Saturday, November 06, 2010

Photoblog: Portmeirion

The promised post about Portmeirion finally makes an appearance! I must admit I do most of my blogging (or micro-blogging) via Twitter these days, hence this blog is left rather neglected. If you're on Twitter please do say hello/follow, if you're not on Twitter, do consider joining! I have found it an excellent way to keep up with many online friends who I might not otherwise speak to very often, and it's also fantastic for fast-moving, as-it-happens news and commentary - for me that means Formula 1 in particular.

Anyway, back to Portmeirion. Many of these photos are wallpaper-sized (1650x1050, widescreen monitor format) so click on any you'd like a large version of.

I'll start with a photo I actually ended up taking on the way home. As we reached the final leg of our journey down, the view across the Lleyn peninsula was superb. It was the clearest I have ever seen it, equally so in the other direction towards the mountains. It was almost as clear as we headed home:

Our first port of call was a walk down through the village to the waterside. You are on the south side of the Lleyn here, and you have a view across the water to the "main" mainland:

On this day, the Italianate village looked truly Mediterranean. Stunning blue skies, sunshine, sparkling water, rich green foliage.

It really is Wales, and it was simply stunning!

After watching the world go by from a waterside bench for a while, we headed to the stone boat, Les Amis Reunis:

If you've ever seen the TV series The Prisoner (the original 1960s version) you will instantly recognise the stone boat. The village hasn't changed too much from when the series was filmed there, and is well worth visiting if you are a fan.

The late Patrick McGoohan stayed in a cottage called "White Horses" during filming. This is a view through an archway next to the cottage itself - it is situated a couple of minutes' walk from the stone boat and the main hotel building.

On the walk to White Horses there were some gorgeous shrubs in flower:

Back in the main village, this is the Green Dome, Number Two's residence in the series:

Back in the 60s, the green dome itself was actually painted wood (probably marine ply or similar). It was painted to look like verdigris. This was a typical piece of illusion employed by the village's creator, Clough Williams Ellis! It was probably more to do with cost than anything else. These days, the roof has been replaced with a genuine copper one. However it is taking its sweet time to start going green!

This is the Gloriette, overlooking the main square with the pool and fountain where "Rover", the huge white weather balloon/guardian of the Village would often appear. The Gloriette was used most memorably in the episode "Free For All" where Number 6 (McGoohan) made his election speech.

Also in the main square are two gold statues on pillars - as I had the DSLR with me I could take a reasonably close-up photo of one of them for the first time:

The Bristol Colonnade:

Like a number of the buildings in Portmeirion, this is a rescued building, transplanted from its original location. The lawn in front of it is famous as the scene of the human chess game in the episode "Checkmate".

After lunch we went for a walk in the woodland gardens, which include a small lake and a Japanese-style bridge:

If you've never been to Portmeirion, it is well worth a visit - we've actually stayed there twice, both times in Telford's Tower (which has an amazing view over the Piazza to Number Six's house), and visited on several more occasions over the years. Our interest came originally from The Prisoner association but even without that, it is a gorgeous place, and on this late June day was absolutely magical.

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