Where is Doc Martin filmed in Cornwall? The real life locations to visit

Discover where Doc Martin is filmed and the real life locations that built the fictional community of Portwenn

Where is Doc Martin filmed? Martin Clunes on set of ITV Drama Doc Martin
(Image credit: Mike OBrien / Alamy Stock Photo / Future)

The much-loved ITV series Doc Martin (opens in new tab), starring Martin Clunes as the bad-tempered village doctor with a fear of blood, is set to end this year after 18 years on the screen. While Clunes' character may be the namesake of the series, the beautiful locations featured in the show draw just as much attention as the star.

Much like the scenery featured in Death in Paradise (opens in new tab) and the stunning setting of McDonald and Dodds (opens in new tab), the fictional village of Portwenn has fans obsessed and asking the question - where is Doc Martin filmed and can I visit?

Where is Doc Martin filmed in Cornwall? The real ‘Portwenn’

Known in the TV drama as Portwenn, the quaint fishing village of Port Isaac in North Cornwall is the backdrop of the majority of the filming locations. 

While the village of Portwenn itself is fictional, the name isn’t entirely made up. In fact, it is the historic name of the nearby village of Port Quin.

On a short trip around Port Issac, you can walk the familiar cobbled streets, climb the steep hills, and spot many of the quaint little granite cottages, narrow winding streets and the beautiful harbour featured in the show. 

If you are planning a visit to Cornwall, check out our collection of best rainy day activities in Cornwall (opens in new tab).

Can you visit where Doc Martin is filmed?

Yes! To make the trip nice and simple, there’s a location tour (opens in new tab) you can go on, priced at a reasonable £15, with under 12's going for free. 

Alternatively, you can make a note of the destinations that you wish to visit and go see them yourself.

If you are planning a stay at Port Issac, you can stay in The Old Schoolhouse Hotel (opens in new tab)which appears in Doc Martin as the school where Louisa teaches. In real life, it’s a hotel, though it is tiny with only 12 rooms. As it's name suggests, the building did once serve as a school as it does in the ITV drama, but was converted into a hotel in the 1980s.

Doc Martin’s house

The cottage used as Doc Martins home come surgery is called Fern Cottage, and Clunes is particularly fond of its garden. He told The Radio Times, “Doctor Martin’s house actually has two gardens, 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."

While you can’t go inside Doc Martin’s quaint stone cottage, as it's a private residence, you can seek it out, have your photograph taken from the front and enjoy the picturesque views over the Port Isaac harbour. There is no need to disturb the cottage's real residents as the interior of the cottage surgery was a set made up inside a large barn located about a mile away from Port Isaac, near Roscarrock Manor Farm.

The home has previously been used as a holiday let when not needed for filming the Martin Clunes series, and is currently on sale (opens in new tab). So, if you're a Doc Martin mega-fan with a spare £1million or so laying about, you can truly live out your Portwenn fantasy. 

Is the pub in Doc Martin real?

The Doc's favourite spot for a pint, The Crab and Lobster, is better known in Cornwall as The Golden Lion. 

You can find The Golden Lion on Fore Street in Port Issac, nestled tight onto the harbour. The tiny balcony of the pub is instantly recognisable from the series and, if you can get a seat, you'll be welcomed by views of the Doc's surgery and surrounding homes.

The reviews on Tripadvisor (opens in new tab) for The Golden Lion boast of the pub's brilliant charm and character as well as the tasty and filling food - though you will want to book a table as the place is popular among locals, holiday makers and Doc Martin fans alike.

A post shared by The Golden Lion (@glportisaac) (opens in new tab)

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Aunt Ruth’s farm

Aunt Ruth's farm is known as Dinnabroad Farm in real life and can be found on an unnamed road in Port Issac. There is not much to see unless you just want to stare at empty fields, but you can stay at Dinnabroad cottage (opens in new tab), a three bedroom rental sitting on the 140-acre Dinnabroad farm.

What is the castle in Doc Martin?

Known as Pentire Castle in Doc Martin, the real life equivalent is the romantic and rural Doyden Castle (opens in new tab). You can find the building a little way down the Port Quin coastline a couple of miles south of Port Isaac in a deserted natural harbour.

The castle is perfectly nestled into the cliffs, and its rural setting makes it all the more stunning and serene. 

What restaurant is used in Doc Martin?

Unfortunately, Bert’s restaurant is not an actual place where you can eat. The iconic building is actually someone’s house! 

To respect the privacy of the owners, you cannot walk down to the patio area, but you can get a sneak peak of it if you look past the side of the gate labeled ‘Halwyn House’.

The restaurant is best viewed from Fore Street, where you can look across the harbour to Roscarrock Hill. From this spot, you will also get a great view of Doc Martin’s surgery which is just above the home used as Bert's restaurant. 

Doc Martin Season 10 filming

Filming for season 10 of Doc Martin began in February 2022 after Covid delays postponed production. 

In a February Facebook post, Martha’s Orchard, a luxury accommodation business located in north Cornwall, shared behind-the-scenes photos ahead of filming for the tenth and final series of Doc Martin.

They wrote, "Good afternoon from Port Isaac, in Cornwall, also know as Portwenn in Doc Martin. The Christmas tree has arrived for the filming of this year's Doc Martin Christmas special. Hopefully we'll see the lovely Doc soon."

Viewers who saw the final episode of series nine will know that it ended on a cliff-hanger as Doc Martin revealed he’d quit as a GP after a series of assessments by the regulator and the Doc’s inability to get over his phobia of blood.

On ITV’s This Morning in October 2020, Martin Clunes said, "I’m guessing he’s going to get back in the saddle. But, yes he will, he will. We’ll find a way.”

The 10th and final series will see eight new episodes plus a Christmas special to bid a final farewell to Doc Martin. There will also be a documentary, provisionally titled 'Doc Martin – A Celebration', which will look back on the impact and longevity of the show while also going behind the scenes of filming the last episodes.

A teaser for the final series shares, “This final series sees the Doc making efforts to overcome his phobia, and beginning to question whether he made the right decision about resigning. He and Louisa have also welcomed a baby daughter, Mary Elizabeth, a sister for four-year-old James Henry.

“With Louisa pursuing her new career as a child counsellor in his old surgery, the Doc is left literally holding the baby, and indulging his hobby of repairing clocks on the kitchen table. But does he really want his old job back?”

Where do the cast of Doc Martin stay when filming?

Martin Clunes told Radio Times that he would stay in the nearby village of Port Quin during filming. There is a small cove and hamlet on the north Cornish coast where Clunes say's he likes to walk his dog, along the cliff overlooking the bay.

Talking about the show ending, Martin Clunes said of Cornwall, “I have loved going to Cornwall to make Doc Martin over the last 18 years, and I have looked forward to returning to this beautiful county this year for the tenth and final series. The people of Cornwall, and Port Isaac in particular, have always been so helpful to us when we are making the series.

"I shall miss Cornwall, and all the lovely people we have worked with. But it is the right time to say farewell to the Doc, and Portwenn.”

Charlie Elizabeth Culverhouse
Charlie Elizabeth Culverhouse

Charlie Elizabeth Culverhouse is royal news and entertainment writer for Goodto.com. She began her freelance journalism career after graduating from Nottingham Trent University with an MA in Magazine Journalism, receiving an NCTJ diploma, and earning a First Class BA (Hons) in Journalism at the British and Irish Modern Music Institute. She has also worked with BBC Good Food and The Independent.