Portmeirion , a small coastal village in North Wales, is the brain child of architect Sir Clough Williams-Ellis. His desire was to create a village where the architecture and landscape were at one with each other, and he spent fifty years in the mid-twentieth century carefully crafting just such a place. On arrival it feels a little like you are in a life-sized model village, a somewhat surreal experience, but I defy anyone not to be won over by the unique charm of it. The Italianate stylings of the buildings and the bright colours are a contrast to what you might expect to find in Wales, and if you are lucky enough to visit on a sunny day it is not hard to imagine yourself transported to the Italian Riviera. The buildings were constructed at different times, and indeed some were merely transported from other towns, but Williams-Ellis ensured that the unity of the village was upheld. Wandering around Portmeirion you can see its designer all around you and feel a sense of contentment at the realization of his dream.
It is a tourist village with many taking advantage of the opportunity to stay in this tranquil haven, but day visitors are made welcome. Beyond the village centre there are beautiful coastal and woodland walks to enjoy. Visiting at the end of winter meant flowers were beginning to bud, creating a delightful contrast to the sparseness of many of the trees still bare from the winter.
Portmeirion is one of the most calming, peaceful places I’ve visited and I would quite happily have stayed much longer. Whether it would have been quite so pleasing on a darker day I do not know, but if you’re lucky with the weather this seems to me the perfect relaxation location.