Portmeirion Travel Guide: 33 reviews and 151 photos


Well, actually you CAN have it...and here it is! Portmeirion was the design fantasy of Sir Clough Williams-Ellis that blossomed between 1925 and 1975 into architectural reality. Drawing upon a variety of styles and a pool of colours, this eccentric genius incorporated romantic remnants of demolished buildings into the fabric of his 'new' creations. This village is like no other you'll ever come across. For starters it is built to a slightly smaller and oddly more 'human' scale and although the cottages are all real and the exquisite little shops open for business, nobody actually lives there. People staff it and tourists throng to it but hotel guests are the only residents Portmeirion allows. At night the gates are shut and paying guests are free to roam through their own private dreamland. It's wonderfully romantic and would be a splendid base from which to explore North Wales. Of course, you could just sit back and take in the stunning views,the woodland walks or the beautiful bay. Then again you could join those who are drawn here by the chance to indulge in a bit of virtual reality...


The virtual reality to which I refer is of course the cult 60s TV series, 'The Prisoner'. The series really was a child of the Sixties in everything from it's storyline to it's design. A quirky combination of Kafka and Mary Quant, it told the strange story of a secret agent who resigns his post and awakens to find himself incarcerated within the boundaries of a strange community. Their neatly blazered leaders and his brainwashed fellow villagers are keen to sacrifice their principles in order to discover what happened to his. And let's not forget 'Rover', the giant marauding bubble that rose from the depths to smother any rebellious miscreant that blocked it's master's path. Confused? Of course! We all were but at the end of the day it was great thought provoking entertainment. The star of the show was Patrick McGoohan but the all pervading memory is that of The Village itself - Portmeirion! So what could be better for any fan of the series than the chance to stay as a guest INSIDE the television programme? But this time of course you ARE allowed to leave. (and frankly, you couldn't afford to stay for too long anyway!)


So there we have it. Two distinct types of holiday in the same resort - neither mutually exclusive and both enjoyable. Frankly, if you've never seen the series you really ought to buy the DVDs and take a peek before you come - it will increase your appreciation of this beautiful place. Those purely with relaxation in mind should check the web to ensure you sidestep the occasional fan convention that meets there - and all should be aware that Portmeirion is particularly popular for weddings the weekends.

"Be seeing you!"

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Perfect base for luxury laden sightseeing
  • Cons:A delight at night but open to all comers during the day!
  • In a nutshell:A rare-bit of Wales (sorry about the pun!)
  • Last visit to Portmeirion: May 2004
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (3)

Comments (28)

  • Manara's Profile Photo
    Apr 28, 2010 at 8:31 AM

    I remember "The Prisoner"! the blazer was the thing I liked most.

  • footstool's Profile Photo
    Nov 17, 2008 at 10:07 PM

    I say Major, when are high and low seasons? Does 6 of 9, or other eccentric group, still exist, and when do they have get-togethers? Can I stay at a "private" villa and wear a jaunty blazer, like No. 6? Just the 2 of us AMerican eccentrics in their 40s.

  • hunterV's Profile Photo
    Aug 29, 2008 at 10:27 AM

    Hello, Nick! Thanks! It was interesting to read about the way the Eccentrics relax...

  • BillNJ's Profile Photo
    Jul 14, 2008 at 6:53 AM

    Great page! "The Prisoner" with Patrick McGoohan was a very original and thought-provoking show. Someday, I would like to visit Wales to see both the Village -- and Tom Jones in concert. Cheers, Bill

  • nickandchris's Profile Photo
    Apr 21, 2008 at 7:08 AM

    Great page, great reading!

  • TheWanderingCamel's Profile Photo
    Sep 11, 2007 at 6:07 PM

    So that's where the website got its name. I can see I'm going to have to make the trek to North Wales , I've long been intrigued by this place, never realised it was slightly hobbit-sized but that explains some things. leyle

  • craic's Profile Photo
    Jul 21, 2007 at 1:24 PM

    so this is the prisoner place - brilliant!

  • DEBBBEDB's Profile Photo
    Feb 23, 2007 at 7:52 AM

    I guess the people dressing up as in The Prisoner is no more eccentric than the Star Wars people who don't even have a beautiful place like this to go to

  • Feb 12, 2007 at 3:13 PM

    i be seeing pirates on board the amis reunis!!!

  • gilabrand's Profile Photo
    Feb 2, 2006 at 1:12 AM

    It takes a village, as they say. LOL


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