It is to the south of Falmouth town centre, but was an essentially rural area as recently as the late 19th century. However, the growth of tourism in the town at around the turn of the 20th century saw the area become more built-up and the seafront on Cliff Road became home to several major hotels.
The Bay Hotel opened in 1909 halfway along Cliff Road, but closed due to a fire in 1990 and was demolished three years later. Bay Court, a four-storey block of private apartments, was built on the site. Queen Mary Gardens were opened next to Gyllngvase Beach in 1910.
Palm Beach Hotel, built in the 1930s, was demolished in 2007. It overlooked Queen Mary Gardens and had closed several years earlier, having been attacked by vandals and arsonists after its closure. On April 30, 2012 the Falmouth Beach Hotel was devastated by a fire which broke out on the third floor, which caused the roof to collapse and significant damage to the building. The blaze was tackled by some 100 fire fighters.
The beach at Gyllngvase is wide crescent shaped, gently shelving sandy beach with rockpools to explore and is popular with bathers due to the generally calm conditions.
- "Falmouth Beach Hotel in Cornwall destroyed by 'massive' fire". The Independent. 30 April 2012. Retrieved 30 April 2012.
- "Falmouth hotel fire: Blur guitarist among guests". BBC. 30 April 2012. Retrieved 30 April 2012.
- "Gyllyngvase Beach, Falmouth". Coast Radar. 19 October 2012. Retrieved 19 October 2012.