Falmouth was not chosen as a cruise ship port by accident; there are many things to do in Falmouth Jamaica that will make your vacation a memorable one. If you are planning to visit Falmouth, or a cruise ship visitor wondering: ” is it worth getting off the ship in falmouth?” or someone just wondering, what is there to do in Falmouth Jamaica, here are a few ideas from someone born, raised and still living in Falmouth.
Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines markets Falmouth as ‘Historic Falmouth’ because of the rich history of the town that is preserved in the many Georgian era buildings that exists in the town. some have already been restored but for others it is an ongoing process and the renovations continue. We will start a look at things to do in Falmouth with a look at the historic attractions:
Water Square – this is the center of the town. When Falmouth was designed, it had streets from all directions converging on Water Square, which became (and still is) the cultural, economic and social center of the town. Water Square is also of great historic significance as the location of the tank that distributed piped water to Falmouth’s households, giving piped water to Falmouth even before New York City received had piped water. The fountain that is currently in the square, marks the location of the historic tank.
Albert George Market – originally built in 1895 and refurbished in 1989, this market was named after Queen Victoria’s two sons, Albert and George, the future King George V who visited Jamaica in 1882. It is located in Water Square, close to the Water fountain that marks the location of the original Falmouth water tank, the source of Falmouth’s 18th century water piped water distribution system. It was a hub of economic activity, up to the 1980′s when the market was relocated from the center of the town to the outskirts. The current Albert George market is currently used mainly as a craft market, but has on display a few relics of Falmouth’s ancient past.
Barrett House– the townhouse of Edward Barrett of Cinnamon Hill, St. James, great grandfather of renowned British poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning. Edward Barrett owned most of the land on which much of Falmouth was built. The Barrett family ended up as the longest surviving planter dynasty in Jamaica.
The Armory at Fort Balcarres – a 15-square-foot structure with walls four to five feet thick. This is on the grounds of the Falmouth All-Age school as Fort Balcarres was converted to a government school for 7-15 year old children. Incidentally, I was a student of this school.
The Cannon at Fort Balcarres – the fort was built in 1811 to defend the Falmouth Harbor and there were originally two cannons. What is left was a nice structure on which we played while at school, but it is still in good condition.
Falmouth Court House – built between 1815 and 1817, it was destroyed by fire and rebuilt. The site of the Town Hall, it was the center for all community activities including concerts and town meetings. It is still the home of the Falmouth Court House, but community activities have been limited as the building now houses the offices of the Trelawny Parish Council.
Old Baptist Manse – originally built as a Masonic temple, the first in Jamaica, later became the residence of the “Great Emancipator” William Knibb. The Baptist church eventually established a high school in the manse in 1961 called William Knibb Memorial High, the school which would eventually produce Usain Bolt, the world’s fastest man. The school would remain there until 1976 when it was relocated to 2 miles up the road to its present location on Carib Road, Martha Brae.
St. Peter’s Anglican Church – was the first church in Trelawny, built in 1796, it is one of the oldest churches in the island and also one of the largest Anglican Churches in Jamaica. It was built on lands donated by the planter and big landowner, Edward Barret. All the interior original woodwork was made from Jamaican Mahogany wood. The church still retains most of the original interior.
William Knibb Memorial Baptist Church – the second Baptist chapel in Falmouth built 1837 by the abolitionist William Knibb. He used the pulpit to preach his anti-slavery messages and the church essentially acted as the headquarters of the anti-slavery movement on the island.
Phoenix Foundry – ever since growing up in this town, I have been asking, what is that weird looking building? I eventually found out it was a foundry, no doubt used to cast the metal that was to be used on the buildings in Falmouth. It is an original structure built by a field engineer around 1810.
Tharp House – built in 1785, this was one of three houses owned by John Tharp, the largest land and slave owner in Trelawny during the period in which sugar was king. The house is located on the waterfront, presently on the Falmouth Pier Development lands, so it might be inaccessible. The street on which it is located is also named after John Tharp (Tharp Street).
Martha Brae Water Wheel – the start of the Falmouth Water system, the ancient water wheel helped to channel the water from the Martha Brae river into the tank located 2 miles away in Water Square, Falmouth.
Good Hope Great House – located a few miles from Falmouth town center is a fabulous 18th century great house originally owned by planter John Tharp. It was built in 1755. It is well preserved and located on 2000 acres, 600 feet above sea level. Today, the history is preserved as there is an orchard as well as grazing land for horses and cattle that throws you back to the days of the old plantation.
Other Things To Do In Falmouth
Outamenhi - theme park located in Coopers Pen about 3 miles from Falmouth town center. It is based on the history of Jamaica. Here you will learn about the entire history of people in Jamaica from the days of the Tainos to the present. There are re-enactments and demonstrations of Jamaican music, food, culture. This is an ideal place if you want to learn about Jamaica.
Swamp Safari - the original crocodile farm of Ross Kananga in the 1970′s, where parts of the James Bond movie Live and Let Die were filmed. You can view crocodiles and other indigenous Jamaican animals such as snakes in their natural habitat. It has now changed ownership and is currently being renovated.
Glistening Waters – also called the luminous lagoon, one of only about 5 bio-luminescent bays in the world. It is the home of micro -organisms called bio-luminescent dino-flagellate. These are tiny organisms that operate like solar panels; they live in the sea water and absorb sunlight during the days and let off a bluish light at nights if there is any movement in the water. It is especially beautiful to take a boat ride in the bay and look at the the wake of the boat.
Chukka Caribbean Adventures – a new Falmouth attraction, the world renown nature adventure tour company is now in Falmouth, Trelawny in the name of Chukka Good Hope. The Chukka business began in 1983 when we first offered an original Horseback Ride N’ Swim tour at Chukka Cove Farm near Ocho Rios. Today, the company operates fifty-three(53) tours in Jamaica, Belize, and Turks & Caicos Islands. Here is a video introducing Chukka Good Hope:
Helitours – With headquarters in Ocho Rios, they provide helicopter sightseeing tours of the island. Also available for quick movement from place to place. The helipad is located beside the Falmouth Infirmary and Island Hoppers Helicopter Tours is the latest addition to the list of Falmouth attractions.
Bunkers Hill Adventure Tours – Bunkers Hill is located a few miles outside Falmouth on the northern section of the Cockpit Country. It provides a nature tourism attraction that includes swimming and tubing in the Roaring River and Falls, cave tours and a hike into the Cockpit country.
Windsor Caves – about 8 miles from Falmouth near Sherwood Content, the hometown of Usain Bolt. This limestone cave is 3km long.
Silver Sand Beach – another quality beach located in Silver Sands, home of the famous Silver Sands Villas.
Club Nazz Restaurant – located on the edge of Water Square at the corner of Market and Duke Streets is a quality Jamaican restaurant and bar where you can have breakfast, lunch, dinner or have a drink and relax. Their food is among the best tasting authentic Jamaican cuisine you can find. Club Nazz should be high on your list of things to do in Falmouth. It is a perfect ‘chill out spot.’ On the ground floor, it has an excellent Jamaican food restaurant, a bar, a porch that allows you to dine or drink while looking out on the town and a third storey ‘Culture Bar’ from which you can get a scenic view of the town including the pier, while enjoying your favorite drink or hors d’ouvres. The second floor is a disco that is once again being used for Karaoke Wednesdays.
Supreme Restaurant and Bar – authentic Jamaica meals plus live entertainment Sunday Nights.
Club Cali Entertainment Complex – Restaurant, bar, night club, clothing store, guest house. Club Cali is a one stop, top class entertainment center. The night club keeps Falmouth alive with the best artistes in the country performing live on a regular basis. Their food is Jamaican cuisine.
Cool Spot – another restaurant with tasty Jamaican meals plus seafood. It is located on the sea shore about 5 miles outside Falmouth with only a sea wall separating the restaurant from the sea, which gives a beautiful view of the sea while dining.
Down South Restaurant – also located on the sea, close to Cool Spot is the world famous seafood and Jamaican restaurant that is renowned for its steamed fish, sea cat (octopus) and conch meals.
Man-Power Vegetarian Restaurant and Health Food Store – located a few yards from the cruise ship gate (at the intersection of Seaboard Street and Falmouth Street) is the place I eat almost everyday, a small vegetarian restaurant that serves delicious natural health food at reasonable prices.
Big Flag Jerk Center – just a couple hundred yards from Glistening Waters in Rock for Jamaican Jerk Pork and Jerk Chicken.
Harbour Café and Bar – newly opened cafe and bar located in the historic Albert George Shopping Center featuring Jamaican food and a ‘mixed drink’ bar.
Pepper’s Jerk Center – another new restaurant and bar specializing in authentic Jamaican Jerk Chicken and Jerk Pork amidst a rustic setting on a property still showing remnants of the slavery era.
Things To Do In Falmouth
These are just some of the things to do in Falmouth Jamaica.