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 25 years or so, having provided the location for the film 'Saving Grace' as well as the spin-off TV series, 'Doc Martin'. All of this and we haven't even mentioned the Fisherman's Friends yet, who's live performances on the beach on Summer Friday nights are one of the cultural highlights of the area.

Bon viveurs and gastronauts won't be disappointed: for such a small village Port Isaac boast an embarrassment of riches when it comes to places to eat, both locally and a little further afield and to suit all budgets. From Rachel's chippie across the road and The Golden Lion Pub if you're looking for something cheap and cheerful to Nathan Outlaw's brace of Michelin starred restaurants in the village and Rick Stein's various establishments in Padstow there really is something for everyone. Oh, and Nicky Bradbury, sharpest tongue in the village, serves good hot pasties and cakes down at the bottom of Fore Street. The coffee at ‘May Contain Nuts' (right out the door and 30 seconds on your left) is really good too.

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 in the world. Calum and Tracy serve the best freshly landed crab, lobster and more off their own boat up at "Fresh From The Sea" (left out the door and 3 minutes up Fore Street on the left).

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 anglers amongst you the local beaches and rock marks provide bass, mackerel, garfish, pollock, turbot, rays, flounders, whiting and even the occasional cod, depending on the season. Try fishing mackerel, lug or peeler crab into the surf at Port Gaverne harbour from evening low tide to 3hrs up for bass or spinning off Lobber Point with small lures or frozen sandeel for mackerel and Garfish during the Summer and Autumn. Inside Port Gaverne harbour often produces a bass or two to a sinking sand eel or needle fish lure retrieved slowly along the sand at night. Please be aware of new take-home size limits (42cm). The River Camel has a run of both Sea trout and Salmon and can be fished on day ticket. Port Isaac harbour usually has an enterprising local taking parties out to catch mackerel in the bay during the Summer months. I'd enquire at the Fish Cellars (selling excellent fresh fish) down by the harbour.

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 as well as nature-spotting boat trips along the coast.