Look out for the Good Journey Mark – where car-free visitors are welcome and enjoy a discount
Explore the subtropical South Cornish landscapes by train, bus, boat, or on foot from Falmouth, a busy port with the world’s third deepest natural harbour. This sea-faring town makes an excellent base and is home to the National Maritime Museum. There’s plenty to see in and around the town: have tea by the harbour or sail over the river, ride out into the woodland, or walk one of the gentler sections of the South West Coast Path. These are just a few suggestions for great days out.
1. Bus ride to Trebah Garden
Visit a flower-filled valley, sloping down through dappled glades and varied walkways to an idyllic cove, by bus or even on foot (see 2)
- Bus 35 leaves hourly, Monday to Saturday, from Falmouth’s little lime-shaded bus station. If you have to wait or need a coffee, the nearby Good Vibes café is friendly and fun
- The bus ride to Trebah garden along winding, wooded lanes is an adventure in itself, the gardens are beautiful and – best of all – you get 50% off the entry price when you show your bus ticket, making it £5 instead of £10.
- Walk down through tree ferns and bamboos, gnarled rhododendrons and Japanese maples, hydrangeas, palms and nodding agapanthus, reflected in a series of ponds.
- Have an ice cream on the pebbly beach, overlooking the Helford River, before climbing up by a different route, past more of Trebah’s hidden corners.
- The same bus also serves the NT Glendurgan gardens next door, where visitors arriving by bus or foot get a voucher to spend in the shop.
2. South West Coast Path National Trail
Passing castles, creeks and cafés, you can walk along the coast path, past Glendurgan and Trebah gardens, to Helford Passage and get the bus back.
- The spectacular coast path is 630 knee-wrecking miles long and walking it all is famously equivalent to climbing four Mount Everests.
- Luckily, the ten-mile section between Falmouth and Helford Passage is a relatively gentle walk with plenty of refreshments.
- It starts by rounding Pendennis Point, with its English Heritage castle and great views over the river.
- After a couple of miles, there’s a café, nature reserve and even kayak hire at Swanpool Beach.
- At scenic Maenporth, two miles further on, there’s a beach café and the fancy Cove Bar and – finally – there’s the atmospheric Ferryboat Inn at Helford Passage.
- From here you can catch a ferry to Helford village (£4). You could even choose to cruise back to Falmouth by Water Taxi if you book in advance (01326 250770).
- The bus stop, to get back to Falmouth, is at the top of the road not far from the entrance to Trebah Garden.