Read and look with caution. This is a virtual section of our coastal trip, with images and blurb taken from Tourist Board and town websites.
Until the middle of the 16th century, the only building in Falmouth was Arwennack , the home of the Killigrew family. However, Henry VIII recognised the value of one of the world’s finest natural harbours and built Pendennis Castle on the headland. After this, the Killigrews developed the town. The Prince of Wales Pier was built in the early 1900s. It now serves as a boat launch for ferries across the bay and up the River Fal.
Today tourists can enjoy Falmouth’s lovely beaches, at the opposite side of the town to the harbour. These sandy stretches are where many of the main hotels stand and they are ideal for swimming. Apart from the attractive old shops and many cafés and restaurants, Falmouth is the site of a thriving art school, which holds regular exhibitions. Facing Falmouth, across the estuary of the River Fal, is St Mawes, which boasts another defensive castle.
Gyllyngvase Beach visitcornwall.co.uk
This is one of the most popular beaches in Falmouth, less than 10 minutes’ walk to the historic town centre.
Swanpool is a sandy cove on the outskirts of Falmouth and proud of its friendly, fun and welcoming environment. You can walk the dogs on leads and take the kids around the Swanpool nature reserve to feed the ducks and the swans. There’s a large carpark, 18-hole crazy golf course, a beach cafe and a safe beach for all you swimmers! You can put the kids on the fun bouncer or hire kayaks, or simply relax on the beach.
The gently sloping beach has shallow water which is great for children. Situated approximately two miles south-southwest of Falmouth, Maenporth beach faces east across Falmouth Bay with views towards Pendennis Castle and the lighthouse on St Anthony Head.
St Anthony-in-Meneage cornwalls.co.uk
Eternally grateful for having been spared, shipwrecked Normans washed ashore here are credited with the building of the church in this beautiful spot next to the waters of Gillan Creek. On this same promontory there was once a fortress built in the Civil War which was one of the last Cornish Royalist strongholds. There is still a small boatyard in this pretty waterside hamlet, but little else.
The handsome, green village of Flushing, just opposite the busy port of Falmouth has a slightly different feel to it, perhaps because it was settled by a Dutch community in the 17th century, who hailed from Vlissingen in Holland, also known as Flushing. Various ships’ captains also favoured this village and built themselves impressive Queen Anne style houses. Like its larger neighbour Falmouth, shipbuilding and repairing has been the stock trade of this village for hundreds of years. St Peter’s church is built in a Norman Style but is only around 150 years old. To save the long drive round, Flushing is reachable by ferry from Falmouth.
Once a busy fishing village with a thriving pilchard fleet, there are now only a few working boats left on the pebble beach, directly in front of the village of Porthallow.
Towards high tide the beach consists of a neat crescent of flat pebbles with quarry workings at either end. Cars are parked all along the back of the beach. Pulled up on the beach are a collection of small fishing boats that work the plentiful waters here. As the tide drops out it reveals an area of sand. Perhaps the most distinctive feature of Porthoustock is the enormous concrete silo at the southern end of the beach. Now disused, this was used to store aggregate from the still-working quarry.
At the northern end of the beach is a quay used by the quarry to load aggregate onto boats. Porthoustock is a popular spot for diving as it is located close to the infamous Manacles reef and all the shipwrecks associated with it.
Coverack is a picturesque Cornish fishing village with a small sand and pebble beach, situated on the eastern coast of the Lizard peninsula. The beach is fairly rocky but a good family beach nonetheless, it can also provide ideal conditions for anglers. The Manacles reef is located just off the Coverack coast, a group of dangerous rocks which have contributed to the sinking of many ships, leaving it a popular area for divers exploring shipwrecks.
© John Such © Adam Gibbard