Arthur Ransome Wiki

Falmouth is a town and port on the mouth of the River Fal on the south coast of Cornwall, England. It was a frequent holiday location of the Walker family. Although no books in the Swallows and Amazons series are set there, Falmouth is often mentioned as a place where the Swallows gained sailing experience or familiarity with some other aspect of sea life.

Jim Brading and Mrs Whittle have also been there (see below).


  • Swallows and Amazons
    • (on Houseboats): A houseboat (is) a boat used instead of a house. There was one at Falmouth, where people used to live all the year round said John. Susan remembers that There was a whole family living in it .... the man or the woman used to row ashore to buy meat or bread .... (SA3).
    • on sculling: John had been taught by his father long ago in Falmouth harbour (SA4).
    • Sailing in Swallow, Susan remembered "a sad day the year before when, running before the wind in another small boat, the boom had jibed over with sudden decision, and given her a bump that had lasted for a long time" (probably at Falmouth) SA3.
  • Swallowdale:
    • Titty was telling Roger the bit about the old man who meant to hang on ... the bit Daddy read to us at Falmouth (SA5)
    • It's like that day outside Falmouth with daddy .... When we had such a job to find St Mawes .... And the lighthouse was lowing like a cow. ... said Susan and John (SA32).
  • Peter Duck:
    • John had handled a small boat in a big swell in Falmouth Harbour (PD23)
    • Seeing the stone cross on Dodman Point ... was like coming home for John and Susan, for sailing out of Falmouth with their father, they had once passed close under it, between the point and the wild water over the sunken rocks outside. And then another tack brought them in towards Plymouth and they had a good look at Rame Head, and at the brave pillar of the Eddystone Lighthouse rising out of the sea.
And the first land we made, it is called the Dodman,
Next Rame Head off Plymouth, Start, Portland and Wight .... Titty was singing to herself, and Peter Duck heard her (PD36).
  • Coot Club: Mrs Whittle told how once going down Channel to Falmouth she had been knitting on deck and her ball of wool had dropped overboard, and how the faster she tried to pull it in again the faster the ball unrolled ... (CC22).
  • We Didn't Mean to Go to Sea:
    • Jim Brading says that his furthest voyage in Goblin was when Uncle Bob and I took her down to Falmouth and back one year .... . John replies that We used to sail there with Daddy when he was on leave .... but only in an open boat. We never had one we could sleep in (WD1).
    • Susan recalled that she had not sailed with Daddy as John had, going out of Falmouth on a fishing boat (WD4).
    • Titty says We've seen ones like them (lightships) in Falmouth. Daddy used to say they came in for cough lozenges when their throats got sore (WD4).
    • John, at night in the North Sea ... wondered what the lightship would be like, remembering those he had seen in Harwich harbour and at Falmouth, big red hulls, with thick masts amidships, ... (WD15).
    • Why, sailing out of Falmouth with Daddy when he had been quite a little boy, they had been among waves like these and Daddy had thought nothing of them at all (WD16)
    • on seeing the pilot ship: Remember the pilots at Falmouth. We're all right now ... (WD19).

Ransome and Falmouth[]

  • Yesterday we had a lively passage on the little steamboat across to Falmouth for shopping. Three or four days ago we saw the two-masted schooner ... (SFM). He had been sailing off the Falmouth coast with Herbert J. Hanson.
  • Tabitha Lewis wrote from Falmouth in 1942, offering to sell her father his library. Deeply offended, he did not reply and she sold his books to a London bookseller for £25 (TLE page 360).