If truth were known, this stone house with its turrets and crenellations isn't really a castle at all, but was built in 1830 as a 'summer cottage and party house' by Samuel Symons, a wealthy gentleman who enjoyed entertaining here around the clock with family and friends. What might have been a dungeon in earlier times was instead stocked as a wine cellar and wealthy revelers came from all corners, enjoying the scenery, Mr. Symon's generosity and his jovial spirit. Gratefully, for the past few decades the Castle has been maintained by the National Trust and is being used as a holiday destination. This little fortress would have undoubtedly remained totally unknown to my granddaughter Emily, and I, but for one thing. We are "Doc Martin" fans.
"Doc Martin" is a British television series shown on OPB that has been filmed every other summer for the past 12 years. It's the story of the terse, straightforward and brutally honest Doctor Martin Ellingham who, while passionate, is unable to make an emotional connection with those around him which is quite disconcerting for everyone while he performs his role as the GP in the fictional Cornish village of Portwenn. He refuses to waste his time with small talk which makes it rather difficult for his patients to relate to him, and vice versa, but fortunately for everyone in the village, despite his abrasiveness and impatience, he is a most competent and dedicated doctor. During Season 6, he and Louisa, the "Principal" of the Portwenn public school were married. Unlike Martin, Louisa is outgoing, friendly, talkative and openingly cares for all those in this little village where she has spent most her life. Each episode in this series contains multiple story lines taking place simultaneously and the acting, personalities, scenery, pace, humor, very cute baby James Henry, and intelligently written scripts continue to draw Emily and I deeper into the lives of the residents of this delightful Cornish village.
Enter, Doyden Castle. This beautiful location and home was used in the filming of one of our favorite episodes and each time we watched, we shared with one another, how cool it would be to see this castle in real life. "Yes, Emily, it would be very cool." One evening, with that thought in mind, I Googled, "Doyden Castle" and found it is not only real, but also open to the public, and can, for a reasonable amount, be reserved for a holiday stay. So now, added to my gradually growing bucket list is "item #12--Stay for a week in Doyden Castle with Emily." Have learned along the way that claiming something to be true quite often makes it so, and so, with this posting, I claim that my granddaughter and I (with her parents' permission, of course) will make our way to the quaint and picturesque village of Port Isaac and more specifically to Doyden Castle where we'll spend a week hiking and picnicking and roaming the countryside eagerly trying to identify various homes and buildings used during the filming of this most favorite series. We'll play games, serve tea and cookies at 4:00, read, paint, bask in the beauty of the Cornish terrain, lay in the grasses overlooking the rugged coastline, and spend a week becoming personally acquainted with the citizens of Port Isaac. If it's true that life imitates art, I have every reason to believe Emily and I are going to love visiting this most beautiful destination.