Sport and leisure

Cornwall is visited by an estimated five million tourists each year, and it’s no surprise. Its stunning landscape, extensive coastline, and mild climate make it the perfect destination for visitors looking to reconnect with nature. Though it is, perhaps, best known for its beaches and dramatic seaside cliffs, the county offers plenty of activities for salty dogs and landlubbers alike. Regardless of whether you’re interested in boating, hiking, swimming, supporting the Cornish Pirates, or something else entirely, Cornwall is sure to have something to inspire you to head outdoors during your free time.

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Cornwall has long been a favourite destination of water sports enthusiasts. Falmouth Harbour is popular among cruise ships and sailing crews alike, and there are numerous places in town to rent smaller vessels such as kayaks, canoes, and paddle boards. Visitors can take a ride with local safari companies to look for wildlife—including auks, seals, dolphins, whales, and sharks—along the coast and up the estuary, or book a spot on a recreational fishing vessel. The ferry offers a more relaxed way to experience the Harbour and its tributaries. Alternatively, those looking to immerse themselves more fully can go snorkelling and scuba-diving from bases such as Castle and Swanpool Beach. If you’re keen to get out on or into the water but feel that you lack the necessary skills, you can always join in classes being offered by experts stationed at the Falmouth Watersports Centre, Swanpool Beach, and Gylly Beach. Aberfal Outdoor Pursuits, located between Falmouth and Maenporth, also offers kayaking trips up the nearby Helford River.

The rocky cliffs of Cornwall are perfect for outdoor climbing, coasteering, and cliff jumping; you’ll often see local teenagers congregating at Pendennis Point to take the exhilarating jump into the clear waters below. Those who prefer indoor climbing can head to Penryn’s Granite Planet Climbing Centre, which is just a short walk from the Penryn Campus.

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The South West Coastal Path, which passes right through Falmouth, comprises 630 scenic miles along the Cornish coast. There is also no shortage of bridleways, lanes, and byways perfect for visitors looking to stretch their legs. Favourite trails include those between Falmouth and Maenporth, Maenporth and Mawnan Smith, Falmouth and Penryn, Penryn to Perrandwell, and in the vicinity of Treslissick.