The Oakeley Arms Hotel and Self Catering Cottages
in the Heart of Snowdonia

Snowdonia on Television

Posted On: Mon 17 Apr 2017 Posted In: Local History Posted By:

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“I am not a number, I am a free man” shouts Patrick McGoohan’s character Number 6 in The Prisoner, one of the most iconic television series from the 1960s. The line is perhaps one of the most well-known from the series that captured the public’s imagination when it was first broadcast in 1967.

The Prisoner will forever be linked with our corner of Snowdonia because it was here that the series was filmed. The atmospheric Italianate village of Portmeirion provided the backdrop to the series and was the “real-life” location of the fictional “Village” (to where Patrick McGoohan’s character, an unfortunate ex-secret agent, was kidnapped and held while the powers attempted to brainwash and interrogate him).

Portmeirion was already a popular tourist destination, but The Prisoner catapulted the small village to fame and it remains one of the most visited spots along the coastline. And it’s easy to see why – its maze of brightly coloured Mediterranean style buildings, plazas, gardens, ponds and nostalgic statues perfectly suit the eccentric and often bizarre themes and characters of The Prisoner but they also evoke a charming and peaceful setting alongside the stunning setting of the Dwyryd Estuary.

Portmeirion is just one such popular filming location in Wales. With the runaway successes of other series filmed on the Welsh coast such as Doctor Who, Torchwood, Gavin & Stacey and Being Human it seems that our stunning coastline is becoming increasingly popular, as Wales opens its doors to a growing industry of film and television production. And a booming television production industry is not only good for the local economy, but means that skilled workers and industry trainees need not head over the border for opportunities to showcase their talents.

And if The Prisoner began the Welsh production revolution in the 1960’s, there’s no doubt it’s just as strong today, with one of the BBC’s most popular productions of all time, Doctor Who now being filmed in South Wales.

Other famous locations for television series across the Welsh coast include Llandudno for the 2002 re-make of the classic 1960s series The Forsyte Saga, Caernarfon for a Christmas special of hospital drama Casualty, Aberdaron for an episode of Inspector Morse in 1988 and Dolgellau for an episode of BBC soap opera Eastenders in 2003.

You can find out more about the work of the Wales Screen Commission at or read their blog for updates about the latest productions in Wales at

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Snowdonia on the Small Screen
Snowdonia's beauty has long been celebrated on television, so in this week's blog post we uncover the top television film locations nearby.