Get us in your inbox

The stunning beauty of Portmeirion, Wales
Photograph: chrisdorney / ShutterstockThe stunning beauty of Portmeirion, Wales

13 of the best things to do in Portmeirion in 2022

The cutest place in the UK? The best things in Portmeirion make a compelling argument in favour of Sir Clough's dream

Written by
Sarah Gibbons
&
John Bills
Advertising

 

Portmeirion is unique, there’s no doubting the way. Celebrated architect Sir Clough Williams-Ellis dreamt up this magnificent marriage of Italian style and Welsh charm back in 1925, but it took years to put together. Good things come to those who wait, and the end result is one of the most beautiful spots in Wales, one of the most romantic places in the UK and a tourist village unlike any other. Portmeirion is a must-see destination and then some. These are the best things to do in Portmeirion, although it must be stressed that just looking at the beauty of it all comes first. 

 

Best things to do in Portmeirion

First up
Photograph: Shutterstock

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
Matt Gibson / Shutterstock

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…

Advertising
Stop for lunch
malgosia janicka / Shutterstock

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
D. Pimborough / Shutterstock

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.

Advertising

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
Photograph: Shutterstock

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.

Advertising

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 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.

Exploring more of Wales?

Recommended
    You may also like
      Advertising