Pendennis Castle

South Cornwall

Designed in tandem with its sister castle in St Mawes across the estuary, this Tudor castle sits proudly on Pendennis Point, and was built as part of Henry VIII's massive castle-building program to reinforce England's coastline. You can wander around the central keep and the Tudor gun deck, as well as the governor's bedroom, a WWI guardhouse and the WWII-era Half-Moon Battery. Listen out for the Noonday Gun, which rings out at 12pm sharp every day in July and August.

During the Civil War, the castle was engaged in a six-month siege under the command of Captain John Arundell of Trerice, during which the garrison resorted to eating the castle’s dogs, rats and horses to survive.

Outdoor concerts are held in the grounds during summer.

The road out to the point makes for a lovely walk or bike ride, with great views over the town's dockyard.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby South Cornwall attractions

1. National Maritime Museum

0.69 MILES

Falmouth's most high-profile museum is located on the revamped area around Discovery Quay. It's the sister outpost of the National Maritime Museum in…

2. Gyllyngvase Beach

0.96 MILES

The nearest beach to town is a flat sandy stretch, known to locals as Gylly. It's about half a mile south of the town centre and is backed by the popular…

3. St Mawes Castle

1.18 MILES

Strategically sited to command an uninterrupted field of fire over the entrance to Falmouth Bay in tandem with Pendennis Castle, on the opposite side of…

4. Swanpool Beach

1.37 MILES

South of Falmouth lies the popular beach of Swanpool, near a small inland lagoon populated by grebes, coots, ducks and mute swans. A coastal path runs…

5. St Anthony's Head


The remains of a turn-of-the-century gun battery can still be seen along the point at St Anthony's Head. Just along the coast is the peninsula's 1835…

6. Maenporth Beach

2.57 MILES

Maenporth is the quietest of Falmouth's beaches, with facilities including a cafe, kayak centre and restaurant, the Cove. The 1978 wreck of the Scottish…

7. St-Just-in-Roseland


The creekside church of this sleepy village is quite possibly the prettiest in Cornwall – and in this ecclesiastically minded county, there’s no shortage…

8. Penjerrick

2.81 MILES

Touting itself as Cornwall's 'true' jungle garden (a sly dig at Cornwall's famous Heligan gardens), this is really two gardens in one: exotic jungle…