I think this deserves a single post.😁 Gerallt suggested to visit Portmeirion, which is just outside of Portmadog. Unfortunately no bikes and dogs allowed but I still had a quick visit. It is a fascinating but quite odd little Italian village embedded in Welsh mountain surroundings.
Portmeirion Village, built in perfect Italianate style, is the product of the vivid imagination of architect, builder and bird of paradise Sir Bertram Clough Williams-Ellis (1883-1979). The village is picturesquely situated on a small peninsula, on the sandy estuary of the River Dwyryd to Tremadog Bay.
Already as a young man, Clough Williams-Ellis had the fixed idea of creating an Italianate village with colorful facades, classical colonnades, fountains and statues directly on the sea. He searched for a long time for a suitable location anywhere in the world and finally took the most obvious option - he bought Plas Brondanw, a villa with an overgrown park on a peninsula not far from his family residence, for £ 5,000. Of the promontory on the coast of Snowdonia National Park, he wrote at the time, "A neglected wilderness long abandoned by romantics who had realized the unique charm and possibilities of the area, but who had allowed themselves to be carried away by the grandiose scenery... to a sad bankruptcy."
Here, between 1925 and 1976, he realized his vision: by building the village, he wanted to show that a scenic area can be built on without being destroyed. The backdrop for his village came from everywhere. The architect literally collected houses, different building materials such as stones, archways, columns, windows, wrought iron gates and in this way saved many buildings from decay.
Many famous artists and actors were fascinated by Portmeirion, including H.G. Wells, George Bernard Shaw, Noël Coward, the architect Frank Lloyd Wright but also Gregory Peck, Ingrid Bergmann and Paul McCartney. In the 1960s, Brian Epstein, manager of the Beatles, frequently rented rooms in the Gate House during the summer months, and George Harrison celebrated his 50th birthday here. In 1966/67, the place became the setting for the cult TV series The Prisoner (German title: Number 6). ...