Portmeirion – An Italian Town… in Wales

Places to go (when we can go places)#1 Portmeirion

I’m digging out and sprucing up blog posts to bring fantastically inspiring places to all you writers out there. Stay safe.

Bathed in sunshine, this pastel-coloured town could be perched on the coast of Italy – but its actually North West Wales. Portmeirion is part tourist attraction, part film set, famous for being the filming location of sixties cult TV series The Prisoner.

The towns otherworldly vibe was perfect for the mind bending show where the main character known only as Number Six is trapped, mentally tortured and frequently pursued by a giant balloon.

Portmeirion was built by Sir Clough William-Ellis between 1925 and 1975. These days it’s still a popular place for people to visit and even stay thanks to self-catering and hotel accommodation. I can see the attraction, but after a while it starts to feel like you’re actually on a film set of some kind. It’s a bit like being at a theme park, albeit without rides or people dressed up like cartoon characters. It’s almost like being on the Truman Show.

Obviously, it’s oddness has been put to good fictional use already. But there’s certainly inspiration to be found here. It could be a less expensive way to experience something like an Italian town if that’s where your book is based. Or it could inspire you to writ about what makes someone build something like this, or what it could be like to live and work here. The fantastical elements of this place mean the town could easily be a template for somewhere in a fictional world.

What do you think? Have you visited Portmeirion before? Did it inspire you at all? Please share in the comments.

Related reads

Walking in Middle Earth – Puzzlewood

A Visit to Stonehenge

Tyneham – The Village Where Time Stopped


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