Top 12 Things to Do in Portmeirion

Things to Do in Portmeirion

Where in Wales can you go that transports you into a real-life Alice in Wonderland setting? Portmeirion Village is such a place inspired by the colorful buildings in Italian villages. The village is filled with flowers, walking paths, temples, hidden lakes, shops, unique places to stay, incredible views of the Dwyryd Estuary, and so many photo opportunities that you won’t know where to look first.

Portmeirion VillageView of Portmeirion Village

The village took over 50 years starting in 1925 to be built. Sir Clough Williams-Ellis designed Portmeirion Village to be in the style of an Italian town. He wanted the 70-acre woodland area and 20-miles of walking paths to blend in with the architectural design of the village without disturbing the land. Which I genuinely think he accomplished! Open hours are from 9:30 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. daily. Portmeirion Village tickets are 12€ per adult. You can get a complimentary ticket to the village by scheduling a two-course lunch at Castell Deudraeth, have lunch or afternoon tea at Hotel Portmeirion, or purchase any spa package at the Mermaid Spa.

How to Get to Portmeirion

Portmeirion Village can be reached by car, bus, or train. Located in Gwynedd, North Wales, Portmeirion is two miles southeast of Porthmadog and 1 mile from the Minfford Railway Station. A friend of mine drove us down from Llangefni to visit this little village for a day out which only took us less than an hour to reach. There is also a daily bus route from Porthmadog to Portmeirion from March to October. If you are taking a bus from other cities within Wales, you can get dropped off at the Minfford Railway Station. There is a footpath to follow from Minfford that will take you right into the village. If you are staying in Portmeirion Village, you can get a courtesy car to pick you up at the train station.

Castell DeudraethCastell Deudraeth

Castell Deudraeth is the largest and most impressive building in Portmeirion. With 11 rooms designed with a contemporary feel the spacious rooms still hold the charm of a medieval castle. You can get a drink in the lounge before your scheduled dining time if you choose. The brasserie overlooks a lovely walled Victorian garden which adds to your dining pleasure. The atmosphere and the delicious food make this a wonderful must-do experience on your visit to the village. Brasserie at Castell Deudraeth - Things to do in Portmeirion

Views of Dwyryd EstuaryView of River Dwyryd from Portmeirion Village

The white sandy beaches at low tide of the Dwyryd Estuary are a treat for guests of Portmeirion Village to explore. You can find all sorts of natural phenomena along the beach from hidden caves and beautiful river plants. Just be careful of the incoming tide times which are posted. For those not wanting to adventure on the beach, there are plenty of paths with scenic lookouts for you to capture the views of the river. As it was drizzling rain while I was visiting, the views were still wonderful. Paths to Views of River DwyrydView of River Dwyryd from Portmeirion Village

Portmeirion Botanic GardenDriveway Entrance to Portmeirion

The Portmeirion Botanic Gardens are something to behold if you love flowers and even better photographing them. The drive into the village has a row of colorful hydrangeas that are just begging for their picture to be taken. I can only imagine what they would look like when the clouds and rain disappear, and the sun shines on them. I’m sure that the flowers around the village change with the seasons, but I’m partial to hydrangeas, so I love seeing them around the village. Pink and purple hydrangeas in Portmeirion Village

Afternoon Tea at Hotel PortmeirionHotel Portmeirion

Another thing to do in Portmeirion Village is to take afternoon tea at the Hotel Portmeirion. You will need to book this in advance. The afternoon tea is held in the Terrace with views overlooking the Dwyryd Estuary. You will get your choice of tea with a selection of tea sandwiches, scones, cakes, and sweets. I really enjoy relaxing over afternoon tea. It is a great way to unwind when you are traveling.

Life-Sized Chess GameLarge Chess Game in Portmeirion - Things to Do in Portmeirion

In the central Piazza, there is a giant life-sized chess game with chess pieces waiting for you to move them around the board. Even better is that there is a stage close by that bands will play which provides music to your game. Go ahead and make the first move!Large Chess Game in Portmeirion - Things to Do in Portmeirion

Wading in the FountainFountain in the center of Portmeirion Village

On warm sunny days, which face it in North Wales in the summer is a luxury your kids can wade into the fountain pool in the center of Portmeirion Village. Of course, there is also the swimming pool at Hotel Portmeirion which is available for all guests staying in the village. It was such a joy to see the kids playing and splashing into the water.Hotel Portmeirion Pool

Train Ride through the Portmeirion WoodlandsTrain tour through the Portmeirion Woodlands - Things to Do in Portmeirion

All Aboard! Climb on board the train to take you through the woodlands. The journey takes you through the woods with stops along the way for you to get higher views of the village. You can also get off at any point to walk along the wood paths instead. There is also an official stop at the Oriental garden, where you can find a traditional temple overlooking a red Chinese bridge and lily-covered lake.View of Portmeirion Village from the Woodlands

Portmeirion WoodlandsPond in Portmeirion Village

This is such a beautiful area filled with so much nature. If you are a photographer, there is so much to see and capture. Besides the high aerial views of the village, there is a bench that looks like Snow White’s bed when she was asleep before the prince wakes her up. What a great Instagram spot! Plus, the lily-covered lake and the water reflections in the Chinese Lake is worth capturing. Snow White's Bed at Portmeirion Village - Things to Do in PortmeirionPond in Portmeirion Village

Shopping in Portmerion Village – Potmerion Pottery & ShopsPortmeirion Pottery Shop and Cafe

Portmeirion is known for its pottery. Having the village focus on pottery was the idea established by Clough William-Ellis’ daughter, Susan. She wanted visitors to the village to have the opportunity to buy souvenirs to take home something that would remind them of Portmeirion. Right at the entrance of the village is the Portmeirion Pottery Shop which also houses a cafe and ice cream shop as well. Also, there are many more shops sprinkled throughout the place selling everything from art, jams, books, gifts, and souvenirs from the Prisoner TV show which was filmed on the grounds. Happy shopping!

Relaxing at the Mermaid SpaSpa in Portmeirion Village

One of the most relaxing perks is taking part of a spa package at the Mermaid Spa. You can get pampered from head to two all while enjoying beautiful views of the Dwyryd Estuary. They offer packages for all manner and type of massages, body wraps, facials, manicures & pedicures, and even hair cuts.

Religious Statues and ArtworkBuddha statue at Portmeirion

One of the fascinating things about the village is the religious statues and artwork peppered throughout. It is interesting because the theme is all mixed. From Thai Buddhas to Greek and Roman statues, it is hard to get a handle of what the plan was for the village. Or there was no plan, and they put all these different relics all over the place to make you think there is one. Either way, it is really neat to find all of them, almost like a scavenger hunt.

Festival No. 6

Each September, music, culture, art, and festival vibes roll together in Portmeirion Village. The festival which got its name from the Prisoner TV show is a family-friendly music extravaganza. You can find iconic and eclectic musical groups, cultural events, family activities, and a complete street food village for you to enjoy. Plus, for the hard-core music fans, there is a rave in the woods in the evening. This is one music festival that the venue itself competes on grabbing your attention away from the music.

How Long to Visit Portmeirion

You can come and visit for one day and experience a lot, but I think you need to spend a couple of days to appreciate all Portmeirion has to offer truly. If you live in Wales, you can also purchase an annual membership and come back throughout the year to see the village in all of the seasons. I was able to see most of the village in one day, but I definitely want to come back and stay on-site in one of the village rooms or cottages.

Places to Stay in PortmeirionBridgehouse and Toll House in Portmeirion Village

There are four different accommodations available at Portmeirion, including the hotel, village rooms, Castell Deudraeth rooms, and self-catering cottages all within the village. All visitors staying on the grounds have access to the gardens, woodlands, spa, and the heated pool. The four-star Hotel Portmeirion has 14 rooms with views of the estuary. The walk along the beach is lined with colorful hydrangeas, and there is plenty of photo ops with the stone boat and pathways by the hotel. The Castell rooms are designed with a contemporary feel, but keeping most of the original features of the castle. It is only a ten-minute walk to the village. The village rooms are all unique and have great views of the village and estuary. There are a dozen self-catering cottages on-site with fully equipped kitchens. These cottages are great for families (4-9 people) on long weekends or week-long vacations.

SummaryView of Portmeirion Village from the Woodlands

As a Grade II listed site, Portmeirion is a fantasy village like no other. Completely built without disturbing the landscape and nature surrounding it. Where else can you feel like you are walking in Alice of Wonderland with the larger than life colorful buildings, art, and statues? Portmeirion Village is truly a magical place in Wales that everybody should visit at least once.

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Further Reading

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10 Comments

  • Vanessa Shields 1September2019 at 1:53 PM Reply

    Portmeirion does look like a village out of a fantasy and so charming! It’s interesting that there is a fee to enter the village, never heard of that before. Will definitely add to my list of places to visit the next time I am in Wales!

    • Heather 1September2019 at 1:58 PM Reply

      My guess the fee is to help the upkeep and a side benefit to keep the level of crowds down to a minimum. Which now most big tourist destinations are starting to add taxes to visit them. So, Portmeirion is just ahead of its time. You will love visiting this village the next time you are in Wales.

  • Kathryn Dickson 31August2019 at 10:59 PM Reply

    Such a cute and quaint storybook town full of amazing photo opportunities!

    • Heather 1September2019 at 4:33 AM Reply

      It definitely is a great place to visit if you are a photographer!

  • Patrice 31August2019 at 7:56 PM Reply

    Your lovely photos have really inspired me to visit Portmeirion. Wales has been on my bucket list for a long time!

    • Heather 1September2019 at 4:33 AM Reply

      I am so glad you enjoyed the photos. Portmeirion made it easy for me with the village being so colorful. You should definitely plan on coming here someday.

  • Merrie Rodriguez 31August2019 at 6:37 PM Reply

    This looks like so much fun! I had never heard of this place before!

    • Heather 1September2019 at 4:32 AM Reply

      It was a great day and lots of fun was had exploring everything! If you are in Wales, you should stop and visit Portmeirion.

  • Josy A 31August2019 at 5:39 PM Reply

    I had to go back and re-read the first paragraph as this does not look like the Wales at all! What an interesting (and fun to explore) village! I love how colourful it is!

    • Heather 1September2019 at 4:31 AM Reply

      I know right?! Portmeirion totally surprised me as well! You should definitely visit!

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