Doc Martin and Hilltop Lunches
Updated: Mar 15, 2019
I think we can all agree the week or so of summer that we had in February was both a welcome dose of Vitamin D and also a worrying indication of the state of the environment. You may feel as though being just one person you can't save the world, we're not super hero's of course...
But, I'm sorry to say this, YOU'RE WRONG! Even just making tiny changes day to day will make a HUGE difference! Admittedly, I'm not as plastic free and eco friendly as I am aiming to be (it's not always easy to avoid plastic packaging, especially on a budget) but I am trying my best to make tiny environmentally conscious changes that will build up to make a big difference. Side note: @thehappynewspaper - which is an incredible company/idea/ray of sunshine - now has a new 'highlight' on their Instagram page which shares tiny things we can do which will make a HUGE difference, if you want any ideas!
Anyway, back to adventuring! Despite the (probably terrifying) reasons why, we finally had some really lovely weather, so of course I wanted to make the most of it and get out and do some wandering! Port Isaac has been on my list of 'places to go' for quite a while now, however it is a little bit further out than my usual spots so it took me a little longer to get there (literally, on the journey there as well as how long I've been wanting to go, just to be clear). We made sure to take a packed lunch with us, as we assumed being the location for the programme Doc Martin, the prices in the Cafe's, pubs and shops would be a little more expensive than usual... I didn't manage to take a look at the prices for food/drink as we were busy exploring, but if anyone has any info about the prices, I'd love to know!
With our lunch in a daisy print holdall and after about an hour and fifteen minute drive, our stomach's were already beginning to rumble when we first got to Port Isaac. So, our first stop was to find somewhere to eat, priorities people! It was only a short walk from the carpark to the main village and seaside (there are quite a few places to park, but we read online to head to the carpark that you first come across as there is a lot more space, especially in Summer months!). As we walked through the village, on the hunt for a good picnic spot, I couldn't stop grinning. Honestly, Charley will vouch for me with that one, I just kept saying 'I love it, we're going to live here one day, I LOVE IT'.
The village is built in a kind of horse shoe around the harbour, it looks exactly how you would picture a small Cornish village to be; from what I could see there were no big chain shops or cafes, only independent businesses. There was, however, a lot of Doc Martin (and Poldark??) merchandise and references that seemed to pop up in shop windows, street signs, post cards and coasters... but who can blame them for making the most of being the filming location for Doc Martin! We reached the end of the quaint little shops and cafe's and couldn't work out where we were going to stop and take a seat. In front of us was a BIG hill and although I am the last person you will see on the front of a fitness magazine, trust me, I was eager to get to the top as I was certain the view would be worth the climb. Charley spotted a little bench on our way climbing up the wonky steps, so we agreed we'd stop there for our lunch. Unfortunately we weren't the only ones with that idea and by the time we go to the top it was taken, so instead we chucked our coats under our bums and plonked ourselves down on the grass, slightly out of breath and now very hungry.
I could've stayed up there for hours. I would seriously recommend taking a lunch with you, just for the experience of an incredible view of Port Isaac, the hills of North Cornwall that the fishing village is tucked away in and the prime view of the great expanse of ocean that the village borders on. There is a pathway that traces its way around the whole of the hill, down to another bay (which is beautiful but not very accessible) and up another hill that will lead you to Port Quinn after about a two mile walk.
So, if you're a big walker or hiker, I would highly recommend adding Port Isaac to your list, as just a quick look on https://www.iwalkcornwall.co.uk/walks/near/port_isaac presented me with a huge variety of walks, all starting at, leading too or going through Port Isaac with a beautiful, scenic backdrop. We did take a little walk round to the next bay, but decided to start a gradual walk home, taking our time to look at all the quirky shops and of course grab an ice cream before heading back to the car.
Unfortunately, Port Isaac, as far as I can tell is only really accessible via car and is quite challenging to get to through public transport. It is possible to get two trains and two coaches but would take around 2 hours and would cost about £15 - £20, which I know is a little bit more time, money and energy than most people would like to spend. I will make sure that the next adventure is easily accessible by public transport, but if you do have a car or a friend/partner/relative who drives or a know friendly Taxi driver who fancies an adventure, get yourself to Port Isaac, I'm sure you will LOVE IT.