Stepping into Portmeirion in Wales was like crossing the border into a fantasyland. Impossibly pretty and somewhat unreal. I knew I was still in Britain (cloudy skies, chill in the air) but the colors and architecture of Portmeiron village were the pastel-candy hues I associated with the Mediterranean (and gelato!). Of course, Portmeirion Wales had to be the creation of a rich English architect. I can imagine Portmeirion Italian village is exactly Prince Charles’ cup of tea – pretty and traditional. Despite our misgivings, we were charmed by the idyllic location of the Portmeirion Hotel located on the edge of the water, the Portmeirion cottages sprinkled throughout the village and the little green Portmeirion train chugging through the woodland. You’d have to be a real grump not to be enveloped in this Italian coastal fantasy.
The grand vision of architect Clough Wiliam-Ellis, Portmerion village was built as an homage to his love of another coastal village, Portofino in Italy. He wanted to show how to develop an area while still keeping it beautiful. Built over 50 years (1925-1975), the entirety of Portmeiion village is Grade II listed.
Lonely Planet listed Portmeirion in Wales as a top destination on its Ultimate Travelist for the entire world. It gets over 200,000 visitors every year!
Frank Lloyd Wright (of Welsh ancestry) came to visit Portmeirion Wales in 1956. Needless to say, it is a very popular place for weddings and other celebrations in North Wales.
Things To Do In Portmeirion Wales
You won’t run out of things to do in Portmeirion Wales. With its its close proximity to Snowdonia National Park, even the most hard-core outdoors person will find themselves happily occupied. With so many things to do in Portmerion Wales both in the village complex as well as outside, Portmeirion in Wales is a great destination for a multi-generational holiday.
Portmeiron in Wales is set amongst 70 acres of forests set with 20 miles of walking paths for communing with nature. In addition to the general walks, there are specific coastal walks and woodland walks, each of which would take you about 30-40 minutes.
During the summer months a little Portmeirion train goes on a tour of the woodland.
Explore Portmeirion in Wales on your own and there are charming little treasures hidden for you to find in its woodland, like a Dog Cemetery and a Chinese Lake with its little blue pagoda.
Food and Drink
There is a good array of options for eating and drinking at Portmeiron Italian village for both casual meals and fine dining. The Portmeirion Hotel restaurant is especially known for elegant meals. Kid-friendly options at Portmeirion restaurants include a pizzeria and gelateria.
There’s a gorgeous white sandy beach that is created when the tide goes out at Dwyryd Estuary at Portmeirion Wales. It’s great for kids to have a play. High tide times are clearly marked so you do need to be careful. Down by the shore as well is the Amis Reunis a stone boat that children can clamber around.
Portmeirion Pottery History
Portmeirion is famous for its pottery which was founded by Clough William-Ellis’ daughter, Susan. She set up Portmeirion Pottery in 1960 so that visitors to Portmeirion Italian village could purchase souvenirs of their visit. Pottery is a very English souvenir!
Portmeirion Botanic Garden is one of Portmeirion Pottery’s iconic ranges and based on 19th century English prints. Portmeirion Botanic Garden is one of the ranges available at the Seconds Shop, a Portmierion outlet store near the entrance. This Portmierion outlet also sells some of the newer ranges by British designers like Ted Baker and Sophie Conran.
There are several small shops to visit including a small well-curated bookshop, a boutique, an art gallery, and a Welsh products store. You know Portmeirion Italian village is geared towards multi-generational visitors because there are lots of things a doting grandparent/aunt/uncle etc would buy for children.
The Mermaid Spa has a full-range of wellness facilities and vegan, all-natural treatment options. It’s location gives a divine view over the estauary below.
Every June, the Portmeirion Festival turns the Portmeirion Italianate village turns into a festival fantasy land with Festival No. 6. The name for the Portmeirion festival comes from the British cult TV show, The Prisoner, which was filmed in Portmeirion.
The Portmeirion festival has musical gigs, arts and cultural events, family-friendly activities, and even a street food village. Everything at the Portmierion festival isn’t all clean-cut health and well-being though – there’s a rave in the wood for your hard-core partiers.
Portmeiron is a perfect place to stay since pretty much the entire village is either self-catering cottages or hotel rooms. Plenty of people visit Portmeirion for a day trip. If you stay in Portmeirion accommodation though you will have the run of the place long after the tourists are gone.
The hotels all offer parking. You definitely need a car to appreciate this part of Wales.
Accommodation in Portmeirion
You have two choices for accommodation in Portmeirion. Both four-star hotels in Portmerion Wales have family-friendly accommodation available.
Portmeirion Hotel Wales
The Portmeirion Hotel, is an adaptation of an old manor house. Portmeirion Hotel has a charming outdoor heated pool open in the summer months and a seaside location with a sandy beach by the main building. Hotel Portmeirion Wales is the brainchild of Clough William-Ellis himself.
Check out the reviews for Portmeirion Hotel on TripAdvisor.
The rooms are spread out amongst the Portmeirion Hotel main building, rooms in Portmeirion village itself and Portmeirion cottages to rent on the grounds. The Portmeirion Hotel Wales can accommodate families in some of its accommodation. For example, the Portmeirion holiday cottages can accommodate groupss that range from 3-9 guests.
The Portmeirion hotel restaurant is the acknowledged fine dining establishment for the village with its Art Deco interior.
The Portmeirion Castle, Castell Deudraeth, is the modern version of historical Portmeirion accommodation (if that makes sense!). Castell Deudraeth Hotel is a Victorian folly that’s been converted to a contemporary-style hotel. The restaurant at Castle Deudraeth feels more like a gastro-pub and overlooks a beautiful little walled garden.
Check out the reviews for the Portmeirion Castle Deudraeth Hotel on TripAdvisor.
There’s a mini-bus that runs from the Portmeirion Castle and Hotel Portmeirion because the Portmeirion Castle is accommodation near Portmeirion but not in the village itself.
Accommodation Near Portmeirion
Thanks to the compact nature of Portmeirion Wales, you may need to find accommodation near Portmeirion if the Portmeirion hotel options are booked.
Royal Sportsman Hotel is located nearby in Porthmadog which is 2 miles away from Portmeirion Wales. Rated a 3 star hotel, this accommodation near Portmeirion has 28 guest rooms.
Check out the reviews for the Royal Sportsman Hotel on TripAdvisor.
Tudor Lodge is a family run guesthouse in Porthmadog as well. They have a range of rooms from singles to doubles as well as a separate cottage.
Check out the reviews for Tudor Lodge on TripAdvisor.
Dina’s Camping, Glamping and Caravan Park is an option for you Portmeirion Festival goers who go the traditional festival camping route.
Check out the reviews for Dina’s Camping, Glamping and Caravan Park on TripAdvisor.
You can find Portmeirion camping sites courtesy of this map from the Camping and Caravanning club.
Please note that there is no wild camping in Snowdonia National Park so stick to Portmeirion camping in legit places!
Visting Portmeirion Village
Owned by a charity, the Portmeirion entry fee charged at the entrance goes towards its upkeep. Portmeirion Village is open daily for visitors.
You can buy day tickets (currently the Portmeirion entry fee comes to £11 for adults with a concession for children). Children under 5 go free. There are also family tickets (including a very progressive single adult family ticket option).
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