With travel inspiration in the UK for 2021 once lockdown measures begin to ease, travel guide publisher Lonely Planet has announced the ten lesser-known locations across the UK.

As international travel continues to be in retrospect, Lonely Planet saw a significant increase in the number of people who stay. as well as an increasing interest in travel to destinations off the beaten path as 2020 progresses.

Anyone who has ever visited the seaside village of Portmeirion, or just seen the stunning images of its distinctive architecture and colorful buildings, will likely not be surprised that it has been rated a must-see for 2021.

Italy? No, North Wales

And although it might come as a surprise to us here in Wales to see this Portmeirion Number two on their top 10 list of lesser-known places, it may not have the recognition it deserves in the rest of the UK.

Whatever we think of the level of knowledge about this unique place in GwyneddIt was beaten to the top only by Scottish Craigiever Castle in Alford.

Also on the list is another Welsh gem that most people are sure to be familiar with. Snowdon, but this entry at number six refers to the quieter Rhyd Ddu Path.

1. Craigievar Castle, Alford, Scotland

2. Portmeirion, Wales

3. Tresco Abbey Gardens, Isles of Scilly

4. Oundle, Northamptonshire, England

5. Benmore Botanic Garden, Strath Eachaig, Scotland

6. Snowdon (Snowdon) off the quieter Rhyd Ddu trail in Wales

7. Howtown & Martindale, Cumbria, England

8. Lincolnshire Wolds

9. Holkham Beach, Norfolk, England

10. Marshwood Vale, Dorset

Lonely Planet’s Tom Hall says, “London has always dominated tourism in the UK and for good reason, but the whole country is filled with historic sites and natural wonders.

“The pandemic has made us all stop and re-evaluate our trip. I think now is the perfect time to update this bucket list with some of those under-the-radar places that you may have overlooked in the past. “

The inspiring creator of Portmeirion was the genius architect Sir Clough Williams-Ellis after a trip to Italy sparked his imagination to create a piece of pretty and quirky Italy in northwest Wales.

Central place

According to Visit Wales website, he was a passionate environmentalist who wanted to create a functioning and attractive private village that would act as “good manners propaganda”.

When it opened in 1926, it amazed visitors with its uniquely designed buildings with eccentric features, arches, windows of all shapes and sizes, painted in many playful colors and all grouped around a central piazza.

Lonely Planet names Portmeirion one of the UK's top 10 travel destinations for 2021

Colors, arches, slopes, alleys of various shapes and sizes make the village an exciting place to explore

Some people may even recognize the village by the popular, classic 1960s television show The Prisoner starring Patrick McGoohan, which used the village extensively as the setting for the 17-episode series.

The village nestles against the breathtaking coastline and offers an incredible wide view of the sea. However, you may be distracted for a while from the coastal views by the winding pathways that lead through Riviera-inspired houses, ornamental gardens, and even a lawn with a giant chess board.

Lonely Planet names Portmeirion one of the UK's top 10 travel destinations for 2021

Chess anyone?

There are so many quirky and fascinating buildings to admire, but some highlights include Hercules Hall, the Bristol Colonnade, the Belvedere, and the Gothic Pavilion.

There are a number of Places to stay in the village and even get married in one of the two hotels.

Hotel Portmeirion is a Grade II listed former Victorian mansion converted into a hotel by Sir Clough Williams-Ellis in 1925, in a prime location overlooking the water.

The Castell Deudraeth is a four-star hotel on the Portmeirion grounds, offering visitors contemporary style in a striking Gothic castle.

Lonely Planet names Portmeirion one of the UK's top 10 travel destinations for 2021

The Hotel Portmeirion has a prime waterfront location

Lonely Planet names Portmeirion one of the UK's top 10 travel destinations for 2021

Breathtaking view of the sea

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Additional guest accommodations are located in the heart of the village, including the Mermaid Spa. Rooms and suites in the pretty hotels can also be rented.

There are also cafes and restaurants.

The portmeirion.wales website states that the village has two full-service restaurants and four cafes, plus the town hall and Caffi’r Sgwâr take away.

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Though the village is cute, there is still shopping to be found, including The Round House, the cottage where the character Number Six lived in The Prisoner that now sells goods and memorabilia.

In fact, there are a number of shops and a gallery selling gifts, books, groceries, pottery, and works of art.

Lonely Planet names Portmeirion one of the UK's top 10 travel destinations for 2021

Once you visit you won’t want to leave

Of course there are places to eat, sleep and shop outside of the village, but once you step on the threshold of this magical place, you will likely be spellbound and want to spend every moment there.

To show people exactly what they are missing if they have never visited Portmeirion, Lonely Planet partnered with Sony Mobile to release a photo series of their 10 most popular UK destinations for 2021, including the Welsh village, all of which were captured on the Sony Xperia 5 II smartphone.

And after seeing the breathtaking footage of Portmeirion, there is a very good chance that you will be on the list of places to visit in the UK, whether or not you have ever heard of it before.