We’re off to see our good friend Doc Martin today. I don’t know why it’s such a joy to visit the setting for a favourite film or TV show, I just know that it is, so off we go.
But not somehow, before we lose a good part of the day faffing around to various “end of travel” chores. I’ve developed a new trick this year – I’ve managed to do a fair chunk of my cleaning/packing at night, leaving most of the days free. The trouble with this of course, is that Chris still needs to do his stuff. A creature of the night he is not.
Doc Martin is set in the fictional Port Wenn, aka Port Isaacs, on the northern Cornish coast. We’ve visited a few times before – apart from being the setting for Doc Martin, it’s a very pretty fishing village with excellent locally caught seafood.
It’s the first time we’ve done the drive in (almost) winter and I must say, I’m absolutely loving it. Freshly nuded trees against blue skies (yes, we actually scored blue skies!) create beautiful sculptural shapes and the former lushly green tunnels we usually drive through are now an intricate network of interlocked bare branches.
Don’t let those blue skies fool you though, it’s still oh so very cold. Luckily there’s steep walk downhill to get in to Port Isaacs, to keep us warm. We arrive in the still of the mid afternoon with only a few other people about.
The harbour is looking lovely, but our focus is on what’s turned out to be a very late lunch. We have excellent fresh crab, lemon and rocket sandwiches on brown bread at the Old Schoolhouse.
I’ll confess we rather fell on them – it wasn’t until they were half scoffed that I realised I forgot to take a photo. Oops.
After lunch, it’s a brisk walk through the village. We’ve been watching the last season of Doc Martin, so it’s all very familiar. There’s the Doc’s house high on the hill,
although now painted in unfamiliar colours, and of course the beach,
where endless residents and Port Wenn visitors have managed to stage a medical emergency.
We even pass a house called Morwenna and there’s a village called Penhale nearby. I’m presuming that these names were deliberately woven into the storyline.
All too soon, it’s time to make the trek back up hill (the streets are tiny, there’s no bringing a large vehicle down here) and home.
Chris wants to be off the narrow unlit country roads before dark, which comes surprisingly early. Fair enough too – I live in terror of a creature dashing out onto the road at night.
Normally we have a hire car for these last few days, so we have a little more freedom. If you’ve been reading along our journey, you’ll know that the start of our trip was delayed – all our bookings had to be undone. In the haste to rebook everything, those extra hire car days were overlooked. It’s not a mistake we’ll make again – a car gives us a lot more flexibility than the 5 tonne motorhome does. Six years in…still learning!