Looking for things to do in Portmeirion and tips for visiting Portmeirion? We’ve got you covered to have the best Portmeirion day trip you can have!
Along the famed coast of North Wales lies the enchanting Italianate-inspired village of Portmeirion. A highly popular spot to visit in the area, Portmeirion is famous for its beautiful architecture and romantic detailing that looks straight out of a movie. You won’t believe this exists in Wales until you’ve seen it! It really is a slice of Italy in Wales!
Portmeirion is without a doubt a hidden gem in the UK. On a sunny day, it will transport you to the likes of the Amalfi Coast with its pastel-coloured buildings and beachfront charm. But the village is also a great spot to visit in the colder months, with lush gardens and cosy dining spots making for the perfect day out.
Whether you love history, nature, or you’re looking for a great Instagram photo-op in North Wales – whatever brings you to Portmeirion, it will certainly leave you in awe.
Read this definitive guide to help plan your visit to Portmeirion, with everything you need to know from ticket prices, accommodation options, whats near Portmeirion and local secrets!
Portmeiron is one of the best places to visit in North Wales and works as the perfect day trip whether you’re staying in North Wales, or you’re visiting from nearby areas like Manchester and Liverpool.
Is Portmeirion Worth Visiting?
100% yes! Portmeirion is an incredible unique place and you won’t get anything like it anywhere else!
It’s perfect for a day out with the kids in North Wales as there’s plenty of places for them to run around and explore as well as cafes and facilities to keep them fed and looked after.
It’s great for a date-day as it can be seen as a romantic place to visit. A day out with friends or family or even for a solo outing as there’s plenty to keep you busy!
Don’t go planning to bring your dog for a walk here though. The answer to ‘are dogs allowed in Portmeirion?’ is a no except for except for registered guide and assistant dogs.
Ticket Prices for Portmeirion
- Winter season prices (from the 6th November – 24th March):
- Adults/Seniors/Students £10.00
- Children £5.00 (5-15 years)
- Children (under 5 years) Free.
- Please note that some amenities, including shops and cafes, are not available daily during this season.
What is Portmeirion Village?
Portmeirion was the lifelong project of Sir Clough Williams-Ellis, who envisioned creating a picturesque Italian-inspired village in the heart of Wales (because, why not?!). The architectural design of Portmeirion is a stunning blend of Italian and Welsh influences. It is a unique experience unlike any other area of Wales, where you can wander through cobblestone streets adorned with pastel-coloured buildings, intricate sculptures, and lush gardens.
The village is truly picture-perfect, with a fancy dome, jaw-dropping estuary views, lifesize chess, sandy beaches and even an outdoor swimming pool overlooking the coast. And, oh, don’t miss out on the quirky shops and cafes. Portmeirion village is Wales’ very own Italian Riviera, with impressive architecture and a super interesting history (read on)!
Curious about things to do in Portmeirion or planning a day trip to Portmeirion? Explore the charming streets, relax by the pool, and immerse yourself in the unique blend of Italian and Welsh beauty.
Before we go into a list of things to do in Portmeirion and tips for helping you visit Portmeirion, let’s cover the history!
Construction began in 1925 and continued for several decades. The village became famous as the setting for the 1960s television series “The Prisoner,” adding to its mystique and allure.
Clough Williams-Ellis actually dreamt up this coastal village ages before finding the perfect spot near his North Wales abode – talk about manifesting dreams!
Now, Portmeirion is hailed as one of the coolest British architectural projects of the 20th century. Clough built this Mediterranean-style paradise using bits and bobs from across the globe – from loggias, grand porticoes, and teeny terracotta-roofed houses in funky colours.
Things to do in Portmeirion
Now, let’s get into the best things to do in Portmeirion from exploring the gardens, the village, its beach and dining at Portmeirion.
Explore the Colourful Village of Portmeirion
I’d say this is the central area and place to visit when visiting Portmeirion. The village is where you’ll find all of the colourful buildings you can see in my photos and plenty of places to eat and shop.
Don’t get this confused with one of the other villages in Wales, this is not a residential village and you can only enter with a ticket. There are more details on the tickets and cost to visit Portmeirion above.
It’s easy to spend time exploring the village alone peaking into as many of the buildings as you can before checking out other places to visit in Portmeirion like the gardens, woodland and beach.
The Gardens of Portmeirion
Portmeirion’s gardens are a plant paradise with a mix of plants from all over the world, making them among the things to do in Portmeirion. The warm North Wales climate lets rare and exotic plants thrive, making the gardens lush and lively.
Explore the natural areas around Portmeirion, especially The Gwyllt (Wildwood), a subtropical forest with big trees, hidden gardens, an old castle, and rare flowers. Wander through 70 acres of unique woodlands with 19 miles of paths through forests, secret spots, and coastal coves.
Lots of the unusual plants here were planted before Clough Williams-Ellis. In Victorian times, tenants Henry Seymour Westmacott and later a plant expert planted a mix of trees and flowers on the estate. In the early 1900s, Caton Haig, who knew a lot about Himalayan trees, continued planting rare species, including the famous rhododendrons. Out of the 70 kinds of rhododendrons, the ‘Gwyllt King‘ is a standout.
For a touch of Victorian style, Castell Deudraeth has a nicely restored walled Victorian garden with lawns, flowerbeds, and flowering trees —another highlight among the best things to do in Portmeirion.
Woodland & Coastal Walk
Be sure to come to Portmeirion with appropriate walking footwear so you can enjoy the whole site.
When you arrive, pick up a welcome guide and map like the photo above which will show you 2 great walking trails through the woods and along the coast.
We did the walking trail from Portmeirion village to the lighthouse along the house and back through the woodland and lake and it was so beautiful!
Portmeirion gets busy, especially on weekends in summer so going out on the trail is a good way to spend some time without as many crowds around.
Not only does your day visiting Portmeirion include gardens and woodland but also a beach with a beautiful view of the estuary and North Wales.
Head down the hill from the village and you’ll see a small area where you can enjoy the water’s edge and a beach.. depending on the tide.
For most coastal views and things to do around Portmeirion, take the coastal footpath to the lighthouse too!
Dining in Portmeirion
Portmeirion is more than just a stunning village and garden, it is also home to some award-winning dining spots. Whether you’re in the mood for a quintessential Welsh tea or a gourmet feast, this charming village has something to satisfy every palate.
At The Hotel Portmeirion, you’re in for a treat. Picture yourself enjoying a leisurely lunch on the Terrace, indulging in a cosy Afternoon Tea in the lounges, or relishing a hearty Sunday lunch in the inviting dining room.
For a more casual dining affair, head to Castell Deudraeth. Their Brasserie offers an informal setting with a contemporary menu that showcases local produce prepared with skill and care. It’s the perfect spot to unwind and enjoy a delicious meal in a laid-back atmosphere.
If you’re feeling a bit nostalgic, The Town Hall brings you back to the 1950s with its retro-style cafe. Complete with a bar, terrace, and a selection of hot and cold takeaway meals and drinks, it’s a delightful spot to grab a quick bite while soaking in the vintage vibes.
And of course, there’s something special about Portmeirion’s cafes. Each one serves freshly made food, and you can relish the ambience while sipping on a well-crafted coffee.
Things to do around Portmeirion
You may feel like Portmeirion, the Italian village in North Italy is far for you to go but there are many great North Wales attractions nearby so you can really make a full day or a multiple day trip out of visiting.
My favourite places to visit near Portmeirion are:
- Black Rock Sands Beach
- Harlech Beach and Castle
- Zip World Llechwedd
- Cwmorthin Waterfall
- Mount Snowdon & Snowdonia National Park (Eryri)
- Mount Cadair Idris
Staying in Portmeirion
Why not level up your visit to Portmeirion, and stay there the night?!
Immerse yourself in the enchantment of Portmeirion by extending your stay overnight in one of the village’s cosy accommodations. The options are as diverse as the village itself, offering a range of unique and comfortable lodgings for guests to relish the tranquillity of the village once the day-trippers have left.
Check out a review of Hotel Portmeirion here from a fellow travel blogger!
Staying in Portmeirion is a magical experience. Picture waking up to the first light, witnessing the dawn break over the Meirionnydd mountains, and observing the tide gracefully filling the Dwyryd estuary from shore to shore. Choose from the luxury and comfort of the two 4-star hotels or opt for a suite nestled in the heart of the village.
THE HOTEL PORTMEIRION
Step into history at The Hotel Portmeirion, welcoming guests since 1926. Once hailed as one of the most picturesque summer residences along the Welsh sea coast, this timeless establishment offers a truly memorable stay. A word to the wise – take advantage of The Hotel Portmeirion’s open-air swimming pool, available from 10 am to 5 pm, April through September.
A Victorian gem, Castell Deudraeth is a unique stay in Wales with its bespoke castle-like charm. Featuring 11 contemporary-styled rooms, two main dining areas, a bar, meeting rooms, and a stunning Victorian walled garden, it’s a perfect blend of history and modern comfort.
Check out rates and availability at the Castell Deudraeth here!
Opt for one of the 32 serviced rooms in the heart of the village. Individually decorated, each room offers views of the picturesque piazza and the awe-inspiring seascapes that truly define Portmeirion.
For those seeking a home away from home, Portmeirion provides 13 self-catering cottages. Complete with full access to hotel facilities, pool, spa, restaurants, and bars, these cottages offer a perfect blend of independence and convenience. To secure the best available rates, make sure to book directly online.
A local’s favourite, Portmeirion Spa is that slice of luxury you need on a visit to North Wales. The Mermaid Spa Treatment Rooms are the perfect place for relaxation, with a range of organic treatments designed to rejuvenate both body and mind.
The spa is open from Tuesday to Saturday, between 10:00 and 17:00 (with the last appointment at 15:45), and you can book directly through the Portmeirion website.
Best time of year to visit Portmeirion
Thinking about visiting Portmeirion? Wondering when’s the best time to go? Let’s explore the seasons together and find the perfect moment to experience the charm of this Welsh village.
Visiting Portmeirion in Spring and Summer
The warmer months are undeniably the best time to visit Portmeirion, especially for that Italian coast feel. Guests can even enjoy facilities like the outdoor swimming pool at the hotel during this time, as well as see the garden in its utmost glory.
In addition to experiencing the bustling main season facilities when you visit Portmeirion in the summer, you can also indulge in the site’s many restaurants that often have outdoor seating this time of year, too.
It can get very busy during these peak months, so it is best to plan and book ahead.
Visiting Portmeirion in Winter and Autumn
Although most visitors head to Portmeirion in spring and summer, there is something magical about seeing the village during the winter season as the greenery recedes. While some facilities may not be available during this time, you can still enjoy a quieter visit with select cafes and shops open, offering light refreshments.
Immerse yourself in the vibrant culture of Portmeirion by planning your visit around the various events and festivals hosted throughout the year.
The Portmeirion Food and Craft Festival, in particular, stands out, celebrating the region’s culinary delights and craftsmanship. And December’s Christmas Fair in Portmeirion is a local’s favourite time to visit! Check out the Portmeirion website for full details of their event schedule.
Is Portmeirion dog-friendly?
Unfortunately, dogs aren’t allowed on the site, only registered guide or assistance dogs.
I hope this guide has helped you with visiting Portmeirion and the best things to do in Portmeirion!
More of my North Wales posts to help you find the best things to do: