Located on a sprawling estate on the coast of Wales, Portmeirion Village is a miniature Italianate fantasy village, the creation of Sir Clough Williams-Ellis who purchased the property in 1925 as a “neglected wilderness.” Williams-Ellis spent most of his life designing and building the tiny elaborate Italian-influenced village of his own creation.
The style of buildings ranges from Arts & Crafts to Classical to Baroque, painted in pastel hues, surrounding a reflecting pond and central lawn. Williams-Ellis incorporated architectural ruins and bits of salvaged buildings into his designs, including many disparate styles. Among other things Williams-Ellis called the village his “home for fallen buildings” and the extensive grounds are dotted with follies, sculptures, and ornamental ponds all part of his “light opera” approach to architecture.
Portmeirion Village was made world famous when it was used as the setting for the wonderful 1960s British TV cult classic “The Prisoner,” and hosts a Prisoner weekend every year. Visitors can visit for a day trip or stay in various village buildings overnight. For fans of the TV series, opening the curtains in the morning onto the village square is an unforgettable experience.
In 2001 extensive rebuilding of the mansion Castell Deudraeth on the property were completed and opened as a hotel and restaurant.
Know Before You Go
Portmeirion is 1 1/2 miles West of Penrhyndeudraeth on the A487 signposted at Minffordd.
Large parts of the site are wheelchair and mobility scooter accessible, and an accessibility map is available online.