I cannot tell you how excited we were to be invited back to Bluestone. We had a fabulous time when we last visited Christmas 2016 and couldn’t wait to see what it offered in the Summer months.
We have been to Pembrokeshire a few times and it is a beautiful area of Wales, an area we are rather fond of, but boy is it a long way from Norfolk!! We broke our journey up on the way down with an overnight stay in Newport, this was great as it meant we didn’t have to leave our house at the crack of dawn and we got to arrive at Bluestone nice and early and most importantly ready to explore.
We left our home at around 2pm on Sunday, we had spent the morning at 0ur local farm for Open Farm Sunday with some friends, popped home grabbed our bags and headed off. A really chill way to start a holiday. A couple of stops and 5 hours later we grabbed a Dominos and got into our hotel. An Ibis Budget just off the M4, a simple and clean room to lay our heads for the night. Which is literally all we did, eat pizza and sleep.
The following day we were ready for Bluestone. The two things we had learnt from our previous holiday were that a golf buggy or pushbikes were essential and you cannot have enough time in Bluestone. So as we cycled last time we had pre-booked our golf buggy for this break and we aimed to arrive as soon as we could check in at 11am, though this ended up being closer to 12pm as we got distracted on our way. I was also very organised and had organised a click and collect grocery shop from the nearest Tesco at Haverfordwest, about 15 minutes away. Look at me being all organised.
When we arrived at around midday there was no one else in front of us queuing for the check in desks, a big change from Christmas when we had arrived at around 4pm, just before we could access our lodge. We were queued for ages that time, so arriving earlier was certainly better on that front. We parked our car and had a little wander towards the village to get lunch. It was strange how much we remembered from our previous visit. It was like visiting an old home, lovely. Everywhere we turned we noticed something new as well as something familiar.
We had a delicious lunch in The Knights Tafarn, I had Tempura Halloumi with chips, which quite frankly was enough to feed all of us. I didn’t think I had a limit when it came to cheese, especially halloumi, but I was begging husb to eat more towards the end! It was lush.
Then we took L to play in the fabulous play area in the village, new since our last visit and a far better use of space than the large marquee that stood there previously. L had a great time swinging, spinning, sliding and bouncing. Before we could blink it was time to collect the golf buggy, which was available from 2pm. There were a few people ahead of us, but again nothing like when we had collected our pushbikes after check in previously. Another point to arriving early.
Whilst arriving early had certainly saved us a lot of time, felt far more relaxed and provided me with a delicious lunch, there are no two ways about it after we had the buggy we felt like we were kicking our heels until the lodge was available to us at 4.30pm. We had a ride around Bluestone remembering where everything was and checking out anything new. We payed in the adventure centre for a bit, I nearly beat my 5 handicap golfing husband at crazy golf. Had handicaps bee taking into account I would have for def won, this most certainly needs mentioning!!
We were having a lot of fun but we really were waiting to get settled in and by around 4pm we gave up, we popped back to the village to grab L a snacky dinner from Newton Stores, which is very well stocked and saved us a few times over our stay, then we dropped husb at the car so he could drive back to the lodge and we waited for it to open at 4.30pm. The keys are timed to open on the minute, so you can’t get in early unless your lodge allows it and some do. We were rescued by some lovely cleaners who unlocked a few minutes early for us.
With the bags unloaded husb nipped off to collect the shopping whilst L ate his dinner and I unpacked. Perfect. I would recommend booking a click and collect grocery slot to anyone visiting, it worked perfectly and meant we could buy frozen foods and not have a car crammed full all day.
Our lodge was wonderful, just as we remembered. We were in a Caldey Lodge, the same style we had stayed in previously, it is large, airy and was regularly visited by ducks, pheasants and seagulls, much to our delight. In fact the second L woke up Tuesday morning he was at the window to see if the ducks were there, before he even came to say good morning to us!
It was at this point we discovered you can’t lock the patio doors with a key and L had unlocked the latch, opened them up and was busy inviting some new friends in! He’s not a flight risk but this is something to think about if you don’t want to share your lodge with all the ducks.
We did loads during our stay. L went ‘Into the Wild’ at Camp Smokey, helping Smokey Jolene build a new camp, toast marshmallows and meet a friendly owl. A friendly owl that I embarrassed myself over in my eagerness to hold it. When the question ‘would an adult like a turn’ was uttered my hand shot up and I squeaked yes please, so quickly everyone laughed at me. Was worth it though, I love me an owl.
Husb zipped over Camp Smokey and explored the Steep Ravine on the High Wires course, he was one of three people in his particular group so they got a really amazing session and almost one to one help. He loved it. L and watched for a bit before going off on our own adventure.
Both these activities were paid for but at £13 and £32 respectively I thought they were great value. Especially L’s Into the Wild experience, Welsh Cakes all round, Marshmallows, Activities and an Owl meet and greet, awesome. Husb got two hours on the Sky Wires, so that was excellent value for money too.
As well as the paid activities we just made the most of what Bluestone had to offer for free, we swam at Blue Lagoon, played in the adventure centre, walked a whole lot. L loved finding the fairies in the little fairy village and literally walked miles and miles, over several days, to see their village, hunt trolls under bridges, find all the toadstools, rock bugs and feel the magic.
To see his excitement made the holiday for me. It sparked something in him we weren’t expecting, he now has a Fairy Door at home and that magic that Bluestone sparked in him is alive and kicking at home. We played so much, at the playground in the village. In the tree house section above it, though a lot of that has been closed off since our last visit. In the fields and open spaces. Back in our lodge. We just played and played and played.
We ate well, starting with our meal at The Knights Tafarn. We enjoyed a lunch down at Camp Smokey. Ice Creams and Milkshakes at Ty Coffi. We were able to cook good meals, at our leisure back in our lidge and eat outside on the picnic benches. Newton Stores provided a coupe of little treats and anything extra we needed. I felt we used a lot more of the food facilities this time round and got a bit more out of them which was nice.
Despite facing a 6 hour plus drive on the Friday we still couldn’t bring ourselves to leave. We got the car packed and were out of the lodge before the 10.30am cut off, dropped the buggy back and parked back in the car park before playing in the adventure centre one last time. We could have stayed for ages but left around 11.30am. L decided he was ready, he missed the cat, so we headed off.
We had a fabulous stay at Bluestone again. Whilst Christmas is still my favourite time of year to visit, it’s hard to beat that festive magic, I loved visiting and getting to enjoy Bluestone in the daylight, with good weather and gorgeous blue skies we were able to really make the most of all that it had to offer.
We would return again in a heartbeat, it’s not the cheapest holiday in the world but it is amazing. Bluestone has a magic about it, something you won’t find anywhere else, regardless of when you visit you will find magic. Magic that will last in your heart and provide you with memories that for us as a family are priceless.
Disclosure – we were hosted by Bluestone to enable us to write this review. All extras including the buggy, Sky Wires, Into the Wild experience and travel expenses were funded by us. All opinions are my own honest views.