At the beginning of the month we took the very long drive down to Bluestone, Wales. We were invited* for a midweek break. We set off early on bank holiday Monday and it took us about four and a half hours to get there. From where we live near Chorley, I would say we were on the motorway for about 45 minutes to an hour and the rest was roads. The drive down was beautiful, we drove through various villages in England and Wales. Bluestone is a national park, set in Pembrokeshire. We returned late Friday evening, we left the area about 6.30pm and it took us around five hours to get back, not because of traffic but because the roads weren’t very well lit. I didn’t enjoy the drive home and if I was to return to Bluestone, I would book somewhere half way between Bluestone and home for an extra night and return during daylight hours the following day.
Bluestone has a variety of places to sleep, catering from one to six bedrooms and sleeping up to fourteen. We stayed in a Ramsey Lodge which is a beautiful detached lodge with a double and twin bedroom on the ground floor. Both the bedrooms had en-suite bathrooms, the twin had a shower in the en-suite and the double had a bath in the en-suite. When you go upstairs, you find an open plan living area with a fully fitted kitchen, dining area and lounge area. There is a tv, DVD player and free WiFi. The view looking out of the lounge area was just perfect, overlooking the woodland. One of the bedrooms downstairs, led out to the private garden. I couldn’t have asked for more in the lodge and it was finished to a high standard.
I think the Blue Lagoon was Lucas’ favourite place at Bluestone and we spent a lot of time here. There are three separate pool areas, one specifically for under fives that includes a small slide, toys and basketball hoops to play. Lucas absolutely loved the main pool which had waves through it every half an hour. His face when he heard the warning siren was a picture, he got so excited, waiting to jump into the waves. A pirate also made an appearance occasionally with a water gun running around in the pool. The pool also had a lazy river which was so relaxing to swim round and this led to an outdoor area too. It was quite refreshing swimming in the warm pool through the outside river as it rained on us! D’s favourite part of the Blue Lagoon was the water slides and flumes.
We were both really impressed with the lifeguards. They were always looking around and ensuring everyone was safe and children were supervised. When they weren’t on duty by the side of the pool, they were keeping the pool area clean.
The indoor adventure centre has so many things for the younger and older children including a climbing wall, sky trail and climbing frames. We loved playing mini golf in here and Lucas made the most of the soft play area, the wooden climbing areas and the bouncy castle.
As well as the indoor play areas, we also played at two of the outdoor play areas that are located in the centre of the village near the shop and restaurants.
We don’t live in a hugely built up area so Lucas has plenty of countryside around him on a regular basis but watching Lucas the first time he walked into the woodland at Bluestone, you would have guessed he’d never seen a tree! He was so excited and every leaf, insect and branch he found seemed to amaze him. He absolutely loved exploring and there is plenty of opportunity for that here. For older children, there are high ropes, zip lines and tree climbing activities.
Cars are parked in the secure car park so Bluestone is incredibly pedestrian friendly and we made the most of this by walking everywhere. Everything was within a 15 minute walk, unless we ventured further into the woods but you can easily get to the Blue Lagoon, Adventure Centre, shops and restaurants on foot. There are bikes you can hire too and also electric buggies. If you do want to rest your legs, there is a free shuttle bus throughout the day.
There are nine places you can get something to eat. We ate at The Knights Tafarn a couple of times and the Blue Lagoon Cafe. The food in both places was really good but we were particularly impressed with the food at The Knights Tafarn.
We prebooked for Smokey Joes Shindig at Camp Smokey. The food here was a let down and what could potentially be such a great night, wasn’t. They have an incredible backdrop with it being set in the Steep Raveen woodland but it was let down unfortunately with cheap food, queuing up for it to be slopped on our plates with no interaction from the staff serving.
We also prebooked for Blackbarts Dinner Show. This was in the Wildwood cafe in the Adventure Centre. The food again wasn’t great but it wasn’t inedible either. The show however, was great fun. The pirate and his mates interacted so well with everyone and went round all the tables several times. They encouraged the children to join in from the start to the end.
We had such a lovely week and I would definitely return. There is so much to do and you don’t need to spend loads of prebooking activity’s, there is plenty to explore both inside and outside without spending money x