Swanpool beach lies just outside Falmouth town centre and just over a mile from Falmouth town train station. Despite this it feels like a small cove and it’s easy to relax, sunbathe or go for a swim or other activity on the water.
The beach itself is a coarse white sand with pebbles that gently slopes down to the sea. It is fairly small but you can always find a spot even in the peak of summer as Gyllyngvase beach is just around the corner.
Swanpool gets its name from the nature reserve just across the road at the top of the beach. A small lake that’s a mix of saltwater and freshwater creates a unique environment for wildlife and water birds. The water is brackish at Swanpool (mix of salt and fresh water) which is a rare habitat in the UK, this brackish water provides the ideal conditions for an animal called Trembling Sea Mat. They look like a plant but is actually a type of animal called a bryozoa. Swanpool is the only place in the UK where Trembling Sea Mat can be found.
Due to the location of Swanpool beach inside Falmouth bay the sea conditions are usually calm, except on occasions where there are strong winds and stormy weather. This makes Swanpool a fairly sheltered beach protected, from the Atlantic and ideal for swimming or taking a dip in calm weather.
Walking from beach to beach in Falmouth is fairly easy. Swanpool beach is only a short 10 minute walk away from Gyllyngvase beach along a tarmac path. If you are starting from Swanpool head northeast (to the left of the beach) back towards Falmouth town centre. Taking the Southwest Coast Path to the right side from Swanpool will take you around Pennance Point and after about 1.5 miles you will reach Maenporth Beach. This same path was patrolled by the Home Guard during World War II and you’ll see a monument dedicated to them just a short distance from Swanpool.
Getting To & Parking At Swanpool Beach
On the A39 follow signs to Falmouth. Head towards Falmouth Town Centre and on the way in you will come to a roundabout at Merchant’s Manor Hotel. Take the 3rd exit right on the roundabout with the brown tourist signposted marked Falmouth Golf Club and Beaches. After around 100 meters turn right again following the sign marked Swanpool. You will arrive at the beach car park after a few hundred meters.
The beach car park is directly opposite the beach and has capacity for a few hundred cars, you pay at the kiosk upon entering.
Access and Facilities
The beach car park is just the opposite side of the road to the beach and there is flat level access directly onto the beach, suitable for pushchairs and wheelchairs.
There are toilets to one side of the car park that are open during the on-season but closed during the winter.
Lifeguard Patrols and Swimming
There is no lifeguard patrol at Swanpool beach. It is a relatively safe place to bathe or swim as Falmouth is a sheltered bay. Care should of course be taken especially in rough weather.
Snorkelling is particularly good at Swanpool, following the rocks to either side of the beach is quite interesting and there are plenty of fish around to spot.
Surfing at Swanpool
As the beach is quite sheltered, surfing is fairly poor at Swanpool. Summer is almost always calm and only during the winter when the conditions are right do you see many waves.
Dogs are allowed on the beach during the off season. There is a ban in place where dogs are not allowed on the beach between Easter and the end of September.