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Portmeirion, Wales
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13 of the best things to do in Portmeirion

Find fantastical architecture, lush gardens, mountain hikes and more brilliant things to do in Portmeirion, the bewitching Welsh tourist village

Written by
Sarah Gibbons
&
John Bills
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Make no mistake about it, Portmeirion is different. You may be in North Wales, but you’re instantly transported to an Italianate village complete with turrets, an elaborate piazza and a rainbow of ornate façades. Architect Sir Clough Williams-Ellis dreamt up this tourist village back in 1925, and one can only imagine what the rest of the dream consisted of. Portmeirion is where 1960s show The Prisoner was filmed, it might just be the most interesting village in North Wales and it is an absolute must-see. These are the best things to do in Portmeirion right now.

RECOMMENDED: Discover nearby Snowdonia

Best things to do in Portmeirion

First up
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First up

When in Portmeirion, do as you would do in any other Mediterranean fishing village dreamt up by a beloved architect. Amble! Entry to Portmeirion is £11, and that includes a 20-minute guided walk along the cobbles. The guided tour is an excellent way to get your bearings before diving in deeper on your own feet, peeking around corners to find quirky details in every nook and cranny.

Soak up the vibes
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Soak up the vibes

Wander along the stunning coastal path at the edge of the village and soak up the scenery of the Dwyryd Estuary before circling back through a subtropical forest, dubbed The Gwyllt. Don’t miss the elegant Japanese Garden, complete with a pagoda and lily pad-carpeted lake. Portmeirion really is different…

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Stop for lunch
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Stop for lunch

Grab a hearty hot roast bap from Caffi No 6, or enjoy a dollop of homemade gelato – the bara brith flavour is dangerously good – at Caffi’r Angel. For a sit-down affair, head to Hotel Portmeirion and its art deco restaurant. Try the welsh rarebit risotto or marmite-roasted cauliflower, but really you should try absolutely everything.

Go on an adventure
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Go on an adventure

Portmeirion itself isn’t a place where adrenaline thrives, but it does find itself a stone’s throw away from some classic North Wales excitement. For a quirky day out, check out Snowdonia’s mining history at Llechwedd Slate Caverns, a fascinating site buried deep under the mountains, where brave explorers go 500ft underground on the steepest cable railway in Britain.

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Drink like a local

Within Portmeirion itself the aforementioned Caffi No 6 or Hotel Portmeirion are the best places for a crisp ale, but there are plenty of options in nearby towns and villages. Beddgelert is right around the corner and it just so happens to be bursting with olde-worlde charm. The Saracens Head is a good old-fashioned pub and hotel with a darling location and no shortage of beers, wines and spirits. Excellent pork scratchings too, if you’re into that sort of thing.

If you do only one thing

If you do only one thing

When it comes to Portmeirion itself, the highlight of the trip will be the constant gorgeous views and conveyer belt of photographic opportunities. The village’s proximity to Snowdonia almost makes scaling the mountain an absolute must. Stand at a soaring 3,560ft and be blown away by the landscape of craggy peaks and deep valleys dotted with lakes. On a clear day, views stretch as far as Ireland. Don’t fancy the hike? Take the heritage Snowdon Mountain Railway. We won’t judge.

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And if you stay the night, wake up here

One shouldn’t expect a plethora of accommodation options in a fairytale village devised in a dream, but Portmeirion does have a couple that do more than make up the numbers. The village has two luxury four-star hotels that live up to that billing. Hotel Portmeirion ticks a lot of boxes in the village, but there’s something about waking up in a Victorian-style castellated mansion that really appeals, making Castell Deudraeth the optimal accommodation option in Portmeirion. The rooms are beautiful, the beds are magnificent, the Victorian garden is a delight. Rooms from £115 per night.

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