Sea Cove Cottage, Port Isaac

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Port Isaac

For such a small village, Port Isaac seems to get more than its fair share of the limelight. Perhaps it's not so surprising when you consider how beautiful the old village and surrounding landscape are. Once a well kept secret, Port Isaac has regularly graced page and screen over the last 10 years or so, having provided the location for the film 'Saving Grace' as well as the spin-off TV series, 'Doc Marten', not to mention various make-over shows and Lewellyn-Bowen vehicles.

More recently the local shanty singers, a motley crew of local chancers and n'er-do-wells that go by the name of The Fisherman's Friends, have stormed the national LP charts and won over the hearts and minds of grannies and bored housewives country-wide.

For the bonviveurs amongst you there are plenty of places to eat both locally and a little further afield - from Rachel's chipie across the road and The Golden Lion Pub if you're looking for something cheap and cheerful (the pub's fish n chips take some beating) to Rick Stein's various establishments in Padstow and Jamie Oliver's Newquay 'Fifteen' for something more extravagant. Trattoria at Tredethy House in St Mabyn serves great, simple Italian from Thursday to Saturday evenings in a beautiful country house setting and the Harbour Cafe back in Port Isaac is worth a try too. Nicky Bradbury, sharpest tongue in the village, serves good hot pasties and cakes down at the bottom of Fore Street.

Incidentally, Port Isaac is a working harbour with the local boats specialising in crab and lobster. Both are excellent, with the lobsters some of the best you'll eat anywhere. Wendy in the fish cellars down on The Platt will be happy to sell you one alive or cooked.

A place of outstanding natural beauty with dramatic coastal walks in every direction, lovers of nature can expect to spot seals, dolphins, nesting pairs of peregrine falcons, whale sharks and a wealth of seabirds amongst other natural wonders. For the anglers amongst you the local beaches and rock marks provide bass, mackerel, gar fish, pollock, turbot, rays, flounders, whiting and even the occasional cod, depending on the season. Try fishing lug or peeler crab into the surf from low tide up for bass or spinning off the rocks with frozen sandeel for mackerel. Inside Port Gaverne harbour often produces a bass or two from low tide up. The River Camel has a run of both Sea trout and Salmon and can be fished on day ticket. Fresh baits can be bought at Padstow Angling Centre and frozen at Trelawney Garage in the Village. John Brown takes mackerel fishing parties out of Port Isaac harbour on Winnie the Pooh most days through the Summer.

The local surfing is some of the best in the British Isles with Trebarwith Strand and Polzeath beach nearby, as well as Tregardock beach for those who like their beaches less busy (the walk from the nearest car parking spot is about 10 mins). The Camel Estuary around Daimer Bay is also very popular amongst wind surfers. See Andy Cameron at Wavehunters in the village to organise surfing lessons and trips.