Moving from a city to a seaside town
29 January 2024
This article was written by Fine Art BA(Hons) student Sarah.
I’m a simple guy. I like music, nature, art, coffee, and clothes. Things cities are full of, as well as Falmouth. I’d best describe the shift from living in a city to living in Falmouth, as moving from hustle and bustle, to a slower pace of life in a condensed city.
For me, it has everything a city offers in a smaller proximity with beautiful surroundings. Meaning, rather than a 40-minute walk to the beach, it's a 10-minute walk! Of course, it depends on where you live in both a city and in Falmouth, but Falmouth helps my schedule and it is a genuinely nice place to walk around! I find everyone here is a lot more friendly too.
This leads to my favourite part about moving from a Northern city to Falmouth: the access to nature. No matter where you are, it seems a tropical plant is lurking around the corner, in someone’s front garden, in a park, or on the University campus. Calm and quiet are harder for me to find in a city, but in Falmouth, I love sitting with the trees whilst drawing, crocheting, or reading. Paired with a coffee from the local café’s too! My personal favourites are the Tidal Coffee van at Gylly Beach or Cabin Coffee in the centre of Kimberley Park.
Similarly, the ability to go to the beach every day was a new one for me. There are three beaches in Falmouth, which are great to visit solo and with friends. Night walks to the beach are a personal favourite with friends, as well as sunrise. If I'm feeling silly during the day, even a lunchtime wander can be fun. I’d recommend Castle Beach for rock pooling and from there, you can walk to Gylly Beach and then on to Swanpool Beach for a nice circuit. Walking through town alongside dogs and cats was a new adjustment too, which I’ll miss. If you’re hesitant, don’t worry, as all of my encounters have been friendly!
Another shift from the city to Falmouth is the music scene! Falmouth has such a vibrant music scene, which has opened my listening up to new bands and genres. The Chintz and The Cornish Bank in particular are great venues for music, with a great community vibe. They do open mics for singing/poetry, drag and queer nights, jazz nights, pub quizzes, as well as ticketed touring bands and musicians. They both also do pop-up flea markets and fundraiser events, which you can sell at too! I did last summer, and it was great fun. Bigger bands often disregard Cornwall on their tours, but there is Tunes in the Dunes and Boardmasters in the summer!
Moving from a city to Falmouth also changed the exhibitions I visit. Luckily, Falmouth is packed with galleries showing local artists, as well as shops/cafes that often have open calls to display and sell artwork. I prefer contemporary art galleries, so I often visit Tate St Ives and Newlyn Art Gallery in Penzance. At Tate St Ives you can become a Collective Producer with other creatives aged 16-25, to design public workshops and events in response to Tate exhibitions. It’s a nice collective and opportunity, which I’d recommend participating in! Back to Falmouth, Sailor’s Jail Gallery opened last year where they prioritise showing local artists and Falmouth students/alumni. It’s a great walk-around, because there’s so much variety and they also have a great gift shop. The Poly Gallery also screens independent films, artist talks and exhibitions! For film lovers, Falmouth also has a cinema.
Lastly, a small but important(!) difference between a city and Falmouth is the 'charity shop : other shops' ratio in town. In a city, the ratio is much smaller. In Falmouth, much bigger! I love the charity shops here, you’re almost always guaranteed a good find and there are so many! A fun activity with friends, too. I recommend Pants a little further out, which sells a combo of house and fashion bling (bling used lightly, but seriously, great things have been purchased there, such as dinosaur masks and a Clamones (Ramones parody) shirt - absolute bargains and supporting charities!).
Overall, Falmouth is a vibrant town full of energy, but also calm escapes, which I find a great balance in comparison to a city.