Great British Boltholes: A review of Greenbank Hotel, Cornwall

Great British Boltholes: Nothing beats arriving at Falmouth’s Greenbank Hotel by boat – and it only costs £5

  • Falmouth’s Greenbank Hotel is perched on the edge of a beautiful harbour
  • Guests can jump on and off ferries during their stay or take watersport lessons
  • Choose room 101 for best balcony views, says Simon Heptinstall 

For the full, unforgettable nautical experience, nothing beats arriving at Falmouth’s Greenbank Hotel by boat. 

You’ll chug past charming waterside cottages and pubs before disembarking at the hotel’s 400-year-old jetty, perched on the edge of one of the world’s most beautiful harbours – all for just £5 in a water taxi.

The Greenbank’s perfect waterside location allows guests to jump on and off ferries during their stay, take watersport lessons, or even hire a boat to explore miles of inlets and estuaries.

Waterside welcome: The Greenbank Hotel is perched on the edge of a beautiful harbour

The pier was originally built for a ferry to the pastel-painted fishing village of Flushing on the opposite shore. The old Ferry Inn that was built alongside it gradually grew into today’s luxury hotel. 

And if constant watery views and distant leafy green shores inspire a ‘tales of the riverbank’ mood, note that Kenneth Grahame stayed here in 1907 and wrote letters to his son which would later form his stories for The Wind In The Willows.

Land-lubbers can stroll along the waterfront into Falmouth’s colourful old town in ten minutes. Highlights include King Henry VIII’s Pendennis Castle, Falmouth’s National Maritime Museum and, best of all, exploring cobbled lanes and winding stairways between old terraces rising from the harbour.

Falmouth itself has a choice of fine, sandy beaches, while some of the UK’s most popular visitor gardens, such as Penjerrick, Trebah and Glendurgan, are just a short drive away.

But, of course, you could always order a hotel picnic and visit them by boat instead…

The USP: The stone jetty at Falmouth’s oldest and highest-rated hotel provides boat trips from its door. The prime waterside spot means sensational views. There’s fine food and a small spa too.

Water’s Edge restaurant is a formal dining venue with more distracting panoramas

Tempting: Try gourmet treatments of local fish, such as gin-cured mackerel and tumeric-glazed monkfish

The rooms: From a magnificent model of an 18th Century sailing ship to framed prints of microscopic plankton, the interior style is a mix of the traditional and modern. A maze of 61 rooms is spread across Jacobean, Regency and modern buildings, while chalky blue and cream colours offset historic wrought iron and stained glass. Choose room 101 for best balcony views, while all come with toiletries from The White Company and excellent tea and coffee. Dogs are welcome in dedicated rooms and there are six family rooms, which come with crabbing lines, dominoes and buckets and spades.

The food: The Working Boat pub offers superior snacks, such as squid and aioli and monkfish skewers, and generous main courses in its pier-level basement or on tables out on the pier. Cocktails are served in its elegant bar upstairs.

Water’s Edge restaurant is a formal dining venue with more distracting panoramas. Try gourmet treatments of local fish, such as gin-cured mackerel and tumeric-glazed monkfish, but leave room for a warm croissant bread-and- butter pudding with marmalade.

TRAVEL FACTS

Greenbank Hotel Falmouth, Cornwall. B&B doubles cost from £96 a night. For more information visit greenbank-hotel.co.uk.

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