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Useful things to know about Falmouth

  • Falmouth is found, as you would expect, at the mouth of the River Fal.
  • Falmouth harbour is the world’s third deepest port.
  • The name of the town was originally ‘Peny-cwm-cuic’.
  • Pendennis Castle, nearby, was an important line of defence against Spanish invasion.
  • The town used to operate the Falmouth Packet Service, the mail delivery system for the whole of the Empire.

Falmouth Mini Guide

Falmouth is one of the most attractive parts of the south western English county of Cornwall. This was the site where Henry VIII decided to defend Carrick Roads by building Pendennis castle in the 16th century. This lovely port is located on the River Fal and getting to and from there in your Rhino hire car is easy as it is at the end of the popular A39 road. This road gets very busy, especially in summer, so if you are a tourist, plan your journey not to coincide with rush hour times and look out for regular traffic reports.


Today Falmouth only has a small population of just over 21,000 people and many of them work in the fishing business. This population is swelled by tourists and many of them look to rent out the beautiful Georgian houses which form the core of the town. The port at Falmouth is ideal for marine traffic as it is the third deepest natural harbour in the world. In 1839 Falmouth was in the news after a large consignment of gold dust which had been shipped over from Brazil was stolen at the port. In World War II Falmouth was bombed by the Germans with more than 30 people losing their lives.

Many round the world record breakers have finished their journeys at Falmouth including Dame Ellen MacArthur recently. On a daily basis the port deals with much cargo and a number of ships dock there frequently. Falmouth is also a university town.

Definitely worth a visit when in the area is the National Maritime Museum Cornwall. Celebrating the sea, boats and Cornwall, this multi award winning Museum not only has 15 galleries over five floors beautifully illustrating the past, present and future of this island nation but also offers a number of stunning exhibitions. With hands-on activities every school holiday, talks, lectures, workshops, rotating events and exhibitions, there’s so much happening, don’t miss your chance for a visit. You’ll find more than you might expect.

There is also the Swanpool Nature Reserve, a much loved place to visit for locals and holidaymakers alike. Falmouth is known for its comprehensive events schedule through the year, many of which are based on its maritime location. You can download an events calendar at

Latest Update from Falmouth:

21/04/12 - As well as being one of the places where the Olympic torch will pass through, Falmouth has a range of one off events this summer. There's a J-class sailing regatta and the start of the Round Britain yacht race. See the town's tourism website for more details

24/02/13 - From the 14th to the 16th June, Falmouth will host the internationally acclaimed Sea Shanty Festival, the largest celebration of maritime music in the world. Accompanied by some grog, you'll have a whale of a time. 

Driving in Falmouth - Need to know



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    GBP  1.29/Ltr

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Falmouth has attracted visitors for decades lured by the old world charm of its harbour and the history that has attached to the town. As the biggest port in the south west it has been at the forefront of threats to the nation and the starting point for journeys across the Empire.

Evidence of this can be seen a short hire car journey away at the Maritime Museum which, through informative displays, highlights Falmouth’s importance. From there, visit Pendennis Castle, Henry VIII’s first line of defence against the Spanish.

Falmouth is one of over 500 car hire locations across the UK (source)

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