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Falmouth International Sea Shanty Festival 2016


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Got something to complain about at work? Then book an appointment to see the boss, pop it in an email or moan to Human Resources. Back in the days of packet ships, clipper ships, and shrinking crews you quickly compiled a shanty and bellowed it out to sea. And remember, well before you could work, or work-out, to a selection of tunes downloaded to your iPhone, you set your pace to the rhythm of the sea shanty.

Life at sea for the crew of the merchant vessel could be long, hard and quite often monotonous. Sea shanties were composed and employed to keep morale and the pace up and get the job done. Shanties weren’t composed for the Atlantic top 100 and it was less about tune and more about boom! If you could reach the top of the rigging or get heard above a ferocious sea chances were you would get the lead as the, ‘Shantyman’.

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Falmouth International Sea Shanty Festival 

June 17th – June 19th 2016

 

The, ‘Falmouth Sea Shanty Festival’, employ the shanty to raise money for our RNLI. Funded entirely by charitable donations the RNLI are on call 24 hours a day 365 days a year. They are dragged from their sleeping slumber at all hours and more often than not after a full days work. They miss family days together, school plays, anniversaries and even Christmas dinner all so we can be safe at sea. They can be gone for hours or even days at a time and for not one penny of pay. Sounds like they have something to shanty about!

So this year as you enjoy a shanty or two performed by a choice of 61 groups across 26 venues remember why they are there. Oh and if you see a big red headed maid, who looks a bit like a ships mast head, shaking a bucket, please feel free to throw a few coins in.

Cornish legend Betty Stogs supports the RNLI and the Falmouth Sea Shanty festival

…..Oh,  one random fact that you may want to throw out there at dinner tonight……

Sea shanties were never used by the Navy, no, Navy sailors followed orders made by the Bosun’s Whistle. When not in work or between orders sailors put their rope and knot skills to good use working at local theaters. It made sense for them to slip into the familiar work rhythm of communicating with whistles. Even after this practice ended it remained tradition NOT to whistle in a theater for fear of finding a prop or curtain dropped on your head!

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Bio Blitz 2016 at Tremough


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Looking for a fun way to spend the day? Want to learn more about our wonderful Cornish wildlife? Join the knowledgeable staff and students at Tremough, Penryn to explore and survey the wildlife around Penryn campus on Saturday 21st May from 10am-5pm. This FREE event is open to all ages and is brilliant for families who are looking for entertainment with an educational focus!

Activities will include nature walks, small mammal trapping, treasure hunts, moth trapping and many more. Enjoy the raffle with amazing prizes, make your own wildlife at the arts and craft stalls, get your face painted and have a jump on the bouncy castle! Wildlife and charity organisations from all over Cornwall will be on hand with loads of exciting stalls, activities and opportunities for you to get involved. Food and drink will be available to buy from a range of local suppliers, and in the shops on campus.

This is the fifth annual BioBlitz and following the success of the previous events, this year’s is set to be spectacular!

To sign up for early morning or late evening events such as bird ringing and bat walks, please email bioblitz.penryn@gmail.com in advance to register.

Please note that children must be accompanied by an adult, parent or guardian to attend these events. And that the event will be filmed by the University.

BioBlitz is being funded by the University of Exeter and EcoSoc (one of the university’s student led societies).

Join the event on Facebook: ‘BioBlitz Tremough 2016’

Venue: Penryn Campus, Penryn, TR10 9EZ.  The campus is just off the Treliever roundabout on A39, then follow the signs to the BioBlitz. 

Free car parking will be available.

BioBlitz Poster

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Visit Falmouth Beaches


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Falmouth is surrounded by refreshing open spaces perfect for picnicking, playing and exploring. Plus, you never know, there is always the possibility of catching a glimpse of our most recent Cornish monster, ‘Morgawr’.
There are four main beaches in and around Falmouth and if you want to avoid sand in your picnic then there are several equally beautiful public gardens and green areas.
If you are feeling energetic and enjoy a reasonably level walk then it is possible to follow the coastal path from Castle Beach to Maenporth Beach in one day. At low tide, it is possible to follow the rocks and for the more experienced coasteering is an option.

Castle Beach

Nestled in a corner of Falmouth’s headland under the watchful eye of Pendennis castle is the sheltered and pretty Castle Beach. This is a real family beach enjoyed by many locals. At low tide rockpools and WW2 submarines are exposed creating a wealth of exploration opportunities while the remaining sandy areas are perfect for sitting and admiring the stunning view of the bay. During summer months, this beach is perfect for watching all the regatta racing and there is always the chance a pod of dolphins will pass by.

There is limited roadside parking above the beach with a slipway for launching kayaks, canoes and dinghy’s. Toilets are open from Easter through to October and are supervised by the beach cafe. Castle Beach Cafe is open during the Summer months, (please check their site for opening times), offering hot and cold food and drinks, ice-cream, beach equipment, toys and beach hut hire.
At low tide, it is possible to walk along the beach and rocks on to Gyllyngvase Beach or, at high tide, along the footpath above the beach.

Gyllyngvase Beach

Very popular among visitors to Falmouth, this award winning beach is crescent shaped and always sandy. Situated close to the road and adjacent to a large car-park this is an easy access beach for the disabled. There is a ‘Sand Chair’, available to assist with entering the water and maneuvering on the beach. Please call (01326)312884 in advance as booking is essential.
The beach is blue flag status, recognised for water quality, environmental qualities and facilities. RNLI Lifeguards operate between May and September and are easily identifiable from their central location.

The Council run toilets are open all year round and regularly checked. The ‘Gylly Beach’, cafe, also open all year round, offers a diverse menu plus regular evening entertainment. During summer months, ice-creams and beach equipment can be purchased from a kiosk run by the beach cafe. ‘Gylly’, beach is the only beach in Falmouth to offer the popular activity of paddle boarding that is managed by Wesup Paddleboarding Centre based on the beach.
From the beach, you can explore the adjacent Queen Mary Gardens that were opened in 1912 to commemorate the Queen’s coronation. The garden is well stocked with tropical and native plants. The magnificent Gunnera are popular among the children for hiding among although be warned there are marshy ponds beneath most of them!
From the gardens or the beach you can follow a coastal footpath on to Swanpool beach admiring the truly stunning views along the way.

Swanpool Beach

What Swanpool beach lacks in size it more than makes up for with shelter, view and entertainment. A mix of sand and shingle with plenty of low and high rocks for kids big and small to practise their rock climbing. This beach is not patrolled by lifeguards however, along with Castle beach, it is one of the safest beaches for swimming.

This is also the home base for Elemental UK watersports center. With plenty of watersport activities and trained instructors available to coach you. The layout of the cove makes it the ideal location for novice rowers and windsurfers to build up their confidence while more experienced sea goers can explore further afield.

Maenporth Beach

Maenporth is another lovely beach near Falmouth to explore and picnic on. Stunning views and sandy shores make this a perfect beach for everyone.
There are rockpools to explore and rock faces to traverse and when the tide is low the wreck of the freezer trawler, ‘Ben Asdale’, to discover.

A salt water stream running through the beach ensures that even when the tide takes the sea far out there is somewhere for you to paddle. Younger children will spend hours building dams in the stream, a skill that is passed on through the generations here in Cornwall! Plus, look out for the spooky cave!
‘Lifes a Beach’, cafe is well stocked with beach toys and equipment, a varied menu and a huge ice-cream menu!
At the end of a busy beach day, you can watch the evening draw in from the setting of, ‘The Cove Bar & Restaurant‘. Situated directly behind the beach this well-known restaurant has a menu packed full of local Cornish produce with an ever-changing specials menu.
The beach is accessible via the coastal footpath taken from Swanpool beach, by road and there are buses available from Falmouth Moor.
Charged parking is available on the beach and during busier seasons spaces are made available on land opposite the beach.
Toilets are situated behind the cafe adjacent to the beach.
There is no lifeguard in operation on this beach.

NB Visit Falmouth want you to have a great time exploring our coastline but please remember to always check the tide times before heading off, carry a phone and let someone know where you are going. The sea is beautiful but unpredictable too.
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Falmouth High Street


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There is no denying that Falmouth has perhaps one too many hills’s to climb but, it’s fair to say they are all worth climbing! For example, the climb up to the viewing area above the docks not only gives you the vantage point to see what goes on in the busy shipyard but you also get a panoramic view of the harbour, back across the Town, up the carrick roads, across to St Mawes and did we mention there is, more often than not, an ice-cream van parked up?

Climb to the top of Jacobs ladder and you will get a great view over and across Falmouth Moor, climb up to Sea View terrace and get another great view of our historic harbour, climb up Falmouth High Street and you will see some of the Town’s oldest and listed buildings that are now home to some great businesses.

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Antiques, clothes, cakes, hairdresser’s and restaurants are just a few of the many offerings packed into one street and an old brewery yard.

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The original street, developed in the C17th was called, ‘Ludgate Hill’. At the top, the congregational chapel still stands but has passed through several guises.  Purpose built as a chapel in 1705 the building was then bought by the Killigrews and became the Town hall around 1725. It was also used as a courthouse and in 1884 was the scene of a trial that saw two sailors tried, and acquitted, for eating a cabin boy when their ship sank and they were cast adrift. Thankfully such moments in history are long gone and the building is now home to and art gallery. It is worth popping in to see the gallery and of course, get an idea of the buildings history.

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A little way down the hill is Barracks Ope. From here you can look down and imagine the famous Cutty Sark anchored in the harbour below where it was moored between 1923 and 1928.

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The mid section of the high street was destroyed in 1862 by one of the largest fires recorded in Cornwall, resulting in 400 people being made homeless. Believe it or not, the narrow street we see today is actually 10 feet wider than it was prior to rebuilding after the blaze.

The high street has gone through several changes, adaptations and modifications over the years and as you walk to the top of the high street you will see one of the most obvious examples. The archway, although designed to look older was in fact only added by Peter de Savary in the late 80’s early 90’s. De Savary is possibly better known for founding, Pendennis Shipyard in 1988.

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Aside from all the wonderful shops and old buildings to see along the way, this hill has one other wonderful reason for climbing……

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Do you have a favourite vantage point when you visit Falmouth?

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Place’s to explore when you visit Falmouth


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While there are plenty of sights and activities to fill your visit to Falmouth, the town is also the perfect location for exploring many beautiful areas and attractions in Cornwall. Here are three more places’s to explore when you visit Falmouth.

Poldhu Cove Beach is a west facing sandy beach on the Lizard Peninsula. Managed by the National Trust and situated within an area of outstanding natural beauty, this pretty beach is the perfect base for swimming, surfing and sandcastle building.

From the beach, you can take a walk up the hill to the Marconi centre and monument, to learn about the first trans-Atlantic radio signal sent in 1901. The high vantage point offers views around the coast as far as Mounts Bay and Penzance, on a clear day of course.

Surf classes are run from the beach during the Summer season and the well stocked and friendly Poldhu Beach Cafe is open for 363 days of the year.

Take the main turning from Helston to the Lizard and follow the signposts to Poldhu alternatively, you can take the 37 bus from Falmouth Moor.


Kynance Cove another west-facing beach on the Lizard Peninsula, has been the inspiration for artists, authors and photographers for many years and when you visit you will understand why. The cliff tops offer a stunning panoramic view of colours. From the pinks, blues and amber changing the sky, clear turquoise sea to the rich green landscape washed in yellow gorse. Spectacular rock formations, rugged cliffs, and stacks that glint of red and green serpentine.

When the tide is out the beach becomes a paradise of white sand and crystal clear water with every chance of seeing seals, dolphins and basking shark, (no they won’t eat you!). Kynance is a popular beach, in fact, evidence of its popularity as far back as the Victorians is reflected in the cave names, ‘The Parlour’, ‘The Drawing Room’, and ‘The Ladies Bathing Pool’.

Kynance Cove Cafe is an eco cafe and the first National Trust property to be fitted with PV tiles that generate enough electricity to make 45,550 cups of tea a year.

The car park is situated above the cove and is a bit of a trek down to the beach but the views make it an extremely pleasant walk.

As with Poldhu, exit the main road from Helston to the Lizard and follow the sign posts to Kynance.


If you are looking for a mix of retail, dining, craft and Cornish mining history then a trip to the Cornwall Gold and Tolgus Tin Mill is a good choice.

Situated among the tin mining landscape of Redruth, Cornwall Gold has something for everyone to enjoy. You can watch experienced jewellery makers as they craft exquisite pieces and then shop for your own or gifts to take home. The children will enjoy panning for gold, making their own bears, painting pottery or playing crazy golf.

You can explore the Tolgus Tin Mill, a designated heritage site and only remaining one of its kind in Cornwall. A tour of the mill will show you how tin streaming and tin ore recovered from the stream, that runs through the park is smelted on-site to create some of the beautiful Cornish jewellery you can buy on site.

After a busy morning, afternoon or day exploring all Cornwall Gold has to offer, you can relax and enjoy a meal of Cornish produce and recipes prepared by their award winning chef, Ricky Fox, at the Cornwall Pantry Restaurant.

Find Tolgus Mill, Nr Redruth, Cornwall, TR16 4HN. Parking and admission are free and open all year round.


 

Have you got a favourite place you like to go to when you visit Falmouth?

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Visit the Christmas Tree Festival in Falmouth


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If you haven’t had the chance to visit the Christmas tree festival at the ‘All Saints’, church in Falmouth yet, do. For the last ten year’s the team that organise the festival have done a wonderful job of making the church the perfect place to visit over the festive season.  They also make a lovely hot chocolate and mince pie too! Sadly this looks like the last year they will be running the festival so another reason why you should take a look when you visit Falmouth.

Here is just a few of the many beautiful Christmas trees decorated by local schools, groups, organisations and businesses.

Have you seen the tree’s? Did you pick a favourite?

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Falmouth Christmas Lights 2015


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Another wonderful Christmas light switch on in Falmouth with wonderful singing and delicious food and drink. Thank you to everyone who made this such a wonderful evening despite the weather.

 

images © Pip Carlton-Barnes
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Visit Falmouth at Christmas


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If you are planning to visit Falmouth at Christmas then you are looking forward to a magical time. There are festive workshops, events, theatre, markets, late night shopping and dining to ensure your holiday is packed full of great memories. The list of things to do when you visit Falmouth is endless but to get you started here is a taster of a few to add to your itinerary.

Workshops & Activities

Lantern Making at Princess Pavilion – 29th November, 9.45am £5 per lantern

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Make your own willow withy lantern with the guidance of an experience artist. You can then take it home or if you are in Falmouth on December 3rd why not join in with the Christmas lantern parade.

 

 

Christmas Wrapping Paper making with Outlaw at Falmouth Art Gallery – 12th December, 10.30am – FREE

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Create funky wrapping paper with the clever drawing machine then take it home and give someone a special gift wrapped present this year. Outlaw workshops are very popular so BOOK NOW to avoid missing out.

 

 

 

Nordic Noel at National Maritime Museum – 19th December – 3rd January, 12 – 3.30pm – FREE with museum entrance ticket 

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Make your own festive fare including a Viking yule goat and discover interesting customs from Nordic nations, at Cornwall’s award winning maritime museum.

 

 

 

Events & Entertainment

Christmas lights switch on  & Lanter Parade – Events Square – 3rd December – 5.30pm

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Follow the beautiful lanterns and cheerful chatter as the children and local groups move through the town to the Moor in time for the Christmas lights switch on at 7pm.

If you made a lantern at the Princess Pavilion workshop why not join the parade!

 

 

 

Scrooge – a contemporary Christmas carol at Princess Pavilion – 13th December – 2pm & 5pm – £8

11340_JzDS9bA modern twist on a classic Christmas tale performed by Cornwall Dance School. Follow Evan Scrooge through a haunted  journey of greed and fame until finally he learns He can’t change the past, but can he live, love and dance in the present and change his fate for the future. BOOK NOW to avoid missing this great show.

Carols in the garden at Princess Pavilion – 16th December 7pm,  £3 to include a glass of mulled wine

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Enjoy an evening of mulled wine and festive carols with Illumination Brass in the beautiful Victorian gardens of the pavilion. BOOK NOW to reserve your place.

 

 

 

Christmas Carnival – Brewery Yard – 1pm start

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Everyone is invited to get dressed up for Christmas a join the carnival! Meeting at Brewery Yard on the high street at 12.45pm the carnival moves through the town to Events Square.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Harmony Choir leaving from the  Watersports Centre – 24th December – 10.30am

visit_falmouth_harmony_choirFollow this 115 year old Christmas eve tradition as the Harmony Choir sings throughout the town. Leaving the Watersports centre the choir moves along the main street finishing at 1pm at the Moor. This is an event you must not miss when you visit Falmouth at Christmas.

 

 

Markets & Shopping

Late night shopping in Falmouth starts on December 3rd and continues on 10th & 17th, participating shops remain open until 8pm and includes the Christmas market at the Old Brewery Yard on the High Street.

Poly Christmas Market – 30th November – 24th December (excluding Sundays) – 10am – 7pm & 10 – 8pm on Thursdays.

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A variety of Christmas gifts, decorations and produce created by local makers and artisans all set in the historic and stunning Poly exhibition hall.

 

 

 

Outlaw Christmas Market – The Moor – 10th – 12th December 11am- 5pm & 8pm on the Thursday

visit_falmouth_outlaw_market_2015A gathering of 38 of Cornwall and Devon’s best artisan craft, food and drink producers Live music, craft demonstrations, kid’s stuff, festive food and more. The perfect place to do your Christmas shopping or get some inspiration! Did we mention the real reindeer making an appearance in the Thursday?

This is only a handful of things to do when you visit Falmouth over the Christmas period. You can find a full list by clicking…….here.

If you are looking for great holiday accommodation then don’t forget to check out our accommodation listings…..here.

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Exploring the Helford #Part3


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Helford Village is situated on the south bank of the river. It may be peaceful today but at one time this village was bustling with a thriving trade in Rum, Tobacco and lace, in fact trade was so good a customs house was built and of course the port was a regular haunt for pirates and smugglers.

Walking around the village it is easy to see how authors and artists have had their imaginations turned on by it’s history, scenery and architecture.

The best way to arrive at the village is via the Helford ferry, this will offer you the chance to take in the wonder of the river. The passenger ferry runs from the Ferryboat Inn at the Helford Passage.

Alternatively you can arrive by car and park in the Helford Village Car-Park. The journey takes around 45 minutes from Falmouth.

 

What are your favourite places around the Helford?

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Exploring the Helford #Part2


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The story goes that shipwrecked Normans, driven to the shore of Gillan Creek in the C12th, vowed to St Anthony that if they were saved they would build a church in his name. The church was built, using fine grained granite not found in Cornwall but found in Normandy and so gives credibility to the story.

One of five parishes that makes up that part of the Lizard Penninsula known as, ‘Meneage’, translated as, ‘the land of monks’. Gillan Creek sits under the headland of, ‘Dennis Head’, where ancient entrenchments possibly dating back to Celtic days can still be seen. Dennis can be correctly pronounced as, ‘Dinas‘, meaning fortress and it was this fortress and entrenchments that were occupied by Royalists during the Civil War. Along with Pendennis Castle in Falmouth and St Michaels mount in Marizion the Dendis Fort was one of the last in Cornwall to be surrendered to Sir Thomas Fairfax in 1646.

The Parish FEAST held on the Sunday nearest to the 26th of December each year is known as, ‘Piggy Feast’, as the emblem of St Anthony is the pig. All children born in the parish are called, ‘St Anthony Pigs’.

Look for the old, ‘whipping post’, alongside the church and the chain where the old stocks used to stand.

You can also hire boats, kayaks and motor boats from Sailaway boat hire and there is a beautiful well stocked shore side shop serving delicious ice-creams!

Start your walk by parking in the Helford Car-Park @ TR12 6JX, walk on down through the woodland, around the headland of St Dennis and on to St Anthony in Meneage. The walk is around 5 miles, part narrow road, track paths with moderate but not too steep climbs.

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If you missed Exploring the Helford #Part1 you can find it >>HERE<<

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