Get to know what it’s like to visit this destination.
Getting To Know Falmouth – Cruise Port Guide
Falmouth sits on the southwest of England and it is a hugely popular and very beautiful UK port of call for cruise passengers. Our Falmouth cruise port guide is your introduction to this wonderful destination that is just waiting to be explored.
Cornwall is one of the UK’s finest coastal regions to visit, especially during the summer months as there is an abundance of things to see and do, and stunning beaches to soak up the sun at. In short, Falmouth really is “the spirit of the sea”. During your time here, we highly recommend that you try one of the many local restaurants serving up fresh seafood, including oysters.
Falmouth has world famous cruise port ambassadors and they will be there to greet each and every cruise ship, offering information on local events, getting around and more.
A free shuttle bus service from the port to the town centre is usually offered.
Main photo of St. Mawes courtesy of © Cornwall Discovered
Key highlights of Falmouth
- Pendennis Castle
- National Maritime Museum
- Beaches – Gyllngvase and Swanpool
- Jacob’s Ladder
- Botanic Gardens – Glendurgan Garden
- Helford River
- Boat Trips
- Enys Garden
- Yacht Charters
- Falmouth Golf Club
Regular cruise line visitors
- Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines
- Viking Ocean
Having family that live just outside the beautiful city of Truro in Cornwall we usually try to make to 400-mile road trip from the east of England to the southwest coast at least once a year. Whilst we’re there we never miss the opportunity to spend a day in the lovely little maritime town of Falmouth, set in a historic coastal location and a haven for art lovers. Although the largest port in Cornwall and boasting its own university, Falmouth is relatively compact with many places of interest within walking distance of each other.
Falmouth docks are located to the east of the centre and a short walk to the National Maritime museum, a large museum which opened in 2003 to house the National Small Boat Collection and recount the history and stories of this ancient port.
From the docks it is a short walk along the lush and leafy peninsula to Pendennis Castle, a significant artillery port built in the mid 16th century by Henry VIII, to protect the mainland from the marauding French. Pendennis Castle is now an English Heritage site and we would recommend buying a joint ticket to visit both Pendennis Castle and St Mawes Castle which is a short foot ferry ride across the Carrick Roads, the wide stretch of picturesque water connecting the River Fal to the English Channel.
Speaking of St Mawes, you must visit this quaint little chocolate box village situated at the end of the Roseland peninsula directly opposite Falmouth. The passenger ferry to St Mawes leaves Falmouth from The Prince of Wales pier which is located in central Falmouth and runs regularly throughout the day, making a short trip and wander around St Mawes with an ice cream in hand a lovely way to spend some of the day in this gorgeous part of Southern Cornwall. Just don’t forget your camera – the harbour is a photographers dream!
Back across the estuary and just down the road from the pier in Falmouth is the free to visit Falmouth Art Gallery which houses work from local artists as well as holding events and exhibitions focusing on Falmouth and its history.
We love to wander around the streets around the art gallery and down the main road back to the small marina stopping along the way to browse in some of the smaller but impossibly cute art galleries, refuel in a local café or languish over a leisurely locally sourced fresh seafood lunch. Our top tip when choosing where to stop is to take a good look at the inside of the restaurant or café, their often small and somewhat ordinary storefronts often open up through the rear of the shop like a Tardis to reveal a gorgeous outdoor seating area directly overlooking the River Fal.
If the weather is good, heading to the south of the town can be excellent for a little bit of beach time on the gorgeous Gyllyngvase beach, which is just a 10 minute walk from the Maritime museum. For the sand phobic (which includes Rich) it’s still worth a visit to enjoy the Queen Mary gardens situated next to the beach and home to some unusual plant species that flourish in the warm Mediterranean-like Cornish climate.
And if, like us, you enjoy a coastal walk you can wander a little way along the southwest coast path, either eastward to the popular Swanpool Beach, where you can also hire kayaks if you’re feeling adventurous, or westward to the tidal Castle Beach, adjacent to Pendennis Castle, perfect for rock-pooling.
However you chose to spend your time in Falmouth you won’t be disappointed with this lovely little port town, steeped in maritime history and art.