Category: Like a local

Foraging in Cornwall With Local Expert Rachel Lambert

Get back to nature during your visit to Cornwall as you forage for food with local expert Rachel Lambert.

Rachel Lambert is the author and photographer of two popular regional foraging identification and cookbooks: Wild Food Foraging in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly and Seaweed Foraging in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

Based in Penzance, Rachel is an expert at foraging the Cornish coastline and new for 2018 will be offering bespoke individual, group and family foraging sessions for guest of Beach Retreats.

We caught up with Rachel to hear more about what inspired her to get involved with foraging and making the most of the rather special Cornish coast.

Visiting Cornwall with an electric car? Check out our holiday lets with electric car (EV) charging points.

How did you discover foraging?

I stumbled into foraging in my early twenties; someone showed me a small, edible plant growing in a stonewall, and I was hooked. Till then, my childhood had been punctuated with great home cooking, camping, wild flowers, walks, and lots of imaginative play. In a way, not much has changed, I could do with more playing, on the other hand that is what foraging and messing about with a few plants in the kitchen is for me – creative fun.

It wasn’t all about idyllic nature though, oh no – I was born an urbanite, brought up in the city and catching a taste of the country when I could – in waste ground, the garden, and family ventures into the countryside. I just always seemed to have loved plants, nature and being outdoors. I initially learnt to cook through watching my mum and ‘helping’ and once I left home I learnt to follow recipes and experiment a lot –not always successfully, though eventually my experiments improved enough to write and illustrate cookbooks.

Where are your favourite spots for foraging in Cornwall?

I love returning to my favourite spots, as well as discovering new places (this also helps the plants regenerate). I love the Lizard (Poltesco was particularly beautiful), love walking the Mousehole to Lamorna circular walk (especially in Winter) and Dartmoor remains a magical place for me and is a favourite in Autumn when the leaves start to change colour and the berries appear. In early spring, I enjoy Prussia Cove and Perranuthnoe, and in late Summer the estuary at Rock is fantastic.

Check out our holiday properties in Mousehole to experience everything the area has to offer.

What are your favourite foraging finds?

What I like to pick and eat varies from week to week and season to season – that’s what keeps it exciting for me. Right now, my best memories are of sea buckthorn berries, tasty dulse seaweed, amazing sea noodles and of course the humble and excellent nettle – such a versatile plant.

Can anyone give it a try?

I’m always saying that foraging isn’t rocket science, it’s an easy skill to pick up, though there are some essential basics to keep you safe, happy and healthy. I welcome families – it is such a brilliant experience to share, and private forays can be tailored to your interests and walking abilities, so really, anyone can come. Foraging can be a big energetic adventure, or a lazy amble on the beach or path.

A private foray (up to 3 hours) includes: Plant identification, nutritional and medicinal benefits, recipe suggestions, foraging safety, sustainability and legalities and an e-list of plants covered.

Private sessions session are available from £160 for up to 4 persons, additional persons £40pp
(Additional charges for forays outside a 10 mile radius of Penzance.)

Public foraging course with tasters are £35pp (under 16s £15, under 5s free), and forage and cook courses £50pp

Book your foraging course.

Find a new foraging spot in our various locations around Cornwall, and keep your eyes on our special offers page to get a discounted stay by the sea.

Delve into the world of fascinating finds and foraging in Cornwall, discovering nature’s hidden treasures along the coast.

Falmouth for two

We’re travelling across Falmouth harbour on a ferry over to St Mawes with the castle fast approaching and Pendennis castle behind us.  You get a feel for the scale of this volume of water, Falmouth is the third largest natural harbour in the world, and a flavour for how the town’s maritime past shapes the current day visitor offering.  Life on the water is varied from the imposing docks and luxury yacht manufacturer, through to the leisure yachts and ferries criss-crossing the water, then stand-up paddleboarders and kayakers weaving through the marina.

We’re staying at Curlew, one of five newly renovated apartments at Kinbrae House between the town centre and Gyllyngvase beach.  Quality and meticulous attention to detail can be found in abundance, from the custom-made glass in the entrance hall, through to the décor of each room, and the welcoming cream tea on arrival. Everything comes together to create a perfect base for couples visiting Falmouth.

Visiting Cornwall for a romantic adventure? Check out our romantic cottages.

So priorities then – the walk to the beach.  Turn left out of Kinbrae House and you are two minutes or 200 metres from Gyllyngvase beach on the west side of Falmouth.  We’re watching early morning yoga and feng shui classes on the sand from the Gylly Beach café. It’s a popular swimming beach for young and old, sharing the sea with stand-up paddleboarders and the occasional kayaker.

We’re having breakfast in the café – right on the sand watching the activities. Eggs Arlington and the full Cornish breakfast win the vote and set us up for the day.  We walk around the headland past Pendennis castle around into the centre of Falmouth, past the viewing platform for the docks and down into the town and harbour.

The National Maritime Museum sits on the edge of the water but with the weather so good we head down to the marina for one of the ferries and choose St Mawes as our destination.  It’s a picture postcard village on the other side of the water, a 30 minute trip in amongst all the water traffic and gateway to the Roseland peninsula.  Lunch is an al-fresco choice between seafood or Cornish pasty on the harbour wall.

The centre of Falmouth is home to nautical and lifestyle clothing brands, arts and crafts shops and a plenty of familiar high street names.  There are numerous restaurants; African, seafood and steakhouses to name a few, as well as the well-regarded Harbour fish and chip takeaway.  We ate ours by the edge of the water watching the sunset and changing colours on the water.

It’s worth highlighting the location of Kinbrae House in relation to the town centre also. It’s only a 10-15 minute walk away – beach in one direction – restaurants in the other.  It would be quite easy to leave the car in the off-road parking space all week.

One final discovery; follow the path past Gyllyngvase beach to Swanpool beach, another pretty vista from Hooked on the Rocks for some seafood sourced direct from the fishermen straight from the sea.

We love:

    • The location on Kinbrae House; turn left for the beach, right for the restaurants, town and marina.


    • So much to do without needing to jump in the car.


    • The attention to detail, clever layouts and finish in the apartment.


    • The choice of ferries and trip to get on the water.


    • Breakfast on Gyllyngvase beach watching the stand-up paddleboarders, yoga enthusiasts and swimmers.


Also recommended:

    • The Ferry Boat and the Ship Wright pubs in Helford passage.


    • The Cove at Maenporth for lunch or dinner.


    • Flushing has a lovely restaurant called the Waterside and Muddy Beach in Penryn has great pastries coffees and daily specials.


    • Up the estuary at Mylor there is a lovely café and the famous Pandora’s Inn with beach and pontoon landings. Especially their daily specials.


    • For a lovely evening meal in Falmouth try the Mediterranean Kitchen for Tapas after spending a little time in Dollies Gin Palace for a stunning G&T – over 100 to choose from!


    • The Wheel House is lovely but often fully booked. Olivers on the High St is also gorgeous but always booked up. Or try Cribs which serves Caribbean fayre.

Check out more of what Falmouth has to offer by staying in one of our bespoke retreats in Falmouth.

Discover more of Cornwall with the charm of Portreath’s no-drive delights, offering relaxation and adventure at your doorstep.

Read more about Curlew and Kinbrae House.

St Ives walk through

A walk along one of Cornwall’s best Blue Flag beaches towards the seaside town of St Ives

Voted Best UK Holiday Destination by Coast Magazine, we visited the beautiful seaside town in the height of the summer to see what all the fuss was about…and we get it!

Thinking about staying in St Ives? Have a look at our luxury St Ives holiday properties.

Firstly getting to St Ives. Our top tip for parking is to drive to the Lelant Saltings Park and Ride train station just 4 miles away, where visitors can leave their cars and hop on the St.Erth to St.Ives Bay Line for just £4 return (please note there is a small charge for parking your vehicle).

St Ives Train

This famous line has some of the most beautiful scenery in England and is well worth the ride down to the beach. Below is just one of the many scenes you’ll pass on your way into St Ives. Hop off at the end of the line at Porthminster Beach, where you’ll see a large sandy bay backed by a wooded valley, with all the beach amenities you and your family will need.

Interested in staying in our most luxurious holiday cottages? Check out our luxury coastal cottages.

Directly in front of you on the beach you’ll see the Porthminster Beach Bar, the perfect spot for a quick bite to eat, cold drink or just some chill time from the sun. Watch out for those swooping seagulls when walking around with food.

Porthminster Beach, St Ives

Porthminster beach has a Lifeguard service from mid May to end of September. You will also find that there is a seasonal dog ban on this beach…but don’t worry, read on to find out where you can take your pooches!

Head right when on the beach where you’ll find a great spot for rockpooling and you might even spot some fascinating hidden sealife under rocks and amongst the green seaweed.

In the opposite direction (our favourite one) you’ll be able to walk through shallow clear waters, jump the waves and watch the boats bobbing in the distance.

Fancy yourself as a beach artist? The golden sands with a little sea water make for a great sandcastle competition with the family. How big will you go and don’t forget to shout ‘I’m the King of the Castle’ if you win.

As you walk the stretch of golden sand you’ll end up at St Ives Harbour Beach where well behaved dogs are more than welcome.

St Ives Harbour Beach

Don’t miss a photo stop at Smeaton’s Pier built in 1831 and the St Ives lighthouse.

St Ives Smeaton Pier

St Ives is known as a destination where famous artists flock year upon year. The piercing light, white sanded beaches, crystal clear waters and white washed fishermans cottages make for a great painting; not to mention the art galleries, quirky Cornish shops and lots of scrummy places to eat and drink.

Uncover the charm of St Ives, Cornwall, with our guide to this picturesque coastal town, renowned for its art, beaches, and vibrant local culture.

We couldn’t help but stop at the St Ives Bakery with the smells of freshly cooked Cornish pasties and cakes coming out of the ovens. Meringue anyone?

When walking through this pretty seaside town, you’ll come across many beautiful narrow cobbled streets, which make up a maze of new directions to take.

St Ives Cobbled Streets

To end your day, whether it’s Cornish ice cream, fudge or a little clotted cream, a stop at ‘Cornish Cream‘, is a must when walking through the town if you’re still feeling a little peckish from lunch.


Book your Cornish self-catering holiday with Beach Retreats.

Circular walk from Trevone to Padstow

A coastal walk and countryside stroll all rolled into one.

There isn’t many places where you can experience inspiring sea views and tranquil countryside scenery on a walk. Cornwall is the perfect place to experience the best of both worlds, especially when it goes hand in hand with one of our fantastic dog-friendly properties.

Nestled among rolling hills, on the North coast of Cornwall, discover a charming Cornish village with a wide sandy beach, flanked by high sea cliffs.

Trevone Bay is situated in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty; just two miles from the popular fishing harbour of Padstow. Starting at Trevone beach, the circular walk is 7.4 miles long; a moderate route along the rugged Atlantic coast.

Visiting with a large group? Discover our large holiday homes perfect for big families or friend groups.

Follow the cliff path, past the Round Hole, which is a collapsed sea cave, with a channel that is still open to the sea. At high tide, on a calm day, it is possible to kayak right through the cave.

Walk up the cliff, past the gateway, and follow the main path across the coastal heath. Track the route taken by sailing ships to Stepper Point. The many caves spotted along the coast, provide ledges where seals haul themselves out of the water.

In the Spring and Summer time, the coastal heath is teaming with wildlife and wildflowers. The aromatic smell of wild gorse lingers in the air.

Near to Stepper Point, spot the stone tower standing proud on the clifftop. Known as the “Pepper Pot” the 40 foot stone tower, was built in 1830, as a daymark – a navigation beacon for seafarers during daylight. At 240 feet above sea level, the tower is visible from 30 miles away.

At Stepper Point, soak-up the panoramic sea views, and descend on the coastal path along the Camel Estuary to Hawker’s Cove. From the coastal path, look across the Estuary to Rock and Daymer Bay. There is a passenger ferry which operates between Rock and Padstow.

Explore our holiday properties in Padstow, just a short drive away from Port Isaac and Polzeath.

From Hawker’s Cove, cross the sandy beach of St George’s Cove before finally reaching the bustling harbour of Padstow.

In Padstow, stop for a spot of lunch at one of the local eateries or fish and chips on the harbour from Rick Steins.

Walking back to Trevone, follow the signs from Padstow town to Prideaux Place, a beautiful eighteenth century manor house. Pass the front of Prideaux Place, and follow the lane to find a barn on your right. Opposite the barn, take the footpath to the left and over the stile. Bare right along the path along the field.

On the route back to Trevone, pass the Padstow Farm Shop. Pop in for fresh veg, fruit, Cornish cheese, meat and everyday amenities. Follow the fields back to Trevone Bay and relax on the beach with a barbecue, and watch the sun go down.

Want to explore more of Cornwall? Check out our favourite autumnal walks in Cornwall.

Book your self-catering beach holiday in Trevone.

Walk Through Lynton and Lynmouth

Experience self-catering holidays in Devon by the sea.

Lynmouth encapsulates the wild beauty of north Devon, in a charming picturesque postcard village. The idyllic coastal town is often dubbed Little Switzerland, due to its spectacular landscape and tranquil waters. Flanked by high sea cliffs, Lynmouth is where Exmoor meets the sea.

Discover unbeatable savings and unforgettable experiences with Beach Retreats’ exclusive special offers.

The sheltered harbour, with its famous Rhenish Tower, nestles beneath the cliffs on north Devon’s heritage coast. On the rugged cliff top, overlooking the mooring, the Edwardian village of Lynton stands proud. A water-powered funicular railway connects the two resorts. One of the most environmentally friendly tourist attractions in the country, the cliff railway is a great way to experience the magnificent rugged landscape. On a clear day, from the Cliff Top Cafe in Lynton, visitors can enjoy breathtaking views across to Wales.

Lynton and Lynmouth offer a unique holiday experience. The twin villages are bursting with local charm and character with an array of independent shops, cafes and restaurants. In the summer at dusk, the resorts twinkle under the night sky as people wander along the pier and venture upon the cliff railway to Lynton. There is a priceless sense of nostalgia and identity in the region. The unspoilt landscape provides a sense of escape to those seeking a holiday from the busy pace of modern life.

Discover the charm and beauty of North Devon, where stunning landscapes and coastal adventures await with Beach Retreats.

Discover Exmoor.

Set in the heart of Exmoor National Park, Lynmouth is the perfect place to access the inner moor. Surrounded by magnificent wooded hills, this part of north Devon’s coastline provides plenty of walking (or for the less energetic – driving) opportunities.

Abundant with wildlife, Exmoor has more than 600 miles of marked footpaths to explore. Ponies, sheep and majestic red deer graze the moorland whereas falcons, buzzards and the rare merlin circle overhead.

From Lynmouth, visitors don’t have to travel far to experience the wild scenery of Exmoor. Follow the coast two miles east to Countisbury Hill to find hill tops teeming with wildlife. On Countisbury Hill the high ground tumbles to meet the coastal cliffs which plunge into the sea. In spring, the hill tops are golden yellow from wild gorse whereas in the autumn the hedgerows are an auburn colour.

Further inland, discover ancient woodlands and waterfalls at Watersmeet. The East Lyn river rips through the landscape on its journey from the plateau of Exmoor to the sea and Lynmouth. Giant boulders and striking outcrops are left behind as the river carves its way through the landscape, creating one of Britain’s deepest river gorges.

In the 19th century this wild landscape drew tourists and great Romantic poets. Southey, along with Coleridge, Wordsworth and Shelley were enchanted by Lynmouth and its hinterland, comparing Watersmeet with the Alps.

Once a Victorian fishing lodge, Watersmeet House is a charming tearoom set within the picturesque landscape of hidden Exmoor. Enjoy a traditional Devonshire cream tea with whortleberry jam and listen to the trickling water of the East Lyn river. During the summer months, the river provides the perfect fishing spot for salmon and sea trout whereas in the quieter months, the waters are great for canoeing.

Explore the Valley of the Rocks.

Dramatic scenery encapsulates the north Devon coastline and inner countryside. The spectacular moorland at the Valley of the Rocks is less than one mile in walking distance of Lynmouth. The Valley of the Rocks is a unique dry valley that runs parallel to the coast.

In the area, there are plenty of walks with striking weathered rock formations with names such as “The Devil’s Cheesewring”, “Ragged Jack” and “Castle Rock”. The sublime valley has its own population of wild goats which roam the rocks and cliff edges. Climb the rocks to experience breathtaking views across the rugged landscape and Bristol Channel.

Discover the foodie delights of The Ancient Mariner in Lynmouth, where delicious food and drink are served in a charming, historic setting.


Fancy a walk on the wild side?


Perranporth – Walk Through

Perranporth is perfect for those seeking to escape the 9-5.

Clear waters, cliff walks and three miles of golden sand, as well as having some of our fantastic dog-friendly properties nearby.

Visiting Cornwall for a romantic adventure? Check out our romantic cottages.

Nestled among rolling hills that inspired Winston Graham’s swashbuckling Poldark novels, Perranporth is a bustling village with a variety of eateries.

From Droskyn point, you can take a leisurely walk into the village. As you wander down the hillside, you will come across the Perranzabuloe Millennium Sundial, designed by local artist Stuart Thorn.

True to the spirit of the village, the stainless steel gnomon has been set to show Cornish time: 20 minutes ahead of GMT. Stone seating has been incorporated into the structure, which looks onto the beach below.

In the village, there is an array of beach-side shops and cafes along with local amenities.

If you walk a little further from the main street, you’ll find yourself in a charming park with a large duck pond which is home to swans and ducks.

As you walk back towards the beach, you can take advantage of hiring a kayak to take out onto the water, paddle board or surf board.

Feel the sand between your toes and breathe in the fresh salty sea air as you walk along the beach.

The beach is patrolled in season by RNLI lifeguards. It is a safe beach which is popular with families and couples.

It is also a dog friendly beach, which makes for a great morning run or afternoon out with your canine friend.

Whilst on the beach you can stop for a drink or something to eat at the Watering Hole – the UK’s only bar and restaurant on the beach! In the summer enjoy a BBQ on the beach in the evening.

After you have fuelled your body, why not climb the steps located to the right of the restaurant embedded in the cliff face. Venture along the cliff path along to Holywell Bay.

Interested in finding out more about Newquay? Discover what to do in and around Newquay.

A perfect vantage point to watch the sunset over the horizon in the evening.

Want to stay in Perranporth? Check out our luxury holiday lets in Perranporth.

Walk through – Crantock to a mystery location

We’re always on the lookout for quiet beaches and hidden coves at Beach Retreats. Well, we found a new favourite spot on our latest walk from Crantock, two miles south along the coast from our properties at Fistral Beach in Newquay. You’ll have to find it first though…

Visiting Cornwall with an electric car? Check out our holiday lets with electric car (EV) charging points.

From Fistral and East Pentire headland you have two choices – Newquay for the fun and frolics of a busy seaside town, or head south to the quieter Gannel Estuary and Crantock Beach. On this day, we chose the latter.

You can drive to Crantock or, for an adventure, take the Fern Pit Ferry across the Gannel which operates from May through September. When the tide is out there is a footbridge which can be used free of charge.

Crantock’s expansive sandy beach waits at the other side of the water with tranquil bathing by the river (the National Trust car park is behind the dunes). Make for the cliffs at the southern end for shelter on a windy day.

Continuing along the headland you’ll find C-Bay Café Bar & Bistro with unsurpassed views back over Crantock Beach, open for pancakes in the morning and lots of tasty options for lunch and dinner. Further into the village you’ll find the well-known Bowgie Inn, ‘the pink pub’. Andy has owned the pub for more than 43 years, which is much loved for coffees by the roaring fire, wines on the sun terrace, home-cooked food and bouncing live music nights.

But the real treat of our walk through is Porth Joke beach, also known as Polly Joke. Accessed via the coastal path or inland via Treago Farm and Camping (there is small car park at the end of a very long track), you’ll be rewarded with a small, attractive and tranquil cove. Children will love exploring the caves, rockpools and stream and paddling in the sea while parents can enjoy doing not a lot.

Polly Joke Beach with waves and green cliffs

Pack a picnic for the day as there are no facilities here.


Want to stay in Crantock, near to Fistral and Watergate Bay ? Have a look at our properties in Crantock.

Embark on a picturesque walk through Watergate Bay, uncovering its breathtaking coastal scenery, expansive sandy beaches, and lively local charm.

Walk through – Boscastle

We take a walk on the wild side at Boscastle, a place where moorland meets the sea.

Want to stay in a luxury holiday house with a view of the sea? Check out our cottages with sea views.

There are many sides to Boscastle on Cornwall’s far north coast: picturesque fishing village, medieval settlement, artist’s muse. It all makes for a very interesting and beautiful place for a self catering holiday.

Once offering shelter to sailors along a wild and intimidating stretch of coast, Boscastle’s dramatic coastline and quaint old buildings are the main attraction. The latter is immediately apparent as you begin to wander around, with characterful cobbled streets, wonky roofs, stone buildings and watermills lining the river before leading you towards the ocean.

Today, a few handsome day boats bob in the harbour. But Boscastle was once a thriving port – in one year alone nearly 200 ships called on their way through delivering supplies from including timber from as far as field as Canada.

Boscastle’s tortuous harbour entrance means that sailing vessels always required assistance to enter, usually by ‘hobbler’ boats manned by oarsman and other men on shore tethered to the boat with ropes.

Goods were eventually hauled up its steep hills by teams of horses once kept in what is now the youth hostel. Other buildings such as the lime kiln and blacksmith’s forge can still be seen around the harbour today.

You can discover more about Boscastle’s history and dramatic landscape which is all detailed in the National Trust’s fantastic modern visitor centre located in the heart of the village. You also be surprised to learn how much community life is thriving since the devastating flood a decade ago. There are plenty of craft shops and cafes to visit, feeding and watering artists who have been inspired by its remoteness and rugged beauty.

Fancy staying in nearby Bude? Just 30 from Boscastle, Check out our luxury holiday lets in Bude.

With King Arthur’s Tintagel just down the coast, this is also a land of myth and legend. Housing the world’s largest collection of witchcraft artefacts and regalia, the Museum of Witchcraft in Boscastle has been entertaining visitors for more than fifty years.

Walking towards the sea, the imposing cliffs of Penally Point and Willapark guard either side of Boscastle harbour. Watching the boiling seas around the Island of Merchard between the two – and the two blowholes spitting out at low tide – it’s not hard to feel the otherworldly aura of this stretch of coast.

The best way to finish a walk-through Boscastle is to continue along the coast path, past stomach dropping steep cliffs, up to the white-washed lookout tower. From here there are fantastic views of the coast all the way down to Tintagel – guaranteed to blow the cobwebs away.

Feel the love at Harbourside Cottage in Boscastle, where charming coastal views and cosy interiors create the perfect romantic retreat.

Search for your self catering holiday in Boscastle with Beach Retreats.

Walk through – Cremyll Ferry to Royal William Yard

A walk-through Cornwall blog with a twist – a ferry across the River Tamar for a coffee in Devon!

Full to the brim after a hearty lunch from The Canteen at Maker Heights, we embark on one of our favourite and most varied walk-throughs to date – just a ten-minute drive from our properties in Whitsand Bay.

Perched on the hill overlooking sea and river and the fishing villages of Kingsand and Cawsand a couple of hundred metres below, the views from Maker near Torpoint are awesome.

Visiting with a large group? Discover our large holiday homes perfect for big families or friend groups.

We leave our car here and pass through green fields and pathways towards Maker Church before descending into Mount Edgcumbe and Cremyll. It’s a half an hour walk downhill, but if you don’t fancy the walk back up the hill later you can park in the pay-and-display in Cremyll.

An enormous part of the 865-acre Mount Edgcumbe House and Country Park is free to explore, including the formal gardens, amphitheater, Orangery Restaurant and avenue, while The House and Earl’s Garden charges admission from March until September. There are plenty of spots for picnics along the shoreline with views over the River Tamar towards the military dockland in Plymouth.

At the foot of Mount Edgcumbe is Cremyll Ferry, a small foot ferry making trips every half an hour to Admiral’s Hard near Royal William Yard on the outskirts of Plymouth. A couple of city cyclists take their bikes back home after a day on the Cornish hills while children wave at the military boats and sailers floating by.

The ten-minute crossing provides a fish-eye view of Royal William Yard’s impressive architecture, considered to be one of the most important groups of historic military buildings in Britain. Disused for a long period of time, the Grade 1 former Royal Naval victualing buildings once used to store supplies for naval ships are once again alive with cafes, bars, restaurants, museum, art galleries, offices and residential spaces.

We stop for coffee and cake at Royal William Bakery, but there are plenty of places to try including River Cottage Canteen, Wildwood, Wagamamas, Prezzo, Le Bistrot Pierre, Las Iguanas and more.

Discover the foodie delights of The Ancient Mariner in Lynmouth, where delicious food and drink are served in a charming, historic setting.

It’s easy to loose track of time wandering the buildings and shoreline here – just remember to check the time of the last ferry back!

Discover the charm and beauty of North Devon, where stunning landscapes and coastal adventures await with Beach Retreats.

Walk through – Port Isaac

Immerse yourself in the Doc Martin TV set, tuck into freshly landed fish from celeb chef Nathan Outlaw’s kitchen, or simply sit by the harbour wall to take sublime views from the 700-year old village of Port Isaac.

Visiting Cornwall for a romantic adventure? Check out our romantic cottages.

Tucked away on North Cornwall’s dramatic coast, Port Isaac has become synonymous with the Doc Martin series and now the Hollywood blockbuster, Fishermen’s Friends.
Port Issac

It’s just a ten-minutes walk along the South West Coast Path from Port Gaverne, once a thriving port for landing slate, coal and pilchards. This sheltered narrow cove has remained pretty much unchanged for hundreds of years. Now owned by the National Trust, it’s become a popular spot for coasteering, paddleboarding and sea swimming. There’s plenty of space for dogs to play at low tide, and you can make a pit stop for a pint or a snack at Pilchards Beach café – part of The Port Gaverne Hotel.

Follow the coast path into pretty Port Isaac, which really is one of Cornwall’s most picturesque villages, with its narrow lanes and 18th century fishermen’s cottages tumbling to the water’s edge. Browse the art and craft galleries, gaze out to the big blue abyss and soak up the historic vibe as you wander through this characterful village.

Fancy looking at other areas of the North Coast? Explore our holiday properties in Port Isaac, just a short drive away from Rock and Padstow.

Fishing boats putter in and out of the harbour, landing the freshest of the ocean’s bounty that you’ll find plated up in a scattering of waterside cafés and restaurants. As well divine seafood served by one of Cornwall’s best-known chefs, Nathan Outlaw, there is a range of cafés and eateries serving everything from haut cuisine to Cornish cream teas.

If you’re a fan of Doc Martin it’s just 200m to the other side of the harbour to spot his home in the fictional coastal village ‘Portwenn’. The Old School Hotel & Restaurant also features in the series, and makes a great pit stop for a steaming bowl of mussels or a slap-up dinner of seasonal produce.

If you fancy tucking into one of the best crab sandwiches in Cornwall (in our opinion), make a beeline for Fresh from the Sea. Owner Calum heads out on his fishing boat daily, to bring in the succulent local crabs that are hand-picked and served in home-baked wholemeal bread. As well as crab you can also tuck into lobster, fresh fish and Porthilly Oysters, all plucked from local waters.

Experience 24 hours in Port Isaac with the Nathan Outlaw experience, indulging in exquisite cuisine and exploring the picturesque coastal charm of this Cornish village.

Situated on Roscarrok Hill, the local Methodist chapel – now the family-run Port Isaac Pottery and Chapel Café, makes a good coffee stop. If you’re lucky, you might even hear the popular sea shanty of the group of Fisherman’s Friends stretching their vocal chords there over a crate of ale – as Billy Hawkins, a baritone player, now owns it.

If you’re up for a more challenging stomp along this staggering section of the coast, head out of Port Isaac and tackle the undulating South West Coast Path to Port Quin. This narrow cleft flanked by cliffs is a stunning and safe location for sea swimming or kayaking, and as the tide ebbs it’s a haven for rockpooling. The beauty of this rugged inlet attracted the original Poldark film crew and a pod of dolphins also regularly comes to play.

Search for your stay in Port Isaac with Beach Retreats.