A few weeks ago we spent our weekend at Bluestone National Park Resort. We've been before for mid week breaks but it felt like a much needed treat to head off on a Friday for just a couple of days away.
After checking in, we drove straight to our lodge to unpack the car. It looked so pretty surrounded by buttercups and trees. There were also wild rabbits bouncing around our garden for the weekend too which kept Izzy amused.
Entering our home for the break, once again I was struck by how spacious, clean and welcoming the accommodation is. Isabelle got cosy straight away, Rebecca unpacked, whilst Dave began to cook a quick tea in the kitchen and I drove the car back to the car park with Danny and Caitlyn.
We parked the car in the guest car park, then enjoyed the nature walk back to the lodge, taking in our new surroundings and looking out for rabbits, squirrels and other wildlife on the way. The view of the Preseli Mountains always takes my breath away.
We went through the village which meant passing the outdoor play area, Treetops Adventure Playground, which the kids always love on a dry day. They stopped for a quick play and spent a lot of time in there throughout the weekend making lots of friends.
Then we wandered home ready for tea. It was nice staying here in June, while the evenings are light, as we've more recently stayed during Winter and while Winter breaks are cosy (and we absolutely love their Christmas activities such as Kingdom of the Elves) the outdoor play area isn't open so late and the paths are very dark, so the days feel shorter and it's hard to fit so much in. Both breaks have their positives in different ways.
Back in the lodge, the open plan kitchen and dining area are ideal for large family and multi generational breaks. There are two fridges and all the facilities and space that you need to cater for your needs (even a grater, peeler etc). I love the long dining table that sits 8. It's ideal for meal times and also family games and activities.
We only had a really quick meal featuring the well known combination of hot dogs, chips and Cava for the adults (well, it kept everyone happy!).
The lodge sleeps 8, featuring two double and two twin rooms. There are two shower rooms which meant the kids got showered for bed in no time. A bath in one of the rooms would have been a good option as Danny likes a soak when he's tired and achey but this worked fine for us during a short stay. Izzy shared a twin with Caitlyn but insisted that she had to read Danny a bedtime story before she said goodnight to him. He wasn't best pleased as was very tired but he let her read to the end bless him. It was so cute.
The next morning the kids woke up really early as they were so excited to see the squirrels coming right up to the lodge glass door and to really begin their holiday.
On the walk to the Adventure Centre and Blue Lagoon, just past the village there is a willow caterpillar. It had only just been planted during our first visit, so we've enjoyed seeing it grow and develop on each subsequent stay over the years.
We went for a swim at Blue Lagoon. The older kids love the slides, especially the outdoor one. Izzy loves the Pirate's Shipwreck, Torrwr Mor, and as a family our favourite water park activities are the lazy river and also the wave pool.
Walking back from Blue Lagoon we went through the village. There is a handy shop for all your needs, Newton's Store, like most small shops, it can be more expensive than the supermarket but we find it's good value for basics like pasta and chopped tomatoes so ideal for an Italian feast night (with Prosecco, of course). There are also lots of lovely places to eat out at Bluestone too.
Another lovely place at Bluestone is the pretty pink building that houses Ty Coffi, perfect for a morning coffee or post swim hot chocolate. They sell delicious cakes, soups and sandwiches too.
Whatever the weather, there's something to do at Bluestone, thanks to the Adventure Centre. LEGO lovers will love the LEGO figures dotted around the centre and also the LEGO building area and LEGO wall where they can build their own name. We also played crazy golf, played in the indoor play area and on the bouncy castle. We didn't have time for the climbing wall or rope course but did pop into the arcade.
In between activities we popped back to our self catering lodge for baguettes, salad and a cup of tea. All the fresh air and physical activities can wear the kids out in a good way meaning they often went for an out of the ordinary afternoon nap.
Sleeping, happy kids meant I had the chance to have a cuppa (with vegan biscuits) and read some of my favourite magazines which was bliss! I felt like Snow White with the rabbits, squirrels and birds around me.
As they gradually woke up they ventured out to join me, Isabelle made a nature arrangement of pine cones, leaves and flowers- she said she was making lunch for the squirrels and birds!
They then took the HEMA Bubble Guns out for a play- these are so much fun- we love bubbles!
The outdoor areas around the lodge are open but boundaries are marked by the raised borders and hedges, making lovely safe play areas.
It's great to see the kids have the same freedom to run around outdoors just as they do at home.
Eventually, all the kids were up and able to join in with the Bubble Gun fun.
As our stay coincided with the Queen's Birthday, we happened to see some of the TV coverage of the birthday events. Izzy was particularly taken with the soldiers and took to drawing lots of them ( a whole "army" perhaps?). I took a photo of her soldier picture as I loved it so much. She asked if I was ringing the Queen to tell her that Izzy had drawn a picture? I told her I was taking a picture as the Queen was quite busy on her birthday. Seeing Prince Phillip in all his regalia, one of the kids commented "He's a lucky soldier being allowed to sit next to the Queen." They do make me laugh.
Bluestone often have special events in the village (look out for these when you arrive) and the Queen's Birthday was no exception. The entertainment team put on live music, craft events, a parade and also a bouncy slide there for village celebrations. There was a lovely atmosphere.
We all waved and cheers as the families paraded around with flags.
The bouncy castle was close to Newton North Church, a twelth century Church ruin. One interesting story is that when this land was purchased, within the contract of ownership there was an ancient clause which dictated that, if requested to do so, the owner must present the Church of Wales with a white rose to mark St John’s Day (Midsummer’s Day), or Gŵyl Ifan Ganol Haf as it’s known in the Welsh language. Although the Church of Wales has never requested this, Bluestone like to keep up the tradition anyway.
While the live music played great tunes, Dave and I enjoyed a drink from the bar while the kids played in the play area, making a relaxing evening with lots of other families doing the same.
Then we were back in the lodge for a goods night sleep before returning to work and school the following day.
Sadly, as it was a short visit, we didn't have time to visit Camp Smokey, The Village Hall or the Lake area, so these will be first on our list next time. But we had a fun filled yet relaxing weekend and left with our batteries recharged.
Planning a break to Bluestone National Park Resort, Pembrokeshire? Be sure to visit:
Manor Wildlife Park
Folly Farm and
Blue Lagoon, Abereiddy
Bluestone are now taking bookings for their brand new Tenby Lodges. A Weekend Break for a family of 4 currently starts from £429. Please check their website for up to date prices.
Thanks to Bluestone for inviting us to stay for the purpose of this review as a Bluestone Blogger.