Falmouth Town Walk
Falmouth Town Walk
Enjoy a gentle stroll taking in the best of this historic maritime town.
Start your walk at Discovery Quay, home to the National Maritime Museum Cornwall and Rick Stein’s Fish.
Head down Arwenack Street to Custom House Quay for great views across the harbour.
Continue your walk through the town with its eclectic mix of shops and cafes before reaching the Prince of Wales Pier. Here you’ll find the Fal River Visitor Information Centre and Falmouth’s ‘ferry hub.’
From here, stroll up to the Moor before taking on the steps of Jacob’s Ladder. You can head back down the steps once you get your breath back or walk parallel to the harbour before cutting back down to Arwenack Street.
Starting Point: Events Square
Distance: 1.5 miles
Duration: 1 hour plus time for shopping
End Point: Circular walk
On the way: Maritime heritage. Falmouth's top attractions. Views over the harbour. Cafe culture and great shops.
Detailed walk information
Start at the National Maritime Museum and wander off around Falmouth. For a small detour out to Falmouth Docks there is a separate walk entitled Pendennis Headland.
With your back to the Museum walk towards the monument outside the gates of Events Square. This is the Killigrew monument built by Martin Lister Killigrew in 1737. On the other side of the road is the remains of Arwenack House the seat of the famous (or should that be infamous) Killigrew family. Knighted but simultaneously involved in piracy and accruing debts the family over centuries were both influential and feared in Falmouth. The houses to the right in Grove Place were built mainly for the ships captains of the Packet Ships. These were the ships that were the forerunner of the Post Office and would carry official “packets” to British dominions starting in Gibraltar and Spain and then over to the Americas and West Indies.
These ships were often armed as privateers would try and steal the goods onboard before they arrived at their destination.
Turn right and walk into town with a stop on Custom House Quay (photo above left) just after Trago’s. Notice the brick chimney on the way down the slope on your left. This is the Kings pipe, which would be used to burn any illegal tobacco that was found, smuggled aboard any ship arriving in port. The quay is also the ferry gateway for Flushing. The harbour walls to the back of the harbour were made by the Dutch who employed a unique design, which doesn’t involve any concrete type mixture to hold the stones together. This allows the seawater to go in quite far and out again thus reducing the force on the wall.
Walk through the archway to the right of the Chainlocker pub entrance to Quay Street. Walk up the road and turn right along Arwenack Street. In many of the shops all along the walk you will notice the poles in the windows designed originally to hold the upper floors in place. They are now imaginatively used within the design of their modern counterparts with some of them along the street still outside the entrances. Often they were part of the old window displays and some still are.
Follow the street around the corner with King Charles the Martyr church on your left. Built in 1662 it was dedicated to Charles 1st and has been altered many times since. Walking the next 400 metres one has encountered the historical financial and administrative centre of Falmouth where the Old Post Office, Telegraphy and Great Western Train offices, registrars and main banks were based. Looking high up on the buildings the evidence of these previous owners are there for all to see. Not many people notice this.
At the Bunch Of Grapes pub walk down to Fish Strand Quay and there is a plaque that tells the story of the breaking of the news of the death of Nelson that was brought to the British shores at Falmouth. There is also a plaque back up on the main road on the building opposite on Fish Strand Hill celebrating the arrival of Charles Darwin in 1836. Continue along the main street (now called Market Street) to the junction with Killigrew Street. To the right is Prince of Wales pier. This is the central embarkation point for many of the Fal river ferries and the information centre.
Walk up Killigrew Street to the Moor (under which is a petrified forest!). To the left before Lloyds Bank are the
Jacobs Ladder steps. Either climb them and turn left at the top to follow the road back to the museum area or take the route back the way you came. At the top there are wonderful views overlooking Falmouth.
Public transport information
Falmouth Docks and Falmouth Town railway stations. Ferries to and from many points up and down the Fal and Helford rivers.
Nearest Toilets and Nearest Disabled Toilets
Prince of Wales pier and the Events Square car park.
Nearest Car parks and Nearest Car Parks with disabled provision
Many car parks including Events Square/ Maritime Museum car park.
Too many to mention in Falmouth.
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