On this post I will highlight the places we visited and the best places to see and the best things to do in Portmeirion.
The plan today was to check-out of the hotel and drive up north in the direction of Portmeirion Village, which would take us about 3 hours. We had tickets booked for a visit to Portmeirion Village between 11:30 and 14:00, so we left the hotel about 09:00 and took the A487 north. This was a very pleasant drive, and we did not feel like it took that much time; when we realised, we were already there.
This trip to Wales was very enjoyable, but nothing had prepared us to the beauty of Portmeirion Village. I had seen it on various TV programmes, but nothing prepares you for the scale and the delight that Portmeirion Village is. We had saved the best for last.
Portmeirion is a village in Gwynedd, North Wales. It was designed and built by an architect called Sir Clough Williams-Ellis between 1925 and 1975. His design resembles the villages in the south of Italy and the architect himself confirmed it was designed thinking about the beauties of the Mediterranean.
Nowadays the village belongs to a charitable trust and consist of various hotels, restaurants, cafes, and holiday cottages. You will need to book a time for the visit and pay an entrance ticket, but if you are staying in one of the hotels of the village you do not need to pay for a ticket.
The architecture together with the gardens and the atmosphere is what captivates you and takes you to another world. Every building has its charm and has a story to tell.
The day we were there was very sunny and full of people wandering around. There was a wedding taking place somewhere in the village as we saw a bride in her chariot on the streets of the village. Later, when we went down to the beach, we could see the tables ready to receive the wedding guests on the terrace of the hotel. Perfect place for a wedding.
That was when I realised why we could not book any hotel or restaurant in the village: all accommodation was fully booked.
We walked everywhere in the village and had lunch in one of the cafes. When we felt we had seen enough we took our way to our hotel, which was outside the village, in Blanau- Ffestimiog, about 11 miles from Portmeirion and in the heart of Snowdonia National Park.
There wasn’t anything suitable available nearby, so we booked this hotel called Plas Weunydd. It is a boutique hotel and “glamp site”, well located for anyone wanting to explore the stunning region of Snowdonia and the numerous mountains and beaches nearby. It was named best hotel in Wales in 2021!
The hotel is a newly refurbished manor house with all the comforts you could wish for in a holiday. The staff was very nice, and the place was clean and beautiful. They have a restaurant on site that serves breakfast and dinner, but for dinner it has a limited choice of dishes.
After checking-in, we went for a walk around the area. This is an area of slate quarries, some closed (our hotel was part of one), others still operating. We walked around a lake nearby surrounded by slate mountains. Very different landscape, but nice. After the walk we sat in the terrace of the hotel to have a beer and observe the people coming down the mountain on their bikes and getting up via a chair lift.
We have booked a restaurant for our last evening in Wales, “Moorings Bistro”, in a small, picturesque village called Borth y Gest near Porthmadog.
This restaurant had very good reviews and I was keen to try their dishes. When we arrived for our reservation at 19:30 the restaurant was already full, but it didn’t take long for us to get to our table.
Unfortunately, the dishes on the board, which were mainly fishes of the day, had already finished and we ordered from the dinner menu. I ordered the Goat’s cheese and beetroot salad with caramelised hazelnuts as a starter, and the Seafood tagliatelle as the main dish. My husband ordered the soup of the day (mushroom) and Welsh Rib-eye steak. All dishes were cooked to perfection, we loved the atmosphere of the restaurant, and the village is adorable. Sadly, while checking the website I found out that this restaurant is permanently closed. (September 2023)
On Sunday morning we had our breakfast at the hotel, which had some different options to the traditional cooked breakfast fare. We shared a plate of ham and cheese with a cavern aged Cheddar from Llechwedd Deep Mine. A good start for the day and to face our 4 hours trip back home.
This trip was a surprise, full of interesting learnings as well as spectacular views and pleasure. Wales is definitely a place worth visiting and I wouldn’t think twice to going back to this beautiful part of the British Isles.
Below you will find a list of what to visit, where to stay and where to eat in Portmeirion. I classified each place as follows:
BOLD – Visited, tried and recommended
NOT BOLD – Not visited or tried, but planning to visit or try and heard very good reviews
*** – Excellent
** – Good
* – OK
£££ – Expensive
££ – Fair and affordable
£ – Cheap
WHAT TO VISIT IN PORTMEIRION AND AROUND
1 – Portmeirion Village – ***
2 – Snowdonia National Park – ***
3 – Borth y Gest Village – ***
WHERE TO STAY IN PORTMEIRION AND AROUND
1 – Portmeirion Village & Castell Deudraeth – 4* – £££
2 – Plas Weunydd – 4* – *** – ££
3 – Hafan Artro – 3* – ££
4 – Môr Heli Guest House Criccieth – 2* – ££
WHERE TO EAT IN PORTMEIRION AND AROUND
1 – Brasserie at Castell Deudraeth – ££
2 – Y SgwIâr – Porthmadog – ££
3 – Golden Fleece Inn – Porthmadog – ££
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