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Bluestone National Park Resort, Wales, Review

Bluestone National Park Wales Review,

If you follow me on Instagram you would have already seen a few of our recent holiday snaps from our stay in lovely Wales, but if you didn't - Adam, Ethan and I along with Ethan's Grandparents have very recently returned from what was a wonderful four night stay at Bluestone National Park Resort in Pembrokeshire. 

To be totally honest, it's funny because a good few years ago, a holiday of this kind wouldn't have been something I would have been that interested in. I just wasn't a holidaying kind of person. But since having a family, I can't get enough of being away, be it for just a couple of nights or a week. Family holidays are now something I really look forward to and are somewhere where we are able to make those lifelong magical memories. And though we've just returned from Bluestone, we've already started looking into our next family holiday using Tots Too, where we've been able to find so many child friendly resorts.

But anyway lets get back to Bluestone.. We were invited along as one of their #BluestoneBloggers and provided our stay free of charge (minus the food etc) in exchange for our own purely personal and honest review. And so, here is exactly what we thought, what we did and some of the places we visited along with just some of the many many photographs we snapped during our stay.

The journey from home took us four and a half hours (though technically five - as we did stop for a break or two). I'd never been to Wales before and so I was excited to see what Wales had to offer. We arrived quite late in the day as we knew wouldn't have access to our lodge until 4.30pm (although there was an option available to pay for early check-in from 1pm) and it was good to know that despite the later check in guests were and are welcome to arrive from 11am to enjoy everything that Bluestone have on offer, including use of the swimming pool at the Blue Lagoon

Arrival

On arrival we checked in through a drive through system rather than parking up and walking to a reception. I actually preferred this as there was no hassle getting in and out of the car and it seemed much quicker than other styles of checking in to places. 

We'd been allocated a three bedroom lodge called Gateholm lodge located in Preseli View and were told that guests were allowed to drive to their lodge to unload their suitcases etc but that they had to return them to the main car park by midnight that night and then either had to walk around the resort at Bluestone or hire a buggy at the cost of around £80. We were actually able to take our car in as I am pregnant and also because my Mother-in-law has a medical problem with her knee (though to be perfectly honest - we didn't use the car that much during our stay as the weather was lovely and when we weren't with my MIL we decided that a walk was actually quite nice, though it is very hilly and steep at some points so if you're not a fan of walking or find it difficult to do so - I'd probably advise hiring a buggy). We actually took Ethans stroller around with us as he did find it quite tiring to walk. 

At check in, we were given a welcome pack along with three swipe card keys for our lodge. Inside the pack was a resort map, village map, activity timetable and resort booklet, which we spent time reading through that evening. I have to say that we did find it quite a struggle to find our lodge initially, even in the car - the directions that we were given were not great and we felt it could have been better signposted. But after around fifteen minutes of what seemed like driving around in circles - we did eventually find it. 

The Lodge

Bluestone National Park Wales Review,
Gateholm Lodge where we stayed in Preseli view is a three bedroom lodge which has one double room, two twin rooms and ensuite and one bathroom. The bedrooms and bathrooms are on the ground floor with the living, dining and kitchen area being upstairs. This was lovely as it meant you could sit on the sofas in the living area and look out on to the gorgeous views. The lodge was really clean and I liked the modern decor. There was a large dining table and kitchen with all the standard appliances which was great as it meant you could self-cater, which we did for two of the four nights that we were there. I liked that there was a fold up cot bed available as it meant that we didn't need to use up space packing one in the car and it was great to see that stair gates were fitted to the top and bottom of the stairs in the lodge. There is a television and a DVD player at the lodge and also free wifi that you can instantly connect to (a must have for every blogger!). 

My only slight niggle with the lodge was the fact that the kitchen cupboards were all low to the ground, there weren't any up high and there wasn't any that had child locks on. This wasn't a problem for us as we brought lots of toys with us to keep Ethan distracted and entertained and luckily he didn't try and have a rummage through the cupboards. But I can imagine it being a potential issue for other families with young children as you have things like glasses and plates at the reach of young children - so it would be nice to see this addressed. But asides from that the lodge is so lovely and very cosy. 

Bluestone National Park Wales Review,
Bluestone National Park Wales Review,Bluestone National Park Wales Review,


Activities 

Bluestone National Park Wales Review,


There are lots of activities and different things to do at Bluestone. They seem to cater to all ages and for all weather conditions. The main facilities are the Blue Lagoon water park and the Adventure Centre. The Blue Lagoon water park is really fun - Ethan's really into swimming so he loved it! There are four flumes for older children and adults - The Falls, which is an open flume which flows outside then re-enters the Blue Lagoon into a plunge pool. The Cannon and The Cave, snake their way outside with lots of twists and turns and the fourth flume, The Torpedo, is quite fast and quite steep - so a bit more intense. I didn't go on any of these as I'm currently pregnant but Adam and his Dad loved them. The main (and my personal favourite) feature of Blue Lagoon is the wave pool, with six different wave patterns breaking on to the sloping beach, it's so much fun, we all couldn't stop laughing - it was brilliant! 

The Adventure Centre is also just as fantastic and brings the excitement of the outdoors, indoors. From the Big Four for the older kids - The Swing, The Drop, Sky Trail and The Wall - to the whole-family crazy golf, NRG Room, or the areas for the smallest ones with soft play, Circus Zone and even Baby Sensory and Messy Play sessions - there is something for everyone. Ethan also loved playing on the bouncy castle, in the ball pit and with the Lego in the Lego Club area. I've never seen him have as much fun as he did rushing around with his Daddy on and off of the slides and the bouncy castle, it was brilliant to watch from the comfort of the sofas that are scattered about for parents. 

Bluestone National Park Wales Review,


Adam and my father-in-law decided to head to the tournament field on our second day to have a go at cross-bowing. The tournament field offers several fun activities and gives you the chance to compete against others by launching the giant catapult, having a contest of crossbow marksmanship, or having a go at archery. You can even fire laser rifles at clays to see who has the quickest trigger finger and sharpest responses. They both really enjoyed their cross bow experience and in total it was only £10 each. 


Bluestone National Park Wales Review, 

I think I could talk about activities all day long because Bluestone really do offer that much. But I think I've pretty much covered the things that we did whilst there (which really wasn't that much when you look at how much there is to do). You can read more about what sort of other activities Bluestone have to offer via their Activities Handy Guide. Oh and I should really mention that they have a Well Spa there too (if you fancy an extra way to relax), though it's not somewhere we got around to going to ourselves (sadly). 

The resort 

Bluestone National Park Wales Review,
Bluestone National Park Wales Review,I cannot tell you how stunning the actual resort is, but with Bluestone being set over 500 acres of  Pembrokeshire countryside, that shouldn't really come as a surprise. One of my favourite parts of our stay was taking a nature trail walk through the forest right by the lake - it was so calming and  peaceful and we were surrounded by the most beautiful views at every turn. We managed to get some stunning photographs because the sunlight poking through the trees was just perfect. After our lovely walk we headed back to the village and sat in the sun on a bench eating ice cream. That was one of my favourite moments. 


Bluestone National Park Wales Review,

The outside play park for the children is one of the best I've ever seen, there are so many fun tunnels and slides for the children to go in and out of and go down. Ethan (and Daddy and Grandpop) had lots and lots of fun! 


Bluestone National Park Wales Review,
Bluestone National Park Wales Review,
Bluestone National Park Wales Review,


Restaurants and Eating

We only ate out once at one of Bluestone's many restaurants as the other times we self catered (buying food from the local village shop) and then the other time we ate at a lovely chip shop restaurant in Tenby by the beach. We visited Bluestone's 'Knights Tavern' for a meal on our last evening and all really enjoyed our food and found it reasonably priced. Adam, Ethan and I are vegetarians and with it being described as 'great pub food' we weren't sure how much would be on offer for us veggies - but we pleased to find a good selection of meals and in the end we opted for a vegetarian curry, which was delicious! And Ethan had his favourite meal of pasta. I would highly recommend a visit to the village bakery too as they sell the most delicious tasting pies I've ever tasted.

Local places to visit 

When it came to visiting places outside of Bluestone, we visited Folly Farm and Tenby Beach (both are super close by). I honestly cannot recommend a visit to them both to anyone staying at Bluestone enough! Folly Farm Adventure Park and Zoo was absolutely incredible, it really is so much fun for all of the family and just fantastic value for money - you can read my full review of it here. And Tenby beach and Tenby town are just stunning - the beach is probably one of the best I've ever visited in the UK. So these two would be my recommendations for local places to visit whilst at Bluestone. 

Tenby Beach
Tenby Beach
Folly Farm

Overall 

Looking back through my pictures, I already really miss being at Bluestone. Being there made me feel so calm and relaxed. I laughed so much and had a permanent smile across my face watching Ethan have so much fun. It was a fantastic break, made even better by having my in-laws with us and I am totally happy to say that I would fully recommend a stay at Bluestone and would very happily return at some point in the future myself. 

Bluestone National Park Wales Review,

I've also put together a little video of some short clips that I put together from our holiday:



 
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*As stated above our stay at Bluestone National Park was provided to us for free in exchange for our own personal full and honest review. All opinions expressed are entirely our own - as always. 

8 comments

  1. What a beautiful video. <3 looks like you had so much fun. Makes me want to go there even more now. So much to do. Ethan seems to be so good walking everywhere. I think somebody got wet feet at the beach one time. ;)

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  2. Fantastic review and beautiful video Alex. Looks like you had a great time. Brings back memories of our visit last year. I'm thinking of booking a holiday there again later this year. xx

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  3. Sounds and looks so good! I love your photos xx

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  4. It looks like you had such a wonderful time and I can't wait for our own holiday in May x

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  5. Looks good. Pictures are lovely as always xx

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  6. Aww, this is lovely Alex. I'm so glad you guys all had such a lovely time (I suspected you would, as we loved our break there too) and it's especially nice I think, that you got to have some relaxing and chilled out time together when you have a family change on the horizon. x

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  7. Awww such lovely photos! Glad you had such a lovely time! xx

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  8. Gorgeous photos, you can really tell how much fun you all had. My oh Jack loved the crossbow lesson too haha xx

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