What to Do in Falmouth, Officially the UK's 'Best Place to Live'

Falmouth Harbour | © Hugh Hastings
Falmouth Harbour | © Hugh Hastings
Now has never been a better time to visit Falmouth. Recently voted by The Sunday Times’ readers as the ‘best place to live’ in the UK, the Cornish town is riding a wave of popularity among domestic and inbound tourists alike. From its progressive community and award-winning high street to its connection to nature, for anyone who has spent time in this stunning coastal town, it is easy to see why the people of Britain hold it so dearly.

Home to Falmouth University, voted one of the country’s best, it is a town in constant creative flux built on the foundations of its maritime tradition and is the perfect place to escape the punishing pace of city life. Here’s our guide to getting the most from your stay.

The view from Highcliffe Bed and Breakfast's penthouse suite Courtesy of Highcliffe B&B

Where to stay in Falmouth

There are plenty of seaside options to suit any budget and after a long day exploring Falmouth’s outstanding coastal beauty, and attractions such as the National Maritime Museum Cornwall and Pendennis Castle, you’ll need a place to rest weary feet. Falmouth is brimming with beautiful waterside hotels, B&Bs and self-catering options. Here are just a few options to check out for your visit.

St Michael’s Hotel & Spa

Positioned admiring its reflection in the soothing seas of the gorgeous Gyllyngvase beach, St. Michael’s Hotel & Spa offers a serene and tranquil sanctuary suitable for any retreat. From nautical cabins to contemporary suites, the hotel offers spectacular views of the Cornish coast – which can be reached from the sub-tropical gardens below. Some rooms even offer opportunities to spot dolphins in Falmouth Bay.

Greenbank Hotel

Guests at the Greenbank Hotel, which is nestled comfortably on the pretty and elegantly traditional harbour, will want to spend hours observing life at sea. You will be able to enjoy an al fresco breakfast while sailing boats, circled by oysters dredgers, enter and leave the harbour below.

Highcliffe Contemporary Bed and Breakfast

The Highcliffe Contemporary Bed and Breakfast offers a range of room options to suit any budget, from super king-size beds to cosy bolt holes. At night, across the sea you will be able to see the harbour lights, or if you’re feeling indulgent enough to book the penthouse, lie under the roof window and star gaze.

Swanpool beach, Falmouth Courtesy of Falmouth Business Improvement District (BID)

What to do in Falmouth

Located by the water, Falmouth offers everything from sailing and surfing to stand-up paddle boarding and beach yoga. Wild swimming groups meet weekly and there are a host of beach boot camps off the Gylly and Swanpool that offer exercise with stunning views. Ben Harris’s Boot Camp and Fitness Wild are two that come recommended.


For those adventurous visitors, there are also loads of activity providers in Falmouth such as Koru Kayaking, Elemental UK, Cornish Diving School, Southwest Powerboating, Falmouth Golf Club and many more. Falmouth’s annual Castle to Castle swim event in June, which raises funds for the RNLI, will soon announce dates for 2017.


Bosun’s Locker Chandlery lays claim to being the oldest chandlery in the country and has recently exchanged its secluded harbourside location to join the throng of Falmouth’s thriving high street. It is not the only place to pick up a nautical bargain as Cornish success story Seasalt Clothing has also take up roots in Falmouth. Visitors can pick up something to read on the beach at the Falmouth Bookseller or indulge their inner antique collector at Vintage Warehouse 13.

Oyster Festival 2016 Courtesy of Falmouth Business Developmednt (BID)

When to visit Falmouth

The people of Falmouth love a party, and with its close connection to nature there are events throughout the year celebrating seasonal produce and the turning of the tides. Here are some dates to keep in mind should you wish to plan your visit to coincide with any festivities, but be warned the little town fills up fast.

Folk & Cider festival

A great alternative start to spring, Falmouth’s Folk & Cider Fayre combines two things for which Cornwall is famous for. Expect ceilidh and barn dancing and the opportunity to sample over 70 different varieties of cider to the sounds of traditional and acoustic artists from across the UK.

Falmouth Oyster Festival

Each year during October, Falmouth welcomes thousands of visitors to its shores for the start of the UK Oyster dredging season. In the past, the four day festival has attracted some of the biggest names in cooking from across the country and visitors can expect to find oysters, seafood, wine and local ales galore.

Gyllyngdune Tea Festival

A celebration of all things tea. Expect tea dances, tea leaf reading, tea tasting and a Mad Hatter’s tea party in the beautiful Gyllyngdune Gardens – a place which also has a rose garden, secret grotto, monolithic arch and views of Pendennis castle and the beach below.

Sailing boats, Falmouth Courtesy of Falmouth Business Interest Development (BID)

Where to eat in Falmouth

Falmouth’s university means there’s a really vibrant, eclectic range of restaurants to suit all budgets and tastes. From veggie and vegan bars and cafes, to rustic pizza joints and local fish and chip favourites, check out our guide to 8 of the best places dine out in Falmouth.