Calling all Doc Martin fans. Do you love Portwenn and want to live there? Well, did you know it actually exists and you can visit it?! If you’re a fan of the show, you need to go.
Known in the real world as Port Isaac, it’s an unbelievably cute Cornish village with photo opportunities aplenty, real fishermen and the best seaside cottages. Put it on your holiday list but make sure you read my top tips before you arrive.
1 Don’t make the locals cross!
I’m not joking. You don’t want to get on the wrong side of a Port Isaac local. This is a real place and people actually live here (lucky them). But, thanks to years of filming some of them are, er, rather ambivalent to the tourists that descend every summer and traipse all over their village.
So if you visit, don’t walk through their gardens, look in their windows or be generally annoying. To be fair, I know you won’t be that person, but I’m nervous that locals won’t let me back in if I tell everyone to go and they trash the place. Ok, now the good stuff.
2 Pick up a map from the sweet shop
Pop into the local sweet shop / post office (it’s the chemists in the TV show. You’ll recognise it) and ask for a map of the Doc Martin locations. Maps and signs aren’t abundant in Port Isaac, so you’ll need this map if you’re going to look out all the locations you’ll recognise from the show. *Note* this isn’t a photo of the post office. I forgot to take a photo of it.
3 Check out the Doc’s house
This is an actual house and you can rent it in the summer, so perhaps don’t go up and peer in the windows. But you can’t come to Port Isaac and not take a picture of the Doc’s house, can you? Join the queue!
4 See how many actual fishermen’s cottages you can find (with real nets outside and everything)
Port Isaac is a real live fishing village, so if you’re lucky you might see a real live fisherman. I spotted one striding around in a yellow jacket and was filled with joy. See how many you can spot.
5 Squeeze your way through ‘Squeeze Belly Alley’
Yup, that’s the name of the teeny tiny alley behind the lavender bush in this photo that connects the main high street to the street above. It’s cute, it’s quirky, it’s very Cornish. And yes, it’s pretty challenging to fit through if you’ve eaten a lot of Cornish pasties.
6 Find Bert’s restaurant
Look at it! It’s Bert Large’s restaurant and just as you’d imagine it. Sadly it’s not an actual fish and chip shop and the patio isn’t covered with fairly lights, and unless filming is in season you won’t spot Bert ambling about. But it’s still very photogenic.
7 Visit Louisa’s house
Of all the locations on the map, Louisa’s house was the trickiest to find. I *think* this is it, but in the end I wasn’t sure. If you do visit and manage to track it down please let me know if I was right or not.
8 Take photos of many houses *just in case*
This was the other photo of Louisa’s house; it’s got to be one of the two right?! I ended up taking SO MANY photos of houses ‘just in case’ they were from the TV show. I guarantee you will too.
9 Get window box inspiration
The residents of Port Isaac are window box experts. You will see them everywhere, and some of them are exceedingly pretty (the window boxes, not the locals), so do take note.
10 Venture down some of the quieter streets
Head off the beaten track and venture down some of the littler streets. You will be rewarded with views like this. Worth it right?
11 Walk to the top of the hill
There’s a hill just behind the Doc’s house that is well worth the very steep climb (don’t worry, there’s a bench at the top) If you climb it you are rewarded with the best view of the cove from above. Take your camera.
12 Admire the hydrangeas
They are everywhere and most of them are the size of a small house (it must be the sea air). Yes you will get flower envy. No, you probably can’t grow them like that at home.
And that’s my round up! What do you think? Have you visited Port Isaac? Did I get Louisa’s house right?
If you’re a fan of Cornwall you might like to read my Top 10 Things to Do in St Ives.