You may well have come across the beautiful Cornish fishing village of Port Isaac as it is the location for the Martin Clunes series, Doc Martin. Due to the famous series they are now having to build a huge car park just outside which will thankfully help with the hordes who descend every year in the hope of glimpsing some filming. Incredibly we were there when they were filming a scene at the restaurant - so caught a bit of the action.
As you can imagine on filming days it's pretty busy but the crowds tend to stick along the harbour. Venture either up onto the tops and you will get some stunning views of neighbouring Cornish bays, or lose yourself among the quiet and undiscovered backstreets, looking out for cottages to hire (should you want to stay). It's a bit touristy but to be fair there is only one shop selling Doc Martin memorabilia which is a relief!
|The path above Port Isaac|
|Port Isaac coastline|
|The harbour, Padstow|
By contrast and on the same day we decided to visit Padstow which really should be renamed Ricksteinville. I must admit it is a bit overwhelming - we counted 5 businesses (at least) belonging to Rick Stein and although he really has put Padstow on the map with the Rick Stein school of seafood, shop, variety of restaurants and even B&B it is hard to find anywhere to eat non-Stein! The good news is you can eat at one of his places whatever your budget so I shouldn't really complain!
I can see why he chose Padstow however. Not only is it as quaint as you are going to get (I actually prefer it to St Ives) but the beaches are amongst the most beautiful in Cornwall.
Padstow is worth a day's visit. It's beach is the stuff that holidays in the UK are made of (weather permitting) and there is plenty of brilliant places to eat on tap. We chose a non-Rick Stein establishment up on the path out of town and had a fabulous Plowman's lunch overlooking the harbour. The sun came out and it really was quite spectacular.
|Home-made pate and cheese ploughman's - what holiday's were made for!|