Bluestone: Our Week in Wales.

Last week, we were invited to Wales to stay at the Bluestone resort – which was perfect timing as it was around this time a year ago that we stayed down the road in Tenby. To make things more exciting, we also invited some friends to stay with us.

We’ve never actually explored other resorts and have always stayed in places that rhyme with Raven, as that’s what we’ve always known and have done since both me and Sharon were young, so I was keen to see what other sites had to offer. I was also excited to visit Bluestone as we had already heard so much about it from friends and fellow bloggers.

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Over the next few weeks, I’m going to be sharing my thoughts on Bluestone, including our accommodation as well as what we did whilst on site, but for now I thought I’d share what we got up to whilst in Wales.

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Our Holiday to The Lake District

Over the week of my 30th birthday, Sharon booked a week’s holiday to The Lake District in an attempt to see the last few days of my 20’s in relaxation mode! Starting off as a secret, Sharon simply put the postcode into the sat nav and off we went! Some 4 hours over the expected 5 hour journey due to traffic problems we finally arrived in the Lake District!

We’ve never explored The Lake District, and to be honest the north of the country never really attracted us (apart from the most north location; Scotland – one day!). We’ve always headed to the west country as that’s where we’ve felt most at home, so the north was completely alien. Saying that, I did genuinely believe The Lake District was a lot lower than it was so I was pleasantly surprised when I found out how north it was – it’s certainly made me re think the north of England.

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Our Family Holiday to Wales

A few weeks, and what feels like a lifetime, ago we went on our second family holiday. This time, Wales was our location of choice. Our first family holiday was based in Cornwall and T was only six months old! How time has flown.

It was an early start on the Saturday, but once everything was packed it wasn’t long before T was fast asleep.


From Brighton it took just over six hours, with only two decent stops. It was actually a shorter (and easier, in my opinion) distance than Cornwall, suprisingly. The journey wasn’t as bad as I thought, although I only had last time to compare it to (last time wasn’t great). T slept for a good chunk of the way, only waking before our first stop, and then watched a film or read books for the remainder of the way. It definitely could have been worse, but he was a star by only really moaning once towards the end.

Arriving just after 4pm, we unpacked, did a quick food shop, grabbed some dinner and then went to bed! Our caravan was gorgeous – T really didn’t know what to make of it but enjoyed running up and down the corridors and hiding in bedrooms.

What’s lovely about going on holiday with T so young is that we get to keep most of our holiday traditions. We still get up early (thanks to T) and we still explore the local area and holiday park on the Sunday. We still eat naughty things (although still watched what T ate) and still played board games of an evening (once T has gone to bed).


On Monday we went to Folly Farm which is a wonderful farm and zoo. This was probably our wettest day, however packed for a monsoon we all had our raincoats on and T had his puddle suit on.

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Thanks to the rain, we pretty much had the place to ourselves. Our favourite parts were the penguin walkthroughs and the indoor farm area. We’ll definitely come back when we return to Wales.

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On Tuesday we explored Caves in the Brecon Beacons. I vividly remember coming here when I was young, so this was a lovely jump back in time. What made this special was that I was able to remember what the stalagmites and stalactites looked like back from when I was a child, so seeing what they looked like today got my science-nerd radar going.

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T wasn’t too keen on walking around here – maybe it was too dark or noisy – so we opted to carry/wear him for the majority of our tour of the caves, although he really enjoyed splashing in the rock pools inside the caves. Once outside though, he was more than happy to toddle off up the hills and go dino spotting!

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On Wednesday we went to Manor Wildlife Park which was quite literally a stone throws away from the holiday park. Feeling less like a zoo and more of an animal experience, with a majority of enclosures being walkthrough ones, we really enjoyed getting up close with some amazing animals (constantly holding a very touchy feely toddler back).


They had wallabies (that you could also feed), gibbons, and lemur walkthroughs, and wonderful Rhino, Camel, and Tiger enclosures. The place itself is also beautiful with a lot of the walking taking place in woodland.


On Thursday we went to Freshwater West which is the beach where part of Harry Potter and The Dealthy Hallows (Part 1) was filmed.


This was completely off piste, and not your usual tourist attraction, as it wasn’t at all sign-posted. It was only found when S found a bit of Wi-Fi and remembered that Wales was quite famous for film locations.

The beach was absolutely stunning and had miles upon miles of sand and sand dunes, volcanic rock, and other rock formations that housed several pools. I wanted to take all the pebbles home or at least collect all of the driftwood!

The beach is certainly frequented by locals – which is always a good sign. Before it started raining, I was lucky to be able to capture a few family shots and the natural beauty of Wales.

On Friday we explored Pembroke and its castle. As well as farms, we love a good castle. It’s made more enjoyable watching T clamber around the castle hallways, look outside the open windows, and simply listen to the sound of his own voice echoing.

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This was one of my favourite days as the weather was perfect. We were able to have a picnic outside (instead of the car or on the move) and Sharon and I were able to casually walk around the castle knowing T was safe toddling behind us (minus the steep, spiral staircases!).

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Saturday then came round and it was back to good old England. The journey home was pretty much the same as our journey going; with T sleeping for the majority of the way. He got a little tetchy towards the end, but then who wouldn’t be a little upset returning home from a lovely holiday?

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Back to normality, and my current task is clearing the massive washing pile that’s been created over the past week. The stash of welsh cakes and barabreth, however, is helping massively!

K

Our First Family Holiday 

We’ve been going to Cornwall every year since the wife and I got together. It was our place to escape. To relax. We’ve been to other parts of the West Country but Cornwall is and will always be our favourite. So naturally, when it came to having our first family holiday, we wanted to go to Cornwall.

It was a sudden booking as we’d already booked a holiday to Wales, but with S having a stressful time at work and not really having a proper family “break” since her paternity leave (if you can count it as a break), we needed to get away before our break to Wales.

After packing everything bar the kitchen sink we were ready to go. We left at 8am by the time T woke and had breakfast on the way. For a 6 hour journey we planned 2-3 stops depending on how T was, this seemed pretty reasonable as T is guaranteed to sleep whenever he’s in the car.

Our first two stops went according to plan – T had slept from home and between both stops. As we arrived at Exeter this is where it went a bit downhill. As we drove to our final destination, only a mere 90 minutes to go, T was getting fed up of being in the car seat. We were so close and yet so far. This then lead to lots of tears (from both parties), singing, and desperate attempts to keep T happy, but we finally arrived.

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We stayed in your typical holiday park caravan (as it tells us we’re definitely on holiday!) which we promptly made our own, and did something every day. We visited Lands End, Penzance, Paradise Park, St. Ives, and Cyder Farms. We gorged on cream teas, fudge, ice cream, and pasties. We also went swimming on site a few times. We had such a great time.

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The journey back was unfortunately hellish as we left a bit late which meant that we were still driving by the time T’s bedtime rolled round. This lead to us unpacking and repacking the car somewhere near Southampton so that S could keep T company in the back which worked.

We’ll certainly think about distance next time we go on holiday but nevertheless, we still had a great time and really didn’t want to go home!

K

We received no compensation for using the links in this post, we just think they’re great places to visit!