I am looking for suggestions of where to stop for about 3 hours on a drive between Conwy/Llandudno and Stratford upon Avon. I was originally going to take a train, but now that I plan to drive, I am looking for somewhere to stop for lunch and maybe a sight. I have been to Chester before. After Stratford, I plan to spend a full day in the Cotswolds. Any gems along the North Wales-English border?
If you use the M5 /M6 freeways, it's about a three-hour drive. Staying within Wales and running right down the middle, it's about five. I'd go this way and stop at Builth Wells for as long as I could before turning the corner and heading east. Builth is a bit more than halfway.
Ludlow and Shrewsbury are both worthwhile towns for a stop. There's a good castle in Ludlow, a ruined abbey in Shrewsbury. (Shrewsbury is where the George Scott version of A Christmas Carol was filmed, if you are familiar with that version of the story)......Two other stops near Stratford, both IMHO much more interesting, are Kenilworth (ruined castle) and Warwick (very restored castle).
If you take the motorway route you could stop at Sandbach. It has a couple of Saxon Crosses, plenty of pubs for lunch and a few interesting buildings. I'm not claiming it is a major tourist centre like New York, London, Paris or Hartlepool, but it is worth a couple of hours if you are passing.
I have done something similar and we just stopped along the way- there are many towns and villages - stop in one that takes your fancy.
Chester to Oswestry to Ludlow is an area with "Black and white" buildings- Ludlow particularly so. We found some great pubs and coaching inns for meals; Shrewsbury. As a tourist- the advantage of this route to me was that we avoided the built up Birmingham area
Warwick Castle is perfect !
Warwick Castle is good but it is hardly a stopping off point on the way to Stratford, though, more a place to visit from Stratford I'd have thought since it's practically next door. If you want to take a rural route, then I would second Shrewsbury. It is about half way and afterwards you could then decide whether to complete the journey by the quicker, but less scenic route or the rather longer but more interesting route via Ludlow as suggested above.
major tourist centre like New York, London, Paris or Hartlepool Monkeys!!