Ask A Local: Castle Beach, Falmouth, South Cornwall
Surrounded by beaches, green fields and the third largest natural harbour in the world Falmouth is a place worth visiting. Visit for a long weekend, a week or even a month and it’s a near certainty that you will not want to go home. But it isn’t just the wealth of fascinating history or stunning scenery that keeps visits captivated it is the tapestry of local culture and creativity that leaves people spell bound.
I have yet to meet a visitor who hasn’t commented on the hospitality and genuine nature of the towns’ local people. Where ever you visit you are certain to meet someone prepared to go that extra mile to make your visit special. Someone always smiles, says hello or stops to talk and there is never any chance of getting lost because a ‘Falmouthion’ is always ready to turn the map round the right way.
There are several beaches around Falmouth but if you want to spend time among the real people of the town then Castle Beach is the first choice for visitors. Situated at the far end of the sea front and under the watchful eye of the 450 year old Pendennis Castle this ever changing beach is perfect for solo travellers, couples and families. There is a warning to be heeded here because the cannons are cleared weekly at the castle which can be a bit of a surprise.
With a mixture of sand and well stocked rock pools you can while away your day watching the busy bay, as ships, sail boats and fishing boats continue about their business. The depth of the bay means that there is always an impressive array of tankers and cruise liners anchored up. Hardworking tugs, ferryboats, coast guards and naval helicopters on drill practice are a frequent and usual sight.
Well protected by its position nestled within the headland and the surrounding sea wall it is amazing how just a few meters above on the footpath it can feel really choppy while the beach appears calm. Although no lifeguards are in attendance it is considered one of the safest beaches for swimmers. The beaches natural layout and size makes keeping an eye on the children really easy giving them that extra bit of freedom. There is always the possibility of weaver fish stings and very occasionally jellyfish so wearing beach shoes is always recommended. In the event you are stung the staff in the cafe will be able to help.
The beach is also the final resting place for a WWll German U-Boat one of six that were grounded after breaking their moorings in 1921. The U-Boat may now be scarcely a skeleton but it still entices divers and snorkelers to explore it as does the abundance of sea life to be found in the rockpools and beneath the sea. Diving instructors operate regularly from the beach so if you have ever fancied discovering the depths of the coastline then this is your chance.
The local Castle Beach Cafe is as much of an attraction as the beach itself. The current owners bought the cafe three years ago and while they have worked hard to establish their own personality in the business they remain loyal to the welcoming service the previous owners had provided. During the summer months they organise rock-pooling sessions, craft stalls on the sundeck, face-painting, choirs and a variety of other entertainment.
From castle beach you can walk back along the seafront, onwards to the castle and headland or back through Falmouth Hotels gardens to the town.