Thursday, 7 July 2016

The Hus guide to living in… Falmouth

Falmouth is a thriving waterside university town with a vibrant art and culture scene on the south coast of Cornwall. The town is proud of its maritime heritage and the water is at the heart of key calendar events, such as Falmouth Week, the Tall Ships Festival and Oyster Festival.

The area surrounding the town is a designated ‘Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty’ and this gentle stretch of the South West Coath Path is popular with artists and photographers for good reason.

As well as 2 town beaches, Gyllynvase and Castle Beach, Maenporth and Swanpool beaches are in easy reach of the town centre. Palms line several residential streets and the subtropical gardens of Trebah and Glendurgan are beautiful and breath-taking.

The town is well resourced with independent foodie haunts and retailers and several galleries showcase some outstanding local talent. The National Maritime Museum sits at the heart of the quayside redevelopment and is a popular attraction for families and visitors.

Although a popular holiday destination, Falmouth is not a town of desolate winter holiday lets. The social calendar is busy year round with a variety of events from arts and entertainment, to food and charitable causes.

What to do?
The Falmouth Museum and Art Gallery on The Moor, and Maritime Museum on the quay organise a variety of events year-round, including workshops, film nights and exhibitions. A number of food events bring the best local producers together and the flagship festival celebrates one of the finest local ingredients: the oyster.

Look out for Falmouth Week in the summer when the whole town comes alive to celebrate its sailing heritage, and talents old and new.

The harbour, being the fifth deepest in Europe, is still active and the various vessels can be spotted from any one of the town beaches, making for some interesting activities on the horizon!

As you would expect, water based activities are plentiful and the safety of the south coast beaches make them popular swimming spots for local and visiting families.

Where to eat?
For fish and chips try Rick Stein’s on the quay, or Harbour Lights closer on Fore Street. For fine dining we can’t beat The Cove at Maenporth, and the Asha Indian restaurant on The Moor is one of the best in the county. 

The Wheel House and Star and Garter are popular for lunch and dinner (if you can get a table!) and Dolly’s Tea Room and The Shed, for cocktails or hearty pizzas,  are affectionately placed on the local map.

And shop?
Willow and Stone for quality homewares and Annie Sloan chalk paints. Along with Sweet Pea and Betty, Adore and Cream Cornwall,  Falmouth is fantastic for interiors inspiration. Finisterre and Seasalt are popular Cornish clothing companies and are great for casual and outdoor items. 

Wild Pony stocks seriously cool street and vintage clothing and Déjà vu also stock a fantastic selection of pre-loved and vintage items. Coast Casuals and Sessions are independent surf – lifestyle retailers and sit happily alongside the national brands of Animal, Fat Face and Salt Rock.]

Anything else?
The Falmouth Bookseller is a long-established independent bookshop with top-notch friendly staff and a varied event calendar. The antiques shops are well worth a browse and we can’t pass through without stopping for a coffee at Picnic and grabbing bread or pastries from Baker Tom’s!

Travel & Connections
The train service has been extended and services now run every 20 minutes to and from Truro. The road can be busy in summer, but Helston and Truro are within easy reach, at a 20 minute drive.

What we love
A day on the beach and fish and chips on the harbour wall, or an afternoon crabbing at high tide outside the Maritime Museum or the Pandora Inn, on nearby Restrongruet Creek. Falmouth is lively and independent businesses provide a character and charm that keep trade fresh for everyone who lives or visits here.

Castle Beach is one of the best spots for rockpooling in the county and we love to live like we’re on holiday and take the boat to St Mawes. But for a slightly more energetic day we would hire kayaks from Elemental on Swanpool Beach or spend an afternoon at Pendennis Castle.

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