Beautifully set on its own quiet peninsula reaching into the estuary, this wonderous collection of colourful Italian-influenced buildings was the creation of Welsh architect Sir Clough Williams-Ellis. His creation took 50 years to complete, starting in 1925 and today, Portmeirion has conservation status and the buildings are all heritage listed.

When you arrive at Portmeirion an enchanting path leads you into and around the site past scaled down cottages and mansions – some of which are cafes, restaurants and gift shops. Portmeirion pottery is available to purchase. A further network of paths meander along the coast where, due to the pleasantly warm microclimate you will find an abundance of exotic plants.

Top tip: if it’s a special occasion, why not treat yourself to a meal at the hotel?

Travel time from Benar Cottages: 40 minutes
We first visited Portmeirion, on a blisteringly hot day in May. As I sat at one of the cafes enjoying a pizza and a glass of wine, I wondered why I had spent so much money on flights to Italy the previous year! We fell in love with the place and it’s somewhere special we have returned to again and again – particularly as a birthday treat.