Over the last few years, I’ve heard amazing things about Bluestone, a luxury family friendly holiday resort in South Wales with an emphasis on outdoor fun. Bluestone is nestled in the rolling hills of Pembrokeshire, a stunning part of the world full of forests and beaches.
I’ve heard Bluestone’s praises sung both by fellow bloggers and from several family friends who make the trip there each year. Back in November, we were offered the opportunity to plan a trip to Bluestone to review the resort and share our experience. To say I was happy is a major understatement, I couldn’t wait! We booked our stay for May, the week of Luisa’s second birthday.
We opted to fly into Bristol from Belfast International Airport as the flight times into Cardiff didn’t suit and would have cut our trip short at both ends. Bristol Airport is actually only 30 minutes further away from Bluestone so it was no hardship. We hired a car at the airport which, to be honest, was a real nightmare but we got sorted eventually and set off for Pembrokeshire. The drive is simply glorious, it was a beautiful day and the roads are first rate the whole way.
In future, we plan to take the Ferry instead so that we can have the comfort of our own car. Now that Matt’s seen the area he can’t wait to go back in his own little nippy Ford ST.
You’re welcome to enjoy the resort from 11am on check in day but as it’s a car free resort you need to leave your car parked up. You’ll then be allowed to take your car directly to your lodge between 3 and 4.30, depending on which lodge you’re staying in. The staff and very helpful and relaxed so you’re welcome to unload at your leisure that evening, so long as the car is returned to the car park that night.
Because we arrived in at about 1pm we decided to first explore the local area and enjoy the sunshine before getting some groceries. This meant we’d be able to take them all to the lodge in the car and not have to carry lots of bags of shopping later in the week.
There’s a range of lodges on the site which are carefully arranged to ensure each area has a different vibe and that there aren’t row upon row of similar looking buildings. Each ‘development’ has a different name which makes it much easier to find your way around and brings a nice Welsh touch. All of the lodges are well spaced out, set back from the road and have grassy areas on each side. The careful planning that the team put into the layout meant I really didn’t feel like we were at your traditional holiday park.
Even though we went as a 3 I knew we’d be having friends join us for part of the trip so we opted for a 3 bedroom lodge. We found ourselves in Gateholm Lodge within the Preseli View development. It’s a really short walk from the car park and about 5 minutes from the little village which is the hub of Bluestone. The swimming pool and adventure centre are a bit further away so if you’ve got a couple of kids and all the associated ‘gear’ I’d advise hiring a golf cart.
Our lodge was what they call ‘upside down’ so the living area is on the top floor, affording you beautiful views across the valley. We found it the lodge to be really comfortable, you can see it in much more detail in my video but in short – the beds were fab, the bathrooms top class and there’s tonnes of natural light.
As I said, after our first two days in Bluestone we had friends join us. Fellow blogger and Bluestone regular Leanne of Slice of My Life Wales came to stay with her husband and daughter Aria, much to Luisa’s delight!
The lodges are really well equipped for kids with stair gates, baths, travel cots, highchairs and kids TV channels. The only small criticism I have is that there are no cupboard locks which, in the open plan kitchen diner, got a bit tiresome with two toddlers running around. Of course, all the lodges are configured differently so if you have a crawling baby you might want to choose one where the kitchen is entirely separate from the living space.
There’s so much to do for all ages that you really don’t need to leave Bluestone unless of course, you want to. We spent most of our trip on site and had an absolute blast. Luisa really loved the freedom afforded to her at Bluestone, because it’s car free she was able to roam about to her hearts content. The weather was really fantastic during our stay so we spent most of our time outdoors exploring some of the trails and playing in the park. Unfortunately, the little kids play area was being redeveloped at the time but Lu is full of ambition and loved playing in the main park area.
I’ll be totally honest, we’re not really an organised activity kind of family but we wanted to get the full Bluestone experience so we booked tickets to one of the shows. From memory, it cost about £7 for Luisa and we accompanied her for free. Lu adored the entertainment and music so it was definitely time and money well spent.
No trip to Bluestone is complete without a swim, the Blue Lagoon water park is beyond compare. I’ve honestly never been to a cleaner, safer or more fun swimming pool. I’m only sorry we didn’t go every day. Of course, I couldn’t take photos inside so you’ll just have to go and see for yourself – I’m confident you’ll love the lazy river and wave machine! The baby area is great too and there are loads of lifeguards so we felt really relaxed and safe.
If the sun isn’t shining whilst you’re at Bluestone there’s still lots of indoor fun to be had. As well as various kids clubs there’s a large ‘Adventure Centre’ which is basically an enormous soft play and amusement centre featuring mini-golf, bouncy castles, high ropes course and climbing frames. I love how Bluestone kept the outdoorsy vibe here by using wood to make all the climbing frames and slides.
We did decide to explore off-site on a day trip to both Tenby and a local farm – Clerkenhill Adventure Farm. Both are glorious in their own way and I’d heartily recommend you check them out – more on them in another post.
Honestly, I could go on all day about how much of a fantastic time we had whilst staying at Bluestone. I’ll pop my video below which I think really gives a flavour of what it’s like in the park. If you’re thinking about booking a break and have any questions do leave me a comment or tweet me @hibabyblog and I’ll be happy to help.
I’m going to write another couple of posts about Bluestone including attractions in the local area but do have a read of these posts below from other Bluestone loving bloggers.
- For a really in-depth look at the Grassholm lodge check out this post from Leanne.
- To find out more about dining at Camp Smokey (amazing) you can watch Eildh’s video here.
- Lauren answers your burning questions in her post ‘Everything You Need To Know About Bluestone’
- If you’d like to see how you can ‘do’ Bluestone on a budget you can read another post from Leanne all about it.
- Holly wrote about her most precious memories from her Bluestone stay – maybe you’ll make some similar ones..?
- Hannah visited Bluestone at Christmas and did it all on a shoestring budget so she’s got some great tips on how to save money whilst you’re there.