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Falmouth is one of the greatest seaside towns in England. It is dominated by a fantastic marina, and traditional seaside activities are high on the agenda here. The town is also surrounded by the visually-impressive county of Cornwall, and taking in the rolling pastures, rugged cliffs and sandy beaches of this popular part of Britain is a must. Thankfully, the road network is good at the southwestern tip of the country, and the entire county is well set-up for tourism.
Who to Book With
There are a few car rental agencies to choose from in Falmouth, including the top companies of Enterprise, Europcar and Hertz. They can be found by the marina, a nice central location in Falmouth. There is a range of vehicles to choose from, but to secure the best rates you should book online in advance. This is particularly important during the summer when Cornwall fills up with tourists.
Best Time to go
Falmouth is easily a year-round destination, with several places to stay and fine dining available throughout the months. However, as with the rest of Cornwall, the city does see an influx of visitors during the summer school holidays, so expect soaring accommodation prices and less availability. To beat the crowds but still take advantage of pleasant weather, come during May or September.
Need to Know Essentials
To pick up your rental car, you must provide the following documents:
- A UK or EU driving license or a valid International Driving Permit
- Photo ID, such as passport, alongside your licence
- Proof of the credit card you used to make the booking
- A print-out of the booking confirmation or reference number
Since Falmouth is a bay city that sticks out on a peninsula, there is only one way in and out. The main road is the A39, which terminates in Falmouth and runs all the way to Bristol on the other side. This road connects with Cornwall’s other main trunk route, the A30, which also meets the rest of the country; you can take it westbound to Penzance, but no farther.
Navigating Falmouth itself is fairly easy. As you head towards the quay, you will be directed into a clockwise one way system that’ll take you passed the marina and then back out again. Along the way, you will pass five car parks, all of which have a maximum stay of three hours. If you want to park for longer, you’ll need to park at Town Quarry and catch the free bus in.
Falmouth is well-served by buses heading to other places in the region. For travel within the town centre, you can take advantage of the low-cost minibus shuttle service operated by the council. There is a scenic train line, taking just 25 minutes, which connects Falmouth with the picturesque cathedral city of Truro, where you can then change trains to get to other places.
The 12-mile Maritime line connects Falmouth with Truro, taking 25 minutes. Along the way, you will be awarded with stunning views of the bay and St Mawes in the background. From Truro, you can connect to other parts of Cornwall and farther into Britain. See National Rail Enquiries for timetable and ticketing information.
The best way to get around Falmouth town centre is by using the council-operated shuttle bus. It starts from the Quarry car park and ends at the rail station, going through the centre of town every 20 minutes. The ride is free for valid car park ticket holders and just £1 for everyone else. This hop-on-hop-off service is a bargain and very convenient.
Services farther afield, you can buy a FirstDay Southwest ticket for just £6.70 for the day or use the Western Greyhound Day Explorer. A Ride Cornwall ticket, costing £10, allows you to use both First and Western Greyhound services, as well as First Great Western train services.
Minicabs are easy to find in Falmouth, and they’ll be happy to take you to most other places on the western side of Cornwall. You can call Abacus Taxis on 01326 212 141 for pick up.
Most of Cornwall is extremely beautiful, with rugged cliffs, sandy beaches and green rolling hills. Using Falmouth as your base, you couldn’t be better placed for some independent exploration of the county. From this port town, you also have the option of catching a ferry across the bay to continue your journey eastward along the seldom-touched Roseland peninsula.
St Mawes and the Roseland Peninsula - This is a stone’s throw away from Falmouth. Start your journey by taking the ferry across the bay to visit the castle that overlooks Falmouth in all its might. Then, continue your drive through the peninsula; most of the land is National Trust protected and considered an area of outstanding natural beauty. When the A3078 connects with the A390, you can loop back round to Falmouth on the faster road.
The Lizard - This is Britain’s southernmost point and access to it from Falmouth couldn’t be more convenient. Head to Helston on the A394 and then take the A3083 all the way to the point; the journey takes about 45 minutes each direction. Don’t forget to bring a picnic to enjoy whilst soaking up the impressive views.
Truro - One of Britain’s last cathedral cities, and this old market town is great to just walk around and soak up the atmosphere. One of the larger towns in Cornwall, Truro is home to a boutique fashion trade and elegant dining establishments.