Taking the the Fal River foot ferry from St Mawes to Falmouth has been on my hit list for a while.
It’s the perfect day out in Cornwall.
I finally decided to act like a tourist in my own town and hop abroad the Fal River ferry at St Mawes and spend the day in Falmouth.
If you’re unfamiliar with little St Mawes, it sits on the Roseland Peninsula on the south coast of Cornwall, an Area Of Outstanding Natural Beauty. St Mawes lies at the end of the Peninsula, on the south of the Percuil River.
From St Mawes there are impressive views towards St Anthonys Head and Falmouth.
It’s a lovely part of Cornwall and is a definitely a place to visit if you’re on holiday. The Roseland Peninsula offers a relaxed coastal vibe, with St Mawes being the biggest coastal town or village.
I’m a lover of the water and am no stranger when it comes to adventures on the Fal River and boat trips. I’ve kayaked from Loe Beach to Mylor (well, almost), and have boarded a few boats in my time and whizzed around the coastline.
Why on earth I didn’t go for a ferry ride sooner? I really don’t know!
Time in St Mawes.
If there’s time before you leave St Mawes, it’s worth having a little wander.
It has several small independent shops selling clothes and coastal, Cornish products. There’s a few small art galleries, a bakery, some hotels I could happily stay even though I’m only a short drive away, and a couple of coffee shops.
There’s St Mawes castle too, a coastal artillery fortress built by Henry VIII. The castle has scenic grounds which meet the public footpath to St Just on the Roseland; part of a familiar and brilliant running or walking route.
Of course, there’s plenty of small alleys and aside roads with rows of lovely coastal homes and traditional Cornish cottages. St Mawes is quaint and well kept. While it’s been modernised in some ways, it’s retained its traditional coastal charm.
The Fal River Ferry Ride.
The Fal River ferry leaves St Mawes every half an hour in the Summer (you can check the timetable here) and is less frequent in the winter. Always check it’s running beforehand because when the weather’s a bit dodgy, the number of crossings may be limited.
The St Mawes water taxi takes about 20 minutes and costs about £10 per adult.
We had the benefit of going on a sunny day and the views didn’t disappoint. As you leave St Mawes, on your left you can see the rather impressive Place House (that’s the grand yellow house over the water) and St Anthony’s Head and Lighthouse. On the right, once past St Mawes, you have views of the Fal River going towards St Just in Roseland and Mylor.
It’s fair to say I was one camera happy Cornish girl!
The crossing itself was comfortable. No sea legs or sickness in sight (not that I’m prone). If anything, it was relaxing but also exciting to see Falmouth getting closer.
The St Mawes ferry takes you to one of two piers in Falmouth, alternating every half an hour (please check times to clarify). Either pier is good, and each sit at different ends of Falmouth. The High Street is accessible from both. We landed at the Prince of Wales Pier (PWP), near the Greenbank Hotel, and hit the shops.
A Day In Falmouth.
You can spend the day bimbling around Falmouth. I think it’s one of my favourite Cornish towns.
Falmouth is home to lots of independent retailers as well as typical Cornish or coastal brands, such as Seasalt and Whistlefish.
When it comes to coffee and lunch, you’re spoilt for choice! I love how there are very few chain restaurants in Falmouth.
For excellent coffee I would recommend Espressini (actually, the food is good too) or Good Vibes. For a cheeky swift beer there’s the wonderful Beerwolf Books. If you’re up for a gin (and why not?), you simply must to go to Dolly’s (there’s 257 gins to choose from!).
On the return, we caught the ferry from Custom House Quay. The sun had gone in and we were feeling slightly tired from the walking and heat (ok, it may have been the gins too). But we loved our day out and our ride on the water taxi.
How you had any fab days out recently? Or maybe you’ve hitched a ride on the Fal River ferry too and totally loved it!