Back when I was a little girl I remember making the long journey to Wales or the south coast every year. Excited to be visiting the seaside for two weeks, eating Welsh rarebit, Cornish pasties and cream teas. Setting off in the early hours of a morning in order to reach the campsite before the others, counting cars and caravans on the motorway and finding a spot closest to the shower blocks. These are the memories from my childhood that I want to relive, that I want to share with our gorgeous boy, see them through his eyes.
Our little family adventures mean so much to us all, precious time together as a family, away from the stresses of work, routine of school, homework and clubs. And whilst we aren’t quite the family to be off camping together we do want to explore the Countryside. When we do make plans I find myself looking for a little luxury, a place where you can truly unwind, feel closer to nature, with home comforts and one where there is no pressure to escape if a day exploring the local surroundings is all that you can muster the energy for. This is what Bluestone Wales is for us.
We couldn’t wait to be exploring Pembrokeshire again, we last visited in 2015 and I remember saying as we made the five hour journey home that we must return when our boy is a little older. Pembrokeshire has so much to offer, its breath taking views, gorgeous coastal towns and lets not forget the beaches, oh my they are beautiful – they just grab us every time. And best of all Bluestone Wales is perfectly positioned to explore so many of them.
Fast forward to 2017 and we were packed and ready to explore Pembrokeshire once again. Our week of adventure had us exploring Bluestone Wales, the waterpark, beast hunts, toasting marshmallows at Camp Smokey, meeting new friends (ducks and rabbits), resting tired feet with wine and the most gorgeous of sunsets, stomping around coastal towns eating fish & chips (dive bombed by seagulls, more on that later) and spending quality time together as a family – all in the gorgeous Pembrokeshire sunshine. Can you ask for a better family holiday?
Day one went a little bit like this…
My biggest piece of advice for anyone visiting Bluestone Wales is to make the most of your first day, check-in day. We arrived soon after 11, received our welcome pack and avoided the queues unlike the previous year when we arrived at 3pm to sit in a queue for an hour. You can park up, explore the park, find your accommodation, meet the rabbits and ducks, entertain your littles on the playground and in the adventure centre and of course hit the waterpark which is exactly what we did! Already our holiday was off to a great start and best of all, the sun was shining as if it knew we were on holiday.
One thing that surprised me about our trip was how stress-free it was. From the initial planning stages, choosing which activities, meal planning to arrival and check out. Everything was so easy and well put together, and when I did get a little confused with the activity planning, I called the team who explained it so well and booked direct. Bluestones really do it so well – they seem to think of everything and make it all so easy, from getting around the park on the shuttle bus if needed to the activities available for all ages, the facilities on site and the ability to explore nature and lets not forget a sunrise and sunset never to be forgotten. We enjoyed exploring the park on foot, I think if you are able to you should as when driving the buggies or using the shuttle bus you miss little areas of the park.
Day two went like this…
I quite like the regular countdown emails you receive, reminding you of bits and bobs still to be planned, the options you have for free range fun around the park and ways to spend your time. Some of the activities and restaurants are booked up super quick so I would take advantage of these reminders and book the bits you wouldn’t want to miss. We booked the Nature Detective Beast Hunt, The Secret Village and the infamous Smokey Joe Shindig at Camp Smokey. All ones I would recommended you do too – the Shindig is a must and is still our favourite memory as a family, so much fun for all. What better way to end the day than toasting marshmallows on a campfire.
Day three went a little like this…
I would definitely recommend visiting the waterpark each day, and if you visit between 9-12am your time is exclusive as a Bluestones guest – it is far less busy and definitely worth the early stroll up the winding path. The waterpark and slides are still talked about now, weeks after visiting I can still hear the laughter as George whooshed down the slides. He was able to ride them all this year which definitely meant that we were able to spend more time in the waterpark. It is one of the best we have visited, clean and well maintained – the coffee & cake is good too for if you want to spectate rather than partake!
One thing I haven’t mentioned are the restaurants, we utilised the takeaway pizza service at the Oak Tree Restaurant on our arrival day – perfect for if you just want to relax in your lodge in your pj’s and best of all when you pick up the pizza your littles can enjoy the new playground which was a hit with our five year old. I can highly recommend the Mac&Cheese too, delicious. The main playground was closed on our visit which disappointed our boy at first however with the addition of the new playground he was soon distracted. Our favourite place to eat is Camp Smokey, we had the best night at the Shindig and it was made all the better by our team, team blue winning. The entertainment was super and really made the perfect family night. Can we hire you for George’s 6th birthday party Joe? Such a hoot.
What else is there to tell you?
We enjoyed a BBQ one night on the patio of our lodge, sat outside until the sunset and enjoyed another memorable night together as a family – the perfect end to a day exploring Broad Haven South Beach. We stayed in a Tenby Lodge meaning that we lived upside down for our time at Bluestone Wales which George absolutely loved. The facilities in the lodge are well thought our even down to the BBQ stand and tea towel. The addition of the fairy house in the woods, foxes and dragon sculptures added to the fun as we made our way out of the park each day. If it is raining there is so much to enjoy in the Adventure Centre, we played crazy golf for the first time, George managed a hole in one and definitely stole the show!
And lastly here is a sneaky peak of where we visited outside of Bluestone Wales which I’ll be writing up in a separate post. Do you know where we visited?…
With a heavy heart we said goodbye to Bluestone Wales and Pembrokeshire. We had one of the best holidays so far in the UK, made so many memories, enjoyed exploring the countryside around us and came home with pockets full of sand. My mummy heart is over spilling with love for our time at Bluestone Wales and Pembrokeshire. We really did enjoy everything about our stay, what’s not to love about a different adventure each day?
I have added this post to Colette’s #TriedTested over on her blog We’re Going On An Adventure and Sarah’s #MondayEscapes over on her blog Extraordinary Chaos.
* Disclosure – we were gifted a free stay at Bluestone Wales National Resort Park, all words are my own. We would highly recommend you visit.