Port Isaac (aka My Happy Place)

Port Isaac (aka My Happy Place)

A few years back, I happened upon a British TV show called Doc Martin. As I started watching it and growing increasingly fascinated with the characters, I realized there was one character I had completely fallen in love with:  the fictitious town of Port Wenn. To refer to the town as a character may seem silly, but to me, she stole every scene she was in.

So when my father passed away and I received a small inheritance, I decided that the best way to spend it would be to go to Port Wenn for a vacation. The first order of business was to find out where, exactly, that was. As it turns out, Port Wenn is actually the fishing village called Port Isaac, in Cornwall.


When planning the trip, I was torn between staying at the Old School Hotel (the building with arched windows in the above photograph – it is the school on Doc Martin) or staying someplace else, in a more central location, at a lower cost. My husband said, “The whole reason you want to go to Cornwall is because of Doc Martin. I’d say we have to stay there.”

I do love him so!

It didn’t take any time at all to realize that we’d made the right choice. Port Isaac was every bit as beautiful as it seemed on television. I still refer to it as The Most Beautiful Place on Earth. Cobbled streets, winding paths, tiny cottages, the wind, the water… it was just heavenly! And every morning we woke up to the sound of seagulls outside our window. This was our view:

our view 1.JPG

Other than the harbor, there were two main sights from the Doc Martin show. First, Doc Martin’s surgery:


And Mrs Tishell’s drug store, which is in actuality a candy shop:

sweet shop

But we were there for a week. And seeing the Doc Martin landmarks took just a few hours. So we went to the beach, which looked like this at low tide.

boats at low tide.JPG

At high tide, the fishermen would have to take small rowboats out to get on these boats. Very often the reason we would hear the seagulls outside our window in the morning was because the fishermen would be returning with the day’s catch.

Walking along the beach, I happened to glance down and spot a piece of sea glass. Then another. And another. An hour or so later, I was virtually obsessed and had two pockets full of sea glass to bring home.

We also found a couple caves, which was a neat exploration opportunity.


Thankfully there were no bats in there!

After we had been there a few days, we noticed an awful lot of people down on the beach, so we went to see what the fuss was about. It turned out that a local singing group known as The Fisherman’s Friends were singing in the harbor, and their performance was being filmed. The place was packed.

fishermans friends

I jokingly call Port Isaac my happy place, but I really do mean it. When I need to relax and clear my head, Port Isaac is the place I visualize. I don’t know if I will ever be able to return to Port Isaac, but I am certainly glad that I spent a week there!

Port Isaac is located on the northern coast of Cornwall, England, about 9 miles southwest of Tintagel.  


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