Port Isaac was a busy coastal port from the Middle Ages to the mid 19th century when it was an active harbour where cargoes like stone, coal, timber and pottery were loaded and unloaded. Fishing and fish-processing were also important and today there are still fisherman working from here although tourism plays an increasingly important role. It has even been the setting from films such as the popular comedy Saving Grace, the popular TV series Doc Martin and the recent movie ‘Fisherman’s Friends’. The Fisherman’s Friends still sing at certain weekends throughout the summer months, keep an eye on their Facebook page for details!
So why not wander amongst the 18th and 19th century cottages and soak up the atmosphere of this coastal village and later sample some of the local catch from the restaurant menus.
Nearby you will find more to explore at Port Quin, Port Gaverne and St Endellion. Port Gaverne is situated at the end of a deep winding valley and at low tide there is a small, sheltered, sandy beach with an abundance of rocky pools. A beach paradise for all the family whatever their age.
The surrounding coastal paths are dramatic and rugged as they travel up and down the coves and headlands; sightings of rare birdlife and even the occasional glimpse of a seal or pod of dolphins is not uncommon. On the coastal path heading west, the first place you come to is Port Quin which is a National Trust fishing village, known by some as the village that died after the entire male population disappeared mysteriously in the 19th century.
St Endellion hosts a music festival both in spring and summer in its famous collegiate church, once the place of worship for John Betjeman.
Parking in Port Isaac
Due to the nature of Port Isaac with its narrow, windy streets vehicle access is very limited. It is strongly recommended that you park in one of the two car parks – the Main Car Park, owned by St. Endellion Parish Council and New Car Park owned by Cornwall Council – located at the top of the village and wander to the harbour area on foot. The Port Isaac Shuttle Service is also available on 07866 223786.