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A day out in Port Isaac

If you're staying in Rock or Polzeath and fancy a change of scene, Port Isaac makes for a fantastic day out. Bursting with history and charm, this picture-perfect fishing village and its neighbouring cove, Port Gaverne, have something for everyone. We have put together an itinerary to make sure you make the most of your day out.

Port Isaac harbour in North Cornwall

9.30-10.00am - stroll down through the narrow streets

Part of Port Isaac's charm is its narrow streets lined with pretty whitewashed cottages. Driving into the centre is not recommended, so we would suggest either parking at the Main Car Park which is a short walk from the centre of the village (here you are more likely to find a space in peak season) or the New Road Car Park located at the top of the village. Alternatively, the Port Isaac Shuttle Service is also available on 07866 223786.

The narrow streets of Port Isaac in North Cornwall
The narrow streets and whitewashed cottages of Port Isaac

10.00-10.30am - explore the harbour

Port Isaac is famous for its pretty harbour, originally a busy fishing port. You can still see local fishermen bringing in the catch of the day and lobster pots which pile up on The Platt. At low tide you can enjoy a walk along the beach or sit on the harbour wall with a locally made ice-cream whilst the kids hunt for crabs in the rock pools.

An aerial view of Port Isaac, North Cornwall
Boats in the harbour at Port Isaac
Lobster pots in Port Isaac

10.30-11.00am - discover famous filming locations

Port Isaac has been the backdrop for many films and TV series including Doc Martin, Rosamunde Pilcher and most recently, The Fisherman's Friends film. Take a look at our blog for more information on Fisherman's Friends filming locations. If you are a fan of Doc Martin, head up Roscarrock Hill where you will find the doctor's house - a perfect photo opportunity.

Port Isaac in North Cornwall
Port Isaac is used as a location for the Doc Martin TV series

11.00-11.30am - browse the shops and galleries

Port Isaac is home to some fantastic independent shops and galleries - a good excuse for a spot of holiday shopping! Browse Port Isaac Pottery and rest for a spot of tea in the Chapel Café which resides in the same beautiful old chapel which still retains many original features. We would also recommended popping into see resident artist Katie at the Cliffside Gallery on your way past later in the day (located at the top of the hill opposite the carpark).

Cliffside gallery in Port Isaac is home to resident artist Katie Childs
Port Isaac Pottery and Chapel Cafe

11.30-12.00pm - take in the views from the coast path

You can join the South West Coast Path half way up the hill just by the Boat House shop. Here the path hugs the clifftop and you can enjoy the views out to sea. Keep walking and the coast path will take you to Port Gaverne in ten to fifteen minutes (less than 2 miles).

From Port Isaac you can join the South West Coast Path to Port Gaverne
Enjoy views out to sea from the coast path between Port Isaac and Port Gaverne

12.00-2.00pm - a pub lunch in Port Gaverne

You can't visit Port Isaac without taking in its small and equally beautiful neighbour; Port Gaverne. This secluded cove is home to the Port Gaverne Restaurant and Hotel. This is everything you could want from a country pub - overflowing flower boxes set against whitewashed walls, a roaring fire and low wooden beams. Soak up the sunshine outside and enjoy views out to sea or take in the atmosphere inside with a plate of delicious local produce with a side of local ale.

An aerial view of Port Gaverne, located next to Port Isaac in North Cornwall
Port Gaverne is within walking distance from Port Isaac
The Port Gaverne Hotel and Restaurant

2.00-3.00pm - spot dolphins from the headland

At low tide you can head up the stone steps on the right-hand side of the beach and along the cliff to the headland. Here you can enjoy spectacular views out to sea and across to Tintagel. Relax a moment on the bench and look out for dolphins and seals that are often spotted here.

The headland at Port Gaverne where you can sometimes spot dolphins
A couple enjoying the view from the headland at Port Gaverne

3.00-5.00pm - get out on the water

The best way to explore Port Gaverne is from the water. Luckily Cornish Rock Tors are based in the heart of Port Gaverne and their experienced instructors can take you coasteering, kayaking, sea swimming or paddleboarding. You can also hire kayaks and paddleboards.

Kayakers at Port Gaverne, North Cornwall
View of kayakers at Port Gaverne, North Cornwall

6.00-7.00pm - local tipples at The Golden Lion

Once you have dried off, enjoy a leisurely walk back to Port Isaac. This hill is on the steep side and if you are lucky you might be able to hitch a ride on the tuk-tuk belonging to The Port Gaverne Hotel and Restaurant that regularly takes customers up and down the hill. Now it's time for the ultimate country pub experience at The Golden Lion. Out of season, cosy up beside the fire and in the warmer months enjoy the view across the harbour from the balcony. This 18th century pub was used as one of the filming locations in the Fisherman's Friends movie.

The Golden Lion pub in Port Isaac was used as a filming location for the Fisherman's Friends movie
Inside the Golden Lion pub in Port Isaac Image courtesy of The Golden Lion pub

7.00pm - catch of the day courtesy of Nathan Outlaw

All that fresh sea air is bound to work up an appetite. You can't come to this beautiful fishing village without sampling the catch of the day. We recommend heading to Nathan Outlaw's Fish Kitchen right in the centre of the village. This super cosy restaurant serves up seafood delights in little plates. For a memorable dining experience, head up the hill to Restaurant Nathan Outlaw. Enjoy a set seafood menu overlooking the rugged Cornish coastline. The seafood served by Nathan Outlaw is all caught off the Cornish coast in small day boats.

Nathan Outlaw's Fish Kitchen in Port Isaac
Restaurant Nathan Outlaw in Port Isaac


All of our properties are within easy reach of Port Isaac. Some are merely a country walk away and others are just a ten to fifteen minute drive away. From small apartments to 2-4, to large beachfront properties sleeping 14, we have a large range of coastal homes to choose from.

Dry Creek House, a self-catering holiday home in Polzeath, North Cornwall
The lounge in Carn Mar, a self-catering holiday home in Polzeath, North Cornwall
Penquite House, a self-catering holiday home near Port Isaac, North Cornwall
Bedroom at Seabreeze, a self-catering holiday home in Polzeath, North Cornwall

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