Beaches, bistros and boutique holidays in Falmouth.

Boutique Shopping In Falmouth


  • Blessed with very few high street chain stores
  • Look out for their legendary beer festivals
  • Home to the UK's only park and float service

It’s well worth spending a week here and if you’ve leisure time galore then don’t miss the medieval market town of Penryn hidden away up the hill – and be sure to take a ferry across the River Fal to St Mawes.

Blessed with very few high street chain stores, Falmouth is the perfect place to enjoy a bit of shopping therapy.If you’re tight on time then here’s a guide to help you work your way around Falmouth’s delights. You’ll have to pick and choose your favourites – whether you’d rather go for a full day of browsing the boutiques or a leisurely stroll and an ice cream on the beach is down to you. I’m just the tour guide. Take a deep breath. Here we go…

If you’re visiting in season then I’d recommend sampling what my rudimentary research tells me is the UK’s only park and float service (yes, you heard me right). It costs £12 to park for the whole day for two passengers (£16 for up to seven) and that includes a return trip on a classic ferry, which will take you right into the heart of the town at Customs House Quay.

From here turn right to experience the delightful old high street with a plethora of independent shops including a wonderful selection of antique and curio shops where there’s always a deal to be had. My best haul here was when purchasing vintage teapots for my wedding – I managed to negotiate and picked up five beauties for the princely sum of £25! This part of town has it’s own character and is a fabulous place to start any shopping expedition. Step into a bygone era of French Parisian furniture and Annie Sloaned one-offs at Sweetpea and Betty. You can attend workshops on how to upcycle your furniture – or buy it ready done by Mary, Tricia and their support crew of experts. Don’t forget to say hi to Yolo the dog.

If you visit off season then try parking at or on street around the Princess Pavilion – it’s free, makes a great first stop on your discovery tour, and puts you in a great position between the town and the beach. Stop a while and admire the Edwardian bandstand, secret tunnels, shell grottos and amazing floral displays at Gyllyngdune Gardens – you’ll find this tropical oasis at the back of the venue. Drop down through the gardens and you’ll find yourself on the beach. Turn right for a lovely walk along the shore – and pop into Gylly Beach café for refreshment and amazing views of Pendennis Castle and the Lizard. If you want, you can carry on pas the café along the South West Coast path, or retrace your steps back to the Pavilion and then make your way into town (cross the road behind and make your way down Avenue Road towards town.

There are lots of great seafood eateries located around Discovery Quay and you’ll also find the National Maritime Museum here. Keep heading along the road and there are plenty of bars on your left and if you keep going you’ll eventually reach the lifestyle mecca that is Willow and Stone. Packed to the rafters with cool kitsch and vintage-inspired household goods this is an Aladdin's cave of home good and gifts and I almost always come away with some knick knack or other. The shop itself is a work of art and you’ll find Farrow and Ball paints, a delectable selection of period doorknobs and ironmongery and some amazing prints and stationery.

Gentlemen might want to stop off for a wet shave (with a beer) at Black Dog, a hipster haircut salon on Church Street owned by Guy, son of a Navajo Indian and a chap from Croydon, born in Calgary (ask him about it).

If, like me, you love books then an independent bookshop is like manna from heaven

Falmouth Bookseller is another of Falmouth's hidden gems. If, like me, you love books then an independent bookshop is like manna from heaven – a rare and beautiful thing – and this one is one of the best. Oh yes! If you love a book and a beer then, if you have time after the bookseller, keep going down Church Street and find the little side alley that leads to the Courtyard Deli (got time for tapas?) and Beerwolf Books- a pub bookshop. It’s a freehouse so the beer selection is amazing (they even have milk stout!) And they sell books. I’ll leave it at that – you’re either in or you’re not. I am a big fan. So is Tim Burgess, Twitter told me so.

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