Fantasy Village – Part 1

Fantasy Village – Part 1

There are many very visually pleasing destinations in Wales, some love the great and all-encompassing views from the mountaintops making themselves and their problems feel insignificant, others prefer the vast open expanse of the beaches as they look at the infinite horizon. Some people love the idea of the small villages and towns that are dotted around the country, many people enjoy the comfort and community of a quiet collective of people all nestled into the same area. Despite this the wet weather can put some people off, which is why so many British folk venture closer to the equator every year.  But many people may not be aware that tucked away in Wales is a place that emulates the look, feel and tranquility of the Mediterranean bringing its own very green blend of pleasure to all who visit.

How Did It Get Here?

Portmeirion almost seems like it isn’t real. The lush greenery that surrounds it mixed with the buildings and structures that are clearly not from Britain, all arranged in an unconventional manner that doesn’t replicate anywhere else nearby makes you feel like you have stepped through the looking glass without realising. In fact many people who visit agree that the place has a fantasy feel about it, the colourful exterior walls of the buildings no doubt help with this as they add a vibrancy to the area that the plain brick buildings of Wales just don’t have.

Much of this was intentional as the village’s designer Sir Clough Williams-Ellis was inspired by a fishing village in Italy when he set out to make something different in north Wales. A mix of these foreign elements and some postmodernism made for the palette in which he pulled from, many also believe he deliberately aimed for something more elaborate and something which reminded him of a jovial past. To make this place authentic he made sure that buildings, relics and other overlooked pieces of architecture were transported here. Therefore, instead of starting from scratch the builders had many genuine articles to begin construction on, restoring any dilapidated pieces along the way. Another reason this is so fantastic is that Portmeirion now remains a historic place for all of this old design, many of these walls and designs would have been deconstructed if they were left back in their home town, but now remain loved and admired here. Maybe this is one of the reasons that the area feels so timeless.

As the place has grown in popularity slowly but surely, the area has had to expand to accommodate the growing number of tourists that head here annually. Luckily however this doesn’t mean that huge hotels and chain stores have overshadowed the essence of the place, in fact the exterior of the village remains the same and the buildings have instead changed their function. Iconic buildings like the castle here have been made into hotels and the old shops have simply become modernised, another reason that the entire area seems like a theme park – in the best way.