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Aerial view of Falmouth

Things to do in Falmouth

Falmouth is not only one of the country’s most popular seaside resorts, the Cornish coastal town is also a leading cultural and festival destination. 

Discover sandy beaches, a Tudor castle and luxury hotels when you make your next trip to one of Falmouth’s annual events, including Falmouth International Sea Shanty Festival, Falmouth Oyster Festival and Falmouth Week.

Here’s our short guide to things to see and do, as well as where to eat and sleep in Falmouth, home to the deepest natural harbour in the world. Simply hop on one of our trains to Falmouth Docks or Falmouth Town and discover top local festivals and more.

Places to stay

St Michaels Hotel and Spa

This hotel spa overlooking the fabulous Gyllyngvase Beach is perfect for those looking for a relaxed break with a touch of wellbeing. Set in sub-tropical gardens, there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy the fresh air and stunning seaside views. Just a short stroll from the town, St Michaels Hotel and Spa is perfectly located and boasts two stylish restaurants.

The Greenbank Hotel

One of the oldest places to stay in Falmouth, this 4-star destination overlooking Falmouth Harbour offers all the peaceful elegance you might need for a relaxing short break. The Greenbank Hotel boasts an open-air terrace and a harbour-side restaurant serving fresh seafood and local specialities, with excellent views across Falmouth Bay.

The Royal Duchy Hotel

Another 4-star hotel, this time with views of Pendennis Castle, the Royal Duchy Hotel is a luxury retreat complete with indoor swimming pool and a sauna. The award-winning restaurant serves traditional British dishes with a contemporary twist. And for something a little more informal, visitors can enjoy a bite to eat in the Terrace Lounge, with a roast option on Sundays.

Places to eat 

Harbour Lights

This local fish and chip institution is a must for anyone visiting Falmouth. Harbour Lights serves responsibly sourced fish landed in Cornwall, and offers a variety of specials, depending on the day’s catch. The award-winning chips are made from Cornish potatoes.


Looking for places to eat in Falmouth? Specialising in contemporary southern African cuisine, the family-run Amanzi is a popular spot, promising big portions with bold flavours. Favourite dishes include Espetada, made with marinated char-grilled rump steak and served on a skewer with chunky chips and garlic butter.


Formerly located in Penryn, this Falmouth newcomer serves home-style Indian food. From April, Daaku is accepting bookings on Fridays and Saturdays, with a menu that changes weekly. Make sure you book in advance, as tables are limited until the second floor is completed.


Falmouth International Sea Shanty Festival

As a port town, Falmouth was traditionally a popular place among sailors, who filled the pubs and inns with their seafaring culture. In celebration of the nautical music tradition, the town hosts the annual Falmouth International Sea Shanty Festival (17 to 19 June 2022), one of the largest of its kind in Europe, with performers from around the world joining in on the festivities.

Falmouth Week

Falmouth Week (5 to 14 August 2022) has its origins in a local sailing regatta dating back to the first half of the 1800s. It’s since transformed into a full-blown festival, attracting locals and visitors alike, with a carnival, sailing races, a 40-foot Victorian carousel and a host of evening entertainment.

Falmouth Oyster Festival

This annual festival, celebrating the region’s renowned seafood, offers a packed programme of music, cookery demonstrations, parades and more – not to mention plenty of opportunities to sample local produce, including wine, ale and delicious oysters. Falmouth Oyster Festival will take place from 13 to 16 October 2022.

Outdoor activities

Gyllyngvase Beach

One of Cornwall’s most popular beaches, this crescent of white sand, just 10 minutes’ stroll from Falmouth town centre, is a great spot for walking, water sports and building sandcastles. Gyllyngvase Beach is close to shops and cafes, including the family-run Gylly Beach Café, serving locally sourced food in a stylish yet relaxed atmosphere.

Boat trip on the Fal River

Enterprise Boats offers a scenic trip along the River Fal, connecting Falmouth with the National Trust’s Trelissick – a beautiful estate with more than 30 acres of garden. Running 7 days a week, the journey includes a stop at the fishing village of St Mawes. 

Museums and landmarks

Pendennis Castle

The mighty Pendennis Castle, built by Henry VIII to defend the country from French and Spanish aggression, is a must-see landmark for anyone visiting Falmouth. Built on a headland, the castle boasts stunning views out to sea, and is home to some serious weaponry, including canons from Tudor times and the Second World War. It’s a great place for a family day out.

National Maritime Museum Cornwall

The award-winning National Maritime Museum Cornwall is a fun and informative place to explore the region’s enduring relationship with the sea. Discover how maritime life has long defined our culture and economy, including the monsters (both real and mythical) that live in our deep oceans. There’s also a second chance to catch the popular show, Tattoo: British Tattoo Art Revealed (until September 2022), which includes the exhibit, 100 Hands, showing silicone arms each designed with original art by leading tattoo artists.

Seafront Promenade

The seafront overlooking Gyllyngvase Beach, Castle Beach and Falmouth Bay has changed a lot over the years, but it is still an interesting place to stroll, especially if you’re on a tour of Falmouth’s beaches. For a change of scenery, drop by Queen Mary Gardens, with its palm and monkey puzzle trees that give a real exotic feel.

Looking for more inspiration on things to do this spring? Check out our other destinations and book your tickets today.

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