The Surrealist’s Village

Tucked away within the county of Gwynedd is a village like no other in Wales, Portmeirion.

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The strange little world of Portmeirion

Designed and built by Clough Williams-Ellis between 1925-1975, this quirky holiday village stands far apart from it’s surrounding localities, drawing inspiration from the brightly coloured Italian fishing villages of the Mediterranean.

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Houses of a variety of colours
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Italian? Or artists run wild?

Clough built Portmeirion with the intention of it becoming a holiday park for anybody to enjoy, he wanted to show that a naturally beautiful site could be developed without spoiling the surrounding landscape.

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Do you think Clough achieved his aim?
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The site is situated on the estuary of the River Dwyryd
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Looking east back towards Snowdonia

These days Portmeirion is one of Wale’s most visited attractions, bringing in around 250,000 people a year. This popularity has undoubtedly been boosted by the use of Portmeirion’s as the mysterious Village in the popular 1960’s surrealist TV show The Prisoner. Besides the village itself, Portmeirion now encompasses wide tracks of exotic gardens and sandy beaches, effectively emulating the village’s Italianate setting. Many of the houses are now holiday homes, let out to those who wish to spend a night or so within this unusual little village.

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A village or a work of art?
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Looking across the estuary to Porthmadog

Personally this place felt less Italian and more artistic to me, its a mix of Renaissance of modernism, the village feels like an artist’s fresco, odd but fascinating. In addition besides the endless Prisoner merchandise there is a good deal of local products that are sold there, including mead. Now for someone with an insatiable sweet tooth, I certainly took quiet a fancy to this supposed ‘sweet’ or ‘dessert’ wine.

And then a tried some……it wasn’t sweet….I hated it……I was very disappointed…..my search for a sweet alcoholic beverage continues. Besides that Portmeririon is very nice and longer walk around the gardens is advised.

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Clough’s homage to Italy 

Thus concludes my tale, if you enjoyed this story feel free to write in the comments, or leave like and thanks for reading.

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9 Comments

  1. My first date with my first husband was an all-night showing of back to back instalments of The Prisoner, with which he was obsessed at The Scala in King’s Cross which had just been converted from a failed Primatarium to a cinema. It smelled oddly of gibbons. I learned to hate Portmeirion that night. Three and a half decades later, I still have never visited. Perhaps it is over due …

    Liked by 1 person

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