Port Isaac

Port Isaac and Port Gaverne from the air

Port Isaac is well positioned on the North Cornish coast for some beautiful walking and bird watching. A short drive distance are the watersports centres (sailing, windsurfing, water skiing etc) and Golf Courses at Rock and Daymer Bay, surfing at Polzeath and a little further afield at Newquay, cycle hire for The Camel Trail and shopping at Wadebridge, fishing and boat trips from Padstow. The Eden Project, Truro and several National Trust Properties and Gardens all lie within easy daily reach.

Port Isaac is positioned both on the headland and in the valley behind the natural harbour - the lanes down to the harbour are very steep and very narrow. Visitors driving cars tend to arrive at the beach car park with white knuckles and a fear of making the return journey. It really isn't for the faint-hearted or nervous driver! The village simply wasn't designed for modern transport. Knowing Port Isaac well for very many years, we only purchased Wayside as it fullfilled all our stringent criteria:

  • it is centrally located, but low on the headland: this position permits a level garden and maximum all year round sunshine. Old, clustered village cottages remain in shade throughout the winter months and often have damp problems.
  • easy road and driving access - no struggling down the tiny lanes, not designed for the motor car
  • parking for several cars & boat - the lack of car parking in Port Isaac is a terrible problem which our guests have all commented about in their Feedback Forms. The beach car park is tide dependant, while the small council car park at the top is always full, with the roadsides crammed too as none of the lower village cottages in either Port Isaac or Portgaverne have their own roads - never mind parking. Day visitors push the parking problems to impossible.
  • loading and unloading your vehicle couldn't be easier - it is right outside your front door. Small children and the infirm would need to be dropped off as near to other properties as possible, with the driver then gone for a considerable period to track down an elusive parking space. Ditto for all your luggage and groceries.
  • being in the middle, Wayside has neighbours and lies in the heart of the resident community. Very few residents live in the valley, so it can be quite deserted out of season.
  • Wayside is detached and set well back from the road - unlike the harbour cottages, where inquisitive visitors feel free to gawp in, nose to the window panes!
  • being constructed in the 1920's, all the rooms are large, bright and airy, with high headroom - anyone over 5'4" would have to spend their holidays ducking or bandaged in the harbour cottages.
  • it is situated just downhill from the main Co-op food store - easy to pop out for essentials
  • everything is within easy reach: the beach at Portgaverne is down to the north, the harbour at Port Isaac is down to the south, and positioned midway between all the eateries. We simply couldn't imagine setting out for a day at the beach while holidaying in one of the harbour cottages, lugging all our stuff, with kids, buggy etc. The car would already be parked at the half way point on the headland - if we drove the remainder of the way, we'd have lost our parking slot. Errrrgh - doesn't bear thinking about.


Fisherman's Friends

You may well have heard of this 10 strong band of sea shanty singers, as they have performed on the Platt at Port Isaac for many years to the delight of the visiting and resident crowds. The have supported tours by Show of Hands and appeared in the Albert Hall on three occassions. John Lethbridge is amongst their number, but can also be seen cutting the hedges & lawns at Wayside...for as long as the fame doesn't get to his head!

Recently they have made international news headlines with a recording contract and signing to Island records...their new album is to be released in April 2010. Details can be found on their new website at:


You can check their events diary and maybe book your stay to coincide with one of their local performances.