DRIVING west through Carmarthenshire and into Pembrokeshire on our way to Bluestone, the weather got steadily worse. We left the sun behind, and headed towards grey clouds and drizzle that didn’t seem to be showing any sign of letting up.
The roads towards Tenby were familiar as we regularly visit west Wales, but never having been to Bluestone I couldn’t wait to check it out. I’d heard so much about it, and everyone who holidays there says they would definitely go back. That can only be a good thing.
We’d booked* a midweek stay for me, Santi and my sister-in-law Kelly to stay, with Stew joining us after a couple of days in work. I felt bad that Stew was missing out on the fun, but made sure I’d paid for a messy play session on Thursday so he could join in with that (and after the mess he ended up in I’m glad I’d thought ahead!)
We arrived at the resort at lunchtime, and as you cannot access the lodges until 4.30pm we decided to check out some of the facilities, starting with something to eat.
The Wild Wood Cafe in the Adventure Centre was the closest, and surprisingly was nice and quiet. I imagine older children would love the woodland theme, and there was something magical about eating around a giant tree trunk. There was also a little nook in the corner, where it would be lovely to spend a rainy afternoon watching films.
After yummy burgers and chips (forget the healthy eating, we’re on holiday!) we stumbled upon the Circus Room, which is just across from the cafe. It’s a huge room filled with soft play for under fives, and Santi absolutely loved it.
He usually stays quite close when we’re somewhere new, but there was no stopping him! He put his new-found crawling skills to good use, chasing balls from the ball pit and making friends with older children who were also escaping the rain.
There were little tents to hide in, tunnels to crawl through, and even a mini rollercoaster. And despite there being at least a dozen children and their parents there at the same time as us it didn’t feel at all crowded. Santi’s crawling didn’t last long and soon we were back to me walking him around (his absolute favourite thing), and I was very jealous of the parents relaxing with coffee on the settees as their children played happily!
Before heading to our lodge we decided to check out the main part of the Adventure Centre … and it was amazing! It’s a huge indoor play area with slides, climbing frames, a bouncy castle and even mini golf. And if that’s not enough, you can pay to take part in activities like wall climbing and an indoor tree top trail. This is great for families with older and young children, who wouldn’t need to split up to have fun as it’s all in one place.
We left our mark on the Lego wall, and had a quick play in the ball pool (in a separate bit for younger children) before heading off.
Bluestone is car-free, which worried me as we had mountains of luggage with us (I pack for every eventuality) and I thought we’d have to carry everything in ourselves. Thankfully, the gates are opened at 4.30pm so you can drive in and drop your things off before taking your car back off site for the week.
Our lodge was in the Knights Rest area, and as we drove through the resort we passed the village with a few shops and a pub, and a pretty lake. I was immediately impressed with our accommodation – a Gateholm Lodge tucked away in a quiet corner of the resort.
The lodge was ‘upside down’, in that the bedrooms and bathrooms were downstairs, and the open plan living room and kitchen was upstairs to make the most of the views … not that we could see much through the rain!
The only downfall was that it was so far from the Activity Centre and Blue Lagoon swimming pool. In fine weather this wouldn’t be a problem, but we spent a lot of the week getting wet as we trekked around (there is supposed to be a land train, which seemed to be out of action, or you can hire a golf buggy if you’d rather not walk). At least the living room was warm and cosy so it didn’t take long to dry out once we were back.
Stopping just long enough for a cuppa and more chocolate biscuits than I’d care to admit to, we popped out to the village for a few things we’d forgotten. The grocery shop might look small from outside, but they stocked pretty much everything I could think of! There’s also a little clothes shop, bakery and coffee shop, surrounded by little cottages which creates a lovely atmosphere.
There was a let-up in the rain, so we had a play in the park while we were out. Again, there were areas for older and younger children. The toddler section had a little climbing frame with a tunnel to get to the slide, a baby swing and a basket type of swing … just enough to keep tots occupied. Santi has developed a love of slides recently, so he was more than happy to while away some time until tea.
First impressions of Bluestone were very positive … a lovely lodge, lots to do and time to relax. Check back to find out how we got on with our activities – sensory play, messy play and of course the Blue Lagoon
The accommodation was equipped with a travel cot (although the mattress was very hard so I’d pack one if you have one) and a high chair, but there is a charge if you need more than one of each.
Towels for the lodge are provided, but you need your own for the Blue Lagoon.
Pre-booking activities is recommended, but there are offers during the week if you’re willing to risk it.
Take sensible shoes! You’ll be walking a fair bit, and there’s nothing worse than having wet feet if it rains!
* I was invited to stay at Bluestone as a blogger, but all views are my own