Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Portmeirion (for the uninitiated).


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This may not look like North Wales, but that's where it is.

The village of Portmeirion was the brainchild of architect Sir Clough (pronounced Cluff) Williams-Ellis, who began building it in 1925, and finished in 1975. Most of the buildings are adorned with reclaimed architectural salvage, and one could be forgiven for thinking that one was actually in Italy.

                             Afficher l'image d'origine

It was built overlooking the Dwyryd estuary, to the south east of Portmadog. Clough Williams-Ellis adored Portofino on Italy's Riviera, and based his village on the romanticism of such coastal Mediterranean towns and villages.

                               Afficher l'image d'origine

I've only visited once (a long time ago), and I was overwhelmed. If  you are considering visiting North Wales in the future, I recommend you add it to your tour itinerary (along with Trelawnyd, of course), but do expect CROWDS.




45 comments:

  1. Trelawnyd is first in the list, but this is also a very beautiful place.

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    Replies
    1. I'm sure John would take you there.

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  2. I have never been there - looks fascinating.

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  3. And of course it was used as the setting for seminal 60s series 'The Prisoner'!

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    1. Which I never really understood.

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    2. No one did. I think that was the point.

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  4. I would expect to see Patrick McGoohan and nothing else if I went.

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    1. I never understood it either.

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    2. Nor me, but I loved it. I also loved Blake's 7 too, for the same reasons of crapness. Williams-Ellis's grand daughter is a friend of mine here in Bath. She's quite proud of the place.

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    3. she was a year ahead of me at Cardiff College of Art, studying ceramics, and introduced me to Portmeirion..then twenty years later I helped run the Golden Dragon bookshop there..

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    4. There's been quite a bit about Blake's 7 on the BBC website - one of the leading actors died recently. It was a favourite programme of mine - a must see, for the same reasons Tom mentions - it was so naff - even then !

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  5. I am not a number!!

    Like hell we're not!

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    Replies
    1. I'm becoming more of a number, the older I get.

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  6. I am amazed !
    But I would put Trelawnyd at number 1.
    Enjoyed The Prisoner but never understood it or the big bouncy ball either.

    cheers, parsnip

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  7. As I was reading I was thinking I would love to visit the place but changed my mind at, "crowds" Greetings Maria x

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    1. Yes, it's become very touristy. Are there any English lookalike villages in Italy?

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    2. Not that I know of, Cro. I have seen some beautiful renovated houses in Tuscany and stayed in a few B&Bs managed by English people. Tuscany is very popular among the English - Singer Sting has a villa in Tuscany. But I think I'm off topic and, this is not the answer to you question x

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  8. A place I keep meaning to visit.

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    1. I would suggest 'only if one happened to be in close proximity'.

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  9. Love the place - especially because of such happy wedding weekend memories.

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  10. I think I shall just remember it (such as I can) as it was without the crowds many decades ago when I visited it last.

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    1. Yes, it was very quiet when I was there in the late 60's.

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  11. My parents took me when I was young, and I remember how exotic it felt, and very much like Italy - without the sunshine. My mother bought some Portmeirion pottery, which was very popular at one time. I've always intended to revisit but haven't - yet. I think these days the crowds would deter me.
    There is village in Southern Spain, inland from the Costa del Sol, which is reputed to have been built either by Clough Williams-Ellis, or a disciple of his. I think (not sure) it's called Cabrera, and although it has a definitely Moorish influence, it is laid out in a similar style to Portmeirion.
    Were we ever actually meant to understand "The Prisoner" !

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    1. The Prisoner remains an enigma; maybe that was its intention.

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    2. Or the writers were high on whatever the fashionable "substances" were at the time !

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  12. It's on my list of places I definitely want to visit.
    Arilx

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    1. It's certainly worth visiting if you were nearby; to make a long trip to visit could be unwarranted.

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  13. we feel like that about quite a few of the Scandi series...have to watch but turn to one another and ask...did you understand that...and that's not the language...that's the plot....lost it!!

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    1. I still prefer the beginning, middle, and end, type of programme.

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  14. marvelous place to work or visit

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  15. We went to Portmeirion in 1979 and had the place to ourselves. I also had a set of the Botanic Garden pottery, which was very popular then. I still use it though it's no longer fashionable. Everybody wants plain white dishes now to show off their plating skills.

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    1. 'Plain white' sounds like me; I've been buying antique white dishes and plates for years.

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  16. I loved The Prisoner, also Secret Agent, and have long wished to visit Portmeirion. Wales, like Cornwall, always seemed just too distant a destination when I had to make my UK trips fit into an employer's schedule.
    Now that I've retired, Wales has been put back on the list. When you all say Portmeirion is crowded, is it because it's not a large place with lots of tourists, or is it a large place with lots of tourists? Even though NYC is full of people all the time, it's still possible to find relatively uncrowded areas.
    I am curious also about whether the warmer months are the only times to enjoy the area.

    I like old patterned china, but also like having my pasta in a very plain white dish.

    Best wishes.

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    1. It's quite a small village, so when a lot of tourists all arrive on the same sunny day, it's very crowded. It could be better to chose a rainy day!

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    2. just remember there are 100 acres there..not just the houses, and even in the village there quiet corners. Portmeirion has always considered itself there for locals as well, so doesn't shut down in the winter

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    3. Thank you both for the extra information. It's good to learn that Portmeirion serves its locals well, too.

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  17. All my every day pottery is in their Botanical series - I love it. And the place too.

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    1. Very chic for every day; I always thought it was more designed for the dresser and never used.

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  18. No Cro...not me...but my son 2yrs ago.

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