Lovely local Mum of three, Lucie Farrimond (aka The Duck Shed), took her boys along to Bluestone National Park Resort in Pembrokeshire for a three-night family break. The 500-acre woodland resort is set in the UK’s only coastal National Park and offers over 100 indoor and outdoor activities, as well as the Blue Lagoon and an award-winning luxury Well Spa. Keep on reading to find out what Lucie and her three boys thoughts of their stay. And for people with a younger family, read all about a break in Bluestone with three young kids.
♥ What’s it like?
Bluestone is a woodland holiday village in Pembrokeshire, South Wales. The accommodation is spread throughout the parkland in lodges and apartments. I visited with with my three boys aged 11, 8 and 4 and my dad!
We arrived at about 5.30pm (mainly due to traffic on the M25), and although it was later than planned, this did work in our favour as there was no queue at check in! Even though I hadn’t checked in online in advance, the whole process only took about 5 minutes.
The receptionist was incredibly helpful, he gave us our lodge keys, lagoon passes, car tickets and showed us exactly on the map where to go. You are only allowed to take your car into the village on arrival days and leaving days which means it’s nice and safe the rest of the time for everyone to walk around.
It’s also all one way so really easy to get to your lodge on arrival. We had a Tenby 3 bedroomed lodge. It had two twin bedrooms, full bathroom and lounge/kitchen/diner downstairs and a HUGE kingsize bedroom with ensuite shower room upstairs. Everything was very well looked after and spotlessly clean.
The kitchen is really well equipped, I managed to cook steaks, roast a chicken and make lots of cooked breakfasts in there without thinking “Oh dear I wish I had X so as I could do Y”. Unless you book a hamper, there aren’t any products in the kitchen so do bare that in mind if you are planning to self-cater.
♥ Tell me more…
The atmosphere at Bluestone is a bit like how I imagine a commune to be. Before we had even unpacked the car, the boys were playing football and rolling down the hill with the neighbours from the lodge behind ours. A theme that continued all week, slowly gathering more of the neighbourhood kids as they did.
Everyone is really friendly and chatty – other guests and all the staff that I encountered. We quickly got into an evening routine of walking down to the village square the boys could play in the playground while I sipped on a G&T from the village pub.
We were incredibly lucky with the weather while we were there as it hit 27 degrees at least every day, however this did mean that the boys were only really interested in swimming and the lovely huge air conditioned adventure centre so we didn’t try out any of the other activities as everyone was a bit warm.
♥ The Water Park and Adventure Centre?
The Blue Lagoon water park is brilliant and we spent at least three hours there everyday. The lazy river is perfect, especially if you have a pool noodle as you really do get a relaxing float around with no effort then. If you go before 11am then there is a big inflatable slide with an adventure course in the main pool – my younger 2 really enjoyed it.
The waves are every 20 minutes after that and we did lots of experimenting with how they affect you differently depending on how deep the water is that you are standing or floating in. The water flumes are great fun too.
I also have to mention the patience of the lifeguards! One of my boys has an immense fear of heights, yet was also desperate to try the flumes…Catch 22 situation. Every day he sat there slowly going a bit higher, eventually making it to the top, where he then sat at the top of one of the flumes for about 30 minutes.
Luckily it was very quiet at the time so there wasn’t a queue. The lifeguard on duty gave him so much reassurance and encouragement. Even when he decided that actually it wasn’t for him and he still didn’t go down, the lifeguard told him how brave he was for trying and that he hadn’t failed by not doing it.
As the adventure centre is very close to the Blue Lagoon we tended to drop in there on the way back from swimming for the boys to have a bounce on the bouncy castle, play on the big wooden castle climbing frame and in the soft play.
♥ The Well Spa Retreat…
On Wednesday afternoon, I snuck off for a bit of me time in The Well Spa Retreat. I had a seaweed bath treatment, then had access to the Thermal Spa experience. If you get a chance I would really recommend having a seaweed bath. It was probably the best bath I have had in my entire life.
On arrival at the spa you are given a towel and big fluffy gown to use while you are there. The changing rooms are lovely and make you feel like you are really having a treat from the moment you walk in. I got changed and then went to the lounge area to wait. My therapist came over, introduced herself and took me to my treatment room.
I was quite shocked when I walked in to find a gorgeous slipper bath in the middle of the room with steaming water and lots of actual seaweed in it! I was expecting it to be a powder or essence. She explained to me what to do and left me alone to bathe for 25 minutes. It was so relaxing with lovely scents all around and relaxation music playing. The seaweed releases a gel when it’s warm. My skin is still amazing now and it has been a week since I had it.
I then went upstairs to the Thermal Spa experience – my favourite rooms up there were the two steam rooms and the ice room. The café has got complementary drinks and snacks. I chose what I wanted then headed out to the suntrap terrace for a spot of sunbathing before hitting the hydrotherapy pool. I was really lucky as there was no one else using it at the time so I was able to move around all of the different jets and bubbles to get the full benefit of it. I really loved my three hours spent in the Spa and left feeling like a new woman.
That evening, I took the boys on an adventure into the woods. We really enjoyed all the little touches throughout the route that we took and seeing what creatures we could spot.
♥ Hints and tips
- If you are planning on self catering too, I would advise stocking up at the shop on the way or sending someone back out again that evening once you’ve unloaded the car. Not doing what I did, which is pop out the first morning then have to carry quite a lot of shopping back to the lodge as you can’t take your car back in.
- Hire a golf buggy!!! We didn’t and really wished we had. My dad and 4 year old were struggling somewhat in the heat with all the walking up and down hill.
- When you go swimming make sure that you have your swimming passes with you and haven’t left them behind in the lodge…. 5000 steps later. Luckily Dad and the boys waited in the adventure centre for me.
- Take some small outdoor toys – skipping rope, balls, hoops etc as this gives the kids lots to do in the evening.
- Insect repellent is a necessity during the warmer months.
- Beware of seagulls – don’t leave your dinner outside on the table unattended while you run back in to get your phone to Instagram it, as they will appear out of nowhere and eat it!
♥ General thoughts…
We thoroughly enjoyed our break at Bluestone. If we were to go again, I would either extend it to a week or stay a few days there then maybe a few days in North Pembrokeshire as the journey from Kent took quite some time (6 hours with stops). A longer stay would also be a great opportunity to , explore the beautiful local area too.
Visit the Bluestone website to find out more!
Lucie and her family were guests of Bluestone, in exchange for an honest review.