Last week, we had the opportunity to spend five days at Bluestone National Park Resort. To us, this was so much more than a review. It was a much needed break, and our very first holiday as a family. I took far too many photos and have too much to write about to put it all in one blog post, so over the next few days I will be sharing our thoughts and experiences of the park, and what we got up to. In this post, I’m going to give you a rundown of what Bluestone is, where it is, and our first impressions.
Bluestone is a 5* rated holiday park set in the beautiful Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, close to Tenby. It spans 500 acres and has almost 300 luxury lodges, cottages and studio apartments, with another 60 lodges being built this summer.
On site there is a huge water park, called the Blue Lagoon, which is free for residents to use. There is also an indoor adventure centre, soft play room, spa, walking and cycle routes, and a village with shops, pubs, bakery, restaurant and play area. Around all this is acres of grass where playing and fun is very much encouraged!
The park also offers plenty of organised activities, such as pond dipping, treasure hunts, messy play etc. These are all additionally priced, and we chose not to do any of them – organised activities aren’t really our thing, and we knew we wanted to make the most of the surrounding area. However, if the weather wasn’t great, these would be brilliant for keeping the kids amused.
We arrived at the park just before 10am after a leisurely four hour drive from Birmingham. We were able to park the car in the long stay car park and use the facilities before checking into the lodge at 4.30pm. Other than unloading and loading the car at check in and check out, cars aren’t allowed on the site. We were lucky to have a lodge in the Presali View area, which was a five minute walk from the car park and five minutes from the village centre. If you had accommodation in one of the further areas you would probably want to consider hiring one of the golf buggies for around £80 a week – there is an awful lot of walking and lots of hills!
We went over to the Adventure Centre, which was heaven for Harrison and Alex. It’s a huge indoor adventure playground, bouncy castle, soft play area and mini golf course where you could easily spend hours. There are big squashy sofas to sit and relax on whist the kids burn off some energy. Upstairs there is the Circus Zone – a soft play room which all three boys loved.
We grabbed some brunch in the Wildwood Cafe which overlooks the playground. It was really lovely in there, with a tree house and den for the kids to play in, and twinkly fairy lights. The whole cafe is situated around a magical 20ft tree. It cost just under £30 for all five of us to have an all you can eat breakfast buffet, which had cooked breakfast items, fruit, yoghurt, cereal, pastries, hot drinks and juices.
After brunch, we went back to the car and dug out the bag with our swimming stuff and towels, and headed up to the Blue Lagoon water park. This huge park features a wave machine, a lazy river, two flumes, bubble pools, a toddler and baby pool, loungers and a poolside snack bar. I didn’t get any photos inside, but it was fab! The kids, who have only gone swimming a couple of times absolutely loved it. We took it in turns in taking them around the river, and I was so proud of them all – Harrison loved the big waves, Alex was happy on his tummy kicking his arms and legs in a swimming motion, and Ben almost dozed off in the bubble pool in the baby area. The only downside was because of ratios, we couldn’t all go in the main part together – one of us had to stay with two of the kids in the baby pool whilst the other one took one of the kids into the big pool. It was a little annoying, but I totally understand the safety reasoning behind it.
Once we were all dried off and dressed, we took a wander down to the village, admiring the absolutely stunning views along the way. We needed to pick up some bits and pieces so we could have a drink when we checked into the lodge. We expected the shop to be expensive, but it wasn’t, and had everything we needed. We even managed to buy a pack of dummies and avoid disaster after losing the only one we brought with us!
At 4.30pm, we got back to the car and joined the queue of cars checking into the lodges. You’ll have to wait and see what we thought of our lodge tomorrow – it’s worth a whole post of it’s own!
Alex had napped in the car, so he was full of beans and excited to explore the lodge. Harrison had only dozed once since 4.30am, so we made him a little bed on the sofa. He went to sleep at 5pm, and only waking up briefly to put his pjs on and go the bedroom. Graham popped back down to the village with Alex to get something for dinner. Bluestone is self catering. We ummed and ahhed about stopping off at a supermarket on the way down and picking up some bits, but decided to wait and see what was available at the park. He brought back a Chinese takeaway meal in a box, which was reasonably priced. We sat outside on the patio and enjoyed our meal whilst admiring the views!
Once the kids were all tucked up in bed, I ran myself a lovely deep bubble bath in one of the 3 bathrooms. Pure heaven!
We’d been up since 3am, so by 9.15 we were in bed asleep! Tomorrow, I’ll be sharing lots of photos of the lodge with you.
* We were invited to Bluestone for 4 nights in return for an honest and unbiased review.