Lesbemums: Bluestone: Our Week in Wales 2018
Arriving home shortly after our first visit to Bluestone last year, we were soon on the Bluestone website booking our next visit. We had such an amazing time when we visited that we wanted to do it all over again the following year. Bluestone is like nothing we’ve ever experienced, and as written previously, is one of the few ‘holiday parks’ where we enjoy (and prefer) to stay on site!
We decided to book for the same time as the previous year, not only because we found a great deal but because we wanted to take advantage of the fact that we can still travel with T during school time – meaning everything would be a lot quieter. Plus, Bluestone is stunning in the Autumn.
In addition to this post about our holiday, I’ve also shared a separate review of our accommodation, which you can find here.
Leaving just after 7am, we made good time and arrived for breakfast at around 8:30 and then to Wales just before check-in opened for us at 3:30pm! We had to do two stops prior as in comparison to last year, we now have to take into consideration toilet stops!
After unpacking and getting to grips with our upside down accommodation (you heard it right) we went and completed a food shop and then enjoyed one of three visits to one of the local eateries. For convenience and because they had battered halloumi we visited The Chippy! We were then very much ready for bed.
The accommodation was gorgeous, and because it was upside down it meant we had the most amazing views in the lounge area.
Technically day two, but we treated it like our first day, we took T on a tour of Bluestone using the Golf Buggy* that we had on loan for the week. We were going to go out, but because I was still tired from the drive we decided to take it easy and stay on-site. T loved riding around in the buggy as he obviously doesn’t get much time at the front of a vehicle so he had first had views 80% of the time (until Sharon wanted to ride at the front!).
Last year we were on foot, which was great for capturing views and hidden paths, but because the buggies looked a lot of fun we decided to do things differently this year. This made things a helluva lot quicker (obviously) especially when travelling back and forth between places that were a bit further afield such as the Blue Lagoon or the Adventure Centre. It meant we could squeeze in a lot more, or leave it until the last minute before needing to leave a location to go elsewhere. There was no need to reserve time for walking!
After a lazy breakfast, we spent most of the morning in the Adventure Centre where T played on the wooden treehouses and the soft play. In comparison to last year, T was a lot more adventurous, meaning Sharon and I were often left alone to read and have a coffee, however he’s now at an age where some bits (like the soft play) are a little small for him but the wooden play area is a little big or intimidating for him in certain places. Don’t get me wrong, he still enjoyed himself, but there were times where his eyes were more outgoing than his legs (cue me having to rescue T from a twisted slide with a queue forming at the top!). That being said, because he’s older than last year, Sharon got to share a favourite past time with T; Mini Golf!
After some lunch at the lodge, we then made our way to the Blue Lagoon for an afternoon of swimming. This is where we were really going to see the changes in T! Whereas last year he was happily diving in and out of the shallow ends of the main pool or splashing in the baby/toddler pools, this year he was throwing himself into the deeper ends; often fully submerging himself. He also loved the wave machine this year with Sharon and enjoyed going down the lazy river. I can’t wait until he’s old enough for the flumes!
After fully recovering from my drive on Monday, we decided to venture off-site and visit one of our favourite attractions; The Show Caves. Located near Swansea and approximately a 90 minute journey from Bluestone, we left just after 9am and arrived just after it opened at 10:30am. The drive to the caves is absolutely beautiful so we don’t mind the journey. Plus, we were going that way anyway as it was either the caves or the monkey sanctuary that day (both of which are located near to each other), but T chose the caves.
We spent a good part of a day here thanks to T wanting to explore more (he was a little scared last time we visited the caves) and the fact that there’s a lovely open farm attached to the site; with Llamas, Alpacas, and a variety of other farm animals, as well as the most amazing racing track for younger children. This place turned out to be a real treat. Entry to the farm is included in the price and meant T could have a proper run around before the journey back. We’d never actually been to the farm before, so it was nice experiencing something new. If you would like to find out more about both attractions, we’re going to be thoroughly reviewing both attractions separately soon.
As it was a long day, we thought we’d cash in on our second meal out of the week and visit the Farmhouse Grill. Although it was a little pricey to what we were used to in Sussex, the food was delicious and the atmosphere is incredibly welcoming and family friendly. Sharon had a gorgeous piece of brisket, I had salmon, and T had cheese and bacon pasta. Desserts were a must as we’d done so much walking (not that we need an excuse!).
Thursday was our last official day at Bluestone (although you’re invited to stay on site even after check-out) so we saved this day for our favourite activity. The woodland walk to Camp Smokey! If you don’t already know, Camp Smokey is an incredible log cabin that serves simple BBQ food within a cozy atmosphere, topped up with it’s very own log fire pit for toasting marshmallows. All whilst in the midst of dense woodland.
Because T is a proper walker now, we ventured ‘off-piste’ and followed the longer route of three routes; Green to Camp Smokey, Yellow for a longer walk, and Red for the longest route via some historic sites. That day we walked over 3km and spent a good few hours in the woods including at Camp Smokey. We left smelling of smoke with mud on our boots. It was wonderful.
Thursday was also when the Bwbach Festival was kicking off in the village, therefore after arriving back home, after squeezing in a quick swim, we made our way into the village to watch the entertainment. There was live music, party games, and even a few activities to get the children going. Last year there were pumpkin races, this year; Pumpkin Skittles! In no time it was incredibly dark, meaning it was time for us to make our way back to our lodge for our final sleep.
After packing our smokey clothes, muddy boots, and enough acorns and pinecones to create a forest, we slowly made our way out of Bluestone (after finding the last few scarecrows!). We contemplated staying on site a bit longer, but we decided to head to a local beach for some last minute exploring.
Tenby is around 30 minutes away from Bluestone, which meant by the time we checked out at 10:30am (we literally left it until the very last minute!) we were in and walking around Tenby by 11:30am. Surprisingly, the weather was glorious, so after a walk around the town we spent the rest of the morning and some of the afternoon on the beach. We’d packed a picnic so ate it amongst the sand and played in the sea in wellies! It was the perfect end to our holiday and made the journey home a lot easier to swallow.
As you can probably tell, Bluestone is one of our happy places. The atmosphere is warm and friendly and there is always something to see and do. Their motto is ‘Free Range Fun’ and I completely believe this. Our evenings often consisted of board games or reading, or simply going for an evening drive around the park. It was glorious and incredibly relaxing. Even though I had phone signal, I rarely had the urge to use it. It was bliss.
*We paid for our holiday to Bluestone, however were lucky enough to have a golf buggy on loan to us, courtesy of Bluestone, during our stay so we could explore the resort from a new perspective.