A strange eerie place in the gardens (before it descends to the lakes) is this dog cemetry. This pet cemetry was established by one of Portmeirion’s eccentric tenants, Mrs Adelaide Haig, who lived in the mansion from 1870 until her death in 1917. She preferred the company of dogs to human beings and thus remembered them here.
Potmeirion lies just south east of the town of Porthmadog on its own private peninsula. There is a lovely coastal path than can be walked but beware do not go onto the estuary 2 hours before next tide - the sea comes in rapidly and can be dangerous. Tremadoc Bay, and the larger Cardigan Bay can be seen. The River Dwyryd passes by Portmeirion, leaving at low tide wide expanses of sands.
On a terrace path above the village is a Japenese garden with bridge and pagoda temple - a really pretty place for a stroll - and of course ideal place for reflections :-) It came about in the 1960's when Clough marked out areas in the Gwyllt which he would like made into ponds or lakes. His daughter Susan supervised the landscaping of these lakes and designed and sited the Chinese bridge and pagoda for the largest lake.
The village was created gradually and several buildings were rescued from those falling into decay, indeed the village was known as the "Home for Fallen Buildings" - such as the colonade - see later tip for details. The Unicorn Cottage is a minature of a stately Chatsworth home - elongated windows, long pillars, and an undersized gate make the Unicorn seem tall, but in fact it is a dressed-up bungalow... only one story high! The mermaid panel to the front of the balcony is one of around thirty that Clough got from the Seaman’s Home in Liverpool.The unicorn is just one of several properties that can be rented to stay in.( See last tip)
For more info on the buildings in the village - follow the web link for an interactive map
On the coastal path this dummy lighthouse is passed - it was created by Clough Williams-Ellis in the 1950s and was given the title by him of "The Round House". Not long after this building the path enters the wild gardens - altenatively take the path on the left and head for he beach.
Thes beautiful gardens were largely developed by Caton Haig, one of the highest authorities on Himalayan flowering trees. On his death in 1941 Clough acquired the Gwyllt gardens which he added to his existing holdings at Portmeirion. From 1953 onwards his daughter Susan Williams-Ellis worked with Clough on the general development of the Gwyllt gardens Tall Conifers and Maidenhair trees, Gingko biloba and large Rhododendrons, notably Rh. falconeri with its fine brown-backed foliage can be enjoyed - reaslly makes for lovely walks all season. If trees are your passion them do get the tree trail leaflet.
Clough Williams-Ellis died in 1978. but his memory lives on in the village - in 1983 a new Gazebo was erected to mark his centenary. Its located on the hill overlooking Portmeirion's village and is passed on one of the trails in the gardens of Portmeirion. There are many varities of trees and shrubs to enjoy and free leaflets can be obtained at the entrance to the village to help you enjoy these features.
Portmeirion village is a created village in an Italianesque style, perched on the edge of North Wales!
On a picturesque penninsula, Lord Clough Williams-Ellis created his vision of an achitectural delight in harmony with the environment in which it sits. The result is both exquisite and bizarre. So strange, in fact, that it was the set for the 60's surreal thriller "The Prisoner".
It is also the origin of Portmeirion pottery, but which is now made in Stoke-on-Trent, Britain's ceramics capital.
With the village to keep you busy you may miss out on a walk on the beach - it's more of an estuary and it's huge - it's also a bit sinky in places.
Portmeirion has been created on a cliff top overlooking the Dwyryd Estury. There are several viewpoints around the village where you can soak up the fantastic, breathtaking scenery.