We keep trying to work out new destinations for using our free bus pass and decided to visit Port Isaac. This involved parking at Liskeard station, walking into town, catching the 11 bus to Wadebridge, and then the local bus from there to Port Isaac via Rock and Polzeath ( which I always have to remember to pronounce as ‘Polzerth’ as a previous bus driver told us and not our posh ‘Poleeth’ which he didn’t understand!). A nice trip. You get off the bus at the top of the steep hill in Port Isaac, but rather than go straight there
we decided to walk the opposite way and visit Port Gaverne which is half a mile away. It is “a tiny hamlet clustered around a sheltered cove half a mile east of Port Isaac. Port Gaverne was originally developed as a nineteenth century industrial port. Grey slate from Delabole Quarry, five miles away, was loaded onto heavy sailing ketches too wide for Port Isaac. After losing most of its trade when the North Cornwall railway line to Wadebridge opened in the 1890s, Port Gaverne reverted to a sleepy fishing cove.” Today it is mainly holiday cottages.
Arriving in the cove we walked out onto the headland for magnificent views of the north Cornish coast up towards Tintagel one way and past Port Isaac the other.
A local group maintains this headland called ‘The Main’ and there is a mini rope bridge crossing one of the chasms which was interesting to cross.
Having had our brief look around we then adjourned to the Port Gaverne hotel for lunch….
…..it’s a gastro-pub cum hotel which has excellent reviews (voted Cornwall’s best gastropub this year for example). Very good it was too. Having fortified ourselves with food and drink we walked up the hill and then down the other side to Port Isaac itself (which we had had a brief drive around the other day to show Malcolm and Ann).
We got our first views (including the famous Doc Martin house pictured at the head of this piece) on our walk down….and followed the mass of tourists (even in November) through the crowded streets….
but as with most tourist resorts, when you leave the main run, you soon leave people behind you, and we took delight in the back streets with their eighteenth and nineteenth century cottages.
After walking up the hill on the other side of the harbour to gawp for a few seconds at ‘the Doc Martin house’ along with everyone else, I had a short walk on my own up to the headland which leads to the next harbour Port Quin, and enjoyed the views…… the fishermen were especially busy at this time…..
before returning to F. and a nice cup of coffee at the Old School Hotel a rather nice place perched on the cliff. We wandered slowly back to our bus stop and made the (last) bus homewards. A great day out, and Ports Gaverne and Isaac were surprisingly unspoilt despite all the publicity…….