The waterways of the Carrick Roads in South Cornwall, UK, comprise the River Fal and its connected rivers. Falmouth's harbour in the Carrick Roads is the third largest natural harbour in the world, after Sydney and Rio. These waters can be enjoyed by experienced hands and novices a like with a range of services in place to cater for every taste.


The pace of life in Falmouth, the unspoilt waters and stunning scenery all add up to a wonderful place for a boating holiday whether it be sailing or motoring. The numerous creeks leading off from the Carrick Roads offer beautiful and diverse vistas. Of particular note is the sail up the Helford River, from Falmouth Bay to Gweek at the top of the Lizard Peninsula . The sail takes you past oyster beds and sloping fields that roll gently down to the sea, unspoilt by civilisation. This area of outstanding natural beauty not only offers idyllic rural scenery but beautiful golden beaches and access to several spectacular subtropical gardens. Tranquil anchorages abound in this area of the Helford or you can pick up one of the green visitor buoys in the Helford for an overnight stay or a visit to a waterside pub.

It is not just the Helford where you can moor up at one of the delightful pubs; on the eastern side of the Carrick Roads lies Restronguet Creek where you can sail beyond Mylor to the 14th Century Pandora Inn. Here you can observe the abundance of birds and the comings and goings on the water whilst enjoying local seafood delicacies. Restronguet Creek is a tidal ria, a drowned river valley that remains open to the sea and results in an extremely irregular and indented coastline, hence the appeal of this area to sailors since its beauty can only really be appreciated from the sea.

If you want do want to come ashore then why not visit Falmouth. Falmouth's numerous marinas offer easy access to the town, allowing sailors to enjoy all that Falmouth has to offer, whether it be one of the many art galleries displaying contemporary works or a venue showcasing independent films and live bands. The choice is yours!

If you are looking for a bit of culture and heritage the Carrick Roads can also deliver with the National Maritime Museum in Falmouth harbour, Pendennis Castle, St Mawes Castle and various National Trust residences dotted along the coastline.

Further afield

Alternatively you could sail a little further afield, travelling east to Fowey, an estuary which contains one of the largest river catchments in south Cornwall rising from Bodmin moor. On the way to Fowey you can moor up at the quaint fishing village of Mevagissey, the Padstow of the South Coast! Or alternatively spend a day at Trebah gardens, a National Trust garden again close to the water and accessible from a small beach.

What ever floats your boat the Carrick Roads won't disappoint! Need a boat? visit us

About the author: Chris Fuller is a passionate boating enthusiast who has has sailed in Cornwall all his life. He has recently taken over the ownership and management of Falmouth Boatshed an on-line used yacht and boat brokerage which has a wide range of used boats for sale across Cornwall from gaffers to racing yachts and fishing boats to luxury motor cruisers.