If you are heading to North Wales you may be wondering what the best things to do in Portmerion Village are. In this guide we round up our favourite things to do in the village, around Portmeirion and what to do in Portmeirion in the rain.
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But before we start looking at the best things to do in Portmeirion we will first look at what exactly Portmeirion is.
What is Portmeirion Village?
Portmeirion Village is a beautiful pastel coloured village located in North Wales close to the nearby town of Porthmadog and is definitely one for your UK Bucket list. And while this village is firmly located in North Wales you could easily believe you were in a beautiful town in Northern Italy such as Portofino or Cinque Terre rather than Porthmadog or Prestatyn.
Portmeirion Village was the brain child of famed Welsh architect Sir Clough Williams-Ellis who started building the village in 1925. It wasn’t finished however for another 50 years.
The village has gained famed for its beauty but also because it was the setting for the iconic UK Cult classic TV series – The Prisoner.
How to get to Portmeirion
Portmeirion Village is located in North Wales in Gwynedd near to Snowdonia National Park.
For me the best way to get to Portmeirion is absolutely by car. It is much easier to travel around North Wales general by car than any other method of transport.
For point of reference Portmeirion is about five hours away from London two and a half hours away from Manchester by car but it really does depend on the traffic.
There are some public transport options to get to Portmeirion but they are limited. There are bus transfers from the nearby town of Porthmadog but these only operate in high season.
Do you have to pay to visit Portmeirion?
Some think that being a village that Portmeirion is free to enter however this is incorrect. Portmeirion is operated by a charity (Ymddiriedolaeth Clough Williams-Ellis Foundation) and therefore charges admission to enter the village.
There is no way to visit Portmeirion without paying unless you have a reservation for lunch at the Castell Deudraeth Brasserie in the ground or are having Sunday lunch or afternoon tea at the Hotel Portmeirion.
Please note that you can only enter the grounds AFTER you have eaten lunch however. A Lunch at Deudraeth Brasserie is likely to cost you around 40GBP per head depending on the drinks you have.
Currently the admission prices for people wanting to visit Portmeirion are:
- Adults – 17GBP
- Children 5 -15 10GBP
- Children under 5 – Free of Charge
There is also an option for annual membership and lower cost tickets if you are visiting in the off season.
Parking is included in the price of the ticket.
Is Portmeirion Worth Visiting?
With so many beautiful places in North Wales and the relatively high admission charge it is worth asking before you book “Is Portmeirion Worth Visiting?”
I would say that Portmeirion is worth visiting but it may not be for everyone.
We love visiting Portmeirion because:
- we love seeing the beautiful pastel coloured houses and buildings
- we enjoy taking that train around the village
- doing some shopping and
- going on long walks in the grounds
However if you are visiting Wales on a budget or are visiting Portmeirion with kids you may find that the admission price may be better spend elsewhere (but more on that later).
Really to know whether Portmeirion will be worth it for you, will depend on which on the best things to do in Portmeirion you fancy doing. Only then can you decide if it is worth it and good value for money in your Wales itinerary.
So without further ado here are our favourite Things to do in Portmeirion
Best Things to do Portmeirion
Take a guided tour of Portmeirion
The first thing I recommend doing when you arrive in Portmeirion is to take a guided tour. A free 20 minutes guided tour of Portmeirion is included in the price of admission.
It is a great way to get orientated in the village and find out some of the highlights, and the unique story of the village.
Take a train ride through the woodlands
One of my favorite things to do in Portmeirion with kids is to take the little train around the village. My little one loves trains so this is a great day to amuse littles in the village.
The train does operate stops around the village. The Chinese lake is a great place to go for a walk and is a convenient stop of the train.
This is also included in the price of admission.
Visit the beach
Now while the village is beautiful, we also like to spend some time on the beach in Portmeirion. In fact this is one of the best things to do in Portmeirion with kids.
Portmeirion has access to miles of pristine, golden beaches and as the village is on private property you can visit these beaches even in the middle of Summer and you won’t find there to be lots of crowds.
Marvel at the architecture
For me the main reason to visit Portmeirion is the amazing, Italian inspired architecture.
What to see in Portmeirion for Prisoner Fans
If you are fans of the cult 196ps tv series The Prisoner then Portmeirion is the place to go as it was the filming located for the show.
There are reminders of the show all round the town and the most ardent fan can pick up some Prisoner memorabilia. There is also a Prisoner convention called Portmeirion. If you re a fan of the show then you Amy want to coincide your visit with the convention.
Take a dip in the lido
There is a beautiful lido in the centre of the village. My kids love splashing in the lido especially when we are visiting in Wales in the summer.
For more information about what to do in Snowdonia with kids check out this post.
Buy some pottery
A visit to Portmeirion wouldn’t be complete without a trip into the pottery and seconds shop. Portmeirion is home to the famous Portmeirion Pottery. We love the traditional Portmeirion Pottery but couldn’t help but purchase some Crazy Daisy pottery on our visit.
Have Afternoon Tea
The Hotel Portmeirion is famed for it’s afternoon tea that comes with a Welsh twist. It is worth booking yourself in, as if you have afternoon tea you get free admission to the village included in the price.
Have a sweet treat
There are many lovely shops at Portmeirion, but my favourites had to be the gelateria. I also loved stopping for a cream tea – a British holiday isn’t complete without a cream team in my opinion
Staying at Portmeirion
But if a day trip isn’t enough Portmeirion for you can actually stay Portmeirion. It is a beautiful location and could make a perfect UK babymoon destination.
There are two hotels in the village the:
- Hotel Portmeirion
- Castell Duedraeth
And you can also stay in one of the village accommodations or self catering cottages.