Portmeirion © Andy Farrell
The pretty village of Portmeirion in Northern Wales is as charming as they come. Portmeirion was designed by the architect Sir Clough Williams-Ellis, between 1925 and 1976, and was intended to demonstrate how a village could be designed to suit its natural landscape so as not to detract from the natural beauty. Portmeirion was intended to be a space for events, leisure and exhibitions, and is now run by a charitable trust more as a tourist attraction than a residential village. It is, however, possible to spend the night in the quaint coastal village, which includes 15 self-catering cottages and a hotel.
Its quaint demeanor has attracted film crews, and the 1960s cult TV programme The Prisoner was filmed here, among other things. Small enough to see on foot, there are manicured gardens and a beach, as well as a few souvenir shops and a restaurant, ice-cream shop, and pizzeria to enjoy. As befitting a village which celebrates the beauty of nature, Portmeirion is surrounded by acres of lovely woodland and miles of coastal walking trails to explore. Dogs are not allowed in the village. Although the village is open to visitors year-round, it can seem a bit deserted in the winter months, when many of the shops and restaurants close.