It’s easy to imagine life in Port Isaac as it was 700 years ago. Whitewashed 18th-century cottages sit snug on sleepy streets and cobbled alleys which wind their way down to the working harbour where fisherman land their catch. Yet don’t be fooled by the slow pace of the seaside village- Port Isaac is home to a vibrant community with a busy shop and eatery scene and its own film star reputation as the real life set for iconic TV series Doc Martin. The famous sea shanty singers the Fisherman’s Friends also call Port Isaac home.
Up for a challenge? Try the walk from Port Quin back to Port Isaac, passing rugged headlands and rocky coves. The views of the shimmering pastel blue vista will take your mind off the steep inclines of the path! The neighboring beaches at Port Gaverne, two miles along the coast, and Port Quin a little further along offer a quiet beach day with the fun of Polzeath, Rock and Padstow a short drive away.
Nathan Outlaw is to Port Isaac as Rick Stein is to Padstow. Fine dine on cured mackerel and spider crab at Outlaw’s New Road or take it easy peeling shells off prawns in the laid-back tapas-style bistro Nathan Outlaw’s Fish Kitchen. For more casual eateries, try the charming 18th-century Golden Lion pub or the Chapel Café.
Dogs are welcome in Port Isaac where you’ll find a small beach at low tide. Its neighbouring beach Port Gaverne, accessed via the dog-friendly coastal path, offers a larger stretch of sand to play on.
Port Isaac’s narrow, windy streets are beautiful but make vehicle access tricky, particular in the summer. The two car parks at the top of the village are the best option from which to wonder by foot down to the harbour.