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Founded in Elizabethan times at a location said to have been chosen by Sir Walter Raleigh, Falmouth is one of the world's great natural harbours. Henry VIII built Pendennis Castle to protect it from continental invaders. Certainly its position at the head of the Carrick Roads, where seven rivers enter the channel, is superb, and in company with its smaller neighbours of Flushing and St Mawes, it enjoys an almost sub tropical climate. The several beaches of golden sand that flank the bay are well protected by the Lizard Peninsula. Once famous as the last and first port for ships passing through the English Channel, it remains a busy harbour for fishermen and leisure sailors and still sees large vessels in the docks for repair. Adjacent Penryn (Old Cornish for promontory) was a major port and monastic centre long before Falmouth was dreamt of. Its harbour, now being tastefully redeveloped, the very few remains of medieval Glasney College and old streets with their winding side alleys, called opes, all witness to centuries of Celtic history.