What is Falmouth famous for?

April 25th, 2017

The enchanting seaside town of Falmouth has been luring thousands of tourists to its waters for many years. With picturesque beaches, quirky shops, credited restaurants and an array of attractions a stone’s throw away from the town, it is no wonder tourists who want to experience an authentic Cornish retreat opt for Falmouth.

Falmouth has a rich and diverse culture and history, spanning over several centuries. Researching the history and guides of Falmouth can make for an interesting read that can help you create an itinerary for your holiday.


1: Pendennis Castle

The history of Cornwall is a fascinating topic for anyone to discover, and the town of Falmouth is particularly interesting. Falmouth was the area in which the renowned King Henry VIII decided to build a castle to defend Carrick Roads in 1540. Named Pendennis Castle, this majestic building sits perched up on a mount that overlooks the crystal coast. The town of Falmouth was soon created after the establishment of the castle in the surrounding area in 1613, by the iconic figure, Sir John Killigrew.

It wasn’t much time after that the castle was tested, with threats from the Spanish Armada in the late 16th-century. To support the attacks, the defences at Pendennis Castle were strengthened with angled ramparts. These defences proved particularly useful in the Civil War, with Pendennis Castle being the second to last fort to surrender itself to the Parliamentary Army.

You can visit this iconic structure on your holiday to Falmouth, with ample parking and extensive views across the bay. Learn all about the history that makes this castle so special in English history.

2: Falmouth Harbour

The visually-striking harbour at Falmouth has not only been attracting people for thousands of years because of its breath-taking beauty or for being the third deepest natural harbour in the world (the deepest in Western Europe); Falmouth’s harbour has been the backdrop for many iconic moments throughout history.

As the most south-westerly harbour of good quality in Great Britain, Falmouth was often the scene of many returning Royal Navy boats who had served in wars. The United States Navy had a large base in Falmouth during World War II, with some of the D-Day landings originating from Falmouth Harbour and its surrounding rivers and creeks, one example being the little beach situated at the end of Trebah Gardens.

Pioneer Charles Darwin, headed to Falmouth dock after his epic journey that took him to Sydney, the Keeling Islands, Tasmania, the Cape of Good Hope,  Mauritius and South America. The HMS Beagle dropped its anchor in the soft sand of Falmouth’s harbour on the 2nd October 1836. Falmouth and its surrounding areas captivated one of Darwin’s shipmates, Sullivan, so much that he later called Flushing, a nearby waterside village, his home.

Other iconic round-the-world voyages that finished at the Falmouth Harbour include those of Dame Ellen MacArthur and Robin Knox-Johnson.

3: Artistic culture

Falmouth is the birthplace of the classic ‘The Wind in the Willows’, by Kenneth Grahame, that originally began as a series of letters sent to his son. The first of these were written at the Greenbank Hotel located on the water’s edge. But Grahame is not the only author to be inspired by Falmouth; Winston Graham, the author of Poldark, set his 1945 novel ‘The Forgotten Story’ in the town.

The town has also been the setting for many television programmes and films over the years. Famous faces to make an appearance around the town include Will Hay, who visited in 1935 for his comedy ‘Windbag the Sailor’. Other famous faces include Robert Newton and Bobby Driscoll who came down to film 1950’s classic, Walt Disney film ‘Treasure Island’. More recent films include World War Z, that starred Brad Pitt, and featured areas of Falmouth Docks and its coast.

Falmouth is home to many theatre groups, with regular performances from 1927 to present day, in addition to a public art gallery (Falmouth Art Gallery) featuring iconic Cornish artworks.

You can pick up several artistic goods at many of the quirky shops that line the Falmouth high street, or in the pop-up markets that make an appearance on The Moor throughout the year; all created by local artists.

4: Renowned restaurants

Falmouth’s high street and surrounded areas are filled with a multitude of renowned restaurants. Sample the coastal delights at the fish and chip restaurant from the famous Rick Stein. Or try something a little more exotic at the Caribbean restaurant named ‘Cribbs’. Whatever your taste, whatever your mood, there is a restaurant waiting for you in Falmouth. With credited restaurants, such as Oliver’s, you can taste some of the best dishes in the whole of England in this Cornish town.

 5: Sports

Falmouth has become a hub for several sports. Home to one of the county’s largest cricket club, with four teams representing the town in the Cornwall Cricket League.

Falmouth’s idyllic location also make it the perfect place for an array of water sports, from boating to rowing. People can also try their hand at surfing, waterboarding, sailing or canoeing and kayaking, with lessons and equipment hire from companies such as Elemental UK, located at Swanpool.

Iconic moments in sporting history include the journey made by yachtsman Robert Manry who crossed the Atlantic from Falmouth, Massachusetts to Falmouth, Cornwall from June to August in 1965. He made this journey in a thirteen-and-a-half-foot Tinkerbelle, which at the time, was the smallest boat to make this crossing.

Falmouth was also the location for the Tall Ships’ Race in 1966, 1982 and 1998, where ninety Tall Ships set sail from the Falmouth Harbour to Lisbon, Portugal.

Why go to Falmouth on holiday?

Other than its historical roots, artistic culture, sports and renowned restaurants, Falmouth offers holidaymakers an abundance of scenic views across the Cornish coast and family-friendly attractions to keep the whole family entertained that are within a stone’s throw of our 5-star cottages in Cornwall. Our rural retreats, located near Falmouth, will allow you to escape the hustle and bustle of life and enjoy all the Cornish delights that attract thousands of tourists each year!

If you want to discover more about Falmouth and its surrounding areas, we would recommend the following blog posts: