Monday, 7 April 2014

Port Isaac


Today we trekked down to Port Isaac, a lovely little historic fishing village that also serves as a backdrop and setting (as Port Wenn) for the fabulous Doc Martin. Mum and Dad were here a couple of years ago while they were filming, but it no such luck today unfortunately. We parked up in the main carpark, and it's a long, steep walk down to the village, with tiny streets and cottages piled higgledy-piggledy along the way. It was a grey, overcast day again, but the only rain was very light, and it didn't spoil our enjoyment. We walked up and down taking pictures of familiar locations (Large's restaurant, the Doc's house and practice, Mrs Tishell's pharmacy, Louisa's cottage and the school), but a lot of the places function differently to their portrayal in the show. The pharmacy is actually a sweet shop, the school is actually the 'old' school and is now a hotel and restaurant and the Doc's practice is a private residence. I imagine the occupants get super annoyed by the tourists taking pics outside their place...

We had tea in the Stowaway Tea Shoppe which sells a bunch of show merchandise, and looked around a few galleries and gift shops. Then it was finally time for a traditional Cornish pasty (steak, and amazing btw) and we walked all the way back up the hill to our car.

Port Isaac

Large's restaurant and the Doc's place

Port Isaac


The School

Louisa's cottage

Traditional Cornish steak pasty and it's chocolate fudge equivalent
The plan was to drive back to St Austell so I could do some homework and Marnie and Mum could go and do something nice for the afternoon. But just after we'd stopped to take pictures in the tiny, beautiful village of St Kew, Mum had the great idea to check if the Smuggler's Museum at Jamaica Inn was open today and it WAS. So we drove back to Bodmin Moor, actually able to see the moor in the clear, fogless afternoon, and went to Jamaica Inn again. (Just a note, if you are at Jamaica Inn at either end of the season, it is worth asking if the museum is open because it certainly didn't look open, but when we asked at the bar, they took us through the back to let us in). There's a ten minute film on the history of smuggling in Cornwall and the history of Jamaica Inn itself, and then you go through to see the Daphne du Maurier room! It has a beautiful writing desk set up with a typewriter, a bowl of her favourite sweets, and dozens of pieces of paraphernalia from her life and work (including plenty of signed copies of her works). It was a really special thing to see, for literary nerds such as myself, but also for anyone interested in history. Daphne du Maurier only died in 1989, so her children, grandchildren and friends and still alive and able to donate things and give lots of interviews about her. I also didn't realise she had written 38 novels. Better get reading. The rest of the museum has some interesting literature and artefacts related to Cornish smuggling, including plenty of examples of how contraband was smuggled. Hollow books, Bibles made of wood, drugged exotic birds stuffed into stockings, hashish woven into hairpieces...smuggling is a very creative profession. It was only 3 or 4 pounds each to get into the museum, and if you're at the inn for a meal or to stay, then it's definitely something you should put on your list to do.

THEN we drove back to St Austell, and I did a wee bit of homework and some packing. Mum and Marnie went for a walk into town, but now we're all back, nearly ready for dinner, and looking at all our photos. Torquay and Weymouth tomorrow!

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