This working harbour town also has a creative buzz thanks to its thriving art school. The result is a winning blend of beach life, bohemian bars and great seafood
To understand Falmouth (and arguably the rest of our island nation) you need to understand its relationship with the sea. The cavernous National Maritime Museum Cornwall, a beautiful building in itself, contains several floors of exhibitions that explore the changing influence of the sea on our lives – stories of discovery, survival and tragedy – and an active traditional boat workshop. Highlights include the undersea gallery in which visitors can watch fish swimming in the harbour from the sea bed, and the 30-metre lookout tower from which they can track the comings and goings of naval ships, superyachts, dinghies and cruise liners.
The museum is popular with families who come for the performances, storytelling and treasure trails during the holidays, and warrants multiple visits, which is handy, especially when the weather turns.
Celebrating its 15th birthday in 2018, the museum was central to the regeneration of Discovery Quay, now the focus for the town’s many festivals. The museum’s major exhibition, Titanic Stories explores the controversies, myths and stories that surround the best-known sinking of the 20th century.
• Adult £13.50, child £6 (pay once, get in all year), open daily, nmmc.co.uk
Two of Falmouth’s best bars are tucked away in Old Brewery Yard, which is also home to a gallery space, one of Falmouth’s most stylish restaurants, The Kitchen, and several small independent craft shops. HAND bar and bottle shop (on Facebook) offers over 200 craft beers, and on a warm evening drinkers spill out into the yard. The Chintz (thechintzbar. com, pictured) is a different matter entirely. The small, Alice in Wonderlandthemed bar is gaudily kitted out in rococo style and offers wine, cheese and charcuterie.
3 Vinyl and caﬀeine
Falmouth has no lack of coffee shops, and while the cafe scene is dominated by Espressini, which has two outlets in town, it’s easy to overlook smaller cafes such as Jam Records, with its two cracked leather sofas and a selection of new and used vinyl. Visitors should expect eclectic music with their cuppa, shabby chic and a charming, if unexpected, display of typewriters, TV monitors and ancient Macintosh computers – which is somewhat indicative of how Falmouth rolls.
• 32 High Street, jamrecords.co.uk
4 Gastro pub with rooms
Once a spit-and-sawdust pub that served the crews of the Falmouth Working Boats, the Star and Garter, which opened