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Exploring The Italian Style Village of Portmeirion, North Wales

September 26, 2017

Portmeirion, North Wales

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Portmeirion Building, North Wales

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Portmeirion Building, North Wales

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Portmeirion Building, North WalesPortmeirion Building, North WalesPortmeirion Building, North Wales

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Portmeirion Building, North Wales

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Portmeirion Building, North Wales

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Portmeirion Building, North Wales

Portmeirion

Sadly these aren’t some lush snaps of a sneaky trip we took to Italy, but from a little village called Portmeirion in North Wales, just on the border of Snowdonia National Park, a 10 minute drive from Porthmadog.

When I was looking for things to do around the area, Portmeirion kept on popping up. Filled with its colourful buildings (that are let out as holiday homes), little shops, a spa and some lush gardens filled with palm trees, you’d think you were somewhere in Italy. The views over the estuary were stunning too, especially as the sun was just starting to set as we arrived later in the afternoon.

Portmeirion Building, North WalesPortmeirion, North WalesPortmeirion, North Wales

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History

The village was created by architect Sir Bertram Clough Williams-Ellis, who bought the site in the early 1920’s when it was nothing but a ‘neglected wilderness’. He changed the name of the village from Aber IΓ’ to Portmeirion and spent the next 50 years designing and building the colourful village, with the major buildings and structures being built in the first 15 years, including the Hotel which is still there today, and then over the rest of the years, the finer details were finished off.

A lot of the buildings are actually parts of other buildings from around the UK that were going to be demolished, but he saved parts of them and had them put in Portmeirion which makes for the range of styles that you can see as you wander around. He nicknamed it his place for fallen buildings. It’s so weird wandering around and seeing all the different buildings and wondering if they’re real or not. The holiday homes that you can rent out are dotted around the village – I never knew this until after we’d left! How fun would it be to stay there?!

Portmeirion Beach, North WalesPortmeirion Beach, North WalesPortmeirion Beach, North WalesPortmeirion Beach, North WalesPortmeirion, North WalesPortmeirion Beach, North WalesPortmeirion Beach, North Wales

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Portmeirion Lighthouse, North Wales

Portmeirion Beach, North Wales

After we’d explored the main plaza area, we headed down to the ‘quay’ and walked along the mini promenade to the coast. The grounds are actually a lot bigger than we expected and loop all along the coast, round to some Japanese style gardens and then back to the village. It was a nice little walk and the views over the estuary were absolutely stunning! It would have been nice to sit on the rocks with a little picnic watching the sun go down.

We headed back up to the car park, having peeks in the shop windows which had all closed by then. Apart from one other couple, we basically had the entire village to ourselves! It was actually nice going later in the afternoon, as it was so quiet (and I think we got charged a reduced rate too).

Portmeirion, North WalesPortmeirion, North WalesPortmeirion, North WalesPortmeirion, North Wales

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Portmeirion, North Wales

Portmeirion, North Wales

Tickets and Info

Portmeirion is open everyday from 9.30am till 7.30pm (unless you’re a guest of the hotel/holiday homes), though the shops and cafes close at 5pm. Tickets cost Β£12 for adults and children up to the age of 15 are Β£8. There’s a small discount for pre-booking online and for concessions (and apparently if you turn up after 5pm too – but don’t quote me on that haha). It’s so easy to get to and there’s a huge carpark for day visitors (and plenty of space for campervans/motorhomes too in case you were wondering). Just be warned though, that no dogs are allowed inside.

Have you been to Portmeirion before? What did you think?

 

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  • Reply
    Lucy
    September 26, 2017 at 9:52 pm

    I was just thinking it reminded me of Alice in Wonderland when those last few pics popped up! I can’t believe Portmeirion isn’t more widely known, it’s so beautiful and quirky. I’ve never actually been to Wales before (need to explore these Isles…) but this looks like as good an excuse as any! xxx
    Lucy @ La Lingua | Life, Travel, Italy

    • Reply
      April
      September 27, 2017 at 7:06 am

      Now that you’ve said about Alice in Wonderland I totally agree – especially the shop window with the people drinking tea! It was our first time in Wales too – considering it’s only a 3hr drive I think we’ll definitely be back again!
      xo April

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