If you’ve been following my social media, you will know that recently we were invited to stay at Bluestone Wales in Pembrokeshire. The resort is situated on the edge of Bluestone National park, which is absolutely beautiful. The resort is surrounded by a mixture of dense woodland, open fields and the Pembrokeshire coast, so there is a lot to explore.
The Bluestone Wales resort itself is amazing and very family friendly. Cars aren’t allowed on site after arrival, so once we had unloaded the car we had to take it to the long stay car park near the entrance of the site. It was really nice not having to worry about Bear running around and meant that we all had a lot of freedom when walking into the village. If we ever wanted to go on a trip somewhere, there wasn’t any fuss at all in collecting the car. We just walked up to the long stay car park and drove to wherever we wanted to go.. as long as it was off site obviously.
The lodges themselves are great. We had a three bedroom lodge, with the master bedroom on the top floor. I was really worried before we arrived about the staircase being open and the boys having an accident. I even contemplated packing a stair gate, but when we arrived we noticed that the stairs already had a stair gate attached both at the top and bottom of the stairs. We were also provided with a travel cot, which saved on space in the car as well.
The lodge is quite open plan, which is a commodity we don’t have at home. It was lovely to make our lunches and dinner while still being able to interact with the children. It felt very much like a home away from home as well, which made the whole trip very relaxing.
On our first day, we went to explore the resort and found a beautiful lake, teaming with wildlife. We all had a great time watching the ducks and seeing all of the different birds flying around. We noticed there were a lot of bug houses around as well and Bear loved looking for different bugs in them… although we didn’t actually see any.
The lodges are laid out around the village, which includes a number of restaurants, the spa, a play area and the village shop. The village shop is slightly expensive and there wasn’t a great selection of fruit and veg, but there is enough to get you through the week comfortably. Although by the end of the week, I was really craving some healthy fruit and vegetables.
The play area is great for younger children and was clearly very popular with all of the children. Bear was in his element climbing through the treehouse and couldn’t get enough of the toddler play park.
The weather wasn’t always great when we were there, but there is an indoor play area on site, which included a baby ball pit, a toddler soft play, a play area for older children, a bouncy castle, mini golf (Bear didn’t quite get the concept, but he loved collecting all the golf balls), indoor mini diggers (Bear wasn’t a fan of these so Mr.C had a go instead) and rock climbing. This is also where they hold a few of the classes and excursions. We took part in Tawny tales, which is a puppet show with sensory elements and The Secret Village, which is an outdoor trail.
This is a really great activity for younger babies and younger children. When we booked on, we were told it would be great for Bear, but if I’m honest he was possibly slightly too young. It was still a great thing to go to though and he was fascinated by the puppets. I could see the cogs in his head turning as he was trying to work out where the voice was coming from.
The show was in a little cabin lit up with fairy lights. To get into the cabin, you have walk through a little walkway covered with pretend ivy. There are lots of clocks hanging through the walkway, which helped to distract Bear who was a bit apprehensive to go in at first. During the show, one of the entertainers who is dressed up as fairy tells a story, which is broken up by several activities such as finding leaves to put in a wishing well, catching bubbles and dancing in fake snow blasted out by the snow machine, while ‘Let is Go’ played. The entertainer was amazing and helped encourage all the children to take part, which is so important when working with younger children.
The Secret Village
We actually stumbled on the trail to the secret village before our excursion, so we explored it on our own.
The Secret Village Trail is in some woodland at the edge of resort. There is a willow walkway at the start, which leads to various different parts of the trail. We walked across some tree stumps and had a great time trying to only walk on the stumps without falling off and Oliver loved hobbit town, where we called down the pipes to see if the hobbits were home. I put on a grumpy voice and shouted “Come back later”, which made Bear giggle.
There was also a storytelling circle underneath a structure of willow, which we sat down in and told a few short stories between us. Troll bridge was good fun and we stomped across to try and get the troll to come out, although we think he had gone on holiday that day. We also found some tambourines, which Bear loved playing with and eventually we came to the fairy village. It was so well done, with lots of different willow structures covering separate fairy gardens, it has inspired us to make our own little fairy garden at home.
After all of that exploring, Bear fell asleep and so we actually missed the activity itself, but I would recommend going on it. It would be a great activity for children to do as a group.
Blue Lagoon water park
Blue Lagoon water park is free for Bluestone Wales visitors to use. It is designed with children in mind, with separate areas for different age ranges. Monkey loved sitting in the rockery area and Bear loved splashing around in the toddler cove and spinning the ship wheel.
There is another area designed to look like a sunken ship, with water pouring from pipes through the ship’s roof. There are also buckets to fill up using a lever and you can then tip the buckets up, so that the water pours out into the pool again.
The main pool is designed like a sloping beach, with waves every 30 minutes. I took Monkey in his little swim seat before the waves turned on and got a bit of a shock when they started. They got pretty big, pretty quickly, so my advice is to check at what time they start before taking younger children in the main pool.
Connected to the main pool is the lazy river, which we took both the boys down. It is surprising warm considering part of it goes outside and there are water jets and a mini waterfall from the overspill of separate pool going into it, which Bear really enjoyed.
There are also large water slides for older children and adults to enjoy too, so I would really recommend a visit to Blue Lagoon during your visit to Bluestone Wales.
Thing to do off site
The coastline of Pembrokeshire is beautiful and there are areas that are great for stargazers. Obviously on a family holiday, we didn’t do a lot of stargazing, but we did take a trip to Saundersfoot beach, where we had a great time collecting shells, making sandcastles, watching the boats and taking a stroll along the sand. Saundersfoot Beach wasn’t too far away from Bluestone Wales, so was a lovely afternoon trip.
On the Friday, before we set off home, we took a trip to Folly Farm, Adventure Park and Zoo. Bear loves visiting Chester zoo when we are at home, but he particularly liked the zoo animals here. The enclosures are slightly smaller than those at bigger zoos, but they are kept incredibly well and the animals look very healthy and content, which is always nice to see.
All the enclosures have amazing viewing platforms and windows, which mean you can get really up close. Bear particularly liked the lions, penguins and giraffes. Having the farm animals there as well was great for Elijah, who was fascinated by the chickens and horses. There were a lot of activities and play areas dotted around, including a toy tractor park and a vintage fair. It would have been nice to stay slightly longer to be honest, so I would recommend setting a whole day aside for this trip.
We had such a lovely time at Bluestone Wales and would like to thank them for such a lovely family holiday. There is so much to do and explore for adults and children of all ages, making it a perfect place for a family holiday. There just wasn’t enough time to do everything, so Bluestone Wales is a holiday spot you can visit again and again. We hope that Bluestone Wales becomes a strong part of our family memories. We’ve been recommending it to all of our family and friends since we got back and it turns out that a lot of people have booked to visit later in the year. Next time I think we will take some grandparents with us so we can check out that spa!
*Note: We were offered a four night mid-week stay at Bluestone Wales free of charge in return for an honest review.