Falmouth Beaches: The Ultimate Guide

Image courtesy of Chris Fletcher, IG: chrisfletcherphotography


When you think of Falmouth these days, you think of fab food and drink offerings. You think about watching the fishing boats and luxury vessels coming into the estuary. You think about Pendennis Castle or even about the town’s excellent university. You may not think, however, about the town’s beaches but, well, you should. There are three major stretches of sand on the seafront and each of them is worthy of an afternoon under the sun. Here, we take you through these Falmouth beaches, plus we let you know the best beaches that are just a few miles away in either direction (as the crow flies). Welcome to the ultimate Falmouth beach guide…

Falmouth beaches: the trio in the town

Castle Beach

Suitable for: Urban beachgoers and rock pool enthusiasts
Location: At the eastern end of Cliff Road

Of all the Falmouth beaches, Castle is the closest to the town centre. But don’t let its proximity to all those hip eateries and shops take away from the fact that at low tide, this is a rock pool paradise with a decent amount of sheltered sandy space for some superb sunbathing and at high tide, it’s a snorkelling gem. And the historic Pendennis Castle is right next door. Definitely worth a few hours here.

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Gylly Beach

Suitable for: Families and those who like plenty of activity
Location: At the western end of Cliff Road

Gylly – full name Gyllyngvase – Beach is Falmouth‘s most well-known stretch of fine sands. Just 15 minutes away from the town centre on foot, this beach can get packed during the summer so it becomes a buzzing hive of activity with kids playing on the sand, families having picnics and loads of different watersports like stand up paddleboarding happening out there in the deep blue. It’s all fun, fun, fun at Gylly.

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Swanpool Beach

Suitable for: Nature lovers and watersports fans, young and old
Location: Off Swanpool Road, just to the west of Gylly Beach

There’s a fresh and saltwater pool at Swanpool Lake Nature Reserve, next to Swanpool Beach, making this place a haven for nature lovers. The sand is soft on the beach and there’s also a watersports centre where you can hire dinghies or kayaks for some fun in the waves. Add the crazy golf next to the car park and you’ve got a fab alternative to Gylly and Castle just a 20-minute walk away from Falmouth‘s centre.

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Beaches on Falmouth’s doorstep

Carne Beach

Suitable for: Nature lovers, sunbathers and dog walkers
Location: Off Pendower Road and the A3078 at Carne on the Roseland peninsula opposite Falmouth

One of the true beach gems on Cornwall’s south coast, Carne Beach on the idyllic Roseland Heritage Coast is a natural paradise that feels off-the-beaten track and miles away from all that action back in Falmouth. Dogs love scampering across the sands and there’s acres of space for sunbathing. Kids love splashing in the stream and exploring the rock pools, and there’s tons of walks from here too. Beautiful.

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Durgan Beach

Suitable for: Beach types who want to step back in time
Location: Off Grove Hill, Mawnan Smith, just 10 minutes outside of Falmouth by car

You don’t go to Durgan Beach for a huge stretch of sand. You go to this shingle beach just outside Falmouth for the picture-postcard views and the traditional fishing village surrounds that take you back in time. The gorgeous Helford River and its estuary open up into the sea here, making for unforgettable vistas. It’s a 15-minute walk from the car park at Mawnan Smith but worth it for a tranquil slice of yesteryear.

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Maenporth Beach

Suitable for: Sunbathers and families who want a fairly spacious beach
Location: Off Maenporth Road, Maenporth, just 10 minutes outside of Falmouth by car

A tranquil gently sloping stretch of sands just a couple of miles along the coast to the south of Falmouth. Maenporth Beach is made for families or sunbathers who want a few hours away from it all. It can get busy here but you can usually find some decent space for catching the sun’s rays, rockpooling, taking a dip or even kayaking. Add the magical views across Falmouth Bay and you’ve got an ace beach here.

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Towan Beach

Suitable for: Nature lovers and kids who like rockpooling
Location: About five minutes’ walk from Porth Farm House near Portscatho, across the water from Falmouth on the Roseland peninsula

Not to be confused with the Towan Beach in Newquay, this Towan Beach is on the picturesque Roseland peninsula and is home to some stunning seaside vistas. It’s tranquil, away from the madding crowds and just made for nature lovers. At high tide, it is sand and shingle but at low tide, literally millions of rock pools appear, which is ideal for the kids. We think this place is a hidden gem so don’t tell your friends.

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