I wanted to thank everyone on this board for their help in planning this trip! I am so appreciative of the advise that I got on here and from PM's. We had a wonderful time in Wales and would love to return as this was a short visit. Below I will post our itinerary but I first
wanted to ask if anyone would be able to identify a castle that we saw enroute that I forgot to write down the name of. We had driven
from Bourton-on-the Water to Welshpool and stopped at Stokesay Castle on the way. But before we got to Stokesay Castle we saw a sign for another castle about 15-30 minutes prior. It was literally right on the road we were traveling on so we went into the parking lot and walked around the grounds and got back in the car to continue on to Stokesay. I believe the castle started with an H. I have photos of it but don't see how to share a photo on this site. If anyone has any ideas I'd love to have the name so I can label the photos in my album :)
Ok on to our trip
We spent 3 nights in Iceland before getting a flight to London and renting a car at Gatwick. We spent a day in Bibury and then the next day stopped at Bourton-on-the Water after breakfast to walk around. Then stopped at the nameless castle and Stokesay Castle (so much fun, they had archery and jousting activities for the kids) before arriving at the village of Welshpool for dinner. We then continued on to our airbnb cottage in the teeny tiny village of Rhydymain. There were no street signs in the village, we had to ask for help but everyone in Wales were so kind to us!
Next day we drove to the nearest town of Dolgellau and rented bikes for 4 hours. We picked the 18 mile round-trip ride on the Mawddach Trail. It was completely flat so it was very easy although it was pouring rain for about 10 minutes at the begininng of the ride so we did get very wet and muddy. But we all agreed that it was well worth it- the views are beautiful and we loved seeing all of the sheep and we chatted with other people along the route who were super friendly. After returning our bikes, we took a drive up to Cregennen Lakes which was definitely one of our highlights of the trip. My daughters loved seeing the sheep and we had the whole place to ourselves. On our way back to the house we stopped for dinner at George 3rd which we loved and we even ran into some of the people we were chatting with on our bike ride.
The following day was a rain out but we put on our rain jackets with hoods and still ventured out to Cadair Idris and Talyllyn lake. Both beautiful spots for hiking and we'd love to return to see both sites on a dry day. We decided to go back to Dolgellau to see if any shops were open (it was a Sunday). There happened to be a small artists craft show taking place and we were able to pick out such lovely souvenirs for our home. It was such a lucky surprise since the other traditional gift shops were all closed.
The following day we drove to Chester to return our car and get on the train to London.
We would love to explore more of the Snowdonia region and have more days but this was a great taste/introduction!