Life, Mum, toddler

Bluestone Resort: Our Free Range Family Adventure

We booked our trip to Bluestone early in 2017 having heard from some friends about it’s existence and about how good it is for families.  They have returned to Bluestone with their son for the last 3 years and after hearing of their recommendation we decided to book a break in October 2017 which happily coincided with their next stay.

Part of the reason we wanted to go in October was to tie it in with my husbands and my birthdays at the start of October and with Z having another year before starting school we thought we would take advantage of an out of school holiday break.

At the time of booking we didn’t know I would be 34 weeks pregnant when we stayed at the resort.

What we did

I booked a ‘mini adventurer break’ for our stay to include some of the activities suitable for our 3 year old son.  Within our holiday package we were allocated two ‘Woody Wild shows’ and the shadow puppet show.  I contacted the bookings team prior to our visit as the shadow puppet show was a little too late in the evening for Z and they very kindly swapped it for a 3rd ‘Woody Wild Show’ which was at a much better time for us.

Monday:

We packed up the car and set off from home in the morning. From where we live (just north of Bristol) it was a 2.5 hour journey and we weren’t plagued by bad traffic so sailed through quite nicely whilst Z had a nap along the way.  We first headed in to Haverfordwest to the Tesco Extra there as we had carried out a ‘click and collect’ online shop for our food essentials for the week.

I think we arrived at the resort around 2pm. Check in to the accommodation takes place at 4.30pm so we had a wander around the resort to get our bearings and visited ‘The Knight’s Tavern’ pub in the village where we had waffles. At 4.30pm the normal ‘no-cars on the resort’ rule is lifted to allow everyone to drive to their accommodation and unload their cars.  Following this, the cars are returned to the car park where they stay for the duration of the visit (unless you visit somewhere off resort).

We stayed in a 2 bedroom cottage in the village which worked perfectly for our family. Our first evening was then spent unpacking, cooking dinner in the small but well stocked kitchen and taking Z to the nearby playground (where we spent a lot of time during our visit!!)  .

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The green cottage in the background is where we stayed

Tuesday:

Z was up early and raring to go so we decided to go for a ‘short walk’.  Just behind the village is a lake and a pathway into the woods so we set off to do a little exploring.  After walking around the lake (and chasing some poor unsuspecting ducks!) we followed the nature trail past the fairy village and along to Smokey Joe’s cabin.  Here, Z decided to forego the bridge over the river and opted for the stepping stones instead, which was fine on the first attempt but resulted in a full body dunk in the water on the 2nd.

Luckily that child of mine is not phased by such issues and despite having brought along a change of clothes, he decided he was quite happy to continue his adventure in a soggy outfit.

After a quick change at the cottage, we had our first ‘Woody Wild Show’ of the trip and were able to go along with our friends and their son, who goes to preschool with Z.   The kids loved the ‘Lola Ladybird’ show and despite being too shy to join in with the interactive elements of the performance, Z still really enjoyed the experience and continued to talk about it for the rest of the day.

After such an active and fun filled morning we went back to the cottage for some lunch and a bit of quiet time (not just for Z, we were all tired out by our adventures in the morning).  Following this we spent some more time at the playground and had a walk up the hill through the wicker dragon (or ‘draggle’ as Z called it) and enjoyed a snack at the coffee shop in the village.

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Wednesday:

We started the day with a trip to the Blue Lagoon and were not disappointed.  What a fantastic attraction!  There is something for all ages here ranging from a warm baby splash pool and shallow pirate ship for the youngest visitors through to the fast paced flumes for the older fun-seekers.  Z absolutely loved being swept along the lazy river and riding the waves in the main pool.

Suitably tired and hungry following this we headed back into the woods to meet up with our friends for lunch at Smokey Joe’s Cabin. I love this place and thoroughly enjoyed the feeling of eating my lunch in a wood cabin in the middle of the forest.  We ended our meal by toasting marshmallows over the open fire.

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We then spent the afternoon at the adventure play centre which has lots of activities for all ages ranging from soft play for the littles through to a climbing wall and sky trail for older kids.  Suitably exhausted we headed back to the cottage for dinner and bedtime.

Thursday:

We started the day with some playtime at the playground where Z befriended a girl of a similar age. This was followed by our final ‘Woody Wild Show’ with Buzby bee which again was very enjoyable although Z was too shy to say hello at the ‘meet and greet’ with Buzby at the end of the show. After lunch at home we spent an hour at the adventure play centre. Z was positively worn out at this point so we went back to the cottage on the guest transport and he had a rare daytime nap which was rather fortunate as I’d been hoping to keep him up for the ‘Bwbach Festival’ in the evening.

Just before 6pm we headed into the village where Z happily climbed, ran and swang at the playground until the parade descended from the adventure centre with a 12 foot tall scarecrow leading the way. Following this there were pumpkin races and live music which took us through dusk into the dark.  There was a lovely atmosphere as thevillage centre was filled with families and I’m pretty sure that the pub did a roaring trade that evening.

Friday:

3 year old Z did not want to go home! He wanted to stay in the holiday house and told us several times. He had enjoyed his week of adventure and benefited from it in countless ways.

We packed up and checked out, leaving our car in the car park as the resort is still available to be used through to 3pm on the day of checking out.  We had a final trip to the adventure play centre and Z then went swimming with daddy.  My lovely husband had surprised me with a gift treatment at the spa so whilst the boys went swimming I headed to The Well Spa Retreat for my ‘Beautiful Beginnings’ prenatal treatment.

The spa is a beautiful haven in the middle of the village and well worth a visit during your stay. The staff are professional and friendly and there is a wide range of treatments available which include use of the spa facilities. Take advantage of this and include a little R&R in your visit.  I thoroughly enjoyed my prenatal treatment and it helped to ease many of the aches and pains that come with the later stages of pregnancy.

Feeling suitably relaxed we had a lunch of crispy Fish and Chips (HIGHLY recommended!) at the Knights Tavern and an Ice cream from Ty Coffy. We wandered back up to the car and sadly headed home.   Z slept all the way back which is testament to how much fun and adventure we had enjoyed during our stay.

How we felt

Relaxed and rejuvenated.

Connected to eachother.

Fulfilled.

 

What we enjoyed most:

Hubby’s favourite activity was swimming

I enjoyed toasting marshmallows at Smokey Joe’s

Z enjoyed whatever we were doing at the time but his favourite things to do seemed to be running around the playground and swimming

Spending time as a family and with some friends who were staying at the same time.

The weather. We were very lucky and had mostly bright days. It was chilly (around 14c most days) but we only had half a day where there was a very light rain and the rest of the time was cold but bright

 

Things to bring:

This depends on what sort of break you want to have.  We didn’t venture off site on this occasion and mainly provided our own food.  It would be possible to eat out everyday if you didn’t want to cook yourselves as all meals are available across the resort.

There’s a handy list here and we would definitely recommend the following:

Swimming costumes and towels for the pool (not provided)

Washing up liquid

Board games

Toilet Roll

Comfy shoes and clothing

waterproofs

Final thoughts:

We have already booked to come back next year. It was a no-brainer for us. With another addition to the family there will be 4 of us and we may benefit from a golf buggy next time around. We didn’t have one on this occasion but didn’t feel we missed out. Even at 34 weeks pregnant with a stinking cold I didn’t struggle to get around the resort, the guest transport is great (although it’s worth noting it doesn’t run between 1.15 and 1.45 whilst the driver has his lunch) and Z loved it!

We are already looking forward to our return visit!

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