The Welsh village that looks like it belongs on the Amalfi coast

Coloured buildings at Portmeirion
-Credit: (Image: Getty Images)


If you're considering a staycation but still yearn for the picturesque charm of a Mediterranean escape, then Portmeirion in Wales could be the ideal location.

This beautiful village in Gwynedd is the brainchild of architect Clough Williams-Ellis, who dedicated 50 years to perfecting the site after acquiring the land in 1925.

Over time, numerous buildings and follies have been added to Portmeirion, typically reflecting the Baroque style favoured by William-Ellis. One of the first structures to open was the Portmeirion Hotel, originally a 19th-century mansion named Aber Ia.

The mansion, thought to have been constructed around 1850, was selected by William-Ellis as the ideal starting point for his dream village.

READ MORE: The Welsh village named as one of UK's 'most beautiful' places by travel writers

Portmeirion now boasts a vast collection of listed buildings, including the Grade I Listed Portmeirion Town Hall, also known as Hercules Hall, which was erected in 1938.

The hall was designed in a classical 17th-century style, and its impressive vaulted ceiling showcases the Twelve Labours of Heracles, alongside the signs of the Zodiac, giving the hall its alternative name.

A 19th-century Gothic Pavillion was introduced to the village in 1966, with William-Ellis sourcing this from Nerquis Hall in nearby Flintshire, where it had served as a porch.

Colourful buildings at Portmeirion village
The stunning Portmeirion village is located in Gwynedd, North Wales -Credit:Getty Images

Other additions over the years include a Pantheon, added in 1961, a Baroque-style bell tower in 1931, and a two-storey gatehouse, which was added in 1955, becoming the first new addition following the Second World War.

While creating Portmeirion, Williams-Ellis made use of several pre-existing structures, with one of Aber Ia mansion's lodges becoming a shop selling Portmeirion Pottery, while an eighteenth-century cottage was extended in 1966, and attached to the Observatory Tower, which was built in 1937.

Also part of Portmeirion Village is Castell Deudraeth, which is believed to have been built in the 1700s, on the site of a late 12th century castle that had since been destroyed.

Portmeirion in North Wales
The village was created by Welsh architect Clough Williams-Ellis -Credit:Getty Images

Visitors to Portmeirion have left rave reviews on TripAdvisor, with one writing: "Lovely hidden gem that is great in all weathers. Yes, entry is a little pricey but worth it for all the maintenance that goes into keeping the site beautiful. We loved the views, range of buildings and colours, the beach and woodland walks."

"The best afternoon tea in the world, in one of the nicest places. The village is stunning and we really made the most of it, being amongst the last to leave. We had afternoon tea in the hotel, which was absolutely delicious," added another.

While a third penned: "One would think one was on the Amalfi coast in Italy. A quaint and wonderful village which would look and feel better if the weather had been sunny."

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