There are some absolutely amazing places in the UK.
It’s pretty typical that you don’t appreciate all the incredible places right on your doorstep but that’s something I’m looking to change.
Living just outside Manchester, I have some of the best places in the UK just a short drive away and I’m determined to get out and explore them all.
One of my favourite places that I’ve explored is Portmeirion village in Wales so I thought I’d share what makes it so special to help inspire your own adventure!
Portmeirion Travel Guide
What is Portmeirion?
Created by Welsh architect Clough Williams-Ellis between 1925 and 1976, Portmeirion is a stunning village in North Wales.
One of Wale’s most popular attractions, the tourist village was designed to show how a beautiful, natural landscape could be developed on without being spoilt.
Located on a private peninsula that is now owned by a charitable trust, Portmeirion incorporates colourful buildings inspired by the Italian Riviera using an eco-friendly approach.
The Prisoner & Portmeirion
Portmeirion Village is best known as the filming location for the cult 1960’s TV series, The Prisoner.
Starring Patrick McGoohan as ‘Number Six’, The Prisoner follows a former government agent who is imprisoned in a mysterious seaside village. Hunted for information, Number Six attempts to escape the isolated village and avoid capture by the glowing balloonlike devices called ‘Rovers”.
There’s even a fan club called Six of One who host PortmeiriCon that celebrates the TV Series and re-enacts key scenes over one weekend (usually in April) a year!
Getting To Portmeirion
Located in Gwynedd, North Wales, Portmeirion is nestled between the Welsh Coastline and the spectacular Snowdonia National Park.
If you are planning a visit, there are a couple of ways to get to the village:
- Driving – Driving from Manchester takes around 2 hours 30 minutes or 5 hours from London. There is a huge car park at Portmeirion for visitors to use.
- Bus – There is a daily bus service from Porthmadog to Portmeirion which runs between March and October.
- Train – You can get a train from London Euston to Llandudno or Bangor. From these stops, you can then travel to Blaenau Ffestiniog and then on to Porthmadog and Minffordd. Alternatively, if you are travelling from Shrewsbury or Birmingham, there are trains to Machynlleth, which you can then get a connecting train to Minffordd.
Portmeirion is open every day for visitors, except Christmas Day.
To enter the village, you need to buy a ticket from the Toll Booth (currently £8 for adults) located at the entrance. You can also save up to 10% on your entry by booking online, but you can’t do this on the same day as your visit.
Alternatively, if you can gain free entry to Portmeirion if you have a two-course lunch at Castel Deudraeth Brasserie or The Hotel Portmeirion or have a treatment at the Mermaid Spa.
In terms of accessibility, it’s worth noting that Portmeirion is built on a hill and some of the paths are quite steep and uneven. However, all of the main areas of the village are accessible by wheelchair so don’t let that put you off!
If you want to really make the most of your visit to Portmeirion, you can actually stay in the village!
There are quite a lot of different options to choose from, ranging from hotels to cottages. Here’s a breakdown of what’s on offer:
- The Hotel Portmeirion – A luxury 4-star hotel right on the sea-coast.
- Castell Deudraeth – An early Victorian castellated mansion which is now a 4-star luxury hotel.
- Village Rooms – 32 individually decorated, village rooms with views of the piazza and sea.
- Self-Catering Cottages – 13 self-catering cottages with access to hotel facilities.
Top 10 Things To Do In Portmeirion
There are so many things to do in Portmeirion so, to help you plan your visit, I thought I’d tell you about 10 of the best!
1 – Have a Guided-Tour of Portmeirion
Included in the admission price, learn everything you need to know about Portmeirion in a 20-minute guided tour. Including all of the main highlights, find out about the village’s unique story and history.
2 – Afternoon Tea at Hotel Portmeirion
Treat yourself and enjoy a traditional afternoon tea with a Welsh twist at Hotel Portmeirion.
Looking like something straight from The Great Gatsby, choose between the sea-view Terrace of the beautiful art-deco dining room in this award-winning Art Deco restaurant.
3 – Go Shopping in the Village
Splash some cash and indulge in a bit of retail therapy in one of Portmeirion’s many shops.
Selling everything from pottery and artwork to food and Prisoner memorabilia, you can pick up the perfect gift.
There’s also a Food & Craft Festival in December which showcases the best of local food, drink, gifts and entertainment!
4 – Attend PortmeiriCon
Embrace everything ‘The Prisoner’ and get involved in PortmeiriCon.
Whether you want to dress up or just watch, the weekend brings the entire village to life.
5 – Explore the Woodland Path & Gardens
Set in a breathtaking natural landscape, the subtropical forest at Portmeirion has some of Britain’s largest trees.
Discover secret gardens, a derelict castle and rare flowers in the 70 acres of woodlands and 19 miles of pathways.
There is even a Japanese Garden with a pagoda and lily-covered lake and hidden areas such as the Dog Cemetery, Tangle Wood, Ghost Garden, and Shelter Valley!
Fitness fanatics will love The 6th Trial, a 6K run around the designated Conservation area of the Y Gwyllt Woodlands including unique views of Portmeirion and the Snowdonia National Park!
6 – Enjoy a train ride through the Gwyllt
Rest your feet and take a ride through the magical Gwyllt, meaning wildwood in Welsh.
Included in the admission cost, this complimentary train ride is a great way to discover some of the rare species that are located in Portmeirion.
7 – Have Lunch at Castell Deudraeth
Looking like a castle but really a Victorian mansion, Castell Deudraeth is the perfect place to refuel after a long day exploring.
Enjoy a meal in the conservatory, sit in the Brasserie overlooking the countryside and Victorian gardens or have a drink by the fire in the cosy Lounge.
8 – Relax in the Mermaid Spa
Offering a wide range of treatments including body wraps and facials, pamper yourself at the Mermaid Spa overlooking to Dwyryd Estuary.
9 – Listen to some music at Festival No. 6
Celebrating music, arts, and culture, Festival No. 6 is one of the most unique festivals in the UK.
With previous headliners including Friendly Fires, Franz Ferdinand, Lewis Capaldi, and The Charlatans, it’s definitely not an event to miss!
Festival No 6. is actually having a year off (2019), but, you could always go to one of the many concerts held at the village. This year you can see The Sweet and The Vapors!
10 – Take a walk on the beach
Feel the sand between your toes and explore the hidden caves and gullies of the Dwyryd Estuary.
Whilst you’re down by the shoreline, don’t forget to see Amis Reunis, or “Friends Reunited”, the famous Stone Boat of Portmeirion!
A word of warning: the tide here changes fast and you should take notice of the high tide time displayed on site and your admission ticket.
With a Mediterranean vibe and so many things to do in Portmeirion, this village is easily one of my favourite days out in the UK!
Have you been to Portmeirion? What’s your favourite day out in the UK? Let me know in the comments below!
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