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Home \ Sailing \ South West UK \ Heading Up The Fal and Anchoring in The Truro River: An Idyllic Spot!

Heading Up The Fal and Anchoring in The Truro River: An Idyllic Spot!

After a lively end to our sail back from the Scilly Isles we were in need of some chill time. We had been on the go now for over two months and to be honest we just wanted to relax a bit. The wind was also due to pick up over the following week so we decided now would be the ideal time to head up river and take shelter.

Leaving on a rising tide we took a slow motor up this impressive stretch of water for approximately 5.5 nautical miles. The Fal is one of Cornwall’s most beautiful estuaries, eventually feeding into the Truro River, allowing navigation up to the historic town of Truro, some nine miles inland. As the river starts to narrow the banks of the river become wooded, full of lush areas of natural outstanding beauty. Up to port you can spot Trelissick House, a house and garden now in the ownership of the National Trust.

Visitor Pontoon on the River Fal

Passing the King Harry Ferry which connects St Mawes and the Roseland with Feock, Truro and Falmouth, the river starts to become quieter with less vessel movements. Further up on the hillside you can just catch a glimpse of the impressive Tregothnan Estate, a private residence meaning “The house at the head of the valley”. It is shortly after here that the river divides and we headed north into the now Truro river, although many still refer to this as ‘The Fal’. We dropped the hook at position 50˚14.256N 5˚1.023W, just south of the last of the visitor mid river pontoons, and marvelled at the beauty that surrounded us!

Anchorage on the Truro River

In all honesty this was one of the highlights of our trip. The tranquility that the river delivered was unparalleled. During the day we could gaze at the abundance of wildlife that surrounded us including seals, ducks, swans, buzzards, egrets, cormorants and herons. At night there was a stillness and peace that we had not found anywhere else. The stars would twinkle in the pitch darkness and only if the moonlight was shining could you just make out the shoreline. It really was idyllic ❤️

Swans on the Truro River

Of course everything comes at a price and unfortunately anchoring here is not free 😠 The nightly rate from the Truro Harbour Authority was £7 a night (July 2022), however they will take away your rubbish for you and you can leave your dinghy at Malpas Marina if you wish to go ashore. Nigel, the Harbourmaster, who was ever so friendly, or a member of his team, will pop by either in the morning or evening to collect the fee.

Alternatively if you do not wish to anchor there are three non-walk ashore visitor pontoons at a nightly rate of £15. The pontoons also have bins, although these are small bins like you’d find on the street so big bags of rubbish are a no-no as you simply won’t get them in! Water can be obtained from the marina at Malpas and we even had an Asda food shop delivered here! There is also a visitor walk ashore pontoon at Malpas Marina however this is more suited to smaller vessels and shoal draft boats. There is a unisex WC/Shower at the marina which was very clean and had plenty of hot water.

Malpas Marina

Exploring the City of Truro

Leaving our dinghy at Malpas Marina we strolled the short distance into the city of Truro. Whilst it is possible to take the dinghy directly up the river to Truro, you must be mindful of tides as the river does dry out. We were also advised that there was limited places to leave the dinghy once we got there; the ‘steps at Tesco’ was given as the best option and we were recommended to lock the dinghy if we did go! Therefore we decided it would be easier to walk. It also meant we wouldn’t be restricted by tides and could enjoy our time in Truro.

Truro River at Low Tide

It’s about a 2 mile walk into Truro, or about half an hour, along the riverbank – a rather pleasant stroll. The ‘capital’ of Cornwall, Truro has a bustling shopping area with high street shops, pubs, cafes and restaurants. Of course the skyline is dominated by the spires of Truro Cathedral, which was built between 1880 and 1910. The Cathedral is open to the public and, unlike many other UK cathedrals, is free to enter, relying on donations to fund its upkeep.

Truro Cathedral

We spent 10 days in this picturesque part of the world. Protected and sheltered, we didn’t budge at all, regardless of what the wind picked up to. Only downside was the state of the anchor chain when we raised the anchor; it had gone a lovely shade of brown 😬 And the bottom of the dinghy, which we had left in the water, was also a slimy mess with some weird alien-like growths on it…but a small price to pay for 10 days of peacefulness🙏🏻

But, as always, we needed to move on. Check back soon for our next update! But in the meantime have a nose at our little video which we hope does this place justice! ❤️

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