Port Isaac is more than just Doc Martin

Posted on March 30th, 2018

Port Isaac is a traditional Cornish fishing village just 25 minutes drive from Coombe Mill. It is picturesque and surrounded by countryside in an area of outstanding natural beauty on the North Coast of Cornwall, almost directly out to sea from Coombe Mill.  The village is characterised by its steep narrow lanes, old whitewashed granite cottages and slate fronted Cornish houses leading down to the old harbour. It is a notable tourist attraction not least as the setting for famous TV series like Doc Martin.  However while tourism is the big employer today, fishing was once a significant industry and a few fishing boats still use the port today. If you dig back further in time cargo ships came and went from Port Isaac carrying coal, stone and more from this Middle Ages until well into the 19th Century.  While I was tied up at Coombe Mill waiting for guests to arrive, my niece and her family went off to explore the quaint little village armed with my camera. It is their photo adventure I’m sharing.

Port Isaac is more than just Doc Martin


You can’t park down by the harbour but there are car parks up on the headland with stunning coastal views.


Views from the cliff tops out to sea at Port Isaac


It’s a steep walk down but not too long or busy


Walking the steep street to Port Isaac Harbour


Once at the bottom it is clear why you can’t park there, there isn’t even room to turn the car but it is very pretty to walk though.

Narrow streets of Port Isaac

All roads lead to the sea

Whichever way you walk down you will find yourself in the little harbour front. At low tide there is enough beach for a little play and it is easily accessed via the boat slipway. Space and freedom was just what was needed for these little ones and an eager puppy. Wet paws and wet wellies were inevitable but worth every minute.

The handy slipway wall is a good chance to sort out soggy wellies, sandy hands and catch your breath.


Slipway at Port Isaac


If you are after a bite to eat or a drink there are a handful of shops, pubs and cafe’s to revive you. 


Taking a break in Port Isaac


After which a wonder through the town brings plenty of excitement for little ones from cottage railings to the old water pump.


Fun in the streets of Port Isaac


A last look out to sea through the harbour walls is a must before the long trek back to the car park. A heavy trek for some and a cosy carry for others!


Waling back up to the car park at Port Isaac


Apparently the car engine was hardly turning before this was the scene in the back seats.


Asleep in car seats


Half an hour from drive from Port Isaac is just enough time for a power nap before the evening Coombe Mill train ride!

Tips for visiting Port Isaac

  • Park at the car park at the entrance to the village before driving down into the village where you can’t park or stop.

  • Wear sensible footwear for walking.

  • Have some cash for a local tipple and a treat in the town or pack some snacks and drinks in a ruck sack.

  • Take advantage of a play on the beach at low tide.

  • In summer and weekends the local fish shop sells excellent fish and seafood from the local fishing boats.

  • Look out for Martin Clunes! 

Country Kids T ravel Loving Family