Taking a Breath in Falmouth

Written by Ellie Clifford  |


So, we’re well into the Autumn term now. Freshers’ is behind us, deadlines are looming for most (if they haven’t arrived already), and flip flop season is over for even the most die-hard beachwear lovers. At this time of year, as the realities of what your degree is demanding of you set in, it is important to find a work-life balance. Yes, that phrase that seemed an alien concept when your parents talk about it, or when you read it on that Cosmopolitan cover in the newsagents’, is something that is often overlooked at university. Making time for yourself to close your laptop, switch off from work, and step away from your desk is important to maintain your physical and mental health.

Now being in third year, there’s one thing I’ve found that has really helped me take my mind off work: going out for a walk. I find that being able to get into the countryside, even if just for an hour or so, gives me the time and space to clear the essay-shaped cobwebs out of my brain and reset myself; helping me to feel just a bit more human. With this in mind, I’ve put together a list of my top three places to go to around Falmouth, for anyone who needs a breath of air that isn’t from the library vents. All of these places are accessible from Penryn Campus and from Falmouth, so you don’t need a car to get away from it all for a bit.

Whether you’re a first year still working out your ASDA budget, a second year realising that stuff actually counts this year, or a third year who’s already had dissertation cold sweats, these are places that I recommend giving a try if you need some time out:


1. College Reservoir and Argal Reservoir, Penryn



This one’s the best for anyone on campus. A short walk from the library is College Reservoir, which has a footpath running the whole way around. It takes about an hour to do the full loop, but you can walk as much or as little of the lake as you like. The path is usually fairly quiet but you’re bound to meet a few dog walkers, which for me is a bonus. It’s great if you need a walk and a gossip with your friends, or if you want some quiet time to yourself with only your very dodgy guilty pleasure playlists for company (just me?). If you’re in the mood for a snack after your walk, by following the path at the end of the lake you can reach Argal Reservoir, where you will find Good Vibes’ rural cousin, the Wild Vibes Café. With coffee, cake, and sandwiches, it’s a great place to pause at the end of your walk before heading home.


2. Pendennis Point, Falmouth



You’ve definitely seen it from Gylly Beach, and you’ve almost certainly taken a well angled Instagram story snap of it to show off to all your home friends that went to city Universities, but have you ever walked up it? What I like about Pendennis is that you can walk from either side with ease. So if you do this walk regularly you can change it up slightly each time. This one takes less time than College Reservoir, and is easily accessible once you’re in town.

From town, it’s easiest to walk up the hill on the pathway that runs above the Naval ships, and then along the headland until you reach Pendennis Point, just below the castle (really, you can’t miss it). Once you get up there you can spend as much or as little time as you like admiring the view over to Flushing and St. Mawes on the left, and towards Gylly Beach on the right. There are loads of picnic benches up here, so if it’s not tipping it down (no guarantee, it’s Cornwall), you can stop for a while. Afterwards, if you head down the other side of the headland, you’ll find yourself on Falmouth seafront.


3. Gylly Beach to Maenporth, Falmouth



This one is easily my favourite. For this walk, start at Gylly beach and head towards Swanpool on the coastal path. If you’re pressed for time you can stop here, but if you want to go further you can carry on following the coastal path from Swanpool over to Maenporth. I love this walk because of the views you get over the ocean on the way out, and towards Falmouth on your way back in. The Gylly-Maenporth walk is definitely the longest – at around two hours there and back – but the glimpses of the ocean that you see from the path and the ability to enjoy three beaches along the way make it really special. On this walk particularly, I love taking the time to stop somewhere along the path and take a few deep breaths.  

This walk is great to go on with a friend or a group, but I often find that I enjoy it most when I go solo; using the time to get my head out of whatever cloud is concerning me that day and ground myself in what’s important. All whilst looking at some of the best scenery that Falmouth has to offer.

So, those are my three recommended walks in and around Falmouth that are great to take when you need a break from your work. These are the routes and walk lengths that work well for me, but it’s important to remember that it doesn’t matter how far you walk, how many calories you burn, or how long you’re walking for. The walks I’ve pointed out are fairly long, but you can (and should) walk just as much as you want to, and not a step more. What’s important is taking the time while you’re walking to really step away from any work stress that you have, and take the time to breathe in the fresh air. And whatever it is you’re doing, to take time for yourself and take your mind off work.