With its windswept cliffs and verdant hills speckled with white washed cottages and stone bungalows, Port Isaac in Cornwall was once predominantly a fishing village, but is now a popular holiday resort which attracts tourists from around the world.
Many of you will recognise Port Isaac as 'Portwenn' from the popular television series, 'Doc Martin'. It was also used during the filming of the 1970s series of 'Poldark'. We are fans of those programs too, so, while we were in Cornwall last July, we took the opportunity to visit the village.
Port Isaac is about 16 miles from Padstow and it took us just over half an hour to drive there via St Issey, Wadebridge and St Kew. The narrow lanes wind through the prettiest countryside, with hedgerows and wildflowers all along the road's edge.
Given our experience with the constricted streets in Padstow, we knew we wouldn't be able to drive down into the village, so we parked in the 'pay and display 'at the top of the hill. It was a ten or fifteen minute walk down into the village. For those not keen to walk the distance, there is a shuttle service available, as well as taxis.
Being summer and the 'high season', the village was crowded with tourists, like ourselves - most keen to walk in the footsteps of Martin Clune and Caroline Catz. 'Oooooh, is that one the Doc's house?' we heard people ask again and again, in accents ranging from Kiwi to Jordie.
If a fine day had been promised, we might have gone rambling along one of the coastal walks, but there had been talk on the BBC of 'a spot of rain', so we decided that an exploratory photo walk around the village might be best.
Before we’d managed to cover the length and breadth of the cobbled streets in the village, ominously dark clouds sailed in from the Cornish sea. Of course, we had left our umbrellas and raincoats in the car, and there was no going back for them.
Asking Peter to wait just a moment, I darted into one of the little stores and grabbed a packet of Shrewsbury biscuits, which had caught my eye earlier on. They were delicious and would be the inspiration for a Good Things recipe when I returned home.
As raindrops began to tumble gently, we sought shelter inside The Golden Lion, an 18th century pub, just across the way. We found a table on the sheltered balcony, with spectacular views looking over the harbour and out to sea. Peter went to order our drinks, and then the rain changed direction. It was a tumultuous downpour. In the blink of an eye, the bar was crammed full of people... and wet dogs of all sizes!
Thankfully, Peter found a table in the dining room upstairs and we enjoyed a fabulous luncheon before hailing a taxi to take us back up to the car. While our visit to this picturesque little village was cut short by the glorious English weather, it remains a most memorable day.
Postcards from Port Isaac in north Cornwall...
For more information about Port Isaac, places to stay and things to do, see the Cornwall Guide, the Visit Cornwall web site, or go to the Port Isaac online.
Tell me dear readers, have you ever been to Cornwall, or Port Isaac. Are you a fan of Poldark or Doc Martin? And did you spot Doc Martin's cottage?
Hello. I'm Liz, a writer, cook and traveller based in Canberra, Australia.
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NB: I use Australian standard measuring cups and spoons in my recipes.