‘Portwenn’ is the fictional village and the main location for Doc Martin. An important backdrop and character in the show, Portwenn is actually played by the beautiful and historical fishing village Port Isaac, in North Cornwall, England.
Doc Martin has been filming in Port Isaac since the series first episode in 2004, and has continued to film there every alternative year since. Filming happens every second year to give the residents a break, as the filming process can be quite disruptive on the village. When Doc Martin starts rolling, the village adapts and transforms into Portwenn. This means closing down roads, accommodating hoards of Doc Martin fans and television tourists keen to watch the program being filmed, and surviving with two carparks.
The show is not surprisingly responsible for a boom in tourism in North Cornwall (see here for more information). Many Doc Martin fans make the journey to discover Port Isaac often travelling thousands of miles from countries all around the world.
The first thing that strikes many Doc Martin fans when they first see Port Isaac is how small the village actually is. It consists mostly of one ‘main’ road through the village, which in many parts only fits one vehicle. The second thing (of course) is how very beautiful and charming the village is. It is like walking on to a film set – but one that actually exists.
Anyone lucky enough to visit the area will likely want to spend more time there, to meet the lovely locals, see the scenery and just breathe in the feeling of Cornish village life. Port Isaac has a hold on Doc Martin fans hearts, with very good reason. Unless you visit Port Isaac, it’s very difficult to describe the feelings that will capture you.
Not a lot of information exists on Port Isaac beyond its Doc Martin connection. Doc Martin Online is endeavouring to change that. Here we present a series of profiles on Port Isaac, it’s residents, history and locations.