Portmeirion, in the county of Gwynedd, North West Wales, has a fairytale fantasy charm to it. It has been a favourite destination to visit since childhood for many in Britain.
The village was designed and built by Clough Williams-Ellis, a Welsh architect in 1925 and took more than 50 years to complete. He wanted to create a Mediterranean style village within the stunning landscape of cliff edges, woods, streams and an estuary.
Top 4 things to see and do in Portmeirion:
- Portmeirion Village
- The Botanic Gardens, Portmeirion
- The Dwyryd Estuary
- Amis Reunis – Portmeirion’s famous stone boat
Exploring Portmeirion Village
The village encompasses a central piazza and is full of colourful buildings each with a distinct architectural style. There’s lots to do in Portmeirion village.
Enjoy eating in award winning restaurants, stay in the beautiful hotels or self catering holiday cottages, relax in the spa and shop in the many boutique gift shops. Portmeirion is famous for its pottery, such as its Botanic or Portmeirion by Sophie Conran collection which you can buy in the village or indeed most department/kitchen stores in the UK. The village also sells art, books, gifts, toys, homeware and more.
Exploring Portmeirion Gardens
Portmeirion gardens is made up of 70 acres of subtropical forest with rare flowers and unique species of plants and trees.
There are tens of miles of paths winding round secret coves and areas such as a dog cemetery, ghost garden and tangle wood. At Portmeirion, you will also find a Japanese and Oriental garden with a Chinese bridge, temple and lake.
Portmeirion gardens is such a calming yet exciting and exotic space. A free train ride can also take you around the gardens so you can explore as much as you want! There are stunning views of the coast from different parts of the garden. It truly feels like you’re in a magical land!
Exploring Portmeirion Estuary
Dwyryd Estuary at Portmeirion is an expanse of beautiful white sandy beaches.
There are caves and gullies to discover as you while away your time strolling along the stunning coastline. You can walk along a coastal path or on the sand itself, just watch out for the tide coming in. There are signs telling you the high tide time and it is also written on your ticket.
As you walk through the gardens you can see absolutely stunning views over the estuary. I would wholly recommend watching the sunset from the cliff tops. It is a truly spectacular sight!
Safety notice before exploring Portmeirion estuary:
Some steps and rocks leading to the estuary may be slippery.
The estuary is tidal and is not suitable for swimming.
The sandbank can be dangerous.
Tidal times should be checked.
Some footpaths are steep and may not be suitable for elderly and those unsteady on their feet.
Children must be supervised at all times.
Some lakes in the estuary are quite deep so children must be supervised at all times.
Exploring Amis Reunis – the famous stone boat
This is such a unique feature to Portmeirion. Its origin lies in the fact that Clough Williams-Ellis, the architect behind Portmeirion, had a boat called Amis Reunis.
Clough used this as a houseboat but it got stranded one day. He brought back what he could and used parts of the boat to support The Dining Room roof at The Hotel Portmeirion coastline. He built a stone boat around the rest of it in recognition of his own boat.
It is a fun artefact, looking out onto the shore, where children and even adults can pretend to be part of a ship’s crew or indeed pirates and take pictures.
Eating at Portmeirion
The Hotel Portmeirion has an award winning fine dining restaurant, The Dining Room and Terrace. Both residents and non-residents of the hotel can enjoy modern Welsh cuisine whilst overlooking the estuary and basking in art deco style.
Castell Deudraeth accommodates a brasserie restaurant, lounge and bar overlooking Meirionnydd mountains and formal Victorian gardens. Serving the best local ingredients, diners can relax in the 19th Century folly castle surrounded by its periIn the centre of Portmeirion Village, the Town Hall houses a vintage 1950s style cafe serving a traditional cafe menu as well as two private function rooms catering for both small and large groups.
There are also four other cafes in Portmeirion. Caffi Glas serves Italian style food where you can sit back and watch the chefs prepare your meal. Caffi No 6 provides a more traditional cafe menu whereas Caffi’r Sgwâr is the place you want to go to for good coffee and cake. For some unique indulgence, try Portmeirion’s own Italian gelato made on site in Caffi’r Angel.
Wherever you choose to eat (and I recommend choosing more than one place!) you will not be disappointed. Each place to eat has its own one of a kind atmosphere and style to suit any mood and budget.
Portmeirion Opening Times
Portmeirion village and shops are open from 9.30am – 5.30pm every day apart from Christmas Day.
The cafes are open until 5pm and the hotel restaurants are open until 9pm.
Guided Tours of Portmeirion
- Free guided walking tour of Portmeirion from 10am – 3.30pm, Easter to October.
- Free land train tour of the woodlands from 10am – 4.30pm, Easter to October.
- Free audio-visual show of the history of Portmeirion from 9.30am – 5.30pm.
Portmeirion Ticket Prices
Tickets should be purchased at the entrance tollgate on the day of your visit. You will not be able to book tickets online.
|Child (aged 5-15)||£9.00|
|Child under 5||Free|
|Carer/Personal Assistant (who are supporting visitors who have a Blue Badge or letter of authority from DWP (PIP))||Free|
You could also buy annual membership with various benefits for each type:
Annual Pass: £30
Gold Membership: £60
Child’s Annual Pass: £15
Family Membership (2 adults + 2 children): £75
For full benefits, terms and conditions of membership, please visit Portmeirion’s website – https://portmeirion.wales/visit
Parking and Accessibility at Portmeirion
Portmeirion has free parking close to the village entrance as well as a car park with disabled spaces.
The main areas of Portmeirion village, shops and coastal path are accessible by wheelchair and wheelchairs are available to borrow from the entrance too. There are some steep hills and uneven paths given the natural landscape setting of Portmeirion.
For more information, there is a full access plan on Portmeirion’s website.
How to Get to Portmeirion
Getting to Portmeirion by car
You can use the following postcode for Portmeirion on your GPS/satnav – LL48 6ER
Portmeirion is approximately 240 miles from London. It will take you approximately 5 hours to drive to Portmeirion from London.
From Llandudno to Portmeirion, it is only 41 miles or 1 hour 15 minutes’ drive. So if you are already visiting Llandudno (Things to see in Llandudno post here) then why not plan a day trip in Portmeirion?
Driving distance to Portmeirion from other nearby travel destinations below:
Cardiff to Portmeirion – 152 miles or 3 hour 40 minutes’ drive
Chester to Portmeirion – 80 miles or 1 hour 50 minutes’ drive
Portmeirion Car Park Map
Getting to Portmeirion by bus
There is a bus service operated by Arriva bus from Porthmadog to Blaenau Ffestiniog Ysgol y Moelwyn, which stops at Portmeirion Tollgate.
The bus route is 3B from Porthmadog Australia to Blaenau Ffestiniog Ysgol y Moelwyn. It will take approximately 2 mins from Porthmadog to Portmeirion Tollgate. To buy tickets or check timetables you can visit Arriva Wales bus service website here –
Getting to Portmeirion by train
You can get a fast train from London Euston to Llandudno Junction or Bangor which are both easy to travel from to get to Portmeirion.
From Llandudno Junction, you can get a train to Blaenau Ffestiniog and then change to the Ffestiniog Railway, a steam railway that stops at Minffordd which is 1 ½ miles from Portmeirion.
A taxi can then take you to Portmeirion. From Bangor you can also hire a taxi which takes 50 minutes to Portmeirion. There are trains from Shrewsbury and Birmingham stopping at Minffordd too.
If you are staying over in Portmeirion, a pick up service from train stations can be provided. Speak to your hotel about it when booking.
Getting to Portmeirion by taxi
There are a few local taxi companies to choose from:
- Ralio Rownd, Minffordd – 07950 176 551
- B&M Taxis, Penrhyndeudraeth – 01766 770851
- Dukes Taxis, Porthmadog – 01766 514 799
Getting to Portmeirion by air or helicopter
The closest airports to Portmeirion are Manchester International Airport, Birmingham International, John Lennon Airport, Liverpool and Cardiff Wales International Airport. From there, you could hire a car to Portmeirion.
Portmeirion’s heliport grid reference is SH59283764. There will be a landing fee and you will need to give advance notice of your arrival. Further details of how to inform Portmeirion management are on Portmeirion’s website.
A visit to Portmeirion is such a different experience. It is completely worth spending the whole day there or even better, a short holiday. It will transport you to a magical setting with so much to see and do. I hope this post has been helpful for you.