Whenever we go on holiday, we don’t often spend much time on site as we like to spend our holiday exploring the local area. We’re usually up and out the door early and then not back until late afternoon. We certainly don’t think about doing any activities, watching any of the shows, or eating on site.
Although we’re often too busy or tired, over the years we’ve found that the food on site isn’t always that great and the entertainment is somewhat lacking in… entertainment! For us, the main purpose of the resort is to eat and sleep comfortably in our accommodation, as well as maybe do a bit of shopping or spend a few pennies in the arcade (who doesn’t?).
We may spend an hour walking around the park if it’s a particularly pretty one, or pop to the pool for an hour before it closes, but generally we just go back and forth between our caravan because, to be honest, the facilities aren’t always that great.
However, when we went to Bluestone last month it opened our eyes somewhat to how facilities on holiday resorts can/should be, and it instantly changed our feelings towards them. In comparison to other sites we’ve visited, the facilities were clean and well maintained, and the staff were attentive and very professional. A definite difference to places we’ve visited in the past!
Getting around the site is easy with the help of the land train or personal buggy hire that you can hire per day or for the week. If you’re on foot, the site is car free most of the time which makes travelling around safe. There’s also an array of pretty paths to follow if you want to stay off the road.
Based in the centre of the resort, The Village is home to a coffee shop and ice cream parlour, various play areas, a pub and takeaway, a restaurant, a mini supermarket, and a small clothing and kids toy shop. There’s also a spa on site with it’s own exclusive cafe. The only thing I found bizarre was that there wasn’t a laundrette on site – although there is 48 hour turn-around service via guest services in the event of an emergency!
The Village is the hub of all entertainment, but at the same time isn’t somewhere you have to go if you don’t want to. It’s surrounded by housing so you even if you’re located near by it doesn’t feel like you’re near a complex or similar. It really does look and feel like a village and really does put children at the forefront.
There are a variety of shopping opportunities on site at Bluestone. Newton Stores offers a wide selection of food, drink, and household items, as well as gifts for the family. Prior to arriving you also have the option to book a pre-packed food and essentials hamper! Saving you time if you can’t go food shopping immediately.
There’s also The Brook and Oak Trading that sells a wonderful selection of child and adult clothing (including Frugi!!) as well as tons of gorgeous children’s toys.
Food & Drink
You have two main restaurants on site; the Oak Tree restaurant and the Farm House Grill, but you also have food at The Knights Tafarn for gorgeous pub food, the Wildwood Cafe at The Adventure Centre, Caffi Mor at The Well Spa, The Fish Shack at The Blue Lagoon, as well as The Chippy just up from the village in its own dedicated van! There’s also the coffee shop and ice cream parlour at Ty Coffi that sells a variety of food from soups and baguettes to breakfast and sweet treats!
Plus, there’s also the infamous Camp Smokey that serves the most amazing camp fire food and toasting treats.
We dedicated a whole day to Camp Smokey as it’s literally nestled in the middle of the woods. You certainly don’t want to go away empty handed after the journey to Camp Smokey, so make sure you dedicate enough time (and belly room) for it – it’s well worth it!
We sadly didn’t get round to eating at any of the other restaurants during our stay, which was probably one of my biggest regrets; as it always smelt so good as we walked by and the menus looked so inviting. We’ll definitely be reserving some time to eat out on our next visit.
One of the only “fun” places we didn’t have time to visit during our stay was The Village Hall, which is the home to family shows, pantomimes, and children’s parties. The Village Hall is located behind the restaurant within the village area, although is on a slight hill which means you don’t actually hear anything from the accommodation.
In addition to the entertainment at the Village Hall, you also have Live Music at The Tafarn or the Farmhouse Grill, as well as a Pub Quizzes and Games. We managed to sneak away one night and caught the last hour of the Live Music which took us back to pre-child days of relaxing in a pub by the fire. It was bliss.
There’s a reason Bluestone pride themselves for offering ‘Free Range Fun‘, as that’s exactly what you’ll get here. From swimming to tree climbing, there really is something for everyone, for all ages. *Although most areas are free to enter for guests, there are some specialist activities that do cost a bit extra and do require booking in advance for. You can find out more here.
The Adventure Centre
Located near the entrance, The Adventure Centre is jam packed with things to do here. As well as the main feature; the Wooden Climbing Arena, there’s also Bouncy Castles, Climbing Walls and Climbing Frames, Free Mini Golf, and the Circus Zone.
For little ones, there’s the Mini Rangers sessions, Baby sensory and Messy Play, as well as a small but decent Soft play! There’s also a reasonably priced on-site cafe so you can stay there comfortably for the day.
In addition, especially for the older ones, there’s a Sky Trail which takes you on a rope walk around the Adventure Centre high above the other activities.
The Blue Lagoon
The Blue Lagoon is probably where we spent most of our time whilst at Bluestone – even if it was only for an hour just before closing. The place is fantastic! If you’re not too keen on swimming though, don’t worry, there’s also a jacuzzi on the side of the pool, various spa pools, and a selection of seating and lounging areas.
Housing a number of flumes that also travel outside, the Blue Lagoon also has a wave machine, a lazy river, and rapids. In addition to the main pool area, there’s also a smaller shallow pool area as well as a baby pool. Enjoying the smaller pools is easy as they also have a number of interactive features as well as safe places to sit. T enjoyed running (safely) between the two and is where we saw his water confidence really shine through.
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
Facilities within the Blue Lagoon are on par with the rest of the site (ie. Brilliant). There’s a huge changing area, with optional family changing rooms, a large choice of lockers, as well as a drying area which was only £1 for three minutes!
There’s also a decent shop on site that sells everything from swimming costumes to goggles to swimming aids, as well as The Fish Shack that offers smaller items such as ice creams, sandwiches, and hot and cold drinks.
On the way to Camp Smokey is where you’ll find The Steep Ravine, which the home of high wires, tree climbing, and zip wires – with some located a good 60ft off the ground. Located at base camp is where you’ll also find Woodland Warriors – a laser combat style activity.
Whilst eating at Camp Smokey, it was really fun to see children and big kids soaring through the trees or taking on the various tree top obstacle courses. It looked really exciting!
Tournament Field & Lake
As you exit the Steep Ravine, the Tournament Field is right next door. Here is where you can take part in Archery, Crossbow, and Laser Clay Shooting. On the lake is also the place to learn kayaking and raft building!
Free Range Fun
Staying at Bluestone meant that we rarely needed (or wanted) to leave site, although we did for one day to visit our favourite farm! There is so much to see and do; catering for a huge range of ages, not to mention good facilities on site. With this in mind though, I would certainly set aside some extra cash to accommodate any extra activities you may wish to do as a lot of them do cost (some quite a bit more than others) and could easily add up over the period of your stay.
Nevertheless, if you’re happy to put some cash aside (and we will be when we return next year) Bluestone is definitely leaps ahead of other well-known resorts. If you’re still undecided though, there are loads of other helpful bloggers who have been to Bluestone and talked about the on-site activities. Here are a few of my favourites: Dear Bear and Beany (Sept 17), Then There Were Three ( Aug 17), Hi Baby Blog (Jul 17) , Mrs Mummy Harris (May 17), Our Fairytale Adventure (May 16), Laura’s Lovely Blog (Apr 15).
We were given complimentary stay at Bluestone as part of their bloggers programme, however all thoughts and opinions are our own.