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A Short Guide to Port Isaac

Updated on August 13, 2012

Port Isaac is a picturesque fishing village, situated on the North coast of Cornwall, with stunning views out across the Atlantic. In the 18th and 19th century it was a busy fishing port and the town regularly took deliveries of coal, wood, pottery, stones and salt, along with its’ fishing haul.

The town was home to at least four major fish stores and the narrow streets prove the skill and competence required by the people working there, to get the cargoes from the boats and into the town. Although today the main industry is tourism, Port Isaac retains its authenticity as a port, as s there are still fishermen working from the village, who bring in a daily catch of fish, lobster and crab.

But not only is Port Isaac a picture perfect Cornish village port: It has also featured in the popular TV series Doc Martin, been used as location for the film Saving Grace and is home to the internationally acclaimed sea shanty singers Fisherman’s Friends (see video below).

Port Isaac is popular with visitors, especially during the summer months, but not so much so that it has scared away some of its celebrity residents, such as TV designer Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen and actress Julie Peasgood. The town still retains its very special sense of beauty and isolation.

Port Isaac's Fisherman's Friends Video

Throughout the summer months it is possible to take fishing trips and scenic trips from the harbour, and is well worth doing so to get some stunning views of the town and the surrounding villages. Both Port Gaverne and Port Quinn, which are less than a few miles from Port Isaac along the coast, are beautiful spots to visit – by sea or by land. If you prefer the land option, walking the Southwest coast path is a wonderful way to explore the coastline and get out and enjoy the rugged Cornish landscape.

The walk from Port Isaac, through Port Gaverne and along to Tintagel is a particularly beautiful one. If you make it to Tintagel, you will be rewarded with the sight of the magnificent Tintagel Castle, allegedly the birthplace of King Arthur, dating back to the 13th century.

Port Isaac has a lovely shingle beach, which makes for a great spot for a quick dip in the sea, or lovely for barbeques – and perhaps more practical than sand! But if you are looking for sandy beaches there are plenty of these nearby. In fact the whole north coast is home to some of the best and most spectacular beaches in the country. Daymer Bay in the nearby Camel Estuary is a hotspot for windsurfers, canoers and surfers, and there are many miles of heavenly sands to explore further down the coast too.

For great eats in Port Isaac head to The Slipway hotel for exceptional fish and seafood, or for unparalleled views and a delectable menu of local produce head to the Edge Restaurant, where you can also get a mean cream tea too.

If you decide to take a break in Port Isaac it is well worth having a look at Port Isaac self-catering holidays. Self-catering can offer great flexibility and being in a cottage all of your own can afford the seclusion and tranquillity that can be so hard to find!

Port Isaac has a wealth to offer, in terms of stunning scenery, good old fashioned Cornish charm and a rich historical past. So, why not check it out for yourself and see why it has become such a popular location with the media, celebs and many clever holidaymakers, without losing even an ounce of its character.

View Google Map of Port Isaac


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    • profile image


      5 years ago

      that is nice hub about a wonderful place . i wish to visit that place really...

    • Yourglobalgirl profile image


      6 years ago from UK

      This is a lovely hub about a wonderful place. I will link one of my Cornish hubs to this.


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