Whether you come to immerse yourself in the Doc Martin TV set, eat at Britain’s only two-Michelin-starred seafood restaurant, or simply sit by the harbour to take in the 700-year old village, join us as we take a walk through Port Isaac.
It’s a bracing January afternoon as we start our walk from Port Gaverne, a secluded cove tucked away in North Cornwall’s dramatic coast, just a ten-minute walk from Port Isaac. Once a thriving port for landing slate, coal and pilchards, the sheltered narrow cove has remained pretty much unchanged for hundreds of years.
Now owned by the National Trust, the long low-tide drop allows dogs room to stretch their legs and play ball, while The Port Gaverne Hotel is a good stop for a pint.
Heading back up the road you can choose to take the short coastal path towards Port Isaac or keep straight past the two-Michelin-starred Restaurant Nathan Outlaw – arguably the country’s best seafood and fish restaurant with stunning views across the ocean.
From the haut to the equally as good Cornish cream tea, head over the road to the Terrace Tea Rooms or Ruby Tuesday’s Café.
It’s not hard to fall for Port Isaac as you head over the brow of the hill and descend into the village centre – a hodge podge of whitewashed 18th-century cottages, narrow-winding streets, cobbled alleys, slate and stone. Ponder the art and craft galleries along the way.
Depending on the tide, you can walk onto the sand-lined harbour or simply sit and watch the fisherman land their daily catch of lobster, crabs and fish. Here’s you’ll find the slightly-wonky grade II listed building housing Nathan Outlaw’s Fish Kitchen – a one-Michelin star restaurant serving tapas-inspired small seafood plates.
Fans of the TV series Doc Martin featuring Martin Clunes will want to walk 200m on the other side of the harbour to spot his home (pictured above) in the fictional ‘Portwenn’. Staying on Roscarrok Hill, the local Methodist chapel – now Chapel Café and the family-run Port Isaac Pottery pictured below – makes a good coffee stop. If you’re lucky, you might evem hear the popular sea shanty group the Fisherman’s Friends stretching their vocal chords here over a crate of ale – Billy Hawkwins (baritone player) now owns it.
Make sure you save some energy for the steep walk back up the narrow streets to the car.
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