Falmouth Beach Guide
When we picture Falmouth, we see sailing boat masts bobbing on the harbour and cruise liners slowly rolling along the horizon. The town is famed for its connection to maritime heritage, and this is integral to its identity. Yet on spending a day in Falmouth, it is easy to get sucked into the allure of its clothing boutique and eatery-dotted streets, whiling away the hours in the busy hub of the town whilst barely catching a glimpse of the ocean beyond.
So, we’ve created this handy guide to Falmouth’s 5 bays, helping you to drift away from the chatter of the main strip and towards the serenity of what are some of south Cornwall’s finest beaches.
Greenery sways in the gentle sea breeze at this peaceful and sheltered cove. At high tide, Castle Beach is mainly shingle, but as the water stretches out a map of barnacle-dotted rockpools are revealed, perfect for any little explorers you might have in tow. Looking out to the sea, which glitters under the heat of the midday sun, you have views of Falmouth Bay in one direction and Pendennis Castle and St Anthony headland in the other. Head to Castle Beach for a ramble along the rocky shoreline before joining the South West Coast Path to explore further afield.
Neighboured by sub-tropical gardens, Gylly beach is a haven of the beachside lifestyle. Sitting on the soft white sand, you can gaze out at the ships and sailboats dotted along the water. Its crescent shape harbors a gentle pool of sea water which is mostly flat, making it perfect for activities such as sea swimming and stand up paddleboarding. Gylly Beach Café sits right on the sand and serves hot food and drinks all day and evening long. Taste the chilli kick of panko breaded squid or the zest of fresh lemongrass seabass with the buzz of the beach in the background.
Time rolls at a slower pace at Swanpool Beach, a serene sand and shingle bay on the outskirts of Falmouth. Its adjoining lake is a Nature Reserve and a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). Its glassy clear water reflects the colour of the sky in the summer sun, the sheet of blue only breaking as you submerge into its icy water for a dip. Looking to get your heart pumping? Head to the beach’s watersports centre to try your hand at kayaking, dinghy sailing, windsurfing or coasteering.
This beach is often known as Woodlands, and this is because of its surroundings- walk the footpath between Maenporth and Mawnan Smith through green woodland and you will come out at the hidden cove, an area looked after by the National Trust. Nestled out of the wind, the beach is a sun trap where you can listen to the rustle of the trees behind you as your eyes rest on the topaz blue moana ahead.
Green rolling headlands curve down towards Maenporth Beach, an adorable cove dotted with the pink and blues of parasols and beach towels across its yellow sand. Slightly further out from Falmouth town, this beach is lined with sub-tropical trees which stand tall around the perimeter of the bay. Head here for a family day out or a solo sunbathe, hearing the birds chirping in the sub-exotic foliage.