Falmouth’s Top Five Attractions
Falmouth isn't just about beautiful beaches and boats bobbing in the bay - it promises rich heritage, maritime history, creative hotspots and magical gardens. We've picked out some of our favourite days to help you explore more.
Trebah Garden is a uniquely beautiful 25 acre sub-tropical garden that descends to its own beach on the beautiful Helford River. It is the wild and magical result of 160 years of inspired and dedicated creation. The natural spring at the top of the garden drops into the Koi Pool and cascades through drifts of brightly coloured waterside plantings.
Mediterranean and southern hemisphere plants intermingle with Trebah’s groves of Australian tree ferns and palms. A giant plantation of gunnera and huge bamboos give this garden a unique and exotic wildness matched by no other garden in the British Isles.
Trebah is a year round experience. In early spring, it comes alive with a colourful array of 100-year-old rhododendrons, magnolias and camellias. In summer, the gunnera is a must see for young and old. In autumn, Hydrangea Valley casts clouds of china blue and soft white across Mallard Pond. And in winter, the spectacular champion trees dominate the landscape whilst plants from the southern hemisphere can be seen flowering.
Trebah has been rated as one of the best 80 gardens in the world.
HOW TO GET THERE: trebah is only a 15 minute drive via swanpool and through the pretty village of mawnan smith.
FALMOUTH ART GALLERY
Award-winning Falmouth Art Gallery is one of the leading galleries in the South West. Family friendly with free admission, it has changing displays of some of the best of British art and a shop with affordable gifts from Cornwall’s leading ceramicists, printmakers and jewellers.
Falmouth Art Gallery runs a lively exhibitions programme featuring a wide range of work as well as changing displays of paintings from its nationally important art collection. The gallery’s most famous painting is The Lady of Shalott by John William Waterhouse, which is known throughout the world.
The gallery has an impressive photography collection and houses The Surrealists in Cornwall Collection, the Automata Collection, The Children’s Illustration Archive and one of the most important print collections outside of London. It has also gained nationwide recognition for its innovative family and community workshops.
It is open Monday – Saturday from 10am – 5pm.
HOW TO GET THERE: take a leisurely stroll into falmouth town then head towards the moor – the gallery is in the upper floor of the Municipal Buildings.
Breathe in the sea air and stroll along the seafront towards the unmissable sight of Pendennis Castle perched on its headland. Built over 450 years ago by Henry VIII to defend the country against invasion, this mighty fortress sits opposite its sister castle in St Mawes to make a powerful defence for the entrance to Falmouth harbour. The castle has seen action in many conflicts and was one of the last royalist strongholds to fall during the English Civil War.
At Pendennis you can witness a Tudor gun deck in action and see how the Guardhouse was equipped during the First World War. It also boasts an interactive exhibition where you can experience the sights and sounds of battle and relive an enemy attack on a Second World War observation post.
With plenty to keep the history buffs interested, lots of space for the little ones to run around and huge lawns for dripping ice creams and lazy picnics – Pendennis is the ultimate family day out. Throughout the year, a packed events programme provides great fun, including Fighting Knights, Grand Medieval Jousts and Pirates Attack!
HOW TO GET THERE: PENDENNIS CASTLE IS JUST A 5 MINUTE WALK FROM US ALONG THE PICTURESQUE SEAFRONT.
NATIONAL MARITIME MUSEUM CORNWALL
This multi-award winning museum has 15 galleries and over five floors beautifully illustrating the past, present and future of our island nation.
So much more than just a museum about boats! Explore our maritime heritage, adventures and heroes. Ascend the 100 foot look-out tower and see Falmouth’s famous harbour from the skies. Descend into the Tidal Zone to appreciate one of only three natural underwater galleries in the world. Be spellbound by a sky filled with a flotilla of flying boats.
With hands-on activities, talks, lectures, workshops, rotating events and exhibitions – there’s so much happening at The National Maritime Museum Cornwall whatever the weather.
HOW TO GET THERE: THE NMMC IS A 10 MINUTE STROLL FROM THE HOTEL. HEAD TOWARDS TOWN (PAST THE TRAIN STATION) AND YOU’LL FIND IT AT EVENTS SQUARE (ON YOUR RIGHT.)
This thriving sub-tropical valley garden runs down to the Helford River at the fishing village of Durgan. Boasting beautiful blooms in every season, this waterside garden flourishes from its sheltered ravine position. Explore under lush canopies and wind through the exotic gardens to meet the water’s edge.
Noted as a horticultural hotspot, Glendurgan is one of the best of Cornwall’s characteristic valley gardens. Purchased by Alfred Fox in 1820, the garden is an enchanting display of rare and exotic shrubs year-round, but is particularly popular for its spectacular spring magnolias and camellias.
One of the most exciting features is the cherry laurel maze dating back to 1833, where you can lose yourself in a magical web. The Giant’s Stride is very popular with children and once they’ve worn themselves out running through the wild flowers that carpet the valley, follow the canopies of colour to the beach, where you can unpack a picnic or paddle at the water’s edge.
HOW TO GET THERE: glendurgan is really close to trebah – head to mawnan smith and through the village, following the signs. the journey is only 15 minutes from us.