Falmouth

The Port of Falmouth

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Overview

The Port of Falmouth’s greatest asset has always been its prime location, sheltered by Pendennis Point and lying within the third largest natural deep water harbor in the world. It is Falmouth’s dramatic unspoilt scenery that has made it the Royal Duchy of Cornwall’s leading south coast resort.

Known locally as Carrick Roads, this unique natural harbor came about at the end of the ice age. As the global ice melted and sea levels rose, the river valley flooded creating a huge inlet to what we know today. Carrick Roads remains deeply rooted within Falmouth’s culture and heritage.

Cruise passengers sailing into the Port of Falmouth will see the twin castles of St. Mawes and Pendennis. A short walk or bus transfer from the port, the 16th-century castles that guard the entrance to the harbor were built by King Henry VIII to repel French invaders.

During the reign of Henry VIII, 450 years ago, two twin castles were built at either side of the entrance as a defense against an invasion of the French. Today, cruise passengers will sail into Carrick Roads to the heart of the town, where the twin forts of St Mawes Castle and Pendennis Castle can be seen on either side.

Falmouth continues to benefit from the warm waters of the Gulf Stream, creating a subtropical mild climate and supporting an array of exotic plants, flora and wildlife. Discover the town’s charming subtropical gardens Kimberley Park, Queen Mary, Fox Rosehill, and Gyllyngdune gardens dating back to the 18th and 19th century when merchants and sailors brought plants and trees to Falmouth from the tropics.

Falmouth for Cruise Passengers

The Port of Falmouth Cruise berths are only a 15-minute walk from the town. Passengers also can choose to take the complimentary shuttle to and from town.

Enthusiastic and spirited volunteers greet cruise passengers arriving in Falmouth.

Falmouth Port Ambassador’s, known as the Pale Blues, will be on hand to welcome cruise passengers and provide information.

Travel by ferry or boat taxi are also good ways to get around Falmouth, up the Fal estuary and the Carrick Roads toward Truro. St Mawes Castle on the southern end of the Roseland Peninsula is within a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and is accessible by ferry.

St Just in Roseland Church over Carrick Roads

During the summer months small passenger boats also link St Mawes to Place on the remote St Anthony Headland where there is secluded small church, Place Manor, St Anthony Lighthouse and St Anthony Battery.

Shore Excursions

A number of shore excursions are available ranging from those located within the outskirts of the town of Falmouth and those further afield throughout the Royal Duchy of Cornwall. The type of Shore excursions offered varies from world renowned attractions to unique places of interest within the South West of England. The variety on offer means that there is something for everyone, from subtropical gardens, to grand historical estates, ancient and magical castles, to the natural wanders of Cornwall’s coastal 200 foot high granite cliffs.

Do Not Miss

    The Eden Project is an internationally renowned attraction with an aim is to educate people about nature. Photo courtesy of Eden Project.
  • Pendennis Castle: Situated right next to the port and offers the best views of the town.
  • The National Maritime Museum Cornwall: Just around the corner from the port of Falmouth reveals Cornwall’s seafaring history, where packet ships during the 18th and 19th century exchanged mail to many parts of the world and Darwin landed after his voyage of discovery on the HMS Beagle.
  • The Eden Project: One of Cornwall’s most iconic landmarks, Eden’s massive Biomes act as giant greenhouse’s, each with its own ecosystem, and home to over a million plants from around the world, one of which houses the world’s largest captive rainforest.
  • The Lost Gardens of Heligan: One of the most mysterious estates in England is a secret garden rediscovered. The Jungle found under a thick blanket of bramble and ivy has since been restored to its former glory.
  • Merchants and explorers brought plants from the tropics to Falmouth during the 18th and 19th centuries. Visitors can enjoy gardens like Trebah Gardens, only a few miles from Falmouth. Photo courtesy of Visit Cornwall.
  • Trebah Gardens: In Mawnen Smith on the edge of Falmouth, with a 25 ache sub tropical garden and its own beach situated on the Helford River.
  • Glendurgan Gardens: Located within the three valleys of Mawnen Smith, the beautiful Hamlet of Durgan is an excellent spot for bird watching across the Helford River.
  • Trellisick Garden: A fresh, modern, economical garden established within shelter belts planted 200 years ago. See the iconic water tower built for irrigation.
  • The Minack Theatre: Carved into the cliff edge of Porthcurno, is Cornwall’s world famous open air theatre. Rowena Cade built the arena to run her beloved plays into the style of a roman amphitheatre, with surrounding views of the Atlantic Ocean as its backdrop. The theatre runs spectacular plays, musicals and opera from May to September.
  • Tintagel Castle and Merlin’s Cave: Built in 1233 for Richard Earl of Cornwall, the remains of the 13th century medieval castle are situated on the edge of a headland joined to the mainland by a narrow neck of land. The location is steeped in legend and history, and said to be the birth place of King Arthur.
  • Go island-hopping to St. Michaels Mount
  • St. Michaels Mount: Situated on its own island is a unique 12th century castle. St Michaels Mount is only accessible by walking the legendary cobbled causeway at low tide or by boat at high tide when it is completed surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean.
  • Truro Cathedral: Within the heart of Truro Cornwall’s only city, with its grand gothic spires, carved bishops throne, and choir stalls.
  • St Ives Tate Art Gallery: Located in the idyllic fishing village of St Ives, the gallery is internationally recognized with many artists able to capture the special Cornish light within their paintings.

For more information, click on Visit Cornwall, the official website of the Cornwall Tourist Board. Falmouth is a member of Cruise Europe.

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