We helped our friend move his belongings to North Wales this past weekend as he is about to start work with the Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railway As we were lucky enough to enjoy some lovely early autumn sunshine whilst there, we took the opportunity to spend the afternoon visiting Portmeirion, which is located right on his new doorstep.

No Parking Sign near entrance to Portmeirion
To many, Portmeirion's celebrity comes from it serving as the location for the 1960s television show The Prisoner. This show soon became a cult favourite and brought the fear that the village might be spoiled by the inundation of tourists. To help avert this, the owner, Sir Clough Williams-Ellis introduced a levy in the form of an entrance free to Portmeirion.

Entering Portmeirion
One of the strange statues that adorn Portmeirion ~
what is that in the creature's paws?

The unique character and striking appearance of Portmeirion was designed by Williams to assauge his love for Italian architecture. He constructed the village between 1925 and 1975.

Portmeirion is now a charitable trust, making an income by renting self-catering cottages and rooms in the village, running numerous shops, various cafes and restaurants, as well as continuing to charge an entrance fee to the village for tourists.

Votive coins hammered into tree strump in Portmeirion Woods

A Redwood tree in Portmeirion woods


The large-scale village chess board

The village of Portmeirion is a must-visit for anyone travelling through North Wales, be they Prisoner fans or not. A real curiosity of a place, walking around the unique sights and sounds can really get the creative juices flowing. Noel Coward wrote Blithe Spirit whilst staying in the village and I would have loved to have settled down in one of numerous seating areas there to take pen to paper myself.
Today we were hindered by having to undertake the long drive home in the afternoon as our visit was a rather hurried walk through of the locale. Maybe next time though...