Bluestone and Beautiful Pembrokeshire

lodges bluestone

(Picture courtesy of the Bluestone website.)

So, there we were, all loaded to the max into our new car. This is the one we bought that was a lot bigger than the old one, the one that now wouldn’t need the roof box on the top because everything would fit so nicely into it because it was that much bigger….Except we did have the roof box on the top, because of course, thinking you are past the stage of needing to take the entire contents of your house with you when you go on holiday with children, and that actually being a reality, are two quite different things…. After twice making it to the M5, and having to go back because we’d forgotten something vital, and Mr W cursing my organisation skills (if he hasn’t yet worked out they are dire, he obviously hasn’t taken much notice of me in the last 8 years…) we were finally off. Our destination: Bluestone holiday park in Pembrokeshire.

I will admit that I was keeping my expectations low. Not because I hadn’t heard amazing things about Bluestone, and the area it was in, but because we have yet to have a successful holiday as a family… Usually nobody sleeps, everyone is grumpy, everyone gets massively a bit frustrated, and by the time we get back, we are more stressed than when we left, and I’m usually ill for some inexplicable reason. But we keep going, in the hope that the next things will be better. Well, I’m ridiculously happy to report that….THIS TIME EVERYTHING WAS AMAZING!

So we arrived at Bluestone at 1pm-it is stated on the website that you can be on site from 11.30am, but won’t be able to access your lodge until 4.30pm. So we had a bag of essential things to hand (yes, I did manage to organise and remember that!) so that we could explore the site with things we needed, until we could get into our lodge. The check in was super easy-a drive through, so you don’t have to leave the car-and I was really happy when they told us our lodge was actually ready, and we could make our way straight there. So we drove down, unloaded, and took the car back to the car park. Bluestone is a car free site, so cars are only permitted on check in and check out days.

It was recommended to us by some friends who had visited, that we hire a golf buggy to get around the site. They said they would’ve found it far too steep to cycle. There are both golf buggy and bike/trailer hire available. It cost £80 for buggy hire, for five days. Prices are variable, and bikes/buggies can be picked up between 2pm-7pm-check the link for more info. For us and the boys, the buggy was a massive highlight! It’s a really fun way to get around, and there are parking and charging points at all the major points of the site. Every evening before bedtime, we would take a little jolly around the site on the buggy, taking in the lovely views, and the boys generally loving every second. They also have storage for carrying all the monumental amounts of stuff you need with you for a trip to absolutely anywhere, which was handy. Now that we’ve been to the site, I’d say that personally, I would have had no problem cycling around it. There are hills, but I exercise quite regularly, and would’ve found them manageable. I also wouldn’t have minded walking with the pushchair either, but if you visit, it’s well worth considering before you go, how much physical activity you want to do while you are there! The golf buggies need to be booked in advance, as often they are completely sold out, and if you decide you want one on arrival, there could be none available.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

(Picture courtesy of the Bluestone website.)

We stayed in a Skomer lodge-there are lots of different accommodation sizes available, from studios, to large lodges for big parties. Ours had a large living area, a kitchen diner, and 3 huge bedrooms, two of which were en suite, and one had a bathroom with a large bath and walk in shower in it, right next door to it. It actually sleeps 6, but we went for 3 bedrooms because the boys usually prefer to sleep in their own rooms. But they actually asked to share a room (for the first time!) so next time we can go for a smaller lodge.  I loved our lodge, it was clean, and really modern, and I really did like how big the bedrooms and bathrooms were. There was free wifi, which worked really well for general social media activity, but if you want to live stream Netflix/Now TV etc, this wifi won’t work, and you need to upgrade to premium wifi, which is £5 per day. We also had a lovely bit of garden outside, where the boys played football every evening, and it was also a wildlife haven-regularly being visited by rabbits, badgers, birds and field mice! Some accommodation surrounds the lake, all of which had gorgeous lake views. Some was near to the on site ‘village,’ and some was more secluded on the outskirts. If you pay a little extra, you can view on a map where you think you’d most like to be, and pay a little extra to secure a lodge there. We paid £570 for a Monday-Friday stay.

blue2

blue3

(Interior pictures courtesy of the Bluestone website.)

The village was a real hive of activity. It’s the cutest little place, built to resemble an actual village, and there is accomodation here, as well as a coffee/ice cream house, village pub, slightly more upmarket dining restaurant, a grill, a pretty well stocked shop, guest services, a park, and a spa. It was sometimes a surreal experience to be in an actual working village, where absolutely everyone was on holiday-it made for a brilliant atmosphere! We took a large food shop with us, and I cooked at the lodge most evenings, apart from the last night (I’ll come to that later,) so I can’t speak for the food on site. The shop had a good selection, if you wanted to shop when you arrived (and a brilliant alcohol section…!)

The main on site entertainment is the Blue Lagoon Waterpark pool-a lovely pool, with brilliant changing facilities, not overcrowded, amazingly clean, and with family changing cubicles that were a really good size. There are two baby pools either side of the main pool, and no outdoor pool, although there is an outdoor jaccuzzi, and the ‘lazy river,’ a small river (not a rapid,) that takes you outside, with a very small area to stop if you want to stay outside. There are also some really fun looking flume slides, but we didn’t get to try them because the children needed us to always be there for one to one. Just a little word of warning-every so often they turn a wave machine on in the pool (they give plenty of notice with a very loud whistle,) but the waves are huge! We got out because the eldest isn’t too keen on waves, and I’m glad we did, because some people did get taken a little unawares by the size of the waves!

blue4

(Picture courtesy of the Bluestone website.)

There is also a large indoor adventure centre that has a huge soft play area (probably most suitable for 2 and under,) and a large area with loads of ‘tree houses’ to climb up, big slides, ball pits, bouncy castles, and a crazy golf-all the things that children go mental for! There is also a really good café aimed at children, in the building too-the Wildwood Café, where there are also themed shows put on, and character animals to come and mingle with you…!
As well as evening entertainment, there are lots of different age appropriate activities available for children, with an emphasis on free range fun, and getting close to nature. We didn’t try any of the activities, but here is a list to check out, of what is available.

For our final evening, we ate out in Camp Smokey. You take a long, steep descent into the forest (still pushchair accessible,) and reach the rustic, wooden Camp Smokey, where your food is barbecued to order while you wait. It is very basic, fuss free food, and good measures of alcohol served at a reasonable price…! The atmosphere is brilliant. The piece de resistance…Getting to toast marshmallows on the outdoor camp fire for pudding! The children absolutely loved this!!! You can only eat at Camp Smokey between 9am-5pm, as they close in the evenings for ‘shindigs,’ entertainment with live music. Our children still have a total meltdown if they’re up past bedtime, so we didn’t go, but I can’t wait to check this out in the future!

blue6blue7

In my opinion, it is best to probably stay on site for a couple of days, but going out to explore beautiful Pembrokeshire for a few is a must. There is an extensive list on Trip Advisor, of all the best things to do in the area, most of which are 15-30 minutes away from Bluestone. We visited Folly Farm-given the accolade of the best attraction in Wales. Like the rest of you will understand, we spend a lot of time as parents, at parks, farms, and other animal attractions, and I wondered how this would be different (keeping my expectations low as ever…!) but this place was too many kinds of awesome! A huge site, with a working farm that you can tour by tractor, there is also a zoo area, with fantastically laid out enclosures for the animals, brilliant playgrounds dotted all over the place, sandpits, real diggers children can play in with adults, go karting, and the best bit-an indoor vintage funfair, with working, preserved vintage rides, blasting out vintage 50’s tunes, which made me want to don a flared polka dot skirt, and pretend I was an extra in Grease. All of this withing beautiful, immaculate grounds. Check. It. Out.

Barafundle Bay is also a must (although this is NOT pushchair accessible.) It is accessed by a steep flight of steps up, a 15 minute clifftop walk, and a steep descent down. Only go if your children can walk it (ours managed it, it took about 25 minutes altogether, and they are 3 and 2,) or if you are willing to carry your children. Totally worth it though-it took my breath away, and I will actually say that it’s the most beautiful beach I’ve ever seen in my life.

blue8

We also visited Tenby a beautiful town full of regency, colourful townhouses, with beautiful beaches. The list of places to visit is endless.

blue9

We were totally spoilt on our holiday by being lucky enough to visit during the only week of the year so far that felt anything like summer-the sun shone from the minute we got there, till the minute we left. We had a shaky start with a 4.30 wakeup from both children the first morning, but then they both slept brilliantly. I loved Bluestone, and I have now fallen in love with Pembrokeshire. I can’t recommend Bluestone and the area enough-it’s gone to the top of my list of favourite places! Go! Just go! We are already planning our next trip with a load of family, for next year…!

I didn’t visit Bluestone with the intention of writing a review, they were unaware that I would be writing one, therefore I have not received anything in exchange for this review. I just had the most fabulous time ever, and wanted everyone to know about it!

Share:

56 Comments

  1. June 13, 2016 / 6:31 am

    I am so glad you had a lovely holiday and so jealous. I have family in this part of the world and so I grew up on those beaches. I can still remember my first trip to Folly Farm aged about seven and the cow I had face painted! You have made me want to go back for a visit even sooner! I like your review, very descriptive with some really useful advice, not forgetting some important practicalities like alcohol purchase! #bigpinklink

  2. June 13, 2016 / 7:22 am

    Ah thanks so much for sharing this, really enjoyed reading it. Especially the mention of the wave pool! That brings me back to being a kid #bigpinklink

  3. June 13, 2016 / 8:29 am

    Looks amazing! Is it sad if my favourite shot was of the prosecco??? Love that you had such a terrific time. Planning these trips can be just incredible! #bigpinklink

  4. June 13, 2016 / 8:34 am

    Looks like a great holiday! I’ve heard great things about Bluestone x #bigpinklink

  5. June 13, 2016 / 8:38 am

    I love this place! We’ve visited a couple of times and just adore it. The local area is amazing also and I was stunned at how beautiful Barafundle beach is – although the first time we visited we attempted it with no pushchair,loads of bags, a 20 month old toddler and a 7 month bump carrying waddling me! It was so worth it though. Camp Smokey is our favourite place and it’s so unique isn’t it? I would also totally back up your advice around the buggies. They’re great fun and we would have been stuck without one. We didn’t book one on our first trip and it was so difficult trying to get from our lodge at one side of the resort, to the pool at the other with bags, toddler and bump. We went to hire one and they had a huge waiting list, but thankfully spotted me waddling around outside with my huge bump and excited toddler and managed to arrange one for us. Wonderful place and it was lovely to read about it and be reminded how fab it is! So pleased you had a great time xx Thanks for hosting #bigpinklink

  6. June 13, 2016 / 8:40 am

    I have read so many reviews on Bluestone and it looks and sounds, amazing I would love to visit! I love your practical tips too, like pushchair accessible places and about hiring a golf buggy before you get there. Always good to know the alcohol section is well stocked too and I’m glad you managed to finally get a good stress free holiday #bigpinklink

  7. June 13, 2016 / 8:42 am

    my favourite part of the world 🙂 #bigpinklink

  8. June 13, 2016 / 9:00 am

    Oh wow! Bluestone looks and sounds like such an amazing place to go on the holiday and all of the facilities too – fantastic. I love places like this where if it rains there is still lots to keep the family occupied 🙂 #bigpinklink

  9. June 13, 2016 / 9:11 am

    Success! Kudos and Mazel tov! Looks like a well deserved fab trip! The start of many, I hope. Thanks for sharing and hosting! #bigpinklink

  10. June 13, 2016 / 9:18 am

    This looks stunning! Perfect sea side get away. Sounds like you had a whale of a time!

  11. June 13, 2016 / 9:34 am

    Oh my goodness this looks amazing!!!! Your pics are fab. Wow to your lodge, and the golf buggy is so cool. The price was much less than I was expecting too – we had a weekend at Center Parcs for about that much. Love the pool area. Will seriously consider this for our next staycation. Also, very glad to hear you had a fabulous holiday x #bigpinklink

  12. June 13, 2016 / 9:46 am

    Oh wow this looks like such a beautiful setting and what a fab trip it sounds like you had! We have never been to that part of the country but I would love to, there are so many amazing places in the UK aren’t there? Lovely photos, thanks for sharing #bigpinklink

  13. June 13, 2016 / 9:47 am

    Ah, looks like you all had a lovely time and were really lucky with the weather! I’m hoping to take a holiday like this next year when the little one is a bit older 🙂 #bigpinklink

  14. June 13, 2016 / 9:56 am

    This looks like my idea of a holiday – although I would need the golf buggy as I’m lazy!! It looks really gorgeous and relaxed with plenty to do onsite as well as in the surrounding area. I don’t think I can face travelling quite that far just yet though! Great review and I was pleased to note important things like the price and sale of alcohol being mentioned. Thanks for hosting #bigpinklink

  15. Nige
    June 13, 2016 / 9:57 am

    We have been to bluestone twice once at Christmas last year it’s an amazing place I love it there happy you enjoyed it thanks for hosting #bigpinklink

  16. June 13, 2016 / 10:14 am

    That sounds like an amazing holiday! I’ve never been to Pembrokeshire but I’ve heard good things from people who have. I love the idea of toasting marshmallows – I haven’t done that since I was a kid , but I remember how much fun it was to let your marshmallow catch fire, just a little bit, so it was nice and charred. #bigpinklink

  17. June 13, 2016 / 10:18 am

    This certainly does look like a fabulous holiday (we always forget something) I think my boys would have loved the golf buggy too. Pembrokeshire looks gorgeous and the water park lots of fun!

  18. June 13, 2016 / 10:28 am

    Looks like a lovely place, glad you had a lovely time. We want to take the kid somewhere similar to this so may look into this one #bigpinklink

  19. June 13, 2016 / 10:34 am

    I’d heard of Bluestone vaguely but never read any reviews or anything on it – but it sounds awesome! I love that there’s so much on site too, so you’re not having to trek miles every day to find something to do or somewhere to eat. We don’t live too far away either, so I think a visit is a definite must when Marianna gets a bit older! x #bigpinklink

  20. June 13, 2016 / 10:34 am

    Looks beautiful, thanks for sharing your holiday story. I love posts like these, it gives me inspiration for future holidays. #bigpinklink

  21. June 13, 2016 / 10:42 am

    oh we love bluestone!

    We went last year and had such an amazing time, I was a bit worried like you that we would come home more stressed than when we went, but there was just so much for the boys to do they were so tired by the end of the day they slept like logs.

    We didn’t go outside of the resort so next time we go, we’ll definitely venture outside to take in the beaches and such.

    lovely photos and thanks for hosting xxx

  22. June 13, 2016 / 10:46 am

    I had never heard of this place before it looks and sounds amazing! i have just sent your link to my husband telling him we have to go now too!!

  23. June 13, 2016 / 11:11 am

    I don’t know this area at all but you’ve sold it to me. And marshmallows on a fire could make a holiday for me, wherever it is! #bigpinklink

  24. June 13, 2016 / 11:13 am

    That sounds amazing! My kids would love going somewhere like that – and I’d like the “let your kids explore free-range” mindset. This post really sold your vacation for me. Too bad I live in Canada! Thanks for sharing your awesome vacation!
    #bigpinklink

  25. June 13, 2016 / 11:47 am

    I always love these sites where you have your own lodge and can enjoy lots of on site activities – especially those that tire out the kids. We are looking for somewhere to take the youngest Teenager and one of her friends in August and this looks like it may tick all the boxes. Thanks for sharing. #bigpinklink

  26. June 13, 2016 / 11:48 am

    This sounds really amazing and also not too expensive! The holiday sounds perfect for a small family, we’ve never been away as a family and we want to do something exactly like this. I’ve just Googled Pembrokeshire though and it’s quite far away from us. It sounds like you had a great time, I hope when our lot get away it goes as smoothly as your holiday (without that 4:30 start!)

    #bigpinklink

  27. June 13, 2016 / 12:25 pm

    We love that area of west Wales – it has some stunning spot. We’ve heard some good thing about this particular site although we haven’t been yet ourselves, something we may now do. Camp smokey looks particularly cool. #bigpinklink

  28. June 13, 2016 / 12:41 pm

    What a great location…it looks like you were spoiled for choice with so much to do. I love the idea of getting around in the golf cart…what kid (big or small) wouldn’t enjoy that! Thank you for sharing your lovely holiday. #bigpinklink

  29. June 13, 2016 / 3:04 pm

    Sounds brilliant & you were amazingly lucky with the weather. I’ve heard good things about this place. So nice to have a good family holiday. Is it a bit centre parcs ish? #bigpinklink Lifeinthemumslane

  30. June 13, 2016 / 3:05 pm

    I’m happy to hear you finally got a family vacation that didn’t stress you out! I have taken family vacations like that to and by the time I get home I often say I need a vacation from my vacation, LOL! It looks like a great place to visit! Glad you had fun with your family! Thanks so much for hosting #thebigpinklink

  31. June 13, 2016 / 3:06 pm

    We are so in love with Bluestone we are planning our fourth trip! We went recently and they had even updated some of the site from the 6 months we had visited previously! It’s so chilled and has so much for the children to do. My children have never slept so well. Can’t wait to go back again! #bigpinklink xx

  32. June 13, 2016 / 3:07 pm

    Drive through check in! DONE. The golf course sounds lush, I wouldn’t mind the hills, need a bit of exercise. The inside looks super nice. Would love to go here one day! #bigpinklink

  33. June 13, 2016 / 3:19 pm

    What a beautiful post with fab photos. We haven’t booked a hol yet but I’d love to explore the UK some more. #bigpinklink x

  34. June 13, 2016 / 4:03 pm

    I am so glad you had a nice time! We went to Tenby a few years back and it was a gorgeous beach! I loved Pembrokeshire and have many happy memories from that trip! We all need a holiday now and then 🙂 xxx #bigpinklink

  35. June 13, 2016 / 6:07 pm

    Glad you finally had he holiday you deserve!!! #bigpinklink

  36. June 13, 2016 / 8:02 pm

    What amazing views and I love the fact that everything is on site meeting all essential needs! X #bigpinklink

  37. June 13, 2016 / 8:08 pm

    Sounds like you had a wonderful time and Bluestone looks beautiful, somewhere we definitely want to visit and each review I read only makes me want to go more. So glad you had a lovely family holiday. Thanks for hosting lovely 🙂 #bigpinklink x

  38. June 14, 2016 / 10:15 am

    This sounds like you had an amazing time, your enthusiasm for the place jumps off of the page! It all sounds wonderful. I love the idea of having a village of people together all on holiday with a brilliant atmosphere and the ability to go and see lots of things within 30 minutes drive. The accommodation looks fab and I like the idea of eating outside and toasting marshmallows. I’ve always wanted to go to Tenby so I will be checking this out as a possible holiday for the future. Thanks for sharing! #BigPinkLink x

  39. June 14, 2016 / 10:34 am

    Oh my word this look amazing. But hang on, had to go back home twice? Seriously brave announcing the 2nd time after the 1st – wish I’d seen your husband’s face! Anyway, looks amazing and has been on my wish list of place to go for a while. Want to know my favourite photo? The one with the wine – that just says chill to me and I so need some of that! Also, on the group of pictures showing the bedroom – is that a massive spider on the floor??? #BigPinkLink

  40. June 14, 2016 / 1:18 pm

    Wow, what a beautiful little get away! sounds perfect and so much to do for the kids, plus lovely accommodation! The beach you found also looks incredible and i think i went there as a child, i definitely went to Tenby…dug a hole…fell in it…cried and ran away, i was 7 🙁 caravanning 🙂 haha thanks for sharing a great post, oh and lovely photos i must add. #bigpinklink

  41. June 14, 2016 / 3:24 pm

    It looks gorgeous, I don’t know this area at all. Glad to hear you had a nice time, I know what you mean about holidaying with kids being an exhausting experience, I totally agree! The lodge looks really nice, a far cry from the Butlins chalets I remember as a kid! 🙂 #bigpinklink

  42. June 14, 2016 / 4:44 pm

    Hi Lucy, it sounds like a fab place, which it must have been for you to want to write a review about it off your own back (which I think is excellent). Renting a golf buggy must be a fun way of getting round, but the layout of the land sounds perfect for getting a little exercise whilst away.

    Typical that your sons wanted to share after you decided to go for the bigger lodge! At least you know for next time.

    #BigPinkLink

  43. June 14, 2016 / 5:49 pm

    How beautiful all you pictures are!! It sounds like you had a great time. Thanks for sharing it with us #bigpinklink

  44. June 14, 2016 / 7:19 pm

    Sounds like you had an amazing time and what luck with the weather! I don’t think we’ll be venturing on many family holidays in the very near future just because young kids with autism and two parents who can’t drive make that sort of thing tough but I hope to do these sorts of holidays in the future and something like this sounds ideal.

    #bigpinklink

  45. June 14, 2016 / 8:18 pm

    The lodge looks so gorgeous, makes me want to go on holiday. I love the idea of you all going for a little drive in your buggy every evening 😊 #bigpinklink

  46. June 15, 2016 / 1:51 pm

    So pleased you finally got that winner vacation! It looks absolutely dreamy! #bigpinklink

  47. June 15, 2016 / 2:10 pm

    I am so glad you had a lovely holiday – it’s wonderful when you’re expecting the worst and then it turns out lovely. It looks like a beautiful place to visit! #bigpinklink

  48. June 17, 2016 / 5:17 pm

    Aww sounds like a great time!I have been to centre parks a few times and it all sounds very similar, I love that cars aren’t allowed on site. That pool looks amazing!My boy would be a bit freaked out by the waves too. Totally agree with you on Folly Farm, we have been a few times and it’s amazing, I love the vintage fair and the lions!So glad you had a nice holiday xx #bigpinklink

  49. June 18, 2016 / 9:47 am

    Looks like you had a brilliant time! Great review. Thanks for sharing #BigPinkLink

    Nadia – ScandiMummy x

  50. June 18, 2016 / 9:56 am

    Oh wow this place looks incredible!! I have never heard of it but adding it to my wish list 🙂 xxx #bigpinklink

  51. June 18, 2016 / 8:20 pm

    Oh this is so nice to hear, I’m thrilled that you had such a wonderful time! A happy family holiday is just the best thing ever. It sounds amazing. Thanks for co-hosting lovely! #bigpinklink

  52. June 19, 2016 / 2:00 pm

    Sounds like you had a brilliant family holiday! It is great to find a place where the children and adults both enjoy themselves. The minute you spoke of the buggy, I knew it would already be a winner. My kids would have loved that.

  53. June 19, 2016 / 9:50 pm

    Glad you had a good time! The lodge looks lovely! I don’t think there’s ever enough space in the car. I actually am fairly organised with packing, but get complained about for how long it takes to make sure we have everything and arrange everything (ie why it inexplicably takes me longer to pack everything for me and both kids, clean and tidy house, sort out cat, sort out accessible supplies for journey, dress kids, turn appliances off, close windows, etc, etc, than it takes him to put two t shirts in a rucksack (normally manages to forget half of the whole 6 things he needed to pack)) #bigpinklink

  54. June 20, 2016 / 9:53 pm

    Wow it looks lovely! Is it a but like Centerparcs? Sorry I’m so late catching up on last week’s #bigpinklink reading xxx

  55. June 21, 2016 / 8:52 pm

    Oh wow, what a wonderful review. Bluestone sounds like a fabulous place to visit, I’ve always wondered whether or not to go. Your review has convinced me and I’ll be trying to convince the Hubby we should! Thanks. xx
    #bigpinklink

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *