Gyllyngvase beach, known locally as Gylly, is the centre of Falmouth’s beach scene. Mixing a cool California-esque beach vibe with some flora that wouldn’t be out of place in the Mediterranean, the awards winning Blue Flag beach is a great place to hunker down for a fun filled beach day. Nestled at the western edge of Falmouth’s oceanfront it’s in a glorious spot for some all day sun and is well sheltered to provide safe swimming waters.
Expect a mixed crowd. Families flock here, it’s a hotspot for wild swimmers and folks launching out into the bay on kayaks and stand-up paddle boards, and it’s also the go-to place for the town’s student crowd, with small groups scattered across the sand on summer evenings barbequing and listening to music. This all makes for a beach that’s lively and bags of fun. Next to the beach are toilets, water sports equipment hire, and a couple of decent cafe including the Gylly Beach Cafe that’s a good choice for a lunch with a lovely view.
Backing onto the beach is the gorgeous Queen Mary gardens which are well worth an excursion into. They were opened in 1912 to commemorate the coronation of Queen Mary, the wife of George V. There’s a variety of sub tropical species on display that thrive in Cornwall’s milder climate. These include Gunnera, Proteas, Agapanthus and Echium.
There’s a large car park behind the beach so access is easy. It’s also only a 10-15 minute walk from town. Dogs are not allowed on Gylly beach between the 15th May and 30th September between 10am and 6pm but it is dog friendly between 1st October and until 14th May when dogs are allowed at any time (2022).