Updated: Jul 9, 2021
At Falmouth Uncovered we’re mainly concerned with introducing visitors to historical Falmouth with our walking tours, but we do also like ‘uncovering’ some of the best aspects of the modern town — especially when it comes to the pubs. Falmouth boasts many excellent boozers, taprooms and watering holes, but which are a must-visit?
It’s a tough question, but here are our favourite sources of pinty goodness.
Despite a somewhat questionable name (the view is technically of a river estuary, not the sea!), the Seaview Inn is a pub that deserves your appreciation. It’s a cheerful traditional boozer with a great pub grub offering; the food is always plentiful, reasonably priced and good quality, and there’s also an impressive array of veggie options.
Best for? Satisfying pub grub. Expect to sit back and contently rub your tummy afterwards.
Outdoor seating? Loads — there are some benches out front and a sizeable beer garden out back.
Historical? Yep — the building is the oldest on the street and has been a pub since the 1800s.
In 2017 The Times declared Beerwolf to be the coolest pub in the entire country. If that doesn’t grab your attention, what will? It’s a pub that combines things: historical atmosphere with modern-day quirk, daytime cafe culture with evening ale swigging, the sale of booze with the sale of books.
Books? Indeed. Beerwolf has a (well-stocked and reasonably priced) bookshop inside. There is something rather natural about enjoying some high-quality beer and then browsing through their selection, but be warned — it’s very hard not to buy at least three books when you have alcohol in your bloodstream.
Best for? Originality and arty charm. You won’t forget your visit.
Outdoor seating? Not much — a couple of picnic benches in the courtyard out front.
Historical? Intensely — Beerwolf and its neighbouring building are some of the oldest in Falmouth.
The Boathouse also boasts some notable acclaim, winning as it did ‘Pub of the Year’ in a national award in 2019. It’s the ultimate pub all-rounder: ideal location, good food, characterful interior. The view is arguably the best from any pub in Falmouth, and there’s an outdoor courtyard for those who like making the most of sunny days and/or lowering the risk of contracting COVID.
Best for? Good food with a great view.
Outdoor seating? A decent amount.
Historical? No doubt — the pub is about three hundred years old.
The Seven Stars is not a trendy pub… and that’s a very good thing. By not joining the family-focused gastropub trend of the last few decades it remains a wholly traditional boozer dedicated to conversation, community and pleasant hours of pint-inspired reflection. The interior should be a tourist attraction in its own right: there are Victorian elements everywhere, including a white marble counter (once a dedicated ‘oyster bar’), and some actual working gas lights.
The Seven Stars has a loyal following, and that’s largely due to the ownership — the same family have had the pub since 1853.
Best for? Meeting locals and seeking refuge from the hustling & bustling of modern life.
Outdoor seating? Yes, there’s a dedicated area in the square out front.
Historical? Yes, and without rival! The pub claims to be the oldest in town, dating back to 1660, which is before Falmouth had even received a town charter.
Chain Locker is located in Falmouth’s maritime heart right on Custom House Quay, and is notable for two main reasons: the historical pedigree of the building itself and the quantity of outdoor seating on the quayside. Many thousands of visitors, seafarers and landlubbers alike, have passed through its doors over the centuries, and it’s likely that you will too at some point. The pub also serves Trelawny ale, of which we’re particularly fond.
Best for? Drinking/eating somewhere connected to the sea.
Outdoor seating? Yes. Chain Locker probably has the most outdoor seating of any pub in Falmouth, right out on the quay.
Historical? Indeed! Chain Locker is a strong contender for the most historically rich public house in Falmouth. It dates back to the 1660s, and the wood and stone that make it up have been soaked with sailors’ voices (and much else besides) ever since.
If you were to stop a passing local person and ask them to name their favourite local pub there’s a good chance you’d hear these two syllables in response — The Front. Why? Well, it’s a cosy cellar of a pub that gathers the various tribes of Falmouth: the raggedy old blokes with beards, the contented boaties, the baby-faced students, the relaxing tourists, the lifelong Cornish, the vegan buskers, and the real ale connoisseurs. It has a casual, accepting atmosphere that makes you feel that you belong, and a striking array of well-kept ales. Food isn’t served, but you’re allowed to bring in your own (the Harbour Lights fish & chip shop is located directly above the pub).
Fun fact: Our Will was inspired to buy his first musical instrument by a conversation he had in the men’s toilets at The Front. It’s a bit of a long story.
Best for? Understanding the place that Falmouth is.
Outdoor seating? Yep, there’s a decent number of picnic tables outside, with a great view of the harbour. The pub’s atmosphere is to be found inside though.
Historical? Amazingly The Front is the least historical pub on the list! But somehow we don’t even mind.
In 1662 a chap visited Falmouth and wrote that the town had ‘now become a great place… it consists largely of ale houses’, and it’s clear that things haven’t changed much since. There are many other terrific pubs we haven’t mentioned here, so don’t be constrained — follow your curiosity and see what else you can find.
If you’re interested in properly exploring the Falmouth of centuries past, why not come on one of our walking tours? We run them throughout the week and currently have a perfect 5* Tripadvisor rating, so you know you’re in for something special. Tickets are available here.