Newest Review: ... eateries and the Cornwall maritime museum. Sadly I haven't been able to visit the museum myself yet but I've heard good things about it s... more
Falmouth in general
Member Name: Huomenna
Falmouth in general
Date: 20/06/13, updated on 20/06/13 (60 review reads)
Advantages: good shopping, plenty of places to eat, pretty high street, lots to do
Disadvantages: parking can be hard, hilly (not good for disabled), some areas look a little run down
Falmouth in Cornwall, has a real reputation among artists for having brilliant quality light and incidentally the town has a very well known photography department at the university (which I nearly went to in 2007, but that's another story). The town itself has undergone some regeneration in recent years and various sections of the town have different feels to them.
Last year my boyfriend and I wanted to go to the cinema to see the latest Batman film - we spent ages driving around trying to find the blasted place as its location wasn't obvious and is fairly distant from the main part of the town. The area around the cinema does look a little run down compared to other parts of the town, but the cinema itself is equipped with a luxury screen - this is apparently complete with sofas and a waiter service (at no extra cost), but unfortunately I've never seen it as our film was being shown in a different screen.
Down by the waters edge you have a fairly modern development, complete with car park, that houses a small number of eateries and the Cornwall maritime museum. Sadly I haven't been able to visit the museum myself yet but I've heard good things about it so a trip there, combined with lunch and a good view could make a nice day out. It's also one of the more wheelchair/disabled access friendly areas of the town which in general is on the hilly side.
The high street itself manages to be very attractive - it looks very much the typically English/Cornish town with a mix of interesting and attractive old architecture. There's a variety of shops that nicely cover most bases - you have the national chain stores like WHSmiths, Boots etc and a good number of independent shops including 2 camera shops and plenty of places to buy pasties.
At the end of the high street is 'Trago Mills' - effectively a large department store full of lots of cheap things. I went on my first visit there yesterday and it was amazing - the shop itself does look a little run down in places but it's huge with so many useful departments and some brilliantly priced things. I particularly liked the art and frame departments - I could easily have spent a small fortune in there.
One delightful place my Dad introduced me to (a set slightly back from the high street) was 'Beerwolf' - it's a pub and a book shop combined! As I'm a non drinker, you wouldn't think pubs are my thing, but I love the atmosphere in them. This one is in a lovely old building - not wheelchair friendly as it's upstairs but décor is quite eclectic with a nice big bar and a room full of books for sale. Another plus is the books are significantly below RRP price, for example one was for sale at £8 (RRP £25). I definitely suggest a visit if you're in the area.
'The chain locker' is a big pub down by the waters edge that's just undergone refurbishment. It's a fairly large establishment with an interesting interior and decent sized outside area which sits right on the water. I've not eaten in there but it has an excellent reputation for food as well as being reasonably priced.
We picked up a couple of pasties from 'Pasty Presto' on the high street for lunch, but a bold seagull stole my step mums before she got the chance to eat more than one mouthful! I had a traditional filling one which was reasonably priced and well flavoured.
Down near the maritime museum there's also a fish and chip shop owned by the famous chef Rick Stein, if you fancy eating at some high class chippy!
There are car parks dotted all over the town - none of them huge and in the summer they're usually all pretty full. Parking can be rather restricted on the roads so you'll either need to find a car park or make use of the park and ride system. If you do choose the car park then make sure you're back before the ticket runs out as I've heard the traffic wardens are not the most generous.
I'd say Falmouth is definitely worth a visit as there's plenty to do. In places it's a pretty town, shopping is diverse and plentiful, there's numerous places to eat and there's a museum. It's a good place to have as a base when on holiday or worth a day trip if you're staying elsewhere in Cornwall. The only real downsides are the occasional difficulty with parking and the general access is not brilliant for those who struggle with walking due to the hilly nature of the town.
Summary: Well worth a visit if you're in Cornwall