Falmouth for two

30th June 2018

We’re travelling across Falmouth harbour on a ferry over to St Mawes with the castle fast approaching and Pendennis castle behind us.  You get a feel for the scale of this volume of water, Falmouth is the third largest natural harbour in the world, and a flavour for how the town’s maritime past shapes the current day visitor offering.  Life on the water is varied from the imposing docks and luxury yacht manufacturer, through to the leisure yachts and ferries criss-crossing the water, then stand-up paddleboarders and kayakers weaving through the marina.

St Mawes ferry

We’re staying at Curlew, one of five newly renovated apartments at Kinbrae House between the town centre and Gyllyngvase beach.  Quality and meticulous attention to detail can be found in abundance, from the custom-made glass in the entrance hall, through to the décor of each room, and the welcoming cream tea on arrival. Everything comes together to create a perfect base for couples visiting Falmouth.

Kinbrae House

Kinbrae House welcome

So priorities then – the walk to the beach.  Turn left out of Kinbrae House and you are two minutes or 200 metres from Gyllyngvase beach on the west side of Falmouth.  We’re watching early morning yoga and feng shui classes on the sand from the Gylly Beach café. It’s a popular swimming beach for young and old, sharing the sea with stand-up paddleboarders and the occasional kayaker.

Gyllyngvase beach

Gyllyngvase beach

We’re having breakfast in the café – right on the sand watching the activities. Eggs Arlington and the full Cornish breakfast win the vote and set us up for the day.  We walk around the headland past Pendennis castle around into the centre of Falmouth, past the viewing platform for the docks and down into the town and harbour.

Gylly beach cafe breakfast

Coffee on the beach

The National Maritime Museum sits on the edge of the water but with the weather so good we head down to the marina for one of the ferries and choose St Mawes as our destination.  It’s a picture postcard village on the other side of the water, a 30 minute trip in amongst all the water traffic and gateway to the Roseland peninsula.  Lunch is an al-fresco choice between seafood or Cornish pasty on the harbour wall.

St Mawes castle

St Mawes boat

Falmouth docks


The centre of Falmouth is home to nautical and lifestyle clothing brands, arts and crafts shops and a plenty of familiar high street names.  There are numerous restaurants; African, seafood and steakhouses to name a few, as well as the well-regarded Harbour fish and chip takeaway.  We ate ours by the edge of the water watching the sunset and changing colours on the water.

Falmouth harbour

Falmouth harbour sunset

Falmouth sunset

It’s worth highlighting the location of Kinbrae House in relation to the town centre also. It’s only a 10-15 minute walk away – beach in one direction – restaurants in the other.  It would be quite easy to leave the car in the off-road parking space all week.

One final discovery; follow the path past Gyllyngvase beach to Swanpool beach, another pretty vista from Hooked on the Rocks for some seafood sourced direct from the fishermen straight from the sea.

Evening meal

Evening meal

We love:

  • The location on Kinbrae House; turn left for the beach, right for the restaurants, town and marina.
  • So much to do without needing to jump in the car.
  • The attention to detail, clever layouts and finish in the apartment.
  • The choice of ferries and trip to get on the water.
  • Breakfast on Gyllyngvase beach watching the stand-up paddleboarders, yoga enthusiasts and swimmers.

Also recommended:

  • The Ferry Boat and the Ship Wright pubs in Helford passage.
  • The Cove at Maenporth for lunch or dinner.
  • Flushing has a lovely restaurant called the Waterside and Muddy Beach in Penryn has great pastries coffees and daily specials.
  • Up the estuary at Mylor there is a lovely café and the famous Pandora’s Inn with beach and pontoon landings. Especially their daily specials.
  • For a lovely evening meal in Falmouth try the Mediterranean Kitchen for Tapas after spending a little time in Dollies Gin Palace for a stunning G&T – over 100 to choose from!
  • The Wheel House is lovely but often fully booked. Olivers on the High St is also gorgeous but always booked up. Or try Cribs which serves Caribbean fayre.

Read more about Curlew and Kinbrae House.