Monday, 1 August 2011

Portmeirion, North Wales


I've now moved down to Portmeirion situated on a river estuary in the North East corner of the Cardigan Bay. This is the last Welsh post in this particular series and hopefully I have saved the best till last. For those who have never heard of this place before, these images will come as quite a surprise and this is more of a photographic post than a historical one.


I had planned to split the day in two with Beddgelert in the morning and Portmeirion in the afternoon but the amount of locations I covered in Beddgelert meant I was severely lacking in time here. I arrived at about 3pm with sufficient time to see the village in just over 2 hours, but I was disappointed to find that the entrance fee was half price at 3:30pm. The last time I was here was in 1991 and today the weather was such that it could rain at any time so I had to press on.


The village was designed by Sir Clough William - Ellis and constructed commenced in 1925, taking 50 years to complete the project.


It is thought that the design was based around the Italian village of Portofino in Italy but Sir Clough always denied this and insisted that the influence was generally meant to be Mediterranean.


On entering the site, the visitor is met by a china shop selling the famous Portmeirion brand at reduced prices.


Just around the corner, there was a chance to stop and admire the view across the adjacent river estuary that flows into the Cardigan Bay...


... before walking through the colourful unofficial entrance to the main complex.

Arrival in the square

Ice cream shop

Seat for one  ... or Architectural statement

Upstairs
 There are  several buildings and walkways that the general public are not allowed to visit due to the area being allocated as self catering holiday cottages by a private company. Unfortunately this covered some of the best photographic locations.

Holiday destination !


A few images of the bold colours and unusual designs that blend into the village ...




Window



Pink Palace ... Out of bounds !!



Down on the beach !
A walk down onto the Beach gives a very commanding and picturesque view of the site ...


... with a hotel that was meant to be designed like a castle. The fictitious boat is made of stone and  incorporated into the sea wall as a children's play area !

Italian Architecture on the Welsh coast !

Sea View seats




Portmeirion has been used as a location for several films including a long running 1960's spy drama called The Prisoner. There is a small souvenir shop relating to the programme for ardent fans ... that remember it. Personally I haven't watched a complete episode yet !









Unpainted stone


Just before I leave there is an ideal opportunity to get a shot of the square from through a doorway


Oops, I strayed to the wrong side of it... I'd better be careful just in case the spy camera of the stony faced security guard is watching me or I might be captured and held as ... The Prisoner !!


Lastly, In order to curtail the number of images, I found the following video someone had shot while they were there. It gives an idea of how certain locations relate to each other and you may recognise alternative viewpoints to the images I took ...




18 comments:

  1. I just LOVE this village! It is so colorful and neat. I hope I get to see it in person one day. Beautiful pictures!

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  2. Wow! It is so colorful and I would never have thought it would be!

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  3. So whimsical. All that color! I would never have expected to see that there. What great surprises are in store for the traveler to Wales!

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  4. It was the TV series 'The Prisoner' that first attracted me to the village in the '60s....since then I have visited on a number of occasions.
    Nice to see it again through your images.

    -Trevor

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  5. Hi Jay, brilliant collection of images! We used to visit Portmeirion as kids and I still remember the colours of the buildings. Looks to have been taken over a bit by the self-catering holiday company these days

    Kind regards

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  6. great colors, I love all the pictures

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  7. I love it. I've never been to Portofino, but I think the inspiration might have been Dr. Seuss.

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  8. I always found Portmeirion a curious but very interesting place. The last time a visited there was someone dressed from the TV series (which I have never watched either) pushing the big white balloon in front of them...

    I love your photos you have picked up on so much detail that I missed. I guess I need to go back and check it out again ;-)

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  9. I must have missed this the first time round. Excellent, I look forward to seeing how you follow it. Years since I've been there but it is a grand place.

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  10. What a charming tourist village!
    With those strong colors and mediterranean syle architecture, no wonder it served as locaton to films and inspiration to writers and filmmakers.
    Your photos are like master paintings.

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  11. You gave us with your photographs a very good impression of this village Portmeirion.
    Good that the rain waited a bit!!!! :)

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  12. Love the colors and the settings of those houses. Very picturesque place.

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  13. Nice places and so colorful! They are so different of what I saw in Cardiff, the only place in Wales I have visited.

    I am back from my vacation and I have a lot to catch on your blogs.

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  14. I visited Portmeirion many years ago, it is a lovely village, I love the pottery and have a dinner set which is so colourful just like the place. Thank you for your comment on my blog, hope to see you in the week.
    Denise x

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  15. You have some great compositons and colors to capture the mood of the setting. I was there late in the day several years ago and it was almost closed for the day. My Mom had Portmeirion dishes so I was so excited to see the village. Need to go back again someday I think.

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  16. Very beautiful houses with colorful garden,
    hope can visit there one day!

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  17. In your face colours!! but it does go with the setting well. Last time I went 20 years ago it needed a coat of paint. Thanks for sharing and bringing me upto date with a place I would like to go back and see.
    Jan.

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  18. Yes. This is the best of you.
    As I told you before, each of the three are involved in photography--photographer, subject, and viewer. So , we are packed in your photographs, traped in there. Me, you and the stairs...the entrance, the dorway, the unpainted stone, the gardens....sometimes the sheeps, the dogs....We are together in this...

    ...and strange...you are also dealing with all your viewers...

    Why I am saying this?
    Because I feel that you took another step in photography. My compliments, my friend!
    This images here tell me more than your words...
    See you soon!

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