The best way to spend 48 hours in popular town just minutes from Portmeirion (2022)

When it comes to spending a weekend somewhere in North Wales, there are countless places to choose from. Whether you want to spend time on the beach or travailing the mountains of Snowdonia, there is something here for everyone.

One place that's definitely worth a visit is Porthmadog in Gwynedd. Like many parts of North Wales, the town was largely shaped in the 19th century by the slate trade and after the trade declined, it continued as a tourism magnet, with plenty of shops and attractions there to occupy the 4,000-strong community, as well as visitors from the surrounding area and further afield.

Its location on the outskirts of both the Llŷn Peninsula and Snowdonia also makes it a perfect hub for anyone looking to spend time in North Wales and explore the best of what the area has to offer. And with that in mind, we have put together a quick guide on how to spend 48 hours in the town, should you choose to visit.

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These are examples of just some of the things you could get up to in Porthmadog. The town has a thriving high street with plenty of charming shops and cafes and there is plenty you could get up to on top of our suggestions that would fill up far more than just a weekend.

How to get there

By car

Porthmadog is located in the Eifionydd area of Gwynedd on the outskirts of the Llŷn Peninsula and Snowdonia. Around 20 miles east of Criccieth, the main road that leads to the town is the A487. This is the route most people would take to get to Porthmadog unless they are travelling from the direction of Aberdaron or Pwllheli in which case they would take the A497.

By bus

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Buses in the area are operated by Lloyds Coaches. Services run regularly, including the Traws Cymnru T2 which connects Bangor to Aberystwyth via Porthmadog.

By train

Travelling by train is also an option but it may not be the best one if your journey is a long one. If you're travelling from the main stations you will connect in Shrewsbury and cut through Powys before following the coastal line to Porthmadog. Most of these journeys take several hours and involve many changes along the way and it's more of an option if you're travelling relatively locally.

In most cases, if you are going to travel by train, the best option is to get a train to Bangor and then a T2 bus from there to Porthmadog. Just make sure you plan your journey in advance if this is the route you're taking.

Where to stay

There's a wide selection of places to stay in Porthmadog. Depending on your budget, you could opt to stay at the local Travelodge or the new Premier Inn, or if you want something with a bit more character: the Tudor Lodge in the centre of town. There's also the Griffin Hotel nearby as well as a number of caravan parks, campsites and B&B's to choose from. But if money is no object, you could choose to stay the night in Portmeirion which is just down the road from the town and is one of the highlights of the area.

How to spend your day - day one

Take a trip on the steam train

The best way to spend 48 hours in popular town just minutes from Portmeirion (1)

If you want to explore the Snowdonia landscape in style, you can take a trip on the Welsh Highland or Ffestiniog railway. Both have services that run from Porthmadog with plenty of options to suit your plans.

(Video) PORTMEIRION | Full Tour of Portmeirion Village, North Wales!

There's the Porthmadog to Beddgelert service which steams through the famous Aberglaslyn Pass. This service lasts around three hours and includes a 75 minute stop in Beddgelert. Alternatively, you could take the route to Tan-y-Bwlch which cuts through the hearts of the woodlands of Snowdonia. If you would like to incorporate a walk into your day, this is a good option as the service stops for an hour in Tan-y-Bwlch where you can walk along the nature trail. Other options include return trips to Caernarfon and Blaenau Ffestiniog.

Visit the famous Cob Records

Porthmadog is home to one of the best and most well-known record shops in Wales. Established in 1967, Cob Records is still going strong and is a must for any vinyl enthusiasts in the area with its vast selection of brand new and second hand records and CDs.

Even if you don't own a record player, it's still worth a visit, just to explore the massive collection which will undoubtedly bring back memories and perhaps even make you think about starting a new collection or taking a rummage through your attic for your old LPs once you've returned.

Dinner in the evening

Where: Y Sgwar

What: Contemporary British cuisine

Address: 12-16 Market Square, Porthmadog LL49 9RB

Reviews: Five stars on Tripadvisor

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Opening hours: The restaurant is open Tuesday - Saturday evenings from 5pm, and on a Sunday from 12pm. The restaurant is closed Sunday evenings and Mondays.

How to spend your day - day two

Explore Portmeirion

The famous Italianate-style village is only a few minutes away from the town centre and is definitely worth a visit. Designed and built by Sir Clough Williams-Ellis between 1925 and 1975, Portmeirion is probably most famous for being The Village in the '60s show The Prisoner. It has also been seen in Danger Man, the 1976 Doctor Who serial The Masque of Mandragora and also has a strong connection with The Beatles, which you can read more about here.

But the history is just one of many reasons to visit the stunning village which will undoubtedly leave an impression on anyone who visits. The stunning architecture, the setting and the surrounding scenery places it at close to the top of the list of things you should do if you're in this part of North Wales.

Adult tickets are priced at £17, though concessions are available. The gates close at 6:30pm but visitors are allowed to stay for as long as they wish.

Enjoy a pint of Purple Moose

Porthmadog is home to the renowned Purple Moose brewery (Y Bragdy Mŵs Piws). On the town's High Street, you can enjoy a pint of Glaslyn Ale or Dark Side of the Moose, or any other Purple Moose beer, straight from the source at the Australia pub, which is the Purple Moose brewery tap.

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As well as serving each of the brewery's 11 beers, the Australia also serves food between 12pm-3pm and 5:30pm-8:30pm from Tuesday to Saturday. Though a brewery tap might sound like an expensive place to go for a pint, food and drink prices at the pub are very reasonable. There is also a shop next door where you can pick up a few bottles, and even Purple Moose-branded clothing, to take home with you.

Dinner in the evening

Where: Yr Hen Fecws

What: Contemporary British cuisine

Address: 16 Lombard Street, Porthmadog LL49 9AP

Reviews: Five stars on Tripadvisor

Opening hours: 5:30pm to 8:30pm seven days a week.

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FAQs

How long do you need to look around Portmeirion? ›

I'd agree 2-3 hours is enough time to see everything.

Can you go to Portmeirion without paying? ›

Portmeirion is open to day visitors every day of the year except Christmas Day. Do you have to pay to visit Portmeirion? Portmeirion has a admission charge for adults, concessions and children aged 5 - 15 years. Children under 5 do not pay an admission charge.

Can you stay in the village at Portmeirion? ›

There are 32 individually designed rooms and suites in the surrounding Portmeirion village, all with great views and charming settings. For longer stays suitable for large or small families or groups, Portmeirion also has 13 stylish self-catering cottages.

Can you walk around Portmeirion? ›

You can either walk it or cycle it as part of the Lôn Las Cymru national cycle route.

Does anybody live in Portmeirion? ›

On arriving it fell into place; it's not a place where people live (although the proliferation of 'private' signs, would imply a large amount of the buildings are holiday lettings), it's a place to look at, wander 'round and enjoy.

How far is Portmeirion from Llandudno? ›

How far is it from Llandudno to Portmeirion? The distance between Llandudno and Portmeirion is 31 miles. The road distance is 41 miles.

Does Portmeirion get busy? ›

Portmeirion prices to visit

Especially during the summer peak season when the village can become very busy. Your tickets are based on a timed entry, so make sure you arrive at the time you've chosen to maximise your time at the village – you can stay as long as you like once you're inside.

What is special about Portmeirion? ›

It is a market leader in high quality and innovatively designed tableware, cookware, giftware, tabletop accessories and home fragrance products.

Can you swim in Portmeirion? ›

Guests enjoy free entry into Portmeirion Village and Gardens and use of the heated outdoor swimming pool (May - September).

Who is the owner of Portmeirion? ›

Portmeirion is owned by a registered charity called Ymddiriedolaeth Clough Williams-Ellis Foundation and it cannot be bought or sold.

Where is the village in the prisoner? ›

Scenes of the Village were filmed in the grounds of Clough Williams-Ellis's Italianate Portmeirion, a resort near Penrhyndeudraeth in north Wales. Principal location shooting took place over four weeks in September 1966, with a return visit for additional, second unit-style shots for later episodes in March 1967.

Why was Portmeirion built? ›

Created by Welsh architect Sir Clough Williams-Ellis, Portmeirion Village was designed to show how a naturally beautiful site could be developed without spoiling it.

How long is the Portmeirion coastal walk? ›

Distance/time: 8km /5miles.

Can you walk along the Cob in Porthmadog? ›

Getting started. Follow the footpath along the top of the Cob one way and return along the cycle path below the road by the river. The higher path is okay for wheelchairs, but not possible to get down at the far end.

Where was the prisoner filmed in Wales? ›

The most famous television programme filmed here is THE PRISONER, filmed on location at Portmeirion in 1966 and 1967.

What was filmed in Porthmadog? ›

Land of Legends (en-GB)

Why is Portmeirion Italian? ›

Portmeirion was the brainchild of one man, Sir Williams-Ellis who in the 1920s sought inspiration from Italy and took his ideas to the north of Wales.

What is Porthmadog known for? ›

The town of Porthmadog is famous for trains and railways and the Welsh Highland Heritage Railway offers a great way to dive into the train culture.

Does Portmeirion have a railway station? ›

You can change at Blaenau Ffestiniog for the Ffestiniog Railway, a narrow gauge steam railway that travels to Porthmadog, with a station at Minffordd (the station is 1 1/2 miles from Portmeirion).

What is Portmeirion village? ›

Portmeirion is a tourist village in Gwynedd, North Wales. It was designed and built by Sir Clough Williams-Ellis between 1925 and 1975 in the style of an Italian village, and is now owned by a charitable trust.

Were is Little Italy in Wales? ›

Portmeirion, a little slice of Italy in North Wales.

Where in Wales looks like Italy? ›

Tucked away on the coast of northern Wales is the town of Portmeirion, an eye-catching village with a colorful, whimsical design. How did such a place—which looks like it belongs in Italy, rather than Britain—come to exist?

What is the name of the village in Wales? ›

Llanfairpwllgwyngyll
CommunityLlanfair Pwllgwyngyll
Principal areaIsle of Anglesey
Ceremonial countyGwynedd
CountryWales
16 more rows

Is Portmeirion now made in China? ›

But when I get to Portmeirion and the factory in Stoke in Trent, I find out it was in fact made in China. The company does make about half its output in Stoke. They say the “Made in England” sticker they put on the bottom of those goods is a real selling point in Korea – their biggest customers.

Is Portmeirion china or pottery? ›

Portmeirion is a British pottery company based in Stoke-on-Trent, England.

Is Portmeirion made from bone china? ›

The brand offers a wide spectrum of quality products including fashionable fine bone china mugs and sophisticated, competitively priced tableware sets. New characters and line extensions have enhanced the popularity of the Royal Worcester Wrendale Designs collection of mugs and giftware.

Is Portmeirion by the beach? ›

Portmeirion beach is located near to Porthmadog in Portmeirion itself. With a promenade, town centre and public picnic area, there is parking available within walking distance.

Is Portmeirion open now? ›

PORTMEIRION IS OPEN FOR DAY VISITORS, WE KINDLY ASK YOU TO PRE-BOOK YOUR ENTRY TICKETS. We are open 7 days a week. Please have your online ticket reference ready to enter through our toll booth.

What area of Wales is Snowdonia in? ›

Is Portmeirion Pottery collectible? ›

Famous for its distinct shapes and beautiful patterns, Portmeirion Pottery is one of the most collectable in the world. A beautiful selection of vintage and new Portmeirion Pottery is sure to tempt collectors and those looking for eye-catching tableware from a famous name.

Is Portmeirion a real town? ›

Built by Sir Clough Williams-Ellis, Portmeirion is now one of Wales' most popular tourist destinations. Portmeirion Village is well known as the location for the 1960s cult TV series The Prisoner.

Is Portmeirion made in England? ›

Made in our factory in England, each and every piece is made for modern day dining / living and is of the utmost quality.

Who is number one The Prisoner? ›

Mentioned throughout the series, the character formally appeared in the 1968 finale episode "Fall Out" and was portrayed by Patrick McGoohan, while Roy Beck (who also appears uncredited as a jury member) — keeping his face turned away from the camera — doubled for McGoohan in certain scenes.

How did prisoners end? ›

The episode's ending, with Six's flat door opening automatically, as in the Village, suggests that he is still not free. The final scene, being the same as the first scene of the series, implies that the series is a cycle that is about to repeat itself, supporting the idea that Six cannot be free from captivity.

What was the story behind The Prisoner? ›

For The Prisoner is an allegory that sets a man in unexplained captivity, depriving him of his liberty, privacy, and name. The series then tells of his successful efforts against all imaginable odds to regain his freedom.

Can you swim at Portmeirion? ›

Guests enjoy free entry into Portmeirion Village and Gardens and use of the heated outdoor swimming pool (May-September).

Where is the village in the prisoner? ›

Scenes of the Village were filmed in the grounds of Clough Williams-Ellis's Italianate Portmeirion, a resort near Penrhyndeudraeth in north Wales. Principal location shooting took place over four weeks in September 1966, with a return visit for additional, second unit-style shots for later episodes in March 1967.

What is Portmeirion Village? ›

Portmeirion is a tourist village in Gwynedd, North Wales. It was designed and built by Sir Clough Williams-Ellis between 1925 and 1975 in the style of an Italian village, and is now owned by a charitable trust.

Does Portmeirion have a beach? ›

Portmeirion beach is located near to Porthmadog in Portmeirion itself. With a promenade, town centre and public picnic area, there is parking available within walking distance.

Which is the best beach in Wales? ›

Rhossili Bay, Gower

A spectacular highlight in an amazing area of outstanding natural beauty, and Britain's best beach. Rhossili is where you can take a long walk, go surfing or just take in the beautiful views.

Who is the owner of Portmeirion? ›

Portmeirion is owned by a registered charity called Ymddiriedolaeth Clough Williams-Ellis Foundation and it cannot be bought or sold.

Why was Portmeirion built? ›

Created by Welsh architect Sir Clough Williams-Ellis, Portmeirion Village was designed to show how a naturally beautiful site could be developed without spoiling it.

Who is number one The Prisoner? ›

Mentioned throughout the series, the character formally appeared in the 1968 finale episode "Fall Out" and was portrayed by Patrick McGoohan, while Roy Beck (who also appears uncredited as a jury member) — keeping his face turned away from the camera — doubled for McGoohan in certain scenes.

What is so special about Portmeirion? ›

It is a market leader in high quality and innovatively designed tableware, cookware, giftware, tabletop accessories and home fragrance products.

Is Portmeirion a real town? ›

Built by Sir Clough Williams-Ellis, Portmeirion is now one of Wales' most popular tourist destinations. Portmeirion Village is well known as the location for the 1960s cult TV series The Prisoner.

Does Portmeirion get busy? ›

Portmeirion prices to visit

Especially during the summer peak season when the village can become very busy. Your tickets are based on a timed entry, so make sure you arrive at the time you've chosen to maximise your time at the village – you can stay as long as you like once you're inside.

How long is the Portmeirion coastal walk? ›

Distance/time: 8km /5miles.

Was The Prisoner filmed at Portmeirion? ›

The most famous television programme filmed here is THE PRISONER, filmed on location at Portmeirion in 1966 and 1967. The Six-of-One Prisoner Appreciation Society holds an annual Prisoner Convention at Portmeirion.

Is Portmeirion open now? ›

PORTMEIRION IS OPEN FOR DAY VISITORS, WE KINDLY ASK YOU TO PRE-BOOK YOUR ENTRY TICKETS. We are open 7 days a week. Please have your online ticket reference ready to enter through our toll booth.

Where is the Italian village in Wales? ›

Tucked away on the coast of northern Wales is the town of Portmeirion, an eye-catching village with a colorful, whimsical design. How did such a place—which looks like it belongs in Italy, rather than Britain—come to exist?

Is llanbedrog beach sandy? ›

Llanbedrog near Pwllheli on the Llŷn peninsula is a long stretch of sandy coast with colourful beach huts, ideal for families.

Videos

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(Laura Side Street)
2. Lamb Casserole by Sophie Conran and Portmeirion
(Portmeirion UK)
3. Scrambled Eggs with Smoked Salmon by Sophie Conran and Portmeirion
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4. Tomato & Chorizo Sauce by Sophie Conran and Portmeirion
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5. NORTH WALES Travel Video! Snowdon, Conwy, Betws y Coed, Llanberis, Portmeirion
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6. Wild Snowdonia Travel | Camping in Wales UK
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