G7 spotlight: Falmouth offers a weekend getaway even world leaders love

Aerial view over Pendennis Castle and Falmouth, Cornwall (Image: Getty)

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With international travel limited for now, Brits are more inclined to look at holiday destinations nearer to home, with Cornwall emerging as the perfect place to get all the trappings of a world class destination without the distance.

Cornwall has also been in the news quite a bit recently as world leaders such as Joe Biden and Boris Johnson will be staying in Cornwall’s Carbis Bay for this weekend’s G7 Summit.

However, that's just one of the jewels in Cornwall's crown in terms of beautiful seaside resorts. Falmouth on the south coast is just as picturesque and has also been scoped out by the summit organisers and has been chosen to host the summit’s journalists with a media hub at the National Maritime Museum Cornwall.

Falmouth will certainly be given its own moment to shine, as a docked cruise liner is also accommodating thousands of police officers who are on G7 security duty.

With such a big spotlight on Cornwall, this will no doubt inspire people to take a trip to the harbour town that’s steeped in maritime history, our sister site 2Chill reports.

A scenic view of the small harbour town of Falmouth, Cornwall on a calm evening.
(Image: Getty)

I might be a bit biased given I grew up in Falmouth, but I’d argue it’s a town that’s got it all, from beautiful beaches, and a picturesque high street, to an impressive array of restaurants, pubs, and bars, as well as sea views from almost every corner, which makes it a great location if you’re short on time.

Here’s how I’d recommend spending a long weekend in the place I’m proud to call home…just wait for the dignitaries to depart.

Friday

As a seaside town, you won’t be short of places to book into. If you’re looking to splash out, there are luxurious hotels such as St Michael’s Hotel & Spa ( www.stmichaelsresort.com ) and the Royal Duchy ( https://royalduchy.co.uk ) on the sea front, Merchant’s Manor ( www.merchantsmanor.com ), which is about a 10-minute walk from the beaches and Greenbank ( www.greenbank-hotel.co.uk ) with views across the estuary. There’s also an endless list of guesthouse and self-catering options for all budgets, as well as Trewen campsite ( www.campingfalmouth.co.uk ), which is in nearby Budock Water.

Gyllyngvase beach
(Image: Getty)

Once you’ve unpacked, stretch your legs with a walk around Falmouth’s headland that stretches from the ‘Trago’s’ end of town (fyi Trago Mills ( www.trago.co.uk ) is a store filled with bargains that’s something of an institution) to the beaches on Cliff Road. Along the way, enjoy the bustle of the docks (Falmouth is the third largest natural harbour in the world) and grab an ice-cream at the headland car park with its panoramic sea views before popping into Pendennis Castle ( www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/pendennis-castle ), a fortress that still stands proudly almost 500 years after Henry VIII had it built.

If it’s been a long day of travel, grab a drink and bite to eat at Gylly Café ( www.gyllybeach.com ) which sits at the top of Gyllyngvase Beach and provides the perfect backdrop to toast your first night.

Swanpool Falmouth
(Image: Getty)

Saturday

If the sun is shining, you’ll no doubt want to head back to the beach. Falmouth has three, Castle, Gyllyngvase, of course, with the pretty Queen Mary Gardens just behind it, and tennis courts if you’re feeling particularly energetic, and Swanpool, which is a picturesque 10-15-minute walk along from Gylly.

All three beaches have cafes, and are so close to each other you could just make a day of it and beach-hop your way along. If you fancy a longer walk, you can also head to Maenporth, another stunning spot about half an hour walk from Swanpool, where you’ll also find Michael Caines’ beachside eatery The Cove (www.thecovemaenporth.co.uk ). The water’s calmer here than much of the north coast, so it’s a popular area to paddleboard and kayak, and you’ll find plenty of places to hire equipment.

Church Street shopping area of central Falmouth
(Image: Getty)

If you want a break from the beach, or the sun disappears, then head to the National Maritime Museum (https://www.nmmc.co.uk ) to find out about our seafaring heritage, or the family-friendly Pitch and Putt at Goldenbank or Ships and Castle Leisure Centre near Pendennis Castle.

For a low-key meal, buy some fish and chips from Harbour Lights ( www.harbourlights.co.uk ) and eat them while sitting on the quay before grabbing a drink at the historic Chain Locker ( https://chainlockerfalmouth.co.uk ) with views of the estuary.

For something a little more formal, book at a table at Cribbs ( www.cribbscornwall.co.uk ) for Caribbean flavours, or The Shack ( www.theshackfalmouth.co.uk ) which serves incredible seafood platters. For late-night drinks, there’s The Brig ( www.thebrig.co.uk ) for rum infused cocktails and Toast ( www.toastfalmouth.co.uk ), which often hosts comedy nights and live music events.

Sunday

After a lazy lie-in, take some time to explore the town. If you begin at the Killigrew Street end, you can grab some pasties at Choak’s ( www.choakspasties.co.uk ). A firm favourite with the locals, they’ve been using the same recipe for over 60 years, and it makes a tasty brunch or lunch on the go.

If you feel the need to burn it off, you can always tackle the steep steps known as Jacob’s Ladder just off the main piazza. From this end of town, you can also book one of the ferry trips that depart from the Prince of Wales Pier to St Mawes and Flushing.

Afterwards, enjoy an amble along the main cobblestone street that winds its way through Falmouth town centre where you’ll find some of the usual high street names alongside small galleries, boutique stores and surf shops.

For your final evening, try The Boathouse ( https://theboathousefalmouth.co.uk ) a laid-back, award-winning pub that sits at the top of the high street, and the nearby Star & Garter, a Georgian Townhouse with beautiful vistas. ( http://starandgarter.squarespace.com ). Both provide delicious meals in an incredible setting and would mark a memorable end to your weekend.

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