Falmouth is a jewel in the crown of seaside towns dotted along Cornwall’s coasts, and my personal favourite.
I loved its historic harbour, narrow cobbled streets, grand Georgian buildings and all the beautiful independent shops selling produce so local you could almost smell the sea salt on them.
In fact, I was actually really pleased that we visited on a rainy day. It seemed so much more atmospheric and romantic to explore this little seaside town in the cold and rain, wrapped up in a fisherman jumper and rain coat.
Falmouth has a historic natural harbour, which is world famous for being the third deepest in the world and the deepest in Europe.
Normally, nautical history isn’t something I would seek out, but I loved the beautiful Georgian buildings lining the quay, and the fact that the area surrounding the harbour hadn’t been overdeveloped.
So much so, I could almost imagine this area of town standing exactly as it is now, back in the 1800s, and picture travellers and fishermen fresh from their voyages doing deals in the Georgian pubs overlooking the harbour.
Falmouth’s Old High Street is lined with rickety antiques and vintage stores, bars tucked away in cute little courtyards and minimalist independent shops.
Folklore is an independent makers store selling beautiful pottery, jewellery, interiors accessories and clothing, all locally crafted by Cornish designers.
The clothing is minimalist, neutral and timelessly stylish, in a similar vein to brands like Toast, Acne and Cos.
And the interiors accessories are the perfect souvenirs of Cornwall for the discerning tourist, offering a piece of Cornish culture that can be incorporated into the home without compromising on aesthetics.
Possibly my favourite store in Falmouth – and also in the Old Brewery Yard – Toro is nirvana for plant lovers.
But this minimalist unit is much more than just a plant shop. It considers itself a botanical studio, offering advice on taking care of plants, as well as terrarium building courses and botanical drawing classes – which I would be itching to sign up to if only I lived nearby.
In addition to an enviable range of plants, it also sells botanical wares – including natural beauty products and scented soy candles by Honest, and a range of beautiful gift cards bearing succulent and cacti prints.
Happily, for those of us not local to Falmouth, many of its products are also available to buy online.
The Little Vintage Warehouse Thirteen
The Little Vintage Warehouse Thirteen embodies everything I love about small but well-done vintage shops.
Selling a quality collection of home wares, vintage menswear and womenswear, quirky paraphernalia and mid-century furniture, there is barely an item in the shop that doesn’t feel as though it has been carefully selected. Meaning that, while a magpie approach is advisable, relenting your entire afternoon to sifting through the rails isn’t.
For the antiques shopper looking for something a little different, there is Marmalade Antiques at the bottom of the Old High Street, selling weird and wonderful trinkets from the 20th century and beyond – including Bovril bottles, old tin street advertisements, jewel-coloured antique poison bottles and dusty books.
EAT / DRINK
Despite belonging to a small chain of bars and eateries in Dorset and Cornwall, The Stable is still one of my top recommendations for Falmouth – and not just because it sells huge, delectable pizzas and an impressive range of ciders fresh from the box.
The Stable is located in the historic and beautifully restored Old Custom House on Custom House Quay overlooking Falmouth harbour, and the booths in the ground floor bar and dining area boast stunning views of the harbour and ferry ports – in fact, the featured image in this post was taken from our table.
On rainy days, it offers the perfect vantage point to sit, sip and soak in views of harbour and boats making their way along the River Fal.
Beerwolf Books Freehouse
Another hidden gem off Falmouth’s main street, Beerwolf Books is a unique wateringhole, in that you can not only enjoy a wide range of beers, but you can also browse the shelves of a bookshop as you do so.
I fell in love with Hand instantly. Not least because the lovely bartender served me a wonderful Buxton Brewery sour beer, from the bar’s extensive collection of ales.
Its location tucked off the Old High Street in the cobbled Old Brewery Yard is – during the day at least – tranquil and quiet, offering respite from the bustle of town centre shopping.
Unfortunately, it does not serve full meals, but curiously does sell pots of noodles for £2.
In a nice, quaint touch, when Andy and I stopped by to soak up some sun, plan our day and connect to Wi-fi for the first time in three days, the bar also had a box of second hand books of all genres for sale, including a book on fitness for surfers and Alberto Granado’s Travelling with Che, which I snapped up immediately for £2.
The setting is also quite unique. The beer garden is situated next to a quaint little cottage garden that is overgrown and colourful in that way that always seems so perfectly haphazard, and inside, the main bar has a steepled roof, with natural wood panels and sturdy, rustic antique chairs and tables.
Have you ever visited Falmouth, or are you local to the area? If you have any other recommendations for shopping and dining in Falmouth, comment below!