Bluestone Wales situated in the heart of Pembrokeshire, close to Tenby and dozens of beautiful beaches is the perfect place for a family break. In its eighth year of running Bluestone is going from strength to strength with its combination of beautiful scenery, luxury lodges, adventure activities and relaxation blend.
We were invited to spend a term time weekend there in June and had a brilliant time.
On arrival we checked in at the gates and were given a map and lodge keys. We had arrived around 3pm and the gates to unload your car didn’t open until 4.30pm so we parked in the car park and went off to explore!
The first place we arrived at was the bike and buggy hire.
Bluestone isn’t particularly big but it is quite hilly in places so if you have small children in your party a buggy might be a good option. You do need your driving license to hire a buggy (£80 for the weekend) which we had totally forgotten so the only option was to go for bikes. This was, for us, the perfect choice as the boys love cycling around and bikes are really handy and nippy for getting about the place. Bikes cost £15 per adult and £12 per child for the whole weekend which I thought was brilliant value. Helmets and locks are for sale very reasonably but we are reassured that we didn’t need a lock if we were staying in the park with our bikes so we didn’t bother.
We then walked down the hill to the Village..
In the centre of the resort is the Bluestone village and you would think it had been there for centuries as it has a very quaint and authentic feel to it. It felt very Welsh if you know what I mean!
In the village there is: a pub, serving food and drinks all day; two restaurants; a shop for grocery essentials; a coffee shop selling ice cream; guest services; the spa; an outdoor play area for children and a village square as well as cottages around the edge. Roads lead out from the village to where the lodges are built in their own areas or around the lake.
There is also a grassy field behind the children’s play area situated on which is a 12th century church. This has been left derelict although there are plans to renovate it. Here is a photo of its beautiful facade.
We stayed in the Dinas Lodge, which slept 8 people in four bedrooms (2 double and 2 twin). There were also travel cots available for babies.
The layout made it a perfect lodge for two families of 4 to get together or a large group. The bedrooms (a double and a twin plus a wet room and toilet) were situated at opposite ends of the one story lodge with the large dining room and kitchen and lounge area with TV and DVD separating the sleeping quarters.
The bedrooms/shower room are a mirror image of each other with the living quarters in the middle. There were even two separate fridges in the kitchen to guarantee that your own tastes and personal space weren’t compromised!
It was all very clean and comfortable. The kitchen was well equipped with the basics including a mini washing up liquid and one dishwashing capsule.
I also liked the fact that the recycling bin had separate areas for recycling and other rubbish making it easy to be environmentally friendly.
Outside there was bike racks for rental bikes and also two picnic benches. We didn’t use these as really the weather wasn’t BBQ friendly but the view looked directly onto someone else’s lodge, which wasn’t really ideal.
At the top of the park, near to the entrance, is the Blue Lagoon water park and the Adventure Centre. This is probably where golf buggies come into their own as it was a bit of a thigh trembler for us cyclists – good exercise though!
The water park is for use only by Bluestone residents in the morning (9am-12noon). The boys are complete water babies and are never happier than in a pool. We only visited first thing, when it was quiet but I can imagine it can get busy later in the day. You need your lodge key to get passes to get into the pool area and you need to take your own towels.
The pool is great fun for all ages.
There is a lazy river which snakes outside the pool (where there also is a hot tub for over 12s) and back in – the boys loved this especially lying on their backs and letting the current carry them along.
Every half an hour there is a whistle to signal that the waves are coming, which generated hysteria and they were always down the front swimming into waves!
There are also four flumes that you can see from inside and outside the pool. Two of the flumes are in complete darkness and twist and turn before dumping you in splash pool, one that starts of in light, then goes into dark, then light again. The fourth flume, which doesnt open until 10am if you are an early bird, can be ridden in twos and is a bit like a lazy river/slide. There are smaller pools just off this slide where you can chill out or you can just zoom all the way down. The boys really loved this one for some reason!
Noah can be a bit cautious of fast, dark slides but he braved it and went on all of them and loved them all.
For younger children there are two smaller pools (one for under 4s) that with adult supervision are the perfect place for little ones to gain confidence in the water whilst having fun.
If I was going to be critical at all about the Blue Lagooon it is looking a bit shabby in places and could do with a bit of a refurbishment. I was unable to take any photos in the pool area (despite there being labelled “Photo Stops”). I am fully are of child protection and made it clear I only wanted to take photos of my own children but I was not allowed which was unfortunate as I think it is nice to catch those special moments in the pool when on holiday.
The Adventure Centre is a short walk from the Blue Lagoon. Here there are two climbing walls that can be prebooked or booked on the day, an indoor play area for children, mini golf and an arcade with games. It is also the place to go if you have prebooked any of the children’s activities.
We had booked Ethan onto a Forest Survival type session. This ran for 3 hours and cost £24 which I thought was brilliant value. He had a marvelous time taking a zipwire down to the forest floor where they build dens (and faced the water challenge to see if it would withstand rain!), made a campfire and ate more sausages. Suitable for ages 8-12 he loved every minute.
Noah had a go on the 4×4 off road safari vehicles. This was £14 for 45 minutes and needed adults to stay as was designed for younger children. The vehicles were mini jeep type cars which they drove around a track, learnt how to reverse, go over bridges and through tunnels and do a three point turn. He really enjoyed it but I did feel he was getting a bit big for this kind of activity and next time will encourage him to push himself for something more challenging.
Not wanting to feel left out, us adults took it in turn to pay a visit to the onsite Spa. For £50 we treated ourselves to two hours using the sauna, steam and ice rooms, the outdoor hot tub and indoor relaxation rooms as well as a treatment. I had a gorgeous Espa facial which left my skin glowing for days. Definitely money well spent!
Eating out at Bluestone offers plenty of choices. The pub serves standard pub grub – curry, burgers, pies etc. We ate there on Sunday night and it was good – plenty of food (I couldn’t eat all my curry and the boys finished it for me!) but nothing amazing.
We had fish and chips from the take away van. These were very average to be honest. The chips were nice but the fish was a bit soggy (and very small!) and the curry and gravy were very watery. The boys had chicken goujons which looked like chicken breast and they enjoyed them.
We also ate on Saturday night at the Oak Tree Restaurant, which is above the pub. This is an Italian-Welsh fusion restaurant. The food was delicious and really well cooked and the service was great.
The best food (in my opinion) we had was from Camp Smokey, which is a restaurant set in the heart of the forest and accessible via a wooden boardwalk. We visited at lunchtime and had delicious barbequed burgers, sausages, lamb steaks and chicken fajitas all served with potatoes cooked in garlic and herbs. I am not sure if the setting helped set the atmosphere (I love eating outdoors anyway) but the food was delicious. There was also a campfire in the outdoor seating area where we could toast marshmallows and make s’mores. My heaven!
We had a brilliant weekend at Bluestone – thank you so much for inviting us! We talked lots about “when we come again we will do this…..” so I hope we do pay a return visit soon. I would love to see more of the area around Bluestone village and also the activities that are on for school aged/older children in the holidays. From chatting with another mum I heard that the village at Christmas time is really magical so that might be one to think about.
I definitely want to go back to that spa again too!
Have you ever been to Bluestone? Would love to hear how you found it.