your family would like to get involved with. 

Water-inspired Activities 

Given the purpose is to celebrate the river, there is no shortage of water-inspired activities to take part in over the festival. Watch the beer fleet, which opens the festival, with boats of all shapes and sizes entering the harbour. Those looking for more adrenaline-fuelled activities can enjoy 50% off watersports at Swan Pool Beach on 29thMay, while those looking to relax on their holiday can buy tickets for either a Gin cruise (31stMay) or a Fizz and Chips cruise (1stJune). Do your bit for keeping Cornwall such a lovely place to visit and opt for cleaning the creek by canoe on 2ndJune. 

Gardens and Walks

There are any number of fascinating walking tours or visits to local gardens that are sure to provide you with interesting information about the area. Take a history tour of Flushing, forage for wild food and seaweed and learn how to prepare it, keep your eyes on the skies during a bird-watching trail or release your inner child with a night-time rock-pooling session. The ancient Enys Garden will host a fun-filled fair on 1stJune, aptly named, Truly, Madly, Cornish, which is the perfect place to pick up some local souvenirs. 

Food and Drink 

The fantastic food and drink that is available in this beautiful part of the world has not been forgotten in the Fal Festival celebrations. Children with an interest in cooking can head to famous chef Rick Steins restaurant on the 28thMay for a very fishy workshop where they’ll learn all about the fish in our local seas and how to cook them. A mini beer fest on a working boat will take place over the bank holiday weekend whilst those looking to experiment with cuisine are welcome to attend the wood-fired goat festival on 26thMay. Tarquin’s Gin will be hosting a club evening on the 29thMay that is perfect for adults with a taste for gin.


Book-worms are not forgotten during the River Fal celebrations and can hear all about shipwreck survivors at the NMMC from 27thMay – 1stJune. A short film cruise will depart from the harbour on the evening of the 29thMay where you can enjoy a fantastic independent film, asking the director any questions you may have about the feature immediately after. The 30thMay sees a Words Out event hosted by Fish Factory Arts where you can enjoy an evening of supper and storytelling.  

That concludes our guide to just some of what is happening during the River Fal Festival at the end of May. As any who have attended can attest, the family-friendly event hosts a range of celebrations, each as delightful as the next, with some of which you may only find in Cornwall. 

Fal River Festival 2018 Guide

May 14th, 2018

Celebrating the history and culture of the Fal River, and the people who live around it, the Fal River Festival runs from 25th May to 3rd June this year. With celebrations lasting for ten days, and over 150 events to choose from, there is sure to be something for everyone. Displaying the creative feats of locals, with plenty of art, film, theatre, music and food, the festival gives you the perfect excuse to explore the area of outstanding natural beauty and all it has to offer. Here are some of the biggest events taking place for the festival


Falmouth Street Food & Craft Ales Festival

A festival within a festival, the Street Food & Craft Ales festival takes place each year in Falmouth, this year from the 25th –  28th May. The best street food in Cornwall will welcome you to Events Square with the delicious aromas from the diverse collection of mouth-watering dishes. The flavourful feast is paired with the finest of Cornish craft ales. Accompanying the food and drink will be a market showing-off local produce, arts and craft. If that’s not enough to keep you entertained, then there will also be live music performed throughout each day!


Coastal & Woodland Foraging Course

Head to Pendower beach to learn how to survive in the wild, identifying foraging and cooking up nibbles that are found in the wild. Explore the Bluebell woodlands to discover what is edible and which are poisonous. Following the stream down to the beach, see if you can spot the variety of seaweed that is sought-after by many a chef, as well as the many other seaside edibles available. Once you’ve gathered your ingredients, learn how to safely incorporate them into some yummy modern recipes. The event ends with a big cook up on Pendower Beach so that everyone can have a taste! The foraging course takes place at 10.30am to 1.30pm on the 28th May. Booking is essential; an adult ticket costs £25, teenagers £10 and children go free!


Treasure From The Sea

This free exhibition is taking place on the 29th May, celebrating the launch of new children’s book ‘Treasure from the Sea’. The exhibition displays treasures and oddities obtained through beachcombing, with cabinets full of finds from the beach. The book’s illustrator, Sarah McCartney, will be at the exhibit, showcasing some original drawings from the story, as well as her resin sculptures, prints and sea photography.


Film On The Ferry

Transformed into the only floating cinema in Cornwall, the King Harry Ferry will have a huge cinema screen on board for you to enjoy a film in open air, as you float on the river. The screening of the Oscar Award winning film Dunkirk (2017) will take place on 29thMay, while Cast Away (2000) will be screened on 31stMay. Both films will begin screening at 10pm, with the ferry picking up viewers on the Philleigh side of the river at 9.30pm, and those on the Trelissick side at 9.40pm. Bring along a fold out chair, so you have somewhere to sit, and remember to wrap up warm! Tickets cost £9 for adults and £7 for under 16’s and are available on the Fal River website.



Head to Kimberley Park for a series of acoustic live music performances from 6 unique musical acts, alongside a variety of activities. As you listen to the tunes, get involved with the circus skills workshop, theatre and storytelling activities and plenty of art and creativity! ParkLive takes place on 27th May from 12pm to 5.30pm.

For more activities taking place over this week, check out our May half-term guide here! If you would like to enjoy the Fal River Festival, then why not come and stay with us here at The Valley for a luxury Falmouth holiday!? This week we are having a flash sale, so book now to get the best deal!


Image Credit: Tim Green

May is Festival Month down in Cornwall

May 01st, 2017

After what has been a glorious April, here at The Valley (so much for all the April showers!) we’re really looking forward to a fun packed May and the start of the Festival season.

While the weather may not have been perfect for today’s May Day celebrations we are sure the rest of this month is going to treat us better with a great range of festivals happening across the county. Here’s a pick of some of our favourites.

Fowey Literary Festival
Celebrating their 21st year Fowey Festival of Arts and Literature have a wide range of events to suit all tastes. See bestselling author Michael Morpurgo, musician and composer Sir Karl Jenkins and former war correspondent and politician Martin Bell, plus an array of talks and discussions, film, and even Gardeners Question Time!
Fowey is a beautiful town well worth a visit anyway, and the festival give you no excuse not to make it down this way!

St Ives Food & Drink Festival

While we’re still recovering from all the chocolate we consumed over the Easter period here, it might be time to loosen that belt once again as St Ives hosts their annual Food and Drink festival from the 13th – 14th May.
You can expect a star-studded array of chefs showcasing the best Cornwall has to offer all happening right on the Porthminster beach in St. Ives. There will also be over 60 traders showing off their culinary delights for you to try.
A full music line up will also take place alongside the festival, continuing into the evening with an extended session on Saturday night with performances from Kernow King and Sandy Acre 7. Other acts performing during the weekend include Emily Howard, The Grenaways and many local bands and choirs.
As well as great food and live music, the festival boasts an abundance of activities and entertainment, promising a fun-filled day out for all the family, with a bouncy castle, beach games and cooking workshops with Little Kitchen Magicians also on offer.

Fal River Festival
To finish off the month and lead us into June Falmouth will be hosting their Fal River Festival. Running from the 26th May until the 4th June it promises 10 days of over 150 events varying from music & drama, the arts & heritage to gig racing, swimming, walking & lots more.
The festival was established in 2006 and will be running for its 12th year in 2017. It’s a chance to embrace the places, people, history, culture, sport & industry that are connected by this very Cornish river.
With its diverse mix of events taking place at dozens of locations around the Fal River, the festival offers something for everyone and is the perfect opportunity to engage with life on the river and discover some of its fascinating history.
Each year more than 100,000 people attend a range of different events helping raise a whopping £75,000 for charity while enjoying 3,000 pints of ale, lager and cider!

With all of this going on whilst still dodging the crowds of the summer holidays, there really is no better time to visit Cornwall and The Valley makes the perfect base for heading out on your adventures.