The outdoors

There’s nowhere more beautiful than Cornwall on a sunny day, and the county offers no shortage of footpaths, parks, gardens, and beaches where you can go to enjoy the scenery. Five of the county’s beaches (Porthmeor, Polzeath, Porthminster, Porthtowan, and Falmouth’s own Gyllyngvase) have been awarded Blue Flag status—an international designation recognising the quality of the water and local facilities.

Those who enjoy watersports can take advantage of opportunities provided by Falmouth Bay and the local river as well as the nearby sea. There are a number of beautiful gardens within a few miles of campus, as well as some indoor recreational facilities in case the sea breezes get a bit chilly.

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There are four main beaches in or near Falmouth: Castle, Maenporth, Gyllyngvase, and Swanpool. Castle is a favourite amongst snorkelers and scuba divers who are interested not only in marine life, but also in the WWII wrecks just off the coast. The secluded Maenporth Beach is a short walk away via the scenic Coastal Path, and is home to The Cove restaurant—a favourite for romantic evenings and Sunday roasts. Gyllyngvase and Swanpool are the town’s most popular beaches, and offer opportunities for kayak and paddleboard rental, beach games, swimming, and—in the right conditions—even surfing.

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The Argal and College Reservoirs can be found just outside Penryn. Together, they provide several miles of hiking paths, along which visitors can view an abundance of wildlife. The College Reservoir is a nature reserve, but the Argal is more recreational, with a food kiosk, picnic areas, and several waterside spots perfect for fishing. Closer to the Penryn Campus is Enys Gardens, famed for its lush growth of bluebells in spring. Falmouth has three gardens—Gyllyngdune, Fox Rosehill, and Queen Mary—as well as Kimberley Park. The town’s horticulturalists have won several awards for their beautiful landscaping, which incorporates several rare and unusual species. Each summer, Kimberley Park hosts Parklive, a family-friendly open-air concert series. Trebah Gardens can be found between Famlouth and Maenporth, and offer access not only to shady woodland but also a picturesque shingle beach. Bosvigo Gardens, Trelissick (also accessible via ferry from Falmouth), Trewithen, and Burncoose are located within or near Truro, which also boasts Penrose Water Gardens—the only water garden in all of Cornwall. The city’s main park is Victoria Gardens, located beside the River Kenwyn.

There are several playing fields near the Cornwall Campuses. These include Tresobeas and Dracaena in Falmouth, Glasney in Penryn, and Boscawen in Truro. Cumulatively, these areas offer playgrounds, a BMX track, skateboarding facilities, and sporting space for various ball sports.