“ The Sister Ports: Port Isaac, with Port Gaverne, are totally surrounded by open countryside and lie in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and a Heritage Coast Area. „
Well we have just spent a very wet and windy week in Port Isaac.
The accommodation was superb.
But Port Isaac was closed.......... just 1 pub, 1 café and the School House Hotel were open, oh yes and thankfully the Co-Op.
The streets were awash with dog dirt.... despite poo bins on every corner, this is obviously the locals as it was in many stages of decay all from the same dogs. Really annoyingly 1 was even allowed to sh*t on the front garden of our rental ..... euck. This alone was enough to put us off every staying here again.
Then straying a little of the beaten track onto a farm track at the back of ehat look to be council houses you find someone's personal dump, obviously a local builder who uses the area to store unused building materials and stuff he will have to pay to have tipped like a full bulk bag of asbestos pieces clearly removed from a job and left there -nice touch.
So Port Isaac clean up your act or I am sure we wont be the only visitors never whishing to return.
Port Isaac is a delightful 700yr old fishing village situated in North Cornwall on the B3267 approximately 70 miles from Exeter. It is the most perfect picture postcard village I've ever been to. With its white washed cottages. I spent many of my childhood holidays there going twice a year. We use to rent a cottage (not great if you're tall). My family had wonderful holidays there. It's the type of place that fits in to everyone's lifestyle with lots to do and yet nothing to do if that's what you want. If you're the walking type then you can walk along some beautiful scenic coastlines I've ever seen. The main street is called Fore Street and is very narrow I would not recommend it to anyone that has a large or long car, and don't even attempt it if you have a caravan in tow. Most of the street is single car width, there are only a few passing places and you will spend a lot of time reversing, which obviously more difficult in a large, long car. Parking is very strict there is a car park at the top of the village or you can park on the beach but you MUST take note of the sign that tells you what time the tide comes in. I've lost count of the number of times I've seen cars 'drown' because the owner didn't check the time and return to find their car submerged which is quite funny when its not your car. On a Thursday evening the St Breward silver band play on the Platt (nr the beach) and then walk through the village with people doing the floral dance behind. If you ever hear a flare gun going off, this is to signal that the lifeboat has been requested. This is manned by volunteers who are at their usual jobs but when the gun going off and the flare goes up they leave, run to the boat and head out to sea. It's quite a sight. There are many things the village is known for. Firstly it's fishing. There is a shop right on the beach where you can buy
it straight from the fisherman and it doesn't come much fresher. The crabs and the lobsters are still alive and you can cook them yourselves if you can stand the screaming but they do also sell them prepared. Prices are not the cheapest but you get what you pay for. The second thing is the filming of Poldark and the film Saving Grace with Brenda Blethyn the majority of which was filmed in Port Isaac. So if you wish to see the village before you visit then check out the film, which I'll do a review on when I get the time. And the famous 'squeezy belly alley' which the name really says it all. It's one of, if not the narrowest street in the world. If you are on the larger side you will not get through. Things to do. If you have young children there is nothing more fun and free (unless you have to buy the net) than giving them fishing net, which you can buy in the local shop. Sticking them in their wellies and leaving them to see what they can find in the rock pools. The rock pools is also where the live crabs and lobster are stored for the shop. My brother and I spend many an hour doing this but again an eye needs to be kept on the time as the rock pools end up underwater when the tide comes in. Nearby for the more energetic is the camel trail which is a route you can cycle from Bodmin to Padstow which is 6kms along the old steam railway tracks on the banks of the estuary. Bikes are available for hire. The Eden project is a must. This is a giant greenhouse or biosphere where they have recreated various climates, and they house the plants that live in each environment. This is only 20 miles away nr St Austell for opening times and prices visit www.edenproject.com. There are many great beaches in North Cornwall one of which is Polzeath this is a beautiful beach, which has some of the best surfing waves in Cornwall but not great for swimmers. But if your anything like me I don
't swim I just lie on the beach and catch the rays. King Arthurs castle at Tintagel, which is less than half an hour away again a great adventure for kids. For more info visit www.tintagelweb.co.uk If golfing is your thing there are lots of golf courses. Only Scotland has more golf courses per head than Cornwall. Places to stay The Slipway Hotel which is situated on the harbour front. It is a 12-bed 16th century hotel, which is family run offering all the usual mod cons from £56.00 per night, or The Bay Hotel, which is from £60.00 per night There are many cottages of varying sizes sleeping from 2 people upwards. Prices obviously vary depending on size, time of year etc etc. These can be booked from companies like country holidays - www.country-holidays.co.uk Things that are a must. Having a Cornish Tea, which for those who don't know is a big pot of Tea, Scones, jam and clotted cream (not for the calorie counters) A Cornish pasty which is steak, potatoes, turnip and onion in pastry. A piece of useless information about the Cornish pasty is that the crust was never intended to be eaten. This was how the tin miners who had tin all over their hands (which was poisonous) held it and then threw it away. Port Isaac is a wonderful unspoilt village that has been untouched by modern life. Writing this has brought back many memories of wonderful childhood holidays. The cycle has now continued as I take my son there, where he does all the things my brother and I did, playing in the rock pools and doing the camel trail. The people are very friendly and for some of you it maybe off putting but Laurence Llewellyn Bowen has a home there. Something that always seemed strange to me but shows the type of lifestyle you get in a village is that on a Sunday morning the newspapers are put out on the street outside the shop with a saucer for the money. Everyone takes their paper a
nd leaves the money and takes any change they need. That certainly wouldn't happen in any town I know. In conclusion if you want either an action packed holiday or a quiet time Port Isaac is the place to go. Unplug you computer, leave you mobile at home and travel back in time. For more information check out - www.north-cornwall.com Thanks for reading