Check out the photos below and guess where they were taken…? If you thought it was a pretty little village on the Italian Riviera you’d be wrong. This is Portmeirion, a tourist village on the West coast of Wales which was designed and built by Sir Clough Williams-Ellis in the style of an Italian village.
For years the British architect had dreamed of building a beautiful coastal village. He was searching as far as New Zealand for the perfect location until finally, he found the estate on the Dwyryd estuary close to his home in Wales. He bought the land for £5,000 and changed its name to Portmeirion. The resulting village which can be visited today was built up over a period of 50 years between 1925 and 1975.
Sir William-Ellis wanted to prove that development did not have to mean the destruction of the natural environment so he designed Portmeirion to fit in with the local nature. He also incorporated items which he had collected (or which had been donated) from demolished or abandoned buildings.
As well as the brightly coloured buildings and patchwork collection of objects, Portmeirion is home to large woodland gardens and many exotic plants left over by the previous owner.
Portmeirion is now a holiday resort and tourist village with a hotel and 14 self-catering cottages. There are also several cafes, shops, a tea room, restaurant and swimming pool. Day trips to the village can be made by non-guests for £12 (adult)/£10 (student).
During the summer months you can make the most of the free walking tour to learn more about the village, or take the free train to explore the miles of woodlands. The long stretch of coast and beaches also makes for a beautiful walk, even on a drizzly day.
If someone would have told me 5 years ago I would be going on holiday to a picturesque Welsh village I probably would have told them in a teenage fit of anger how lame and boring that sounded. However, with my new found maturity – okay, who am I kidding!? I mean my new DSLR camera and worrying Instagram obsession – I spent a beautiful day in Portmeirion, exploring all of the hidden nooks and crannies and using up my entire camera memory.
Portmeirion is picture perfect from every angle – the beautiful architecture, brightly coloured facades, quirky objects and breathtaking nature. No matter what your photography ability, anyone can take the perfect Instagram photo in this gorgeous little village. Camera at the ready guys!
For another great U.K destination check out my post 7 Tips for Enjoying a Long Weekend in Edinburgh.