Today, Falmouth is a centre for maritime activities and is the home of the National Maritime Museum. In 2008 and again in 2014, Falmouth was the host port for the Funchal 500 Tall Ships Regatta. In 2008, this special Tall Ships Race was the centre-piece marking the 500th anniversary of the founding of the port of Funchal in Madeira.
The maritime theme continues with many restaurants focusing on local, fresh caught produce such as the The Whealhouse and Hunkydory. Other notable places to eat out include the historic Pandora Inn – accessible by foot, bicycle or boat.
And, of course, Falmouth is home to a wide selection of public houses.
Apart from being a local shopping centre, Falmouth is home to the internationally renowned Falmouth College of Arts, Pendennis Castle, the Princess Pavilion, Ships and Castles Leisure Centre, Ocean Bowl bowling alley and much, much more.
Not to mention art galleries, antique shops, nightclubs, live bands, plays, and even more places to eat. A complete, cosmopolitan experience.
In short, something for everyone.
The Prince of Wales has a connection with Falmouth dating back many centuries. The black and white photograph on the right is dated 1863 and is probably the oldest recorded photograph of Falmouth. It shows the last ever stagecoach to leave Falmouth, stagecoaches having been superseded by the railways. You can see Albert Edward, the then Prince of Wales and later King Edward VII, pictured behind the front pair of horses.
The History of Falmouth
Maps dated 1613 show the area now known as Market Strand was a narrow beach (or “strand”) in the hamlet of “Smithick” (from Smith’s Creek).
In 1652 Peter Killigrew was granted the right to hold a market and the first market house was built in the location of today’s Market Strand. A popular and busy port at the mouth of the river Fal, Smithick eventually became Falmouth when incorporated in 1661.
Over the years the small hamlet grew into a town and port, with direct mail/road links with London, and, later, a railway line.
The 20th Century saw a massive growth in Falmouth and it’s use as a naval port during the world wars.
Falmouth’s naval tradition has many strange stories – one relates how in the early stages of the 1940-1945 war a German submarine landed a party of sailors near Pendennis. The sailors proceeded into town, attended the local cinema and returned to their submarine, unchallenged, and put to sea again!