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Trip Review + Request to identify castle

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!

Posted by
1177 posts

The only castle I found near there was Powis. Trip sounds like great fun. I love Wales.

Posted by
1838 posts

Coming up from The Cotswolds, you would not reach Powis Castle before Stokesay Castle. (Powis Castle is 1 mile W of Welshpool).
Ludlow has a castle but you have to drive through the town to see it.

Flip, you went to the Cregennen Lakes. Fab place and if you climb a little ridge, you can look all the way down to Barmouth. I don’t even mention it on these forums because I figured Americans would be fearful of the narrow road up to the lakes.

The weather from mid July through August has been exceptionally bad over the whole of the UK & Ireland.

Posted by
47 posts

James the drive up to the lake was SO scary!! But I'm glad we continued on and nobody else was trying to get down as we were going up :) The views were wonderful!!

You're right, the mystery castle definitely wasn't Ludlow or Powis Castle.

I figured out a way to share a photo I took of it

https://ibb.co/n1xMMk

We had heard from a few locals that the weather was especially rainy this summer (we had a full day of rain in London as well). So we'll definitely have to return another summer!

Posted by
1838 posts

Looks to me like Hampton Court Castle near Boddenham, Herefordshire. I have not been into this castle but have done the gardens.
(Not to be confused with Hampton Court Palace near London). http://www.hamptoncourt.org.uk

Posted by
631 posts

Tip: for a future visit to Snowdonia try flights to Manchester or Birmingham - or even Dublin (don't laugh, we had a trip report a couple of weeks ago from someone who had succesfully done that).

And the weather has, for the 3rd summer in a row, definately been rubbish. Cornwall (the supposed warm sunny part of England) had more rain in July than the Shetland Islands north of Scotland (and not far from Norway!!).

Posted by
1838 posts

Dublin can indeed work out cheaper due to the lack? of a landing /departure tax. Then, it is a quick ferry ride over to Holyhead at the NW tip of Wales. (The devolved ‘government’ in Wales are trying to get the tax repealed for flights to/from Cardiff Airport. If that happens, we could well see trans-Atlantic flights going to Cardiff Airport).

Posted by
47 posts

Good to know!!
We just picked London because it was one of the cities on the list for IcelandAir's deal. It was $399 from Newark and included the stay in Iceland as well as round-trip to London. Next time though I will look to see what other cities are on the list.

Posted by
1838 posts

Continental had daily direct flights from Newark to Bristol a few years ago. They pulled the service due to lack of demand. I think the Brits were aware of the service but not so much the Americans. A pity, as Bristol was right by Bath and really handy for the south-west and south Wales and up to the the Cotswolds. Flights could also be cheaper by not incurring the high landing fees at Heathrow & JFK.