Wednesday, 15 August 2018

A Day Out at Portmeirion Wales

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A Day Out at Portmeirion Wales

Recently we spent a long weekend in Porthmadog, a small town in North Wales. We had been having the warmest summer since 1976 and Porthmadog had hit the headlines as the warmest place in the UK. It reminded us we had a few places near there we wanted to visit - Portmeirion was top of our list.
We drove the short distance from Porthmadog to Portmeirion and found it really easily, we went early, as soon as it opened and it was fairly quiet. By the time we left (mid-afternoon) coach tours had arrived and it was busier. Even busy it is a wonderful place to visit.

I wanted to see the places featured in the TV series The Prisioner. It was a series I had grown up with as a child. I wasn't disappointed, from the chess set to Number 6s house, it was all still there.

Portmeirion was designed and built by Sir Clough Williams-Ellis between 1925 and 1975. It is said he designed it in the style of an Italian village, it is, but so much more than that. It's surreal, amusing, beautiful and quirky.

What impressed me the most was how colourful it is. Every building is gloriously painted, some with risqué frescoes, some with the most amazing Mediterranean blue. The details everywhere are both stunning and amusing, in fact the whole place is so over the top you can't help smiling. If you haven't been you must go! You'll love it.

So enough of the chat - here is a small selection of the hundreds of photos I took.

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The entrance as you approach the village

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Inside the arch the walls are painted with wonderful views across the estuary

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Even the ceiling is decorated, in the outlandish and Italianate style of the village

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Our first glimpse of the estuary of the River Dwyryd.

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Another colourful archway

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All the buildings are painted, either pastels or bright orange and blues

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The Mediterranean blue in this doorway features lots and seems to glow, it's quite stunning

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I could be in Italy or Greece. I just love the pineapple finials.
Everywhere there are small details, every building has an alcove with something wonderful in it or have decorations adorning their walls. The buildings are well cared for and look fresh and newly painted. I wonder if they do it over the winter or if it's like the Forth Bridge? A never ending task!

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There are staues and sculptures everywhere, from golden Buddhas to stone lions. Two of my favourites are Hercules and this sailing ship.

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We love to walk and around the village are numerous walks, from coastal to woodland passing a Chinese garden and lake. For the not so inclined there is a free road train that takes a short route through the woodland.

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We had a lovely lunch which we bought in the village and was reasonably priced. I found both food and drink was good value, not the usual hiking of prices found at some venues.

Then we went in search of The Prisioner, Number 6. A bust of Patrick Mcgoohan (the actor that played the leading role) is in a nook near the entrance, we headed back that way and came across The Prisioner shop.
I had a quick chat with the lady behind the counter and confirmed this was Number 6's house in the series. It sells everything you could ever need related to The Prisioner; hats, umbrellas, jackets, books, everything!

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Patrick McGoohan- The Prisioner to a whole generation


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The shop has a plaque above the door confirming it is the home of Number 6

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It sells everything you could ever need Prisioner themed



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Portmeirion village has two hotels and self catering holiday homes if you want to stay longer, it looks an amazing place to stay for a special occasion and is close to some beautiful places including Snowdonia National Park and Anglesey.

Up to date admission charges can be found on the Portmeirion Village website, we paid £9.50 each as OAPs (it has its benefits!) Just as an idea when we were there adults cost £11, children £7.50 and family (2+2) £32. There are lots of combinations of tickets.

We loved it, I would definitely go again and even though the entrance seemed expensive at first we felt we really had our moneys worth. The gardens were beautiful, although away from the central plaza the plants were suffering from the drought.

I would visit in the morning but we did see Castell Deudraeth, a hotel which is part of the village but located just outside, offering two course lunch and free tickets to the village for £20 each, a bargain!

Have you been to Portmeirion? Do you have a favourite part or any tips on visiting?

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