Making the short crossing over the Penryn River on Freddy the Ferry – made famous by the children’s books of the same name – is a bracing start to any winter walk, and perfect for shaking off any Christmas excesses.
In less than five minutes, you leave the buzz of Falmouth behind for the stillness of Flushing, a small village perched on the water’s edge, before rounding the frosty cliff-tops and descending to the beach.
Walk up Flushing Quay and take a right along Trefusis Road. You will pass an eclectic clutch of handsome village houses, from tiny cottages to old sea captains’ residences, standing grand with views across the water to Falmouth.
Climb up the hill and round the bend, passing Flushing Sailing Club on your right. The sharp left turn leads up to the Bowling Green play area – a wonderful place to survey Falmouth’s many landmarks. The sea unfolds on the right, with Falmouth’s stately docks rising into the sky.
The road eventually becomes a footpath, taking you past the shed housing Flushing’s gig boat, and through a small wooded area that emerges on to the coastal path, flanked by the expansive Carrick Roads on the right. In the distance you can see the Roseland Peninsula.
As you skirt the cliff-top, your eye – and thoughts – will continually be drawn to the sea, with its ever-changing colours and moods. The distant waves are often littered with the billowing sails of boats, forming quite a spectacle.
Life at the harbour
Nearing Mylor, you can either drop down on to the beach (tide permitting) or continue on the path past Restronguet Sailing Club (where Britain’s gold medal-winning sailor Ben Ainslie learnt his trade). A little further on you will come to Castaways – a pricey but pleasant wine bar/café that welcomes dogs – and Café Mylor, a good value eatery serving Cornish roasted coffee and excellent sandwiches.
Huddle indoors or wrap up and sit on the terrace watching as harbour life unfolds.
Pretty as a picture
Revitalised, keep the sea on your right and turn left through the picture-book St Mylor Churchyard. Climb the steps up to the lych gate and turn left, following Penarrow Road up the hill, to a public footpath signpost on the left.
Climb over the stone wall
and follow the path around
the field before crossing the cattle grid at Trefusis Barton Farm, a 400-acre working farm. Turn right through a gate to a second field.
Bear left and cross over the cattle stile, following the right-hand hedge into the next field. Continue downhill and follow the footpath to join Kersey Road, leading you into Flushing, where Freddy will escort you back across the water.
HOW TO GET THERE
From Exeter, follow the A30, then take the left fork at Carland Cross onto the A39, following it through to Falmouth. Regular trains service Falmouth Town station from Truro.
FIND OUT MORE
Castaways Wine Bar
Mylor Harbour, Falmouth
Perfect for a late lunch or cream tea. Dogs are welcome inside, too. (Closed on Mondays and Tuesdays in December and January).
The Greenbank Hotel
Cornwall TR11 2SR
Even if you can’t afford the Master Suite, a stay at Falmouth’s oldest hotel, overlooking the Fal Estuary, is worth every penny.
National Maritime Museum Cornwall
Discovery Quay, Falmouth,
Cornwall TR11 3QY
There’s plenty here to entertain even the most stubborn landlubbers. You can even view Ben Ainslie’s gold medal-winning boat, Rita.
OS Landranger 84
Grid reference: NY 019 653