Best beaches near Falmouth

31 August 2022

A view of Swanpool Beach framed by trees
Swanpool beach framed by trees
Type: Text
Category: Discover Cornwall

Being by the sea delivers a real feel-good factor and not just when the sun’s shining. With 20 beaches in and around Falmouth alone, including safe, sheltered coves, you’re in the perfect place to explore this section of Cornwall’s stunning coastline. Here are our top picks of the best beaches near Falmouth. 

Gyllynvase Beach

Gyllynvase (Gylly) Beach is one of the most popular beaches in Falmouth, being just a short walk from Falmouth town centre and our Falmouth Campus. As a Blue Flag status beach, Gylly boasts crystal clear turquoise waters and fine, golden sand. Its sheltered position makes the bay a popular spot for swimming. Our Students’ Union Sea Swimming Club members meet at Gylly every weekend and some weekday evenings to get their sea swimming fix. If you fancy giving stand up paddle boarding a go, then Gylly is home to WeSUP, a paddle boarding centre that offers equipment hire and lessons. The award-winning Gylly Beach Café is also situated right on the beach and is the perfect spot to enjoy a refreshing drink while looking out to sea. 

Castle Beach 

Just up the road from Gylly is Castle Beach, which is situated just below the Tudor landmark of Pendennis Castle. Colourful beach huts line the seafront; a mixture of sand, shingle and rock make it an excellent beach for rock pooling, snorkelling or diving. Castle Beach Café also serves delicious coffee and homemade cakes for a post-swim treat. 

Swanpool Beach

Swanpool Beach is a sandy/shingle cove that is located just on the outskirts of Falmouth. Although not a lifeguarded beach, Swanpool is considered a safe swimming beach due to its shielded location. A range of water sport activities are available through Elemental UK so you can try your hand at everything from kayaking and coasteering to windsurfing and even raft building!

A visit to Swanpool wouldn’t be complete without a trip to the beach café to try their selection of ‘Quirky’ hot chocolates and ice creams, with flavours living up to the name. Just behind the beach is Swanpool Lake Nature Reserve, which is home to an abundance of animal and plant life – you may even spot a kingfisher! 

Maenporth Beach

Located two miles south of Falmouth, Maenporth Beach is a small, gently sloping cove that is perfect for swimming, rock pooling and fishing. The beach café offers a delicious takeaway menu of breakfast baps, sandwiches, burgers, cakes and ice creams.

With towering pine trees framing the beach, you can enjoy spectacular views across to Falmouth Bay and Pendennis Castle. There are also picturesque walks along the coast to the Helford River. 

View of Maenporth Beach

Helford Passage Beach

The Helford River is just around the headland from Falmouth and is regarded as one of the most timeless and beautiful areas of Cornwall. Helford Passage Beach is on the north bank of the estuary and reveals a small, shingle beach at low tide. A popular spot for sailing, you can hire boats, kayaks and paddle boards from Helford Riverboats. You can also travel on one of Britain’s oldest ferry routes, where the Helford Ferry sails from Helford Passage to Helford village, a trip it has been doing for over a thousand years! The historic Ferryboat Inn stands just above Helford Passage Beach and serves a delicious menu of homemade pub classics.

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