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Modern Falmouth’s identity is inextricably linked to the development of its deep water harbour in the seventeenth century, which first allowed this pleasant town to turn its gaze outwards, opening itself up to new markets overseas with the Falmouth Packet company exporting mail and bullion to the Mediterranean and the Americas. Today the town is a lively tourism centre, famous Pendennis castle being a popular attraction, but with four good beaches, a proud maritime heritage, a thriving local arts scene and a good network of services, it makes a very popular family cottage holiday choice.
The sixteenth century Pendennis Castle is the first port of call on many visitors’ lists, and during the summer holidaymakers can make the short journey to the castle from Falmouth by land train. Part of a series of defences constructed by Henry VIII along the south coast, Pendennis occupies a superb look out position, the panoramic vistas on a good day once used as vital vantage points in defending the strategically important Carrick Roads estuary from invading armies. Nowadays the excellent Discovery Centre offers an interactive insight into the life and times of this Tudor stronghold, and many re-enactments are staged throughout the year. Falmouth is also home to Cornwall’s impressive National Maritime Museum, another highlight on the visitors’ checklist. Spaced out among twelve absorbing galleries of exhibitions, the region’s ongoing relationship with the sea is explored at the super museum on the harbour side in Falmouth. Learn about navigation, discover the art of boat building or try your hand at skippering a radio-controlled boat in a mock-up situation. Whilst in the harbour area, ensure to book on to one of the many boat trips available, either scenic cruises along the pretty coastline and up the Carrick Roads estuary to Truro or around the Roseland peninsula, or for the more adventurous, a shark fishing trip or an afternoon of heavy-duty deep-sea angling. Back at the harbour, there is ample opportunity to replenish the energy levels with a traditional fresh fish and chip lunch.
Falmouth’s history as a centre for exports brought in return an influx of many exotic goods, in particular plants and shrubs from far-flung shores, which are now resplendent in a number of superb heritage gardens to be found in the vicinity. Glendurgan Gardens is one such example, whose beautiful grounds come under the care of the National Trust. These gardens are particularly suitable for young families, thanks to a nineteenth-century laurel maze and Giant’s stride, which provide great entertainment for children. Equally, Trebah Gardens, set in a wooded ravine four miles from Falmouth, claims to be one of the county’s top five garden attractions, with twenty-six acres of enchanting sub-tropical flora and fauna, which are a delight to visit whatever the time of year. Here too, children will find fun among the ferns; with an adventure playground, ‘bamboozle’ maze and series of adventure trails. For those whose penchant is for retail therapy rather than rhododendrons, Falmouth’s St. George’s Arcade houses some interesting independent shops whilst those on the Moor and High street offer a more mainstream retail experience. The Arts Gallery on the Moor showcases the work of local artists and the nearby Arts Centre offers both mainstream and art-house cinema, as well as music, theatre and specific seasonal events.
Why not take a look at our self catering cottages in Falmouth?