Portmeirion 2015

Name of walk Portmeirion 2015
Date of walk 2015-12-15

For our 30th wedding anniversary we went to stay in Portmeirion, North Wales. I have been visiting Portmeirion since my student days when I used to go to ‘The Prisoner’ Conventions back in the early eighties. ‘The Prisoner’ was a 1968 British TV programme starring Patrick McGoohan and was filmed on location here. Portmeirion 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. Each time we visit we try and stay in a different room or apartment. It is a place I never get tired of. It is self contained, with shops, cafes, restaurants, bars, galleries, a heated swimming pool, plus the beach and the extensive grounds to explore. To think that Patrick McGoohan’s character spent all his time trying to escape…..why? 🙂

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View out from our window. As it was going to be dark soon we headed straight out for a tour of the village.

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We have our own patio, rather a pity the weather was not suitable for sitting outside.

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Looking down on the village square.

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There was some digging going on as they were installing a new biomass boiler and putting in new piping to all the buildings.

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View out to the hotel from The Grotto.

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The hotel is where we go for breakfast and our evening meal.

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The Stone Boat.

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The Observatory Tower contains a camera obscura.

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White Horses. This is where Patrick McGoohan stayed when he filmed 'The Prisoner' back in 1966/67. There is a round commemorative plaque on the wall. White Horses has new flood defenses in the shape of a newly built wall. I am standing on the top of the new steps over the wall.

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The view out into the estuary.

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View back to the hotel and village.

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The Christmas lights are now on in the village.

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The men are still digging outside Angel.

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Our room in Bridge House is the top left hand bay window. It bridges the entrance to the village.

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On the left is Patrick McGoohan's character, Number Six's house. Now selling 'Prisoner' memorabilia.

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View from the bay window. The Hotel has left us a complementary bottle of red wine plus a decanter of sherry.

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The room is comfortable, with a kitchenette, en-suite and windows on three sides. One of the TV channels shows old episodes of 'The Prisoner' on a continuous loop. I watch a couple.....well, when in Rome!

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We head down to the hotel for dinner.

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There were four courses, plus savoury petit fours befour dinner and sweet ones after. This was the pre-starter....celeriac soup with an apple and smoked haddock macaroon.

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One of the hotel lounges.

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The Mirror Room.

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Later we head back to our room.

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Lots of Grey Squirrels about.

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After breakfast we head off for a walk around the coast. The view across the estuary to Porthmadog.

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The grounds of Portmeirion are extensive with many rare plants and trees. Brendan in the Azalea Walk. When we were here last May it was carpeted in red flowers.

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The tide is coming in so no walks on the beach or cave exploring this time.

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The Dogs' Cemetery.

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The mist has come down.

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The Lighthouse.

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White Horses and the new sea defenses.

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Inside The Town Hall/Hercules Hall with its Jacobean ceiling.

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It has been recently refurbished.

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We stop for a drink in the cafe, also refurbished.

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It now has a lounge area too. We then head back up into the woods.

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A sculptured bed with a pillow....not very comfy!

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A cannon in the castle.

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The view from The Gazebo is not very clear today.

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One of the two lakes.

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The Chinese Bridge and Chinese Gazebo.

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The second lake.

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In the Pantheon is the gallery of Portmeirion's Artist in Residence, Briony Clarke. Recently she has been developing her sea based drawing technique along the estuary using an extraordinary drawing machine called the Sea Fax which she has designed to capture the movement of the tides using biodegradable slate based ink. As the waves roll in the ink comes into contact with the paper to create the strange and beautiful patterns of the Sea Scrolls. She uses the small bowl device in the centre to produce the smaller pictures using running water.

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We bought one. It looks like a regression of mountains. Cool! In the afternoon it was raining so we explored the shops of Porthmadog.

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Smoked salmon with caviar and egg....another pre-starter.

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Okay, who set my dessert on fire? It was a Grand Marnier Tart, but deconstructed and inside a ball of chocolate.

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A harpist was playing in the lounge.

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After dinner coffee and petit fours in the Mirror Room.

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Castell Deudraeth. In The Prisoner it acted as the village hospital.

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Next morning, in yet more rain we headed for home....via Ikea.

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These photos are from over 30 years ago! Barbara, me and Trish with a Mini Moke. We were extras in Bill Sherren's 'Prisoner' documentary. (1985)

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At a Six of One Prisoner Convention about to be pounced on by Rover. (1984)

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Back in the day you could drive around the village in the Mini Moke!

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Brendan and me on the beach at Portmeirion in 1986

An excellent two night stay! If you want to know what the village looks like with blue skies and sunshine, our May 2013 visit is http://josweeney.net/portmeirion-2013/ A link to some of the walks available  http://josweeney.net/portmeirion-walks-2013/

Happy Christmas!

Jo.

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