Falmouth, south of Truro, is home to the new National Maritime Museum. With a modern layout and interactive displays, the museum is worth bearing in mind for a family trip on a rainy day. Falmouth is reputedly the third largest natural deep-water harbour in the world, with the Fal estuary offering over twelve miles of navigable water. The port is often used as the starting or finishing point for sailing races; amongst others, Ellen McArthur has set sail from here. You may well catch a glimpse of the professionals, or be tempted to have a few lessons yourself. There is a great range of delightful holiday cottages to rent in Falmouth - pretty self-catering houses and isolated Cornish cottages near Falmouth. There are also numerous boat trips which launch at Falmouth, including services which link to Truro via the picturesque river Fal. The town itself has an arty feel and boasts two lively galleries: the Poly Arts Centre on Church Street and the Falmouth Art Gallery.
The Roseland Peninsular and Fal estuary make for a spectacular estuarine area, which also includes two of Cornwall's vibrant urban spots: Truro and Falmouth. This area sees two drowned river valleys entering the sea, backed by a lush green landscape.
Truro is Cornwall's only city, qualifying as such through its Neo-Gothic cathedral which holds some impressive artwork and stained glass. Situated close to the confluence of the Truro and Fal rivers, the city has historical prominence both as a port and a tin mining centre. If you rent a holiday cottage in Truro you can explore all the city has to offer. It's still the centre of Cornwall's administration, as well as a popular spot for visitors. A good place for the independent shopper, Truro has all sorts of boutiques, markets and craft fairs to discover. Lemon Quay square is perfect for a bit of café culture in summer, or head to Victoria park any Sunday between May and September for music from the bandstand.
The National Seal Sanctury near Gweek in the beautiful Helford estuary is another good place for family trips. As well as grey seals, the sanctuary is home to Californian and Patagonian Sea Lions, goats, ponies and otters. The centre includes a specially designed hospital for rescued animals. While you're in the area you can hire a boat and explore the Helford river and stop off for a drink or a meal at one of the many waterside pubs.