The weird and wonderful village of Portmeirion

The Ordinary Lovely: Portmeirion
The Ordinary Lovely: Portmeirion
The Ordinary Lovely: Portmeirion
The Ordinary Lovely: Portmeirion
The Ordinary Lovely: Portmeirion

As weird as it is wonderful and as eerie as it is beautiful, the village of Portmeirion is one of the strangest places I've ever visited. I felt as though I'd stumbled on to a film or TV set ... horror, Miss Marple, period drama, I just don't know. Don't get me wrong, we had a brilliant day there, and I wholeheartedly recommend that you go, but, it's a touch odd. It's a folly, a facade, a tourist attraction ... a village that's not really a village but is a village. It's surreal.

Maybe it's because we went at the end of the season on a cool, cloudy day and with few other people ambling around. We walked through the entrance and time seemed to slow down as if we'd ventured in to an alternate reality. If spooky fairground music had started to play in the background, I wouldn't have been at all surprised (and, in fairness, it would have nicely drowned out the constant requests for ice cream).

Located in North Wales (as are all the best places to visit and all the best people - and Lonely Planet agrees having recently named it one of the world's best regions) and loosely based on an Italian village (Portofino, if you believe the rumours), Portmeirion was built between 1925 and 1975 by architect Clough Williams-Ellis who wanted to show that world that a beautiful location could be developed without spoiling it. Eerie-ness aside, it's such a picturesque village and located in a stunning part of Wales - it's right on the coast but with glorious woodlands all around it.

If you visit, don't just look round the village itself, there are two walks that you can go on ... a woodland walk and a coastal walk. The guide says that they take approximately 40 minutes but, believe me, the scenery is so beautiful that you will not want to rush. I'd allow at least an hour to an hour and a half for each one (check the tide times before heading towards the beach as at high tide, the sand is completely covered). Pack a flask and a picnic if you don't want to eat in the village, although the cafés are lovely and very family-friendly, but don't bring anything for pudding as the gelato at Angel Ices Gelateria are most definitely not to be missed. 

Full details can be found on the Visit Portmeirion website, and if you do go, let me know what you think.

The Ordinary Lovely: Portmeirion
The Ordinary Lovely: Portmeirion
The Ordinary Lovely: Portmeirion
The Ordinary Lovely: Portmeirion
The Ordinary Lovely: Portmeirion
The Ordinary Lovely: Portmeirion
The Ordinary Lovely: Portmeirion
The Ordinary Lovely: Portmeirion