Hopping a ferry is a way of life in the water world of Falmouth Cornwall. The rivers Fal and Hal empty into a vast estuary that drains to the sea on the east coast of Cornwall. Falmouth’s deep harbor has received cargo ships from Europe and as far away as Australia for hundreds of years. Falmouth is one of the most important ports in England’s history. Receiving cargo and trade in peacetime, and battleships in war, the port was once called King’s Road.
The Fal Estuary is vital in sustaining aquatic, bird, plant, and mammal life. Deemed an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, wildlife, water, and air are protected.
What to Do in Falmouth?
Water sport is paramount. Boating, sailing, kayaking, swimming, and fishing are prevalent. Maritime and military history museums, art, music, and theatre events are frequent. Try cycling, walking, or auto tours to the countryside.
Stroll Prince of Wales Pier, the best people watching spot in town. You’ll find vendors selling ferry tickets and cruise excursions. There are food and drink and plenty of souvenir shops. The Fal River Visitor’s Center is at the pier entrance. Be sure to stop in the friendly and helpful resource. They have loads of information, Fal Muscle Cards, maps, and books.
The harbor from the pier is a favorite subject for photographers and painters.
Some of the country’s best seafood is served around the Falmouth. Shop a farmer’s market and sample the regional produce. Waterside pubs are ideal for long, lazy lunches watching the boats pass by. Take away fish and chips are a treat on the waterfront.
Exploring villages and towns by ferry is a delightful way to spend a day. Tiny shops, friendly pubs, and historic attractions abound. Try the Fal River Cornwall Visitor’s Guide for an up-to-date overview of happenings.
A Falmouth gem are the ferries and water taxies. Watercraft of all sizes connect towns around the shore. It is by far the very best way to explore the region. Large auto ferries run every 20-minutes. They carry cycles, scooters, cars, and foot passengers.
Small boats carry foot passengers. Many will take a cycle onboard if there is room. Some small craft transport ten or fewer commuters.
Ferries are the perfect way to explore the coast. You’ll have no worries about driving or parking. The cost is very reasonable. You can buy a Fal Mussel Card (a day pass) for £7.33 (around 9 USD) per day. Your card gives you unlimited ferry, train, or bus rides between Falmouth, Truro, Helford, and Roseland.
Water taxies can be called on demand to make the crossing to any community or to locations ferries don’t serve. I loved taking a water taxi from the Prince of Wales ferry pier to the dock in front of my hotel. It was only a quarter-mile, but I was happy to cruise the harbor and have shelter from the rain.
The Greenbank Hotel is on the Falmouth waterfront, this historic hotel, pub, and restaurant were first opened in 1785. Greenbank is Falmouth’s oldest hotel. The rooms are gorgeous and have a view that is watchable day and night. The restaurant serves BL&D. An international wine list and full bar offer thirst quenchers for all taste.
A five-minute walk from Greenbank is the Star and Garter Pub. This warm and friendly place was named the best foodie pub in the SE. The menu features locally produced seafood and beef. I adored the pickled salad that came with lunch. Try some local beer, cider, or wine. The harbor view is hypnotizing, especially as the sun goes down. They also have rooms if the Greenbank is booked.
Getting to Falmouth
It’s about 5.5-hours from London to Falmouth whether by train, bus, or car. From France or Spain take a ferry to Plymouth, from there take the train or bus to Falmouth.
Falmouth is a water world and a Ferry-land. Exploring this beautiful region will be the highlight of your trip to Cornwall.
Read more about traveling in the United Kingdom in Destinations:United Kingdom on MilesGeek.com.
I never made it as far West as Cornwall during several visits to England, but hope next time will be the charm. Thank you for all the useful information that will come in handy when I finally get there.
Penny, Cornwall is a lovely part of England. The maritime culture is deeply ingrained. I look forward to hearing about your Cornish adventure. –Mary