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Beaches in and near Falmouth

Boasting a bevy of world-class beaches, Falmouth’s coastline attracts visitors from across the globe as they feel the beguiling call of the Cornish ocean.

Looking down from the headland at the popular Gyllyngvase beach, one of the best beaches in Falmouth

Providing pristine sands, crystalline waters, and renowned coastal paths all dotted with cafés and restaurants with to-die-for views, whether you wish to loaf, dine, or relish an activity on sand or water, the super scenic choice is all yours.

And with a fabulous range of sandy stretches to suit every visitor and agenda, from diminutive coves made for a spot of sun worshipping (there’s literally a Sunny Cove) to sheltered beaches screaming for rock-pooling adventures and expanses of water ideal for surfing, sailing, SUP-ing, swimming, and snorkelling, everyone from individuals to couples to families can lap up the shoreline luxury.

Wander a little further and you can combine your beachy vibes with a walk through one of Falmouth’s incredible sub-tropical gardens or you can hop on a water taxi and add St Mawes to your coastal explorations.

Without further ado, let’s dive into our roundup of the best beaches in Falmouth…

Beaches in Falmouth…

Gyllyngvase beach

Looking out over the white sands at Gyllyngvase beach in Falmouth

Lifeguards: Seasonal (May to September)
Dog-friendly: Seasonal restrictions (15th May to 30th September, 10am to 6pm)
Facilities: Toilets, café, refreshments
Accessibility: Easy level access to the beach and a sand chair can be hired from Gylly Beach Café

The award-winning Gyllyngvase beach (or Gylly beach as the locals call it) proudly boasts Blue Flag status, which guarantees beautifully clean waters safely patrolled by lifeguards - making it perfect for swimming - alongside a host of top-notch facilities – not to mention uber soft sand!

Situated a short 15-minute stroll from the town centre and alongside near-Mediterranean sand, you’ll find the fabulous (and totally dog-friendlyGylly Beach Café. Practically on the beach with a sun terrace that looks out over the changing coastal scenes, you can sit down to a modern menu that’s based on local, seasonal produce, the perfect pairing to a sea view. Sister outlet, Bakery On The Beach, sits next to the café and offers fresh coffee and baked goods as well as delicious breakfast, lunch, and entertainment by way of their not-to-be-missed Sunday Sessions.

Visit WESUP to experience the global phenomenon of stand-up paddleboarding or Gylly Adventures to hire equipment or sign up for various activity lessons including SUP-ing, kayaking, coasteering, and coastcraft. When it comes to watersports, you really won’t run out of things to do in Falmouth!

Castle beach

The rocky and sandy Castle beach in Falmouth

Lifeguards: No
Dog-friendly: Seasonal restrictions (1st July to 31st August, 10am to 6pm)<
Facilities: Toilets and a beach café selling refreshments
Accessibility: A very steep slipway leads down to the beach from the road

The most northerly of Falmouth’s beaches, which sits close to Pendennis Point (and one of Cornwall’s fascinating castles), is the aptly named Castle beach. This sheltered mix of sand, shingle, and rock is great for snorkelling, diving and rockpooling making it a popular spot for families. It also joins with neighbouring Tunnel beach at low tide, giving you even more space to play with (Tunnel beach does disappear at high tide, so take care).

If the hunger pangs hit while you’re soaking up the sun, you can tuck into an array of food and drink at Castle Beach Café, which can be enjoyed on the fantastic sundeck area for an idyllic alfresco eating experience. After all, what beach day is complete without an ice cream!

Swanpool beach

The headland at Swanpool beach in Falmouth, where paddleboarders enjoy the calm the waters

Lifeguards: No
Dog-friendly: Seasonal restrictions (1st July to 31st August, 10am – 6pm)
Facilities: Toilets, café, beach shop, watersports equipment hire, crazy golf course
Accessibility: Level access from the car park to the beach

To experience a taste of the exotic, Swanpool’s sheltered stretch of fine white sands and flat aquamarine waters will transport you to a tropical idyll of the most majestic kind – and you don’t even have to leave Cornwall!

Next to Swanpool Lake Nature Reserve and a Site of Special Scientific Interest, watersport centre Elemental provides you with a vast assortment of activities, from sailing, windsurfing, SUPing, and bell boating to raft building, coasteering, and power boating so you can swap sunbathing for adrenaline-pumping fun.

The brilliant beach café is just the ticket for a laidback stint of homemade refreshments and ‘quirky’ ice creams that are dunked in all kinds of treaty goodies, from chopped nuts to maltesers, as you gaze out to sea before exploring the nature reserve and its abundance of wildlife or try your hand at a fun-filled session of crazy golf.

Or, if you fancy something more substantial, you can stroll up the road to one of Cornwall’s top seafood restaurants, Hooked on the Rocks, which enjoys incredible ocean views and locally caught crab.

Maenporth beach

Looking up the golden sand at Maenporth beach in Falmouth

Lifeguards: No
Dog-friendly: Seasonal restrictions (1st July to 31st August, 10am to 6pm)
Facilities: Toilets, café, and shop
Accessibility: Level access from the car park to the beach

Escape the crowds and schedule a stop-off at the magnificent Maenporth Beach. Situated two miles from Falmouth’s bustling town centre, you’ll be rewarded with sweeping views of the bay toward Pendennis Castle, along with gently lapping waters. At low tide, you can see the wreckage of Ben Asdale as well as lots of intriguing rockpools, making Maenporth very popular with families.

Life’s A Beach café offers freshly cooked food and snacks to order, along with beach essentials such as beach toys, souvenirs, and wetsuits, while The Cove draws you in for some coastal fine dining with stunning views.

If you’re feeling adventurous, Falmouth Surf School provides equipment and tutelage for everything from fishing, SUP yoga, and snorkelling to kayaking and SUPing. Or, you can simply slide into the sparkling shallow water of Maenporth for a spot of dreamy wild swimming.

Sunny Cove

The shingly dog-friendly beach Sunny Cove in Falmouth

Lifeguards: No
Dog-friendly: All year round
Facilities: No
Accessibility: Coastal path from either Swanpool or Maenporth beach

Nestled in between Swanpool and Maenporth sits the pretty Sunny Cove, which is the only year-round dog-friendly beach in Falmouth – pawfect! Whether you park in Swanpool or Maenporth, you and the pup can enjoy a lovely coastal walk down to the Sunny Cove, where sand, sun, and sea awaits.

It’s not the biggest beach on this list, but its southerly aspect and sheltered nature certainly make Sunny Cove deserving of its name. Due to the more remote location, you won’t find any facilities here, so bring a picnic and plenty of water if you’re planning to spend the day. Check out our handy guide on what to pack for a holiday in Cornwall if you need any pointers.

It’s worth mentioning that Sunny Cove is an unofficial nudist beach so don’t worry if you forget your costume!

Beaches near Falmouth…

Grebe beach

The shingly beach at Grebe on the Helford near Falmouth

Lifeguards: No
Dog-friendly: All year round
Facilities: No
Accessibility: Steep path and a half-mile walk down from the car park

Making the most of the serene waters of the Helford estuary, Grebe beach is a pretty sand and shingle stretch just a short walk from the idyllic village of Durgan. The beach is backed by woodland and looks out over the gently ebbing waters of the Helford, which means easy-going days spent watching boats trickle by.

Grebe is a firm favourite with families thanks to its shallow waters and the fact that it’s dog-friendly all year round so the whole pack can enjoy the views. The beach is best enjoyed at low tide and some parts of the beach can get cut off at high tide so make sure to check tide times before you set off.

Helford Passage beach

Clear blue waters, white sand and a busy pontoon at Helford Passage beach near Falmouth

Lifeguards: No
Dog-friendly: Seasonal restrictions (Easter to September)
Facilities: Toilets, shop, and pub
Accessibility: Level access to the beach but parking can fill up quickly in the summer months so you might have to park away and walk in

Another beach with tranquil views over the estuary, Helford Passage is a shingly haven popular with families and watersport enthusiasts as the level beach provides easy access to the waters. The line of boats moored along the top of the beach is sign enough that this is a great spot from which to launch so you bring your sea faring vessel if you have one, whether it’s a kayak, canoe or paddleboard.

After a relaxing bob in the water, you can take a few short steps to the 300-year-old Ferry Boat Inn, which looks out over the beach. Soak up the sun on the terrace with a pint of Cornwall’s finest or peruse the menu full of superb, seasonal fare.

Ready to swap cobbled streets for white sand and a beckoning ocean? Check out our beautiful cottages in Falmouth and start planning your epic Cornish beach days.

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