Falmouth is rich in maritime heritage and its scenic deep-water harbour is the world’s third largest. An international centre for sailing, Falmouth is also popular with walkers, affording easy access onto the South West Coast Path. The town is surrounded by Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty around the Helford and Fal Rivers, and the Roseland Peninsula to the east. Famous Cornish castles – Pendennis Castle on the western side of the estuary and St Mawes Castle on the eastern side are on the headlands, built by Henry VIII in 1540 to protect the Carrick Roads. It was the construction of these defensive castles that spearheaded the development of Falmouth town and harbour after 1661 by the first Governor of Pendennis Castle, Sir John Killigrew.
Stroll around the harbour or take a boat trip or water taxi and explore the surrounding coastline. Falmouth is famous for its sailing events which include championship races and the Henri-Lloyd Falmouth Week which is held each August. The town is also a centre for art in Cornwall, home to a celebrated School of Art and an Art Gallery with a strong Cornish maritime theme and some impressive changing exhibitions which in the past have featured artwork by Picasso.
The Royal Cornwall Yacht Club has been based in Falmouth since 1872 and is one of the key organisers of many of the sailing race meets in the Falmouth area. The town is a major UK sailing centre with first class facilities and sheltered mooring space, a bar restaurant, chandlery, WiFi, a fully serviced boatyard and car hire all available at the Marina. Numerous sailing events are held here through the year including Championship races and COGS (Cornwall Offshore Group Series) racing events. Falmouth comes alive during the Henri-Lloyd Falmouth Week held in August every year. The week includes not just racing but a whole host of entertainment around the town such as antique fairs, craft events, music events and live music in bars and clubs.
National Maritime Museum
The National Maritime Museum on the waterfront at Falmouth harbour will please both maritime enthusiasts and families. Under 5s enter free and innovative themed zones include the Tidal Zone with huge windows onto the world of Falmouth’s underwater harbour and The Lookout Tower with panoramic views of the harbour, estuary and dock. Navigate your way through a narrow channel in the Nav Station, try your hand at operating a radio controlled boat in the Waterfront area with large pool and be amazed at the flotilla of small boats on show at the top of the Main Hall in the Flotilla area including two Olympic gold medal boats, one of them Ben Ainslie’s Rita, a Sydney 2000 games winner!