If you haven’t already realised, I am absolutely besotted with Italy, so when I heard about this gorgeous, fairytale-like, colourful, Italian-style village in Wales called Portmeirion – only a five-hour drive from London – I had to go!
Portmeirion is located in Gwynedd, North Wales, very close to the Snowdonia National Park. It was built between 1925 and 1975 by a Welsh architect, Clough Williams-Ellis, who bought the property for what is believed to be £5,000 back then. Portmeirion is now owned by a charity, The Clough Williams-Ellis Foundation, which was set up in his honour. Williams-Ellis wanted to make the property more beautiful, colourful and enjoyable without spoiling the beauty of the site, by adding a mixture of Italianate, oriental and Tudor-style buildings in vivid colours.
I was so pleased that we got there as soon as it opened at 9.30am on a gloomy Sunday morning, with only a couple of other people strolling through the grounds, as I was eager to explore the grounds before the tourists arrived and got in the way of my shots!
I was in awe as soon as we stepped into the village, which is located right on the coast. Brightly-coloured architecture pops out everywhere from amongst the thick greenery and pretty wild flowers are planted all over the grounds. Can I live here? Pretty please!
There are a couple of different walks that visitors can take; both independent and complimentary guided ones. The Woodlands Walk is 30- to 40-minute stroll or a similar time-length coastal walk; we chose the latter.
It started to drizzle and luckily we had an umbrella, but this all added to the romantic ambience. The route took us past the Portmeirion Hotel, down the coast, where visitors can see the mountains and the lake, then it leads into the peaceful forest, which is all part of the 70-acre forest gardens called Y Gwyllt. We were the only ones on the walk, and surrounded by the forest, walking quietly to the sound of the rain drops, linking arms was the perfect break I needed from a hectic city life.
After our walk, there are a few cafes in the village, where you can have some pastries, cakes, light snacks, gelato and drinks. It is good to mention that they all take cards and are reasonably-priced. Also, bear in mind that although entry to the village costs £10 for an adult ticket, you can get free admission if you have lunch at either the hotel or the other restaurant on site, and kids under five get in for free.
We had some tea and cake at Caffi Rhif, which is next door to the ‘Prisoner’ gift shop which is dedicated to the cult 1960s TV series, which was set in Portmeirion. It was way before my time!
I highly recommend this little gem; it is so exceptionally beautiful. However do try to get there as early as possible, or stay overnight in Portmeirion so you can get the place to yourself without all the tourists.
I am so glad I was able to tick off yet another dream place to visit. Be sure to share and Pin the image below if you enjoyed this article, I will pay you in fairy dust!