Anyone who’s watched ITV’s Doc Martin will agree that the whitewashed cottages and sea-swept beaches of Port Isaac are everything you’d expect to find in a quiet corner of Cornwall, and the 11 mile section of the South West Coast Path that connects it to Padstow is perfect if you’re after traditional views and beauty at every turn. In fact, you’ll pass some of the coastline’s most unspoilt areas as you go. Look out for the pretty rocky inlet known as Pine Haven just as you leave Port Isaac, as it’s typical of the peaceful spots you’ll pass on this route.
There’s another sight to look out for, and that’s The Rumps – the site of an Iron Age promontory fort. You’ll see a tiny island called The Mouls off the eastern headland, and the nearby western headland is known as Rumps Point. If you fancy taking a closer look you’ll be able to book a sightseeing tour around The Rumps once you reach Padstow.
The first half of the walk to Polzeath may be tricky in places, but the latter half of the journey is much easier (and you get to hop aboard a ferry to Padstow). You may want to plan ahead and book a seat at Rick Stein’s famous Seafood Restaurant for when you reach Padstow, as it would be a crime to visit this neck of the woods without sampling the celebrity chef’s inspired menu. This section of the South West Coast Path has a grading of ‘challenging’.