Port Isaac, Cornwall
Port Isaac is a small quaint fishing village on the North Coast of Cornwall. The village has ensured its fame by the TV series Doc Martin, using its rich landscapes for filming, as well as their fictitious name, Portwenn. There is the option to go on the Doc Martin Tour, which will give you an insight into all the filming locations of the TV series. The tour is led by a local who is able to share many anecdotes about the filming of the show. You are also able to have your photo taken outside the TV home of Doc Martin on Roscarrock Hill.
The original harbor was used to import coal, wood, limestone, salt and pottery, along with the pilchard fishing industry that started here in the 14th century.
The narrow winding streets are lined with white-washed cottages, traditional granite and slate-fronted Cornish houses, that can be a bit difficult to negotiate by car. In fact, Port Isaac has one of the narrowest roads in Britain, named Squeezy Belly Alley.
Port Isaac is still a fishing harbor, but tourism is now the mainstay of the village. Fishing and scenic trips can be taken from the harbor during the summer months. Being a working harbor, the beach is not recommended as a recreational beach, all though the rock pools at low tide are great fun to explore.
There are a number of cafes, restaurants and pubs where one can eat and drink in Port Isaac. Whether it's a quick snack and a pint during the day, or taking in the wonderful view of the harbor while enjoying a meal with the family at the end of a long day. A number of these restaurants are dog friendly and offer free wifi.
Port Isaac also has a number of Galleries that sell prints, pottery, artwork and all sorts of local Cornish crafts.
Port Isaac makes the perfect base for exploring the surrounding area of Cornwall. There are a number of great easy-access beaches in the area. One of the best surfing beaches in North Cornwall, "Polzeath", is 4 miles from Port Isaac. Also the wide sandy beach at "Daymar Bay" is 5 miles from Port Isaac, and is perfect for families and is dog friendly.
For those wishing to explore Port Isaac and the surrounding area, there is a short 3 mile circular walk. The walk takes in Port Gaverene, including the pilchard cellars that during the 1800s used to process a 1 000n tons of pilchards a week. Pine Haven and Lobber Point also have spectacular views of the surrounding area.
There are a number of coastal walks around and about Port Isaac of various lengths, just remember that the coastline can be very rugged, making these walks reasonably demanding and, in some cases, not suitable for everyone. The Port Isaac to Port Quin walk is a circular walk of 5 miles. The Castor 1 can be seen on the seabed at the harbor entrance, as well as spectacular views of the inlet and Doyden Castle.
For the enthusiastic cyclists, Port Isaac and the shrouding areas offer a number of different opportunities, such as the Camel Trail, Bodmin, Padstow and Wadebridge. For those that do not own a bike, there is bike hire available in Wadebridge and Padstow.
Long Cross Victorian Gardens is not far from Port Isaac. These are the only public gardens in North Cornwall. Plants are propagated from garden stock, and these plants are for sale to the public.