unqiue photogenic peninuslar village
A delight at night but open to all comers during the day!
Whimsical classical architecture in North Wales
Clough Williams-Ellis built Portmeirion from 1925 to 1975 on a peninsula off the coast of Snowdonia. His italinate designed village and gardens was to demonstrate how a naturally beautiful site could be developed without spoiling it. Its quite an unusual place to visit and worthwhile seeking out this remote part of Wales.more
Its possible to stay in the village - at a price though - many of the buildings are available for rent and just above the entrance is a castle hotel. Portmeirion also won the Wales Tourist Board's Best Place to Stay in Wales award - certainly unique don't you think.Accomodation:Hotel Portmeirion has 14 rooms in main building and 26 rooms and suites...more
When we arrived at Portmeirion we had an hour to walk on the sandbar before it was too dangerous to do so (they recommend that you leave the sandbar three hours before high tide to avoid the quick sand). So, we walked around out on the sandbar for a while, then walked around in the gardens for a while. We found the playground and a couple of ponds....more
Grab a leaflet and walk one of the suggested routes through the surrounding woodland. There is a brilliant collection of plants and some are labelled for information - some really old Rhodedendrons and some more unusual plants like Ginko Biloba. There's also the pets cemetry and ghost garden. We tried to follow the leaflet map but must admit to...more
The Village is built to overlook the stunning estuary of the River Dwyryd. The estuary is noticeably long and sandy, making Portmeirion almost a beach resort. There's also a emerald green island sitting out in the sands of the estuary, although it might be risky to try and walk to it, due to the deadly quicksands.more
The Gothic Pavillion was gifted to Portmeirion from Nerquis Hall in Flintshire, the owners of which felt it was a wart on an otherwise beautiful facade. Sir Clough Williams-Ellis took pity on the unwanted structure, and had it rebuilt to front the piazza in the centre of the village. The ground in front of the Pavillion was used as the giant game...more
The Pantheon was a late addition to the Village. In the 1950s Sir Clough Williams-Ellis decided there weren't enough domes in Portmeirion, so he remedied this with the construction of the Pantheon. It's the closest Portmeirion has ever come to having a church, but Clough refused to turn it over to religious uses. He declared himself strictly...more
The Bell Tower was intended to be the centre-piece of the village - a high profile building that would alert people to what was happening in the Village. As Sir Clough Williams-Ellis said of the Bell Tower: "It was imperative that I should open my performance with a dramatic gesture of some sort."The Bell Tower also rescued a piece of a building...more
The Colonnade in Portmeirion is even older than the village itself. And no, it didn't sit all alone until the Village was built up around it. The clue to solving this mystery is in the name itself: Bristol Colonnade. It was originally built in that city in the 18th century, nearly a hundred years before the first brick of Portmeirion was laid. But...more
Like much of Portmeirion, the Bridge House offers an illusion. Its tapering walls makes the house seem bigger than it is. The bridge is the gateway to the Village, and passing through it brings you from the ordinary, the car park, to the extraordinary, the eccentric Italianate village crammed onto a Welsh hillside.more
Originally a tennis court, the area at the centre of the village was turned into a serene piazza. It's overlooked by the Gloriette, whose columns and arches resemble its namesake at Schonbrunn palace in Vienna. This, like much of Portmeirion, is a fraud. The trompe d'oeil windows are flanked by two-dimensional cardboard cherub statues. It's not a...more
Portmeirion is surrounded by fantastic woodlands where you can follow the waymarked trails and enjoy the natural beauty this area has on offer. On entering Portmeirion Village you will be given a map of the area which also includes a map of the woodland walks which take you past some ornate fishponds with japenese bridges & Gazebo's. The climate is...more
There is a lovely coastal path at the foot of the village which goes past the Portmeirion Hotel, a model of a stone boat then towards the observatory tower on the headland. There are lots of pretty floral displays along the way together and plenty of benches if you fancy a rest or are looking for somewhere to eat your picnic.more
Portmeirion is one of North Wales' popular tourist attractions. The Village is privately owned and run by a charitable trust. Visitors are only allowed to visit the Village during the day unless they are lucky enough to be staying in one of the charming cottages or the waterfront Portmeirion Hotel.The buildings in Portmeirion are similar to those...more
The Colonnade was built about 1760 and formerly stood before a bathhouse in Bristol, England. It was falling into decay when the structure was relocated to Portmeirion. Several hundred tons of delicate masonry were disassembled and transported to Portmeirion with every stone numbered, and replaced according to precise measurements.more
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.more
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,...more
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...more
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...more
Castell Deudraeth (pronounced 'Die drath') opened in 2001 following a complete renovation of the Victorian building and restoration of its gardens. It is an early Victorian castellated mansion built by David Williams, the first Liberal MP for Merioneth. Clough Williams-Ellis purchased the building and its grounds in 1931 in order to expand the Portmeirion estate and to give him a proper driveway from the main road. He used it as a hotel in the 1930s, then it became a prep school and at one time was made into exclusive apartments for the likes of the Oppenheimer family. It is a grade II listed building and was created using the building styles from the Gothic and Tudor periods used create an impressive example of Victorian architecture. Clough referred to the Castell as “the largest and most imposing single building on the Portmeirion estate”.
Nowadays Castell Deudraeth provides exclusive accomodation, meeting rooms and also a Gastropub serving locally produced food. The brasserie comprises a conservatory dining room with local riven slate floor and the estuary facing dining room with leather covered banquettes and Welsh oak flooring. There are also seven tables on the garden terrace with patio heaters when necessary. Many wines are available by the glass from the reasonably priced wine list including Portmeirion’s own label Champagne.
The Gastropub menu looks absolutely fantastic, it is a bit pricey but definitely somewhere to go on a special occasion.
If you order two courses (per person) from the menu at Castell Deudraeth you are entitled to free admission to Portmeirion Village.... sounds good to me!!
You can ride the Ffestionog narrow-guage railway from nearby Porthmadog, crossing the historic Cob. If you are staying on the other side of Snowdonia, you can even take the train all the way from Blaenau Ffestiniog deep in the mountains. The ride from Blaenau Ffestiniog, through Snowdonia National Park, is stunning and shouldn't be missed.To get to...more
It certainly looks inviting doesn't it? Moored just outside the hotel, on the edge of the beautiful bay you come across the 'Amis Reunis'. Keen to enquire about her availbiilty for a fishing trip or a coastline cruise you hop aboard only to find that her cabin is unmanned. What kind of Marie Celeste vessel is this?Well actually, it's the same one...more
654 Reviews and Opinions
Well, you could be forgiven for thinking that the photograph accompanying this tip is somewhat, 'er, odd. I mean, what have we here? Four adults, three dressed not unlike lab technicians on a works outing and the fourth wearing a natty blazer that may or may not have come from the local Oxfam shop. And what are they doing? They have obviously splashed out on two oversized beachballs so bereft of colour and design - ie plain white - that any self-respecting end of the pier salesman caught stocking one would have thrown himself into the briny at the very shame of it.
But of course you would be WRONG!
What we have here ladies and gentlemen is a group of British eccentrics, so infatuated with the cult 1960s TV series 'The Prisoner' that they have taken to dressing up as members of the cast. For lab technicians read 'evil brainwashing scientists', for jaunty cricketer read 'ruggedly ethical British ex-agent', and for white beachball read 'ingenious radio controlled gaseous bubble capable of catching, cornering and suffocating at the behest of it's villainous masters'. For lovely sandy bay at the foot of the village read 'lovely sandy bay at the foot of the village'.
PS You can buy the rather fetching jackets in the village shop. Bring your own beach balls.
Clough Williams-Ellis lived not far from Portmeirion, at his home at Plas Brondanw. This garden can also be visited although we were a bit disappointed with it - seemed a bit neglected and small, rather overpriced for its £3 entry price (money to be left in an honesty box at the gate). The money goes towards upkeep of the gardens - its needed!. The...more
Between 1966-67 the village of Portmeirion was used as a film set for a cult TV series called the Prisoner, starring Patrick McGoohan who played the lead role of Number Six. This popular programme now has a cult fan clun - the six of One appreciation and our spring visit just happened to co-incide with their annual convention so amidst the sunshine...more