Instagrammable Portmeirion

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Best Spots for Instagram Pictures in Portmeirion

I’ve wanted to visit Portmeirion for so long; my mum and dad went there on their honeymoon and she has talked about how much she loved it ever since.

So we decided to go in July and take my August pictures there. Firstly, let me say I love the place and secondly we discovered that taking pictures there wasn’t as easy as we first thought it would be and ended up not posting a lot of them. I think this was the time when I really realised that I wasn’t one of those “Instagram girls”. I needed more of a narrative than just a pretty backdrop.

So here is what I thought of the place, the locations we loved the most for shooting, and why I think it really should be more popular on Instagram.

About Portmeirion.

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. Williams-Ellis acquired the site in 1925 and worked to complete his grand vision over the next 50 years, completing the Village as we know it today in 1976.

Clough hoped that his creation would inspire others.

Probably most famously, Portmeirion was the backdrop for the 1960’s cult classic series, The Prisoner, starring Patrick McGoohan.

Our two days there.

When you take the turn in and drive up towards Portmeirion you do get the feeling that you are entering a different world, from the manicured lawns, the blooming flowers and pretty pink guard stations you sense something is different. Walking in is akin to that feeling you get when going into Disneyland, slightly magical and in awe at all the candy coloured buildings. It really is a sight to feast your eyes on, a place that is wonderful, colourful and so quirky. However, when we pointed the camera at most of it what we could see through the lens didn’t quite match up. Thinking back now I think we should have tried for fewer pictures, got some much quirkier outfits and planned much more beforehand. I also would have stayed in the village as you get extra hours; the place gets busy very quickly. Saying that our Airbnb was adorable and it was nice to get out the craziness.

girl in portmeirion
So with some hindsight, it could have gone quite differently and maybe one day I will go back and create the pictures I can now see in my head. I think I was trying to be too travel-blogger and it just didn’t work so well here.

Saying that we did get some amazing photos, my favourites being the ones below.

The chessboard photo was one of my favourites and we did do this almost as soon as we arrived. It’s quirky and fun but can you imagine if I’d upped the game Queen of Hearts style? I also loved the puppet style photo this one we took, which was happenstance; we just stumbled across this gem. Again, can you imagine this in full puppet gear, cropped a bit tighter? This was one of the pavilions on the woodland walk.

girl in portmeirion
The hardest shots to get were the one at the fountain in the square and the other at the path leading down towards the Town Hall; I would suggest that if you go there you try and get these two first. We were very lucky to get these two pictures with no one in.

girl on giant chess board at portmeirion
If I was to take these two again I think I would have gone for a much brighter, quirkier outfit and pose, (even though my pj-looking shirt and trousers was quite quirky). These travel-blogger type poses for me just weren’t that great.

girl in portmeirion

The more fairy-tale type ones were easier to get; just a bit of waiting around. One is taken in front of the town hall and the other by the pavilion near the chess set. Again, I think they needed to be more quirky, bigger and bolder. And the angle on the pavilion needed to be a bit higher.

I did love all the Wes Anderson-style ones we did, even though most of them didn’t make the cut. As you can see it was quite grey when we went there and I just think these needed a bit more colour, but there were countless places like this and they were easy to shoot.

Getting in front of most of the really pretty houses was more difficult than I thought as only residents were able to get near them, so all the pictures I had planned for these went out of the window, which was a real shame as some of them I loved. Again, a good reason to stay on site.


Anyway, where was I? Yes, one thing I did love was all the coloured walls and I could have spent all day just going from coloured wall to coloured wall. Here are a few of my favourites and three locations.

The blue wall is up by The Dome, the yellow wall by the cafe mermaid spa and the orange wall is just down from The Prisoner Shop.

We did go down to the Hotel Portmerion which was beautiful but didn’t find many places to shoot and we didn’t go inside because we were exhausted by the time we got here. You can tell by these photos how windy and cold it was, which didn’t help. Again this photo needed a much bigger outfit and a slightly different angle but the challenge is that there are so many other things around Portmeirion; it’s such a mismatch that the angle required to get just one thing in is often not the best picture.

We tried to get a picture with the whole of Portmeirion in the background, even climbing up to the pavilion on the woodland walk but we just couldn’t do it. So we took the view and then settled for this one with me in it, which while OK I don’t think twirling is my thing. This was taken on the lawn opposite the Chip Shop.

What I would do next time.

  1. So, all in all, I loved the place but felt my pictures were just a bit too tourist for me. Here is what I would do if I were to do it again.
  2. Staying in the village those extra hours would have allowed me to create without the constant stream of people.
  3.  Choose five locations with five quirky outfits and just try to get those pictures other than the 20 or so I did get.
  4.  Enjoy just hanging out without the camera and trying to get the pictures.
  5. Hope for a warmer day even though that is out of my control. 


And yes, for those thinking about getting changed on-site, this was easy as there are plenty of toilets. And if you go off the main drag, some areas are very quiet. Make sure that you wear good shoes because you will walk up and down a lot.

girl in sixties outfit at portmeirion