Port Isaac is a fishing
village on the North Cornish coast that is so charming that everyone falls in
love with the place. Port Isaac surrounds a picturesque harbour and nestles in a narrow
with whitewashed cottages crowding the narrow streets and alleyways (one is so
narrow that it is affectionately called Squeezeebelly alley).
Most of the centre of the village consists of
18th and 19th century cottages situated along the narrow valley and
slowly creeping up the steep hillsides. The character of the old
fishing village permeates the air and its dramatic setting, under
high, rocky cliffs gives the whole area a timeless feel.
Port Isaac has kept most of its original
character. Film and TV location spotters choosing this area regularly
due to its authentic look and feel of old Kernow. Port Isaac was busy from the Middle Ages to the
mid 19th century when it was an active port where cargoes like coal,
wood, stone, ores, limestone, salt, pottery and heavy goods were
imported and exported via Port Isaac's tiny little harbour until the
19th century when the railway and the lorry finally ended the coastal
trade at the start of the 20th century.
Port Isaac has a long history of fishing and to this day there are still
fishermen working from the Platt, where the fishermen land their daily catch of
fish, crab and lobster and various other delicacies. Nowadays some of the
fishermen of Port Isaac subsidise their living by becoming famous. To see
video footage of the
Fishermans Friends performing live in Port Isaac go here.
You can sit here and drift
into days gone by so easily, and the pubs right here too. The bounty is to be
found in the wide range of hotels and restaurants and fresh fish outlets. Port
Isaac makes the perfect location for holidays both in
and out of season. It is well suited for a whole variety of outdoor activities
or, for the less energetic, just soaking up the atmosphere and enjoying the
delights of the local restaurants and pubs. Near Port Isaac there are some
excellent sandy beaches for swimming and surfing. At
Rock there is sailing and
waterskiing on the Camel Estuary. There are also some excellent golf courses
within a few miles of Port Isaac. The village has starred in many a motion
picture (more recently the story 'Amy Foster' was filmed in the village also
"Saving Grace" was filmed around this area too) and the scenery along this
stretch of coastline rivals that of
Squeezeebelly Alley or Temple Bar
Port Isaac is believed to have
originally been Port Izzard ( nothing to do with Eddie) and in earlier times it was known as Portissyk. Port
Isaac is pronounced Porthusek in Cornish. This port dates from Saxon times, but
by the 16th century, its trade was mainly in pilchard fish.
was also exported from here. The pier was constructed during the reign of Henry
VIII, and still visible, and the coming of the railway increased its prosperity.
The village grew steadily from the 18th century.
St Endellion (St
Endelienta) is a small settlement between Port Quin and Port Isaac. Here can be found the Long Cross
on Doyden's Head and Port Quin Bay.
became a slate, limestone and coal port where shipbuilding also took place in
the 19th century. Slate from Delabole quarry was loaded here into the heavy
sailing sea ketches which were wide enough to rest on the beach between tides.
Port Quin was abandoned on two occasions, once when the pilchards
failed and once when all the men were drowned at sea. It is now a peaceful place
with only one commercial outlet, that of a small food trailer that serves tea,
coffee and snacks during the summer months.
N.B. Port Wenn is a fictitious village that was
created for the television series Doc Martin. Port Wenn uses several different
locations within North Cornwall. Port Isaac, Trevalga, Boscastle,
Davidstow Moor and
Dozmary pool... to name but a few....and there's only one Doctor.....
For further information on Port Isaac thisisnorthcornwall
Useful resources for
accommodation in Port Isaac can be found at
If you are looking for somewhere to stay in this part of the county
then try the following resources.
For bed and breakfast accommodation
go here or if you require self catering accommodation
and you will find a abundance of properties to suit all budgets and
Doc Martin and Fishermans Friends have helped lift Port Isaac into a
higher awareness amongst the public.
For guided walks and maps visit