Exploring Portmeirion - The Welsh Riviera
Sister trips are the best, this year after much deliberation we decided on a weekend trip to Portmeirion. I don’t remember how I first came across Portmeirion, it was many years ago and I knew instantly I wanted to go there. For some reason - I couldn’t get the name to stick in my head and soon forgot where it was. As fate would have it, all these years later my sister suggested it and a light bulb went off in my head!
We travelled from Nottingham into Wales through the stunning Snowdonia National Park. I kept having to stop to take in the scenery and to avoid going off the road. In less than three hours - we’d made it to our airbnb.
Being on both a tight schedule and budget, it had taken us a long time to find a place to stay. After much searching we managed to find a one bed AirBnB to stay in the nearby town of Morfa Bychan. For two nights we paid £150 between us - nothing fancy but clean and all we needed, with a nearby fish and chip shop and a short walk from the beach. If you’ve got a higher budget you’ll be able to find somewhere pretty easily - or even stay at the hotel in Portmeirion itself.
Portmeirion itself was a short 20 minute drive away from our airbnb. It’s a gorgeous village on the North West coastline of Wales, built by Sir Clough Williams-Ellis over two phases, 1926 - 1939 and 1954 - 1976 (by that time Clough was well into his 90s).
It’s no ordinary village, it’s a private place and you need to remember there’s an entrance fee. You can buy tickets on the day, £12 for an adult or in advance and save 10%. I know some people might scoff at paying to enter, but for me it was worth it.
It's a surreal and fascinating place - as soon as you step in you’re transported into a colourful world that looks like you’re anywhere but the UK. With the gorgeous weather on the day we went you’d not be far off thinking we’d been on a trip somewhere exotic from the pictures.
The houses are a glorious sweet shop of colours, all wonderfully mad yet beautiful at the same time. What makes the village even more sublime is the secluded beach made up of gorgeous soft sand backed by low wooded cliffs with plenty of nooks and crannies for sunbathing or sheltering from the wind!
I think it's one of those places that you either love or you hate it. I read one tripadvisor review of Portmeirion saying: ‘What an ugly village; a cross between Toy Town and The Mad Hatter's Tea Party’. She might be right on some counts, but I bloody loved it. I’ll let you judge for yourselves...