Falmouth’s largest and most popular beach, Gyllyngvase Beach is a golden crescent of sand with stunning views out along the South Cornwall coast and up to Pendennis Castle.
Contacts and Links
Address: Gyllyngvase Beach, Cliff Road, Falmouth, Cornwall, TR11 4NA
Gyllyngvase is highly-regarded as one of Cornwall's best family-friendly beaches. Its soft, pale sands are ideal for digging and building sandcastles, while shelter from the worst of the wind provides a calm experience in the water, with lifeguards on duty throughout the summer months. Head to the south end of the beach to explore numerous rock pools, home to shrimp, winkles, crabs and even the odd lobster.
For lovers of beautiful scenery, there’s stacks to do near Gyllyngvase Beach. Just behind the beach are the well-kept Queen Mary Gardens, which are home to lush subtropical plants such as Agapanthus and the giant-leafed Gunnera. Gyllyngvase Beach also connects to the south-west coastal path, which loops up to Pendennis Point for some spectacular views of the castle and back down to Carrick Roads and the River Fal.
Gyllyngvase Beach was the winner of a Blue Flag Award in 2022, which celebrates the commitment to environment, water quality, and safety of the beach—it is only one of eight beaches in Cornwall to have received the award this year.
Gyllyngvase Beach's History
Affectionately called Gylly Beach by locals, there is some ambiguity over the origin for Gyllyngvase Beach’s full name. It is most likely that the word Gyllyngvase is derived from the Cornish phrase “an gilen vas,” meaning the shallow inlet.
There is, however, some suggestion that the name may have come from “Gyllyngdune,” meaning “William’s Hill,” which refers to Henry I’s eldest son, who died in 1126 after his ship wrecked off the coast of Normandy.
In 1985, the mile-long sea wall at Gyllyngvase Beach was built following a number of powerful storms, and remains standing to this day.
In more recent times, the Russian bulk carrier MV Kuzma Minin ran aground here in 2018, though it was refloated the same day.
Filled with beach activities and only ten minutes from Falmouth town centre, Gyllyngvase Beach is the perfect destination for days both lazy and action-packed.
Plan your trip
Everything you need to know about getting to Gyllyngvase Beach.
Gyllyngvase Beach, Cliff Road, Falmouth, Cornwall, TR11 4NA
There is a pay and display car park behind the beach on Queen Mary Road. This car park can also be paid for with the JustPark app, and is free from November to March. Alternatively, there is roadside parking along Cliff Road.
The U1 and U1A lines carry buses between Truro and Falmouth, though their terminating stop in Falmouth is a ten minute walk from Gyllyngvase Beach. The U4 line carries buses between Penzance and Falmouth, making stops in Porthleven and Helston among others on the way.
Falmouth Town Station is a ten minute walk from Gyllyngvase Beach. The station sits on the Maritime Line, which carries trains between Truro and Falmouth.
Everything else you might need to know about Gyllyngvase Beach.View all
Dogs are banned from the beach between May 15th and September 30th, between the hours of 10am and 6pm (2022). Dogs are welcome at all other times.
There are public toilets located just behind Gyllyngvase Beach, towards its north end. They are open between 9am and 5pm every day.
There is a pay and display car park not far behind the beach on Queen Mary Road. It is free from November to March.
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