Destinations UK Wales

Where Am I? In the Village – Portmeirion North Wales

I’m not a number, I’m a free man!” Well, when you come to Portmeirion, the setting for the iconic TV series The Prisoner, you just have to say it.

As you look around Portmeirion, you could be forgiven for thinking you’re on the Italian Riviera and not on the coast of North Wales. Apart from the weather!

Portmeirion Village
The Village

Portmeirion Village

If you are not a fan of “The Prisoner“, you may be wondering, what exactly is Portmeirion? The village of Portmeirion was created by the Welsh architect Sir Clough Williams-Ellis. He designed and constructed the Italianate village on the estuary of the River Dwyryd, North Wales.

Portmeirion Bristol Colonnade
The Bristol Colonnade in Portmeirion

Portmeirion was built between 1925 and 1975. Its construction incorporated many fragments of other demolished buildings. By the time Clough Williams-Ellis had died in 1978, he had included a variety of building styles. These include the Gothic Pavilion, the Bristol Colonnade and the Hercules Hall.

Gloriette Balkon Portmeirion
The Gloriette Balkon

The Gardens

As well as the unique architecture of Portmeirion village, the surrounding grounds have a 70-acre subtropical forest with 20 miles of paths, hidden ruins, secret gardens and breathtaking views. Look out for the Dog Cemetery, Ghost Garden, Tangle Wood and the Oriental Garden, complete with pagoda and lily-covered lake.

Visiting The Village

 Portmeirion Hercules statue
The Portmeirion Hercules statue

Whether you’re touring Wales on a Welsh road trip or visiting Snowdonia National Park in the North, we definitely recommend a stop in Portmeirion. The village is usually open to day visitors every day of the year except Christmas Day.

At the time of writing, an adult ticket is £13. You can check the latest opening times and prices here. However, if you are dining or staying in one of the hotels, you do not have to pay to enter the village

The Prisoner

Patrick McGoohan in the Prisoner
Patrick McGoohan in The Prisoner

If you have never seen the TV series The Prisoner, then you’ve missed out on some classic 1960s weirdness. It was created by and starred Patrick McGoohan as Number 6. The character was abducted and imprisoned in a mysterious coastal village, where his captors try to find out why he abruptly resigned from his job.

As well as Patrick McGoohan, the other star of the show is Portmeirion itself. It really shows off the quirky architecture of the village. The first episode of The Prisoner is available to watch on YouTube.

Where To Stay

Portmeirion can get busy during the day if you stay over in one of the hotels or apartments. You get the unique opportunity to explore the village at night. Wandering the quiet gardens and the quirky architecture of the village under the moonlight.

Portmeirion Campanile - The Bell Tower
Portmeirion Campanile

For our visit, we stayed at the Hotel Portmeirion on the banks of the estuary. For Prisoner fans, you will recognise the hotel as the Village’s “Old People’s Home” complete with its concrete boat.

You can also stay in Castell Deudraeth, an early Victorian castellated gothic mansion on the grounds of Portmeirion. There are also rooms available in the various buildings dotted around the village itself.

In The Village, Portmeirion North Wales – Pin For Later

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