Join our Port Isaac tours from London and partake in a journey of beautiful scenery and unique history. During your small-group adventure exploring Cornwall’s coastline, you’ll stop in at the charming village of Port Isaac, the main filming location for TV series Doc Martin.
This sleepy place is tucked away on Cornwall’s north coast, but is instantly recognisable to any fans of Doc Martin. Port Isaac began life as a tiny fishing village and developed into a bustling centre of trade. It’s now iconically the place where the Doc Martin series is filmed, so join our Port Isaac tours and make the show a reality…
Set on the rugged north Atlantic coast in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), the small village of Port Isaac is one of the most idyllic places in Cornwall. It was first recognised as a fishing port in the mid-fourteenth century, and grew through the middle ages as a bustling port of trade. Most of the village centre dates to the 18th and 19th century, and in here you’ll find 90 protected buildings set along the narrow streets.
The name ‘Isaac’ likely comes from the Cornish word ‘ysek’ meaning corn, a reference to the once prosperous trade in corn from the local area, and therefore translating as ‘Port Corn’. The harbour walls were constructed during the reign of King Henry VIII, in the mid-16th century, protecting the cove from turbulent weather and allowing the village to prosper. Soon the port was a hive of activity, handling coal, wood, ores, heavy goods and fish.
Today, Port Isaac is famous as the main filiming location for the TV series Doc Martin, starring Martin Clunes. It tells the story of successful surgeon Dr Martin Ellingham, who develops a phobia of blood and moves from London to the village of Portwenn, Cornwall, to become the local Doctor. However, things don’t go smoothly, as the Doc’s blunt nature and lack of emotion causes friction with the locals, often with amusing consequences.
With beautiful fisherman’s cottages perched on the hillsides, narrow lanes winding through the village and a charming hidden harbour at its heart, Port Isaac is the ideal place to capture a typical Cornish village on screen. It was first used as a filming location back in the mid-1970’s, when production of a new TV series called Poldark began, telling the story of Britsh Army Officer Ross Poldark, who returns to Cornwall after the American Revoultionary War.
Only a few years later, in 1981, Port Isaac was the chosen location once again when it was used as a filming location for Nightmare Men, even though the BBC sci-fi production was actually set on a small Scottish island! And in 2006, the village was featured in the mini-series The Shell Seekers, starring Vanessa Redgrave. The story is based on the best-selling novel of the same name by Rosamunde Pilcher, and features places all over Cornwall.
Port Isaac has also featured on the big-screen, like romantic drama Oscar and Lucinda, starring Ralph Fiennes and Cate Blanchett. But perhaps most significantly, the village was chosen as the main location for British comedy Saving Grace. Locally popular Grace Trevethyn is suddenly widowed, and left in financial trouble by her late husband. She is supported by close friends, including local GP Dcctor Martin Bamford, played by a certain Martin Clunes…
If you would like to explore the real-life home of Doc Martin, then why not join one of our small-group Port Isaac tours from London? Our five-day adventures include the services of our professional Tour Leaders who are experts on the all of the places you’ll visit, full transportation and four-nights accommodation. Tours start and finish in central London.
Find out more about our Port Isaac tours and start your adventure now!