The perfect getaway for families with little adventures
“I wish we could just stay here for 100 days” (Sammy, aged 5)
Situated in the heart of Pembrokeshire surrounded by stunning countryside and woodland and close to world class beaches, lies beautiful Bluestone resort, Wales. At its centre lies a Charming Welsh village, complete with store fronts, restaurants, lake and village pub. The addition of luxury baby friendly accommodation in the surrounding fields has created a rural haven for young families looking to escape and spend quality, relaxing time together.
It soon becomes apparent that we have landed in a little paradise for tiny travellers and their parents, and none of us stop smiling for the duration of our stay.
We stay in a well-appointed and luxurious woodland lodge with a contemporary finish (lodges range from 1 to 6 bedrooms and sleep up to 14). I spend several minutes just bouncy walking along the beautiful carpet and admiring the solid wood furniture. Paul throws himself straight on the king-size with fluffy quilt and huge plump pillows. A quick check reveals TV, DVD player, microwave, dishwasher and every possible kitchen utensil (including cafetiere). Mothercare stairgates are a permanent fixture to the top and bottom of the stairs and there are a brand new travel cot and high chair in the downstairs cupboard. The luxurious feel continues into the bathroom, and I enjoy a good few relaxing, hot baths in there once the little ones are in bed.
We choose to eat out during our stay but a quick check of the village shop reveals a whole wall of nappies, wipes, baby foods and essentials, plus everything else you might care to eat. They can even prepare a welcome pack for you before your arrival!
Also included in your stay…
Just about everything a small child could wish for!
The Blue Lagoon Pool Complex
This is an amazing, modern swimming centre complete with large pool, lazy river, ship wreck, water chutes, and the most gorgeous nipper’s cove for younger children. The water is very warm throughout. Nipper’s cove is secure and gated with its own life guide. Tiny tots can go rock pooling in the shallow water, giggle and splash in their own mini Jacuzzi bath, or use the good range of pump and splash water toys.
The cove is surrounded by traditional beach deck chairs from which you can sit back and watch contented tots when you’re not splashing in the water too. I will never forget the face of my 5 year old as he “swims” round the lazy river all by himself! The main pool slopes down from a shallow end where much fun is had wave jumping and splashing in the fountains. Inside the changing area there are lots of family changing rooms and play pens for little ones waiting to enjoy a splash whilst their parents get prepared. All in all, fabulously baby friendly. We see little ones as young as a few months wriggling and giggling in the bubbles with Mummy.
The Adventure Centre
Wow, just wow! The adventure centre is a huge indoor soft play facility otherwise known as a kid’s dream. There’s a special area for those under six including lots of scrambling and ball pit fun, close by is a huge wooden climbing facility complete with slides where parents are getting busy as well as the kids, and ours spend a lot of time on the bouncy castle. In the “treetops” to the back of the woodland cafe we also discover the “Circus room” for under 5s which is set out like a little mini gym for tiny tots and is completely secure with sofas in the corner for mums and dads. There’s enough here to keep you busy ALL DAY and at no extra cost! Result!
And just in case you’re not all tired out!…
Free kids’ sessions run daily for an hour from 5.30pm and involve lots of dance and party fun. There is also a lovely tree tops play park just beyond the village from which you can enjoy the fresh Welsh air.
Literally, there are not enough hours to fit it all in, and I love love love waking up in the morning without ever having to wonder “what we are going to do today?”
Activities at extra cost
The activity centre runs creche and kids club sessions for small babies and up. A three hour session costs £24 and gives Mummy and Daddy a chance to chill out together or try out the spa. They also run family activity sessions which cost £7 a time. During our visit Baby Massage, Baby Sensory and Baby yoga courses are also running! For older children and adults there are a whole host of extras: archery, high ropes, climbing wall to name but a few. Nobody need ever be bored at Bluestone!
I don’t feel I’m exaggerating when I say that Bluestone offers some of the best family food in some of the most amazing and magical family restaurants we have ever visited together. All restaurants offer plenty to entertain little ones, high chairs and buggy parking. We also saw bottle warmers and a microwave at the woodland cafe, and the restaurants would be more than happy to take care of bottle warming for you.
Here are our personal favourites
The Woodland Cafe
We eat here for two consecutive lunch times as it is conveniently situated in the “tree tops” just above the fun of the adventure centre, so it’s a great place to take some time out. At its centre is a magical old tree, and from its branches spawn the seating areas, such as “the birds nest”. A charming club house offers a TV room with comfy cushions, and to the rear is the circus room soft play for little ones. During their lunch kids can colour too. The food is decent quality and a kids’ meal with drink sets us back just £4.95.
The Farmhouse Grill
A family dining experience with a real gastro edge and loads of extras for little ones. You can pre-book your dinner here and we think it’s a must! This is definitely the most special family meal we have ever enjoyed. The food is top class, and at the centre of the Grill is an artificial grass farm complete with ride on tractors and two beautiful wooden play houses. The boys play house with the other kids between courses and are well occupied. To top it all our table doubles up as a magnetic maze, and the Belgian waffles with extra chocolate sauce are the best that mummy has ever tasted. The whole experience is completely delightful.
The Knights Tavern
The village pub is charming and traditional with a warming log fire in the winter. The food here is really spectacular. Mummy tucked into bangers and mash, daddy enjoyed a huge chicken dinner and two boys happily tucked into sausages and chips whilst colouring in. It’s a lovely relaxing evening surrounded by like minded families. Nobody minds if your toddler pops along to say hello!
NB: If you find it easier to eat in, the village shop offers more than enough food options to keep you self-catering in comfort all week.
Staff with a smile:
I do want to mention the staff at Bluestone as we found them to be truly exceptional. In the restaurants they have time to talk and laugh with our children, at the pool they are smiling and helpful, and everywhere we go we were made to feel welcome. There is a sign at Bluestone which reads “Children Welcome, parents tolerated” and we very much feel that our kids are at the heart of everything here.
Our top hints and tips:
Hire a buggy. You can hire an electric buggy for £80 a weekend or £29 a day. Though this is an extra expense, it’s a fun and fast way to take your family to explore the park.
Or…take your bikes.
Pre-book your restaurants before you arrive to secure earlier times if you need them. If everything’s planned in advance it heightens the sense of relaxation when you arrive.
Head for the pool early in the morning, it opens at 9am and that’s when it’s quietest.
Experience Bluestone for yourself
4 night midweek breaks at Bluestone start from £149 and 3 night weekend breaks from £249. Woodland lodges range from 1-6 bedrooms and sleep up to 14
Please click here to visit the Bluestone website and book your break. Visit this Easter and enjoy a personal visit from the Easter Bunny and Easter Egg hunts a plenty!
Bluestone also offer Woody wilds breaks for pre-schoolers with extra fun activities such as singing and story time.