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.
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.
Leaving just after 6am, we learnt very quickly that Monday is probably the worst day to travel via the M25. Not only was it busy, but we got caught in quite a bit of traffic related to accidents! Nevertheless, we got through it, albeit a bit delayed, and got to our first stop around 10am and then to Wales by lunchtime!
We had a 4:30pm check-in, so we had some time to meet up with some friends in Tenby and grab a bite to eat. Thanks to the later check-in, it gave us some time to also do the food shop, which was located just down the road, and by the time we’d finished it meant that we got to Bluestone around 5pm.
After unpacking in our lodge for the week, we then moved our cars (cars are only permitted around the site during certain times of the day so have to be left in the car park outside of these times – but I’ll write more about the site later). The journey back therefore gave us a wonderful opportunity to explore the site!
Despite the long day, I was buzzing – I’d never seen place like it. It was stunning. There were gorgeous views, bug hotels, even a hand crafted dragon! I could see it was a haven for little explorers and I got a real family-friendly feel to it.
What’s more, thanks to the on-site village, is that I didn’t feel like I was on a holiday park. I felt like I was at home.
As Monday was such a long day, we decided to spend the day exploring the site as well as find out about the facilities and activities available. We had an array of ages with us, so we wanted to see what Bluestone had to offer.
Our accommodation was nicely placed near the village (not that you’d know – it was so quiet!) so we didn’t have far to walk before we found somewhere to explore.
Starting with the play parks, we spent a good chunk of our morning in the main play park, however there was also a treehouse style play area that also housed a smaller park for younger children. After playtime, we then carried on our tour of the site and even found some old ruins – sadly these were off limits!
It’s natural to head up hill at Bluestone, so we did and ended ups at the adventure centre. If you’re not too keen on hills you can also hire golf buggies, or travel on the land rain that travels throughout the park every 30 minutes. We used the land train quite a bit to get to the Blue Lagoon as it was quite a distance and I didn’t fancy a tired toddler before we even managed to get to the pool!
I’ll write about The Adventure Centre in more detail soon, but it’s basically this fantastic centre for indoor activities. For older children, there’s The Sky Trail or Wall Climbing, or for younger children there’s Soft Play, a Bouncy Castle, or Discovery and Adventure zones that are these gigantic wooden structures. There’s also a circus zone, free mini golf, and a cafe.
As expected, T found a trike and lived on that the majority of the time, but when I did manage to get him into the soft play and discovery zone he had tons of fun!
After having some lunch at the lodge (although I was really tempted to buy something on site as the sofas we’re so comfy), we then headed to the Blue Lagoon for the afternoon!
If you hadn’t guessed already, the Blue Lagoon is this enormous swimming and water park that houses a handful of flumes (one of which goes outside!), a large pool with wave machine, a lazy river, and two smaller pools for younger ones or those that aren’t so confident. There’s also an outside pool (although it was a little chilly for us).
After a tour of the @bluestonewales site (and we’re not even done yet – we’re still yet to explore the woods and Camp Smokey!) we decided to spend the afternoon at the Blue Lagoon, which is this EPIC swimming arena; full of water flumes, a lazy river, and even a wave machine! T had so much fun here and certainly put his water skills to the test when the waves started! At one point he even threw himself into deeper water than usual and enjoyed just floating on his stomach, blowing bubbles and spurting water. We had the best time and I was shocked to see everything he’s learnt actually come into play! #BluestoneWales
This was definitely the highlight of the day as not only is the place fantastic, but I really got to see T’s swimming skills in action. If he wasn’t jumping into the pool, he was throwing himself onto his stomach. He also enjoyed swimming with his mama down the lazy river.
After the previous day of exploring on-site, we decided to take a change of scenery and go off site and visit one of our favourite attractions; Folly Farm. Annoyingly, it was our only day of real, heavy rain, but we carried on as we wanted to save the dry days for other activities and there is also a huge selection of indoor things to see and do.
We love Folly Farm and will definitely be dedicating another post entirely about our day, but if you’re in the area I highly recommend visiting. It’s not only a farm, but it’s also a zoo, an adventure park, and vintage fun fair. It also has an array of arcades and a large play arena.
The rain eventually got the better of us (and the animals) so we missed a few of the enclosures, but it meant we spent a lot more time on the rides and the indoor areas. We’ll no doubt visit again when we come back to the area!
After getting home and cooking dinner,, me and Sharon then decided to leave T in the capable hands of our friends whilst we enjoyed some alone time at the on-site tavern. Note to self: Don’t drink the local cider too fast – you’ll be drunk before you know it.
Within no time it was our last day, so we decided to head to Camp Smokey after hearing so much about it from friends. Located in the woods, I knew it would be our kind of place, but what we soon realised was it was also the place for camp fire food and treats. We started from the village and went via the lake – which was a find in itself. Due to timings we didn’t get time to walk around it, but it’s ready on our list of things to explore next time.
Entering the woods via the wild mushroom patches and fairy doors, we were quickly immersed into dense woodland that looked like something from a fantasy novel. It just didn’t look real, especially with the free-flowing streams and wildlife. It was absolutely stunning. I couldn’t believe this was on our doorstep.
After a genuinely relaxing walk through the woods and many puddles, we reached Camp Smokey and treated ourselves to lunch and a well-deserved pint! If you don’t know, Camp Smokey is this gorgeous log cabin that is home to camp fire food. It also offers a variety of treats that you can cook yourself over their very own fire pit.
After my five bean chilli, I got us all a round of s’mores. Sharon had a piggy dog, and T had a child’s portion of chilli. For his treat, he had a fruit platter with doughnuts and chocolate dip – although he seemed quite happy to share my marshmallows!
After properly filling ourselves up, we then made our way home back to the lodge. After a light dinner, we then headed out to the village to watch the Bwbach Festival and Parade. This is where we saw pumpkin races and hooplas, listened to live music, and generally soaked up the Bluestone Village atmosphere. There may have also been a cheeky pint whilst T enjoyed his last few moments in the play park.
Reluctantly going back to the lodge for the first time, we then packed our bags and got ready for our departure.
Check-out was at 10am, so we were packed and out the door by 9:59am. Squeezing in the last few bits of Bluestone, we visited the local cafe and purchased some supplies for the car (that may have only lasted to the end of the road).
We still weren’t quite ready to go home yet so we decided to head into Cardiff for the morning. Sadly still short on time, we ventured onto a local tour bus to get the most out of Cardiff and see all the sights. Here we saw parts of Cardiff Castle, the docks, the BBC studios where they filmed Dr. Who, and a number of stunning buildings related to the arts.
Next time we visit we will most definitely be adding Cardiff onto places to visit in full.
As I hope you can probably tell, we had an amazing time in Wales and at Bluestone. T had fun being active everyday, not to mention playing with an array of friends and family. The weather wasn’t that bad and there was so much to see and do, although I don’t think we’ve seen or done it all yet.
There’s nothing quite like it (that we’ve been to anyway), and we’ve pretty much been converted to visit Bluestone every time we now want to visit Wales. So much so, that Sharon has already placed a deposit down for next year!
As mentioned, I’m going to be writing more about our stay at Bluestone – from things to do on site, to the accommodation – so stick around and find out whether Bluestone is the place for you too!
We received a 4-night complimentary stay at Dinas Lodge at Bluestone, Wales in exchange for a n honest review, however all thoughts and opinions are our own.