Martin Clunes tells us about his favourite spots while filming the much-loved ITV drama series…
Where is the real Portwenn?
The fictional village in Doc Martin is actually filmed in Port Isaac, but if you’re looking for Martin Clunes when he’s not on set, you’re better off searching in the nearby village of Port Quin.
The small cove and hamlet on the north Cornish coast is where Clunes likes to walk his dog, along the cliff overlooking the bay. Clunes says: “It’s an old fishing village along the coast from Port Isaac. There’s a beautiful crenelated folly there called Doyden Castle, built about 1830 by Samuel Symons, which we used as Pentire Castle at the end of season five.”
Where is Doc Martin’s house?
Although you can’t actually go in, many people seek out the Doctor’s house and surgery on Roscarrock Hill in Port Isaac in order to snap a picture outside. The cottage is called Fern Cottage, and Clunes is particularly fond of its garden. “Doctor Martin’s house actually has two gardens,” says Clunes, “one that we use and one just up the cliff a little. When filming gets hectic and I need a bit of peace I can go up to the secret garden, look out to sea and get some space.”
Where else should you visit near Port Isaac?
Delabole is the third highest village in Cornwall, six miles away from Port Isaac and known for its 500-feet-deep slate quarry. The striking manmade site is worth a visit, but this is also where the Doc Martin crew hang out after hours. “It’s the village I stay in when we’re filming [the series],” reveals Clunes. “I have too many lines to learn to stay in the Golden Lion [in Port Isaac]. It’s not as picturesque but it’s got a friendly, close knit community.”
In the centre of Port Isaac’s old fishing village, in a beautiful higgledy-piggledy building, visitors will find Potters (above), a charming little eatery selling sandwiches, salads and cream teas. Under its former name, Victoria House Café, the owners would sell Doc Martin memorabilia. “We had a deal,” explains Clunes, “I’d sit there with a coffee signing memorabilia and the money from the signed stuff goes to local charities.”
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