Port Isaac In Cornwall: A Fishing Village

Next, we will tell you about a small fishing village located in the English county of Cornwall, Port Isaac, which you will surely fall in love with with its incredible postcards. Also, his story is very interesting!
Port Isaac in Cornwall: a fishing village

In the north of the county of Cornwall, in England, a picturesque fishing village, Port Isaac is preserved. Today it is a small enclave whose main activity is tourism, but this was not always the case. The privileged position of its port was decisive for the fact that, from the Middle Ages to the middle of the 20th century, Port Isaac was a reference port on the north coast of Cornwall.

However, as the 20th century progressed, the bustle of its port died down. The echoing of merchant ships and the continuous traffic of merchandise was replaced with the boom in tourism. Thus, curious people began to arrive eager to know the wonderful town and the dreamy natural environment in which Port Isaac is located.

A little history of Port Isaac

The origins of this small town, probably, we have to look for in the Celtic world. But it is from the Middle Ages to the early twentieth that Port Isaac acquired a relevant role in North Cornwall. This prominence was possible thanks to its privileged position and its natural port, inserted in a beautiful bay in the middle of a very steep coast.

To improve the port, during the reign of Henry VIII a pier and a breakwater were built. These works made it possible to protect the villagers during the strong storms that hit the Atlantic.

The town center dates between the 18th and 19th centuries, a heyday for Port Isaac. Fishing and the transport of goods were the main activities of the town. Sardine fishing is the most important; It began before the 16th century and, by 1850, there were up to 49 registered vessels.

On the other hand, corn was the main product traded in the port of Port Isaac. In addition, shipments of wood, minerals, limestone, salt, ceramics and various heavy goods circulated through the narrow and steep streets.

The steep streets of Port Isaac were heavily traveled in centuries past.

The 19th century, the beginning of the end of Port Isaac’s prosperity

In the second half of the 19th century, connections with Port Isaac began to be made out of the county via the railroad. It was first done through the Boadmin Road station, located about 16 kilometers from the port. The North Cornwall Railway then opened a branch line from Delabole to Wadebridge. This section includes the Port Isaac Road station, located about 6 kilometers from the village.

Around 1897, it is estimated that 150 tons of fish were transported in carts from the port to the train station. Wagons and horses were replaced in 1920 by a motorized bus.

However, finally, in the middle of the 20th century the line closed; Since then, a bus service from Wadebridge to Camelford has passed through Port Isaac 5 times a day in each direction. The people, faced with this new situation, had to adapt and, given the beauty of the place, another economic sector, tourism, began to be promoted.

Why visit Port Isaac?

There are two main reasons to visit Port Isaac. The first of them is because it is located in a truly spectacular natural environment. The other is related to the beauty of the town; It is such that its historic nucleus was designated a Conservation Area in 1971.

The natural environment that surrounds it is one of the characteristics of Port Isaac.

In addition, many of the town’s buildings – around 90 – are included on the UK List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest. It is not surprising that this fabulous town has been chosen as the setting for a popular English series, Doc Martin .

It is still a fishing village, but tourism is the main economic engine of the town. For this reason, the vast majority of the town’s buildings have been converted into places of accommodation for tourists. In turn, there are also multiple grocery stores, bars and restaurants.

It is really impressive to see how small boats are stranded on the beach at low tide. This is transformed into a huge esplanade crossed by thick chains that occupy practically all the space between the breakwater and the town. This time of day is ideal, especially for the little ones, since small natural pools form between the rocks.

Boats anchored in the port of Port Isaac during a descent from the sea.

This town is also known for an a cappella music group, the  Fisherman’s Friends.  No, we are not talking about the famous candies, although their origin is also linked to this type of music.

The Fisherman’s Friends are a group of men who sing the so-called sea ​​shanty. These are old work songs that sailors sang during their working days on board fishing vessels.

Venture to recognize the places of Portwenn

When you decide to take a trip to Great Britain, an immense range of possibilities opens up for you. You can visit from large cities full of culture, impressive castles, small and picturesque villages or dreamy natural environments. If you are one of those who prefer quiet places away from the hustle and bustle of the city, Port Isaac is a destination that will not disappoint you.

There you will have the opportunity to discover the cultural heterogeneity of this fabulous island, walk along coastal paths with spectacular views of the ocean and, why not, walk through the sets of one of the most popular television series in England. Will you be able to locate a corner where a scene from the series was filmed?

An old fishing village on the Costa Brava: Cadaqués

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