Falmouth is a town, civil parish and port on the River Fal on the south coast of Cornwall, England, United Kingdom. It has a total resident population of 21,797 (2011 census). While Falmouth’s maritime activity has much declined from its heyday, the docks are still a major contributor to the town’s economy. It is the largest port in Cornwall. Falmouth remains a cargo port and the bunkering of vessels and the transfer of cargoes also keep the port’s facilities busy. The port is popular with cruise ship operators. Further up the sheltered reaches of the Fal, there are several ships laid up, awaiting sailing orders and/or new owners/charterers. Falmouth is a popular holiday destination and it is now primarily a tourist resort. The five main beaches starting next to Pendennis Castle and moving along the coast towards the Helford River are Castle, Tunnel, Gyllyngvase, Swanpool and Maenporth beaches. The National Maritime Museum Cornwall opened in February 2003. Falmouth has many literary connections. The town was the birthplace of Toad, Mole and Rat: Kenneth Grahame’s classic The Wind in the Willows began as a series of letters sent to his son. Falmouth is home to many theatre groups, including Falmouth Theatre Company, Falmouth Young Generation and Amity Theatre. Falmouth Theatre Company, also known as FTC, is the oldest local company with performances dating back to 1927. The Falmouth Art Gallery is a public gallery with a diverse 19th and 20th-century art collection including many notable modern Cornish artists exhibited in four to five seasonal exhibitions a year, as well as a “family friendly and free” community and schools education programme.
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