Falmouth Guide


Falmouth, on the south coast of Cornwall, home to the National Maritime Museum. Top quality dining, high street shops and much more.


From M5 (south): leave the M5 at junction 31, then branch left and merge on to the A30. Stay on the A30 until you reach Carland Cross, take the 2nd exit on to the A39 for Truro. Follow the signs for the A390 signposted Falmouth and Redruth. At Truro, continue on the A39 for approximately 12 miles for Falmouth. There are several pay and display car parks in the town.

By Train: You can travel to Cornwall via the Rail Network. Falmouth is served by two train stations, Town and Docks. They are close to all the Citys shops and amenities. Go to the National Rail website to plan your journey from wherever you are in the UK.

By Air: Newquay Cornwall Airport is serviced by flights from around the UK. Flybe, Ryanair, BMI Baby, Lufthansa, and Skybus all operate out of Cornwall's premier Airport from most regional Airports. There are plenty of Car Hire and Taxis available at the Airport. It is 25 miles from Newquay to Falmouth and is served by both rail and bus networks.


Boasting the worlds third deepest natural harbour, Falmouth was always going to have an interesting maritime history. In 1540 Pendennis Castle was built by Henry VIII to defend Carricks Roads near Falmouth.

In 1688  Falmouth Packet Station was created. The Packet Station was a place where all the seagoing mail to Spain and the mediterranean countries was collected and then sent via the shipping fleets based at Falmouth. By 1763, Falmouth became the Packet Station for trans-atlantic post.

1790, Falmouth was home to a growing fishing fleet and Fish Strand Quay was built to accommodate these boats and ships. It became famous 15 years later when HMS Pickle, moored of Falmouth, had returned from the Battle of Trafalgar, Lieutenant Lapenotiere from the ship was brought ashore to deliver a dispatch to William Marsden, the Secretary of the Navy, at Admiralty House in London. The news was victory had been achieved at Trafalgar but with also came news of Admiral Nelsons death. Today Fish Strand Quay is a car park but a stone monument marks the spot where the depatch arrived.

As in most places around the rugged Cornish coast, ships were always in danger of running into the rocks close to shore. In 1835 St Anthony's Lighthouse was built at the entrance to Falmouth harbour to notify the passing ships of the dangerous passage they were travelling.

After its early success and growth, the Packet Station came to an end in 1835. Liverpool and Southampton was hoste to several modern new steam ships that replaced the sailing ships which regularly left Falmouth Harbour and was a blow to the local working population. However, recovery was swift and the port of Falmouth began to grow and in 1860 building began on the docks, three years later the advent of the railway into Cornwall meant more work would be created not only in exporting goods overseas, but a new industry, Tourism. People flocked from London on the train to Cornwall for holidays. In 1867 the RNLI built a lifeboat station and the first ever Coxswains was a gentleman by the name of John Hurley.

During the 20th century, Falmouth continued its growth as a major shipping port, and the National Maritime Museum Cornwall, as it is now known, had its beginnings in 1981.

Falmouth is now a popular seaside resort as well as maintaining its maritime heritage.



Last Updated: 28 Apr 2015