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Fitness, flowers and music at the Falmouth Spring Festival

Whatever you enjoy, the Falmouth Spring Festival probably includes it as part of their fun program. Think Games on the Moor, cider tasting, town history tours, music, flowers, Nordic walking and even the chance to paint the town yellow!
To celebrate the joys of spring, Falmouth Spring Festival puts on a smorgasbord of activities to showcase the diversity and talents of this lively port town in South Cornwall. From fitness sessions to a Charity Walk and from Maritime Museum Exhibition to a Spring Flower Show, the festival is sure to have something that you really want to join in, so make sure you keep the last couple of weeks in March free.

An introduction to Falmouth

is a lovely town to visit at any time of year. Driving down the long hill from the A39, the approach to the town gives wonderful views of the estuary which is always filled with fishing and pleasure boats of all sizes.

Falmouth Spring Festival started in 2011 but the Spring Flower Show dates back to 1910. It was so popular it just had to become an annual event. It has now been extended to 18 days of activities, starting the second Thursday in March.

The activities are so diverse that they all take place at a different venue, so you’ll be pretty familiar with the town by the end of the week! Preparations start the week before with a volunteer Spring Clean Day, when you can get involved for a good cause. The town is then decorated by design students from the University College in a blaze of yellow, from street bunting to shop windows, and I can tell you it looks a picture!

Things to do at Falmouth Spring Festival

Families will enjoy the Games on the Moor Weekend with swing ball, giant snakes and ladders and other games all free to join in and have a go. One of the main new features is the “Then and Now” Exhibition which shows historic photographs of the Falmouth Spring Flower show including the first show being opened by Princess Christian (Queen Victoria’s granddaughter) back in 1910. The Flower Show is now part of the broader Falmouth Spring Festival.

If you’re into fitness, there’s a fun Half Marathon in aid of to participate in or cheer on the runners. The scenic route takes in Gyllyngvase, Swanpool and Maenporth beaches, returning via Mawnan Smith, Penryn and finishing along the waterfront. In 2012 it raised over £16,000 for charity so be prepared to cheer and be generous with your loose change!

Fitness on the Moor is a great opportunity to try a new class with Helen and the team from Core Fitness. There’s also a 10-mile Charity Walk to sign up for, so best start getting in shape now!

My favourite event in the past was the Nordic Walking Taster Day over the creeks and fields, finishing at the Pandora Inn for lunch. The modest fee for participating includes the hire of walking poles (which incidentally are really good on the steep paths and steps that abound on the South West Coast Path).

Other outdoor events that are part of Falmouth Spring Festival include exploring with a local guide, discovering local wildlife, or how about foraging for food at Argal Reservoir with expert forager Rachel Lambert? She even gives a recipe handout as part of the experience! Town walks are certainly drier underfoot and these historian-led walks unravel Falmouth’s maritime heritage, famous families, riots, murder and ghosts!

Want some folk music? There’s always plenty of live music as part of the Cider and Folk Fayre with a range of bands to listen to while sipping a pint or two of cider. It takes place on the middle weekend of the festival with 20 ciders to sample and some great live music to fall down to!

Falmouth Spring Flower Show

If flowers are your passion, then you will certainly want to visit the on the last weekend of the Spring Fest in late March. This fabulous show takes place in the Princess Pavilion which is packed with the colour and scent from hundreds of wonderful displays of daffodils, flowering shrubs and cacti.

It is a superb opportunity to stroll slowly around the somewhat crowded displays admiring bonsai, orchids and gorgeous flower arrangements. I challenge you not to come away from this event without a bag full of bulbs, plants and seeds to create your own green corner of paradise!

Have you participated in any of the events that are part of the annual Falmouth Spring Festival? Did you enjoy it and would you recommend it to others? Any tips about visiting Falmouth would be appreciated, so please add your comments below.

About Gillian Birch

Born in Cheshire, Gillian Birch moved to Cornwall at her earliest opportunity and never looked back. After 20 years, her ongoing discovery of popular attractions, quiet footpaths and local eateries has made her a fount of knowledge as she entertains readers with her informative articles on the hidden gems of Devon & Cornwall from a local point-of-view.

Find Gillian on Google+, and Twitter.

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