Port Isaac (“Portwenn”), Cornwall: Doc Martin Country

Movie features:

Scenes from Port Isaac (“Portwenn”): entering, exploring, and leaving the port

Life Boat Station and crew: The boat ramp and Port Isaac’s boat crew–this is the actual crew and not the crew who feature in Doc Martin. The Doc Martin life boat crew are actors who are brought in by the film studio.

“Lousia’s” cottage and “school”: like many of the schools in small villages in England, the school in Port Isaac looks more like a church than a school. The school in  Doc Martin is, in reality, now the “Old School Hotel.” This hotel was Port Isaac’s “old” school in actuality.

“Doc Martin’s” house and surgery is almost at the top of the steep lane that runs up Roscarrack Hill.

Views across to the adjoining  port to the north of Port Isaac–Port Gaverne.  We didn’t get to see the adjoining south port, Port Quin.

“Auntie Joan’s” farm and outbuildings.

The cliff-top walk: this leads to a car park above Port Isaac where the public can leave their vehicles and walk down into the port. In Doc Martin the film-makers, as all film-makers do, cleverly position the camera shots and angles so that the public car park is not in evidence.

The narrow, cobbled, single-lane streets of Port Isaac have many sharp angles and bends, and are barely wide enough to allow a car through. Only locals, emergency vehicles, hotel guests, and holiday-stays, the  are allowed to drive through the town. all day visitors and others have to leave their vehicles above the village in the public car-parks provided.

Large Restaurant, looking not as large in reality as it does in Doc Martin.

The port: a magical place.


In Port Isaac, one of the places we visited was the post office. As well as looking after the mail for Port Isaac and the area, this tiny shop sold all manner of things as well souvenirs, post cards, and the most delicious locally-produced, Cornish (gluten-free) ice-creams. As usual, I couldn’t resist….

We got chatting to the post master. He told us that the film crew had only just finished filming the latest Doc Martin series, that the crew had only left the Port late yesterday, Friday (it was now Saturday), and that on Monday the film crews would be back to begin filming the new series of Poldark.  Apparently, the two small screen films are made series and series about.

The post master also told us that now the last episode in the latest series had been finished, he could let us in on his little secret–he, and one other local (I think the Mayor of Port Isaac), had each had a role in the newest Doc Martin series, but they were sworn to silence during the filming of the new series for fear of sparking feelings of envy or jealousy amongst the locals generally.  Other than for this one exception, no Port Isaac locals are given roles in the Doc Martin or Poldark  small-screen films, not even as extras: all extras, including the life-boat crew, are actors imported by the film studios into the Port for the time of the filming, and for the times they are needed.


Photos by courtesy of Bob: made into movie by friend Melita C.


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