It's the beginning of November and yesterday, after walking the dog, I had to have a hot bath with a glass a whisky to warm my bones beause i'd caught a chill (i'm also clearly getting old!). But today, I feel like I'm in the mediteranean! Like I'm on my holidays, by the beach in Italy, no coat, an ice cream in my hand and it's exciting!
If it weren't for the strong welsh accents and the Smonday anxiety I get at the end of half term before I go back to school tomorrow, you would never guess we were only an hour from home.
Portmeirion was built in the early 1900's by an architect who wanted to recreate the atmosphere of the mediteranean. The design of the village and buildings are fun and you can't help but smile walking around.
Here are my top things to do in Portmeirion:
1. Arrive early!
The village is not open to visitors until 9:30am. Being early risers (and a bit, or a lot! excited) we arrived earlier than that, and were stood at the gates like wierdo's. Arriving early means you get to experience Portmeirions eeriness in full effect - the shops are closed, nobody around and you're free to wonder the "ghost town". It also gets very busy in the summer so if you want to take pictures without getting photobombed, this is the best time!
2. The Quayside:
Built on the coastline, Portmeirion has the most amazing views of Snowdonia. If the tide is out and you are able to, climb down the rocks onto the sandy beach for a different perspective. If you walk out far enough, the view back on Portmeirion is a stunner. Beside the hotel is a ship for kids to play on, there is even a heated pool if you fancy a dip.
3. The Architecture:
Portmeirions architect clearly had a passion for beauty, the buildings are what bring people here. In a rainbow of colours, the eccentic buildings make the village fascinating. Paired with the statues, archways and giant chess board, it's a breathtaking place to visit.
4. Take a walk
There are a couple of walks to choose from. We chose the coastal walk which takes you past the hotel, along the quayside to a cute little lighthouse, through the woods and to a stunning chinese lake. The walk is short and pleasant but if you prefer, you can take a train ride instead.
5: The Lookout:
We stopped for an ice cream to enjoy on the viewing point before our drive home. There's a path that looks like it's leading down to the coastline but it takes you underneath the viewpoint to this hidden gem with the most beautiful views...
An amazing place!
That said, it's just a bit wierd. I can't put my finger on why. People do live here (I assume, by the residents only signs), there is a hotel, cottages, shops, you can get married here, but you couldn't pay me to stay the night. It feels a little bit spooky, like the town has been evacuated and you don't know why.