Flushing: The village where Nelson once drank, with a farmer’s market and coastal walks

Flushing, on Cornwall’s Carrick Roads estuary, is the perfect place to lie low. The coastal village, which sits across from Falmouth on the banks of the Penryn River, and 10 miles south of Truro, has the feel of somewhere you can escape life.

There are a couple of pubs, a sailing club, a local shop and, well, not much else. That is precisely the draw of Flushing, which got its name from the Dutch settlers who arrived from its namesake in the Netherlands in 1661 and built its three main quays.

The village’s two pubs, Harbour House and the Royal Standard, are its epicentre. The passenger ferry to the relative metropolis of Falmouth runs throughout the year, or begin the stirring, but beautiful four-mile circular walk that takes in neighbouring Mylor.

Getting there and around

There is no train station at Flushing, with the nearest stations being Penryn, Penmere, Falmouth Town and Falmouth Docks on the GWR line.

The number 66 bus links Flushing to Truro. The bus journey takes roughly 45 minutes. Truro railway station is served from GWR and CrossCountry. Falmouth is connected to Flushing by a 10-minute passenger ferry journey. Falmouth Docks and Falmouth Town railway stations are both served by GWR.

Drop your bags

Neither Harbour House nor the Royal Standard, separated by just a few metres, offer rooms for an overnight stay (although the owners of Harbour House say they intend to do so at some point this year), but less than a 10-minute stroll up the hill from the water’s edge is the impressive Hir Barn, which is ideal for a getaway with your extended family or a group of friends.

The property, which sleeps 10, has high ceilings, solid wood floors, beams, and deep sofas, as well as a concealed staircase that leads up to a glass-fronted mezzanine. Three nights from £2,800, dogs welcome. There are also smaller self-catering properties in the village.

Browse the shops

You will need to head to Falmouth to hit the shops. The shops there, which include lots of independent boutiques, are mostly dotted around four main streets: Falmouth High Street, Church Street, Market Street and Arwenack Street. Favourites include local deli The Cornish Kitchen, where you can pick up some great pastries and take your pick from a fine selection of local cheeses; the atmospheric Falmouth Bookseller; Freeriders, the surf shop; and The Bean Hive By The Sea, the gift shop.

Hir Barn, Flushing Cornwall Cornish Gems Properties Picture supplied by aimee@lifestyle-collective.co.uk
Hir Barn in Flushing Cornwall
(Photo: Cornish Gems Properties)

Cosy cafés

Across the water at Falmouth, the Verdant Seafood Bar is not to be missed for a beer, coffee or late lunch. The snug little eatery is run by Verdant brewery, which also supplies the booze at Harbour House. It serves up delicious Cornish fish dishes and has eight different beers on tap, which it sells by the flute, half-pint or schooner.

Its small menu changes according to what is being caught at the time, but the oysters, fish finger butty and crab-loaded chips are an absolute must if they are available.

Rainy day refuges

If you are visiting on a Saturday, the covered Food Barn – a weekly farmers’ market that opens from 9am to 1pm – is highly recommended. Located up from the water’s edge at the top of the hill on the Trefusis Estate, the market is visited by around 400 people – mostly locals – looking to do their weekly shop, meet friends and grab a tea or coffee.

Around 25 to 30 traders operate from there, selling everything from meat, fish and veg to cakes, jam and bread. The croque-monsieurs sold by Pierre at his stall, Bien Manger, are a highlight. They are fantastic, but be warned: one is more than enough for two people. See foodbarn-tregew.co.uk for details.

The National Maritime Museum in Falmouth is also a good place to hide if the rain hits. Many of the exhibits are hands-on, including the fun radio-controlled boats, while the offbeat tattoo exhibition runs until February.

Many boats in the Penryn River near the Flushing village in Falmouth, Cornwall
Boats in the Penryn River (Photo: Wirestock/Getty/iStockphoto)

A drink by the fire

Such is the demand for a drink in this part of the world that the couple behind two popular gastropubs in neighbouring Devon have sunk a tidy amount of money into refitting what was previously called The Seven Stars, reopening it as Harbour House in the summer. The result is a gloriously restored old boozer that has open fines, a fine selection of ales and hearty food. Treen’s smoked ale is a favourite among the regulars.

Dinner time

Both the Royal Standard and Harbour House offer great food – but Harbour House shades it for a dinner out. The menu changes depending on what the fishing boats bring in that day or what is available at the organic farm just up the hill.

They have a good mix of smaller plates, main courses and sharing plates that allow you to eat according to your budget. And, if available, the rabbit pie with gravy is a no-brainer.

View Towards The Carrick Roads On The River Fal Near Truro In Cornwall, England, Britain, Uk. (Photo by: Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)
View towards the Carrick roads on the River Fal (Photo: Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty)

Winter walks

The Flushing to Mylor circular walk is a great way to burn some energy and make room for more food. Starting by the harbour, the stirring

four-mile walk takes in neighbouring Mylor and passes along pretty woodlands, creeks, churchyards and waterfront paths.

You also get the chance to march past the famous Carrick Roads – the name given to a section of the River Fal that forms a large waterway and was created at the end of the last Ice Age when sea levels rose.

Three things you might not know about Flushing…

1) Legend has it that captain Horatio Nelson once drank in one of the previous iterations of Harbour House.

2) An exciting titbit for those with young children: Morwenna Banks, the voice of Peppa Pig’s mum in the kids’ TV show and wife of comedian David Baddiel, was born in Flushing in one of the houses next to the harbour.

3) During the 16th century, Henry VIII planned to build a castle up from the harbour at Trefusis Point, to match those at nearby Pendennis (which is worth a visit for the views alone) and St Mawes. The project, however, was shelved due to a lack of funds.