cornwall-coast

Where is Doc Martin set? Martin Clunes' guide to Cornwall and where to visit

You can stay in the surgery or Pentire Castle...

Nichola Murphy

It's been a long two years since ITV's much-loved drama Doc Martin has graced our screens, but the time has finally come for season nine of the popular show to return. With the first episode set to air on Wednesday night, we take a look at where the TV show is filmed.

The new season will continue to follow the cantankerous GP, played by Martin Clunes, who will be "under scrutiny from the General Medical Council following complaints about his irascible approach to patients", according to ITV. Set in the fictional town of Portwenn and filmed in Port Isaac in Cornwall, the picturesque location has charmed viewers - and even the cast! - since the show's debut in 2004. 

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In April, Martin and his onscreen wife Caroline Catz were spotted in Cornwall filming for season nine, and he seemed pleased to be back. He previously told Cornwall Live: "We love going to Cornwall to make Doc Martin, and we miss it when we are not there. The county is so beautiful, and the people have been so warm and welcoming to us."

Located on the south coast of England, Cornwall is a county that is known for its cream tea, sandy beaches, spectacular cliffs and even the dry weather that often eludes the rest of the country. It is home to 563,600 people and is a popular holiday destination in the UK, especially with Doc Martin fans flocking to Port Isaac! 

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MORE: Where does Martin Clunes live now?

Set within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and a Heritage Coast Area, the small fishing village of Port Isaac has a number of white-washed cottages lining narrow winding roads. This makes it an idyllic coastal break with an abundance of beautiful walks and little laneways to explore - it is even home to Squeezy Belly Alley, which is one of the narrowest alleyways in Britain.

As well as dolphin-spotting, browsing pottery and tasting some freshly-caught seafood (it would be rude not to!), there are several stunning locations to visit in and around the area, regardless of whether you're a Doc Martin fan. Step into his and Louisa's fairytale wedding with a trip to the 15th century St Nonna’s Church in Altarnun, known as the Cathedral of the Moor. 

Nestled on the hillside is Fern Cottage, the setting of the famous surgery and home from the show. The two-bedroom stone cottage boasts fantastic views over the harbour and can be rented out as a holiday home - a great chance to be the doctor for the day, minus the qualifications! Alternatively, take a short trip to nearby Port Quin and climb the high cliffs to Doydens Castle, which is known as Pentire Castle in Doc Martin and also featured in the TV drama Poldark. You can rent the one-bedroom National Trust property and relax overlooking the rolling hills and unspoiled stretch of coast, or use it as a base for some outdoor activities such as long walks or kayaking. 

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Tourism is an important part of the success of the quaint little town, of which Doc Martin has had a large part to play. Cornwall Tourism recognised the TV show's role in bringing thousands more tourists to the area by presenting the team with an Outstanding Contribution to Tourism Award at Truro Cathedral in 2018. 

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Speaking of the award, Producer Philippa Braithwaite said: "The people of Cornwall, and Port Isaac in particular, have always been so helpful to us when we are making Doc Martin. We are thrilled that we have been able to give something back, and to be recognised in this way is the icing on the cake.

"Uniquely within the television industry, we also contribute to a fund for the village and have raised £134,000 so far. The people of Port Isaac decide how the funds should be used."