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Eleanor

Wales Portmeirion, Gwynedd

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Portmeirion is a popular tourist attraction on the coast of North Wales. Most people visit for the Italianate village, the brain child of query architect Clough Williams Ellis. It is also worth spending time exploring the vast estate around the village with its miles of footpaths through woodland, past lakes and follies.

Beyond the Portmeirion Hotel on the side of the Dwyryd estuary, a footpath goes along the wooded shoreline past the watchtower to the lighthouse.

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There are views of sandy beaches across the estuary to Mid Wales or to the tip of the Llyn Peninsula.

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This part of Wales is wet and the peninsula is wooded with what is described as temperate rain forest. The natural vegetation is oak, birch and rowan with alder and willow in wet areas. The Victorians planted large specimen trees, including Douglas firs, redwoods and tree ferns as well as azaleas, camellias and rhododendrons. Miles of footpaths explore the woodland.

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Clough Williams Ellis was responsible for constructing two lakes and the Chinese pagoda and bridge.

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These are reached by quite a steep climb from the village and there is a land train which takes visitors on a circuit of the lakes.

On a nice day, it is very easy to spend all day exploring the village and surrounding estate. There are cafes and restaurants in the village as well as ice creams!

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