Sunday 21 July 2019

Bluestone *The Highlights*

Ad {gifted stay} We have not long returned from the beautiful Bluestone Wales which is nestled in the gorgeous Pembrokeshire. This is our second visit which we are very thankful for as we had another great time memory making as a family. We adore Bluestone, it really is a wonderful family get away, the only thing is 4 days is never enough! You can read my original reviews here (part 1) and here (part 2) and there was a part 3 but for some reason I can't seem to access it but I will make sure this is a nice and concise post for anyone looking to visit. Rather than me repeating things I thought I would write a 'highlights' post as we definitely made the most of our time whilst we were there and I am going to sum it up in this post.

Just to briefly sum up our accommodation as you can read more in the links provided above, we stayed in a Gateholm Lodge which is upside down living, it consists of a double and ensuite and 2 twin rooms and a family bathroom on the downstairs. The upstairs is an open plan living room and kitchen/diner which is brilliantly equipped. The double doors open fully so you can immerse yourself into the beautiful countryside views. We were so lucky with the weather this year also, beautiful sunny days which was great.

This year we made the decision to hire a golf buggy for the duration of our stay which I have to admit, is not a cheap spend as it will set you back £95. You can pick up your buggies once in Bluestone and use the charging points around the park to charge them up. This is, hands down the best money we spent and it definitely enhanced our visit, we were able to see much more of Bluestone than previously and it was great to be able to drive the kids around without having to worry about tired little legs! If we were to visit Bluestone again I would definitely book a golf buggy. It is worth mentioning these get booked super quickly so I would advise pre booking before you arrive. 

So as this is a highlight post, I want to share the best bits from our few days at Bluestone and what really made our stay. 

First up, the pool. The swimming pool at Bluestone aka The Blue Lagoon is fantastic. There is exclusive use for Bluestone guests early morning meaning it is much quieter than later in the day. There are four water slides of varying speeds, scariness etc and Alfie was delighted this year as he was tall enough to go on all of them. He even managed to convince me to go on one....twice and overcome a HUGE fear, although I am still a scaredy cat and was shaking when I reached the bottom but it was pretty fun. Elarna wasn't tall enough but perhaps next time? The lazy river is particularly enjoyable and the wave machine is fun. The only thing that we were disappointed about and it really is a small thing is they had a total wipeout esque inflatable in the pool for guests to use which meant the wave machine wasn't on until 11am when it opened for general use and then later in the week the wave machine was out of order so we didn't get to experience it much at all which was a shame. We really enjoyed our morning pool trip especially as heading down on the golf buggy with our stuff and the kids made the whole experience less stressful!

Camp Smokey - This was somewhere that I wanted to go to the first time we visited but never made it in the end. I was determined this year to go and explore Bluestone more and Camp Smokey was top on my list. Situated near the steep ravine (near all the big zip wires and high ropes), Camp Smokey is where you can head to for a bit of a shin dig and pre set dinner (I think in the later part of the day), we head down to toast some marshmallows over the fire pit, enjoy some s'mores and have a cheeky little drink! It was a fabulous couple of hours. 

The Nature Trail - This was a bit of an impromtu decision to have a walk while we were waiting for our dinner reservation. Through the woods you can walk and find the fairies waiting for you in the gathering, the little fairy garden inspired me to make my own when we got home! There are also woodland bugs to spot and although we didn't make it the whole way round it was a really lovely way to spend 30 minutes or so. Be aware though it is a bit bumpy and stoney so might be a tricky for pushchairs to get around or those that have limited mobility. 

The Adventure Centre - When we visited to adventure centre last time it was such a hit we knew we'd go again. This time I paid for Alfie to do the sky trail while in the centre, this is aimed at children around 6+ and those unable to go on the really big zip wires and high ropes. It cost about £8.00 (I think!) and you just have to turn up between the hours of 10am - 5pm when the centre is open, there is not a time restriction on it either so the child can go at their own pace. It's basically a smaller version of the go ape style things, suspended at a height within the centre. Alfie loved it, he was a little bit nervous at times but the staff were there every step of the way with encouragement and advice and he completed it and was beaming afterwards. It was well worth booking! There are lots of things to do in the centre, notably the great wooden play equipment which is brill! There is also mini golf and inflatables and several old school type amusements where you can try your hand at the grab machines, slot machines etc. We really like it in there,  there is also the cafe situated here but I can't comment on the food as we didn't order anything. 

The Tournament - The theme recently at Bluestone has been sort of wizards and medieval. On the Thursday evening before we left we were very lucky to catch the tournament on the large tournament field. This was brilliant, the guys playing the knights were fantastic and put on a great show, it was such a brilliant ending to our Bluestone stay. I really enjoyed all the themed touches that were around Bluestone this visit, I don't remember it the first time we visited. 

The restaurants - There are plenty of eating and drinking places within Bluestone, should we be lucky enough to return I would love to do the Camp Smokey shindig which sounds such a lot of fun. We ate at the Farmhouse Grill (2nd time eating there) and we also tried The Oak Tree which is a pizzeria. We prefer The Oak Tree, there is lots of choice and the food is pretty decent, the cocktails are pretty nice too! The pizza restaurant is ok but I would say there are some strange choices of pizzas, there didn't seem to be any 'normal' or simple pizzas on the menu but they were happy to take requests which did make our life a little easier. Overall both good though and family orientated which is great. 

We just love Bluestone, there is something so relaxing and peaceful about the situation of the resort, the only problem is that 4 nights just isn't enough! Both times we have visited we have never been ready to leave which obviously says alot about the place. I can highly recommend and if you are looking for a place to stay in Wales and for free range fun my first stop would be Bluestone. 

So to sum it up Bluestone is the place to go for fresh air, family fun, an enjoyable atmosphere and memory making. We can't wait to return one day!

* Please note we were kindly gifted the accommodation in exchange for an honest and unbiased review, all thoughts are my own and all other activities and experiences featured we have paid for ourselves.

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