A lovely walk around Falmouth starting at Penmere Station and taking in Swanpool lake and beach, Gyllyngvase Beach and Pendennis Headland.


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Penmere Circular sponsored by Visit Falmouth

A lovely walk around Falmouth starting at Penmere Station and taking in Swanpool lake and beach, Gyllyngvase Beach and Pendennis Headland.


Begin your walk  at Penmere Train Station and don’t forget you can use your Fal Mussel Card on the Falmouth Branch Line.

Head downhill from the station under the railway bridge before picking up a narrow path that will take you all the way down to Swanpool, around the lake and down to the beach.

Take the coast path towards Gyllyngvase beach with Pendennis Castle in front of you. If you’re feeling adventurous carry on around Pendennis Point for great views of the Carrick Roads.

Follow the road down to Discovery Quay, passing Falmouth’s docks and Pendennis Shipyard.

If you’re returning by train you can catch one at Falmouth Town Station or make your way back to Penmere Station through the town.

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Walk Info

Start point

Penmere Station


4.5 miles


3-4 hours



End point

Circular walk or Falmouth Town Station

On the way...

Maritime heritage. Falmouth's top attractions. Views over the harbour. Cafe culture and great shops.

Did you know...

Swanpool Nature Reserve is one of the eleven most important brackish lagoons in Britain.

The brackish conditions (a mixture of fresh and salt water) enable a wide variety of wildlife to thrive. One species - The Trembling Sea Mat - is found nowhere else in the UK

Visit Falmouth

Falmouth boasts the world’s third largest natural harbour, and has grown into a busy port over the last 400 years.


Alongside the economic prosperity brought by our relationship with the sea, Falmouth is a hugely popular sailing and leisure destination.

Rich history, great atmosphere and beautiful scenery make Falmouth a popular choice for visitors.

Find out more...

More Information

A fabulous mixture of beaches, nature reserve, viewpoint, castle and maritime heritage with a working dockland. This walk really gives one the flavour of what Falmouth has been, is now and is working towards.

From Penmere Station walk down hill under the bridge and turn left into East Rise road. At the bend in the road on the corner there is a footpath that leads onto Silverdale Road which itself leads onto the back of Swanpool. Turn right and go around the back of Swanpool, which is a special place, and worth walking around. It is one of only 11 brackish lagoons in Britain and was cut off from the sea by a shingle bar (which is the main road) around the time of the last ice age. It is also the only home in Britain to the Trembling Sea Mat, which is a collection of tiny primitive animals 1-2mm in size that cling together and filter feed. Birds found here in numbers include the Tufted duck, Moorhen, Mallards, Coot and the ubiquitous Swan. Stop off for a round of immature golf or some refreshments on the beach.

Gyllyngvase Beach is now 15 minutes walk along the South West Coast Path. This is a fabulous beach for rock pooling at low tide and it is a pleasant promenade walk heading towards Pendennis point and the castle.

The first hotel along this promenade to be built was the one you finally reach on the left. The Falmouth Hotel was built in 1865 by the Falmouth Railway and Falmouth Docks companies in preparation for the influx of new visitors on the new railway. Falmouth was finally a tourist destination. The Royal Duchy was built in 1893 as the Pendennis Hotel and was requisitioned as a hospital for the 1st World War. On the right is Castle Beach opposite the Falmouth Hotel. There are refreshments and toilets here on the beachfront.

Walk ahead taking the road to your right up to Pendennis Point. At the top walk through the car park to the end and visit the old Block House with views over the Carrick Roads. St Mawes Castle can be seen to your left with the Percuil and Fal Rivers with Pendennis Castle behind you. The lighthouse visible is on St Anthony’s head on the roseland peninsula. Looking to the right the Lizard Peninsula down to the Manacles rocks can be seen with good visibility. The mouth of the Helford River is on the other side of Rosemullion Head beyond Swanpool.

Walk on towards Falmouth past the entrance to Pendennis Castle following the coast path signs. Falmouth docks are below you and one can see the whole layout of the wharves and docks. If you are lucky there will be some rather large ships in dry dock and often-Navy craft being serviced. When arriving at the small roundabout at the bottom of the hill Falmouth Docks station is up the first road right. To go into town turn right at the roundabout and follow the road for half a mile to the Maritime Museum. At the small roundabout at the car parks straight ahead is the town; to the left up the hill for 100 metres is Falmouth Town train station.

Public transport information

Train stations at Penmere and Falmouth Town along the Truro Falmouth branch line.

Nearest Toilets and Nearest Disabled Toilets

At the beaches of Swanpool and Gyllyngvase and in town at the Events Square/Maritime museum car park.

Nearest Car parks and Nearest Car Parks with disabled provision

Limited car parking at  Penmere or street parking or at the end of the walk at Events square/Maritime museum car parks.

Nearest refreshments 

Cafés at the two beaches and many more in Falmouth town.