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The ‘fairytale’ Welsh village voted one of UK’s most beautiful places

14 May 2024 3 minute read
Portmeirion

It’s the village which is like nothing else in Wales.

Portmeirion, the colourful fairytale folly created by architect Clough Williams-Ellis is a major tourist attraction welcoming visitors from around the world to its fantastical surroundings.

It is no surprise then that it has been named as one of the 15 most beautiful places in the UK.

It’s also the only Welsh location on the list drawn up by travel writers from Time Out who were asked to nominate the most stunning locations in Britain.

Often described as ‘otherworldly’ and like ‘something out of a dream’ the village which was the location for the cult 1960s TV show The Prisoner, features on the list with the likes of the Singing Sands, Isle of Eigg, Medieval Shambles, York and Fairy Pools, Isle of Skye.

Time Out UK features editor Chiara Wilkinson said: “For all of the stick we give the UK – the grey skies, the pigeons, the Greggs sausage roll packets littering the pavements – it’s actually a pretty gorgeous country. In London alone, you can be goggling over the Barbican’s brutalist beauty one moment, the next, you might be basking in the tranquility of Hampstead Ponds. Add the turquoise coasts of Cornwall, the rugged mountains of Snowdonia (Eryri) and the fairytale wonder of Scotland’s highlands and islands to the mix, and you’ve got a country which is as good looking as they come.

“When we set about curating this list of the most beautiful places in the UK, we called on our network of expert travel writers. These guys have have personally experienced the pinch-me moment of seeing every place on this list in real life – so we can guarantee you there is no catfishing going on here. Of course, you’ll find the usual suspects – you can’t argue with the magic of the Isle of Skye, after all – but you’ll also find some more surprising beauty spots to add to your travel bucket list.”

Portmeirion. Credit: Wales Coast Path

Describing the village, the writers said: “Portmeirion is like something out of a dream. That is intentional, as the brainchild of Sir Clough Williams-Ellis set out to bring the peace and pace of the Mediterranean to the northwest of Wales. Don’t scoff: the two are more alike than you might first assume. Since its completion in 1975, this unique tourist village has established itself as the most romantic spot in north Wales. Of course, it certainly helps if it comes with Italianate architecture, colourful facades and an unforgettable sense of romance. How could you not fall for Portmeirion?”

The top 15 most beautiful places in Britain, according to Time Out

Puzzlewood, Forest of Dean
Minack Theatre, Cornwall
Barbican Estate, London
Singing Sands, Isle of Eigg
Avebury Stone Circle, Wiltshire
Medieval Shambles, York
Seven Sisters, Sussex
Fairy Pools, Isle of Skye
Whitstable Seafront, Kent
Rydal Caves, Lake District
Loch Lomond, Highland Boundary Fault
Central Oxford
Clifton Suspension Bridge, Bristol
Portmeirion, North Wales
Benone Strand, Causeway Coast


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