I feel completely at home when swinging from trees, sitting round a campfire and basically just breathing in fresh air in big open green spaces! There is something kinda special about the smell of the great outdoors, away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
As you know Harry recently went through major surgery to have Cochlear Implant’s fitted so we were in dire need of a break. We needed to get away from cars, noise and appointments, so to say this trip was a blessing is an understatement
Checking in was a drive-thru system which we thought was fantastic as it meant no lugging a grouchy Harry in and out of the car. We were lucky though and were the only guests arriving at that time but I could imagine there being quite a hefty queue at busier times of day or at peak season. We were handed maps, park info and the all important keys and off we headed in search of 23 Augustus Way! We found our lodge really quickly but I can imagine a lot of people getting lost as its not signposted that well and the verbal directions could easily be forgotten! Bluestone is actually a car free place which i adored but you are allowed to drive down to your lodge to unpack your car, for us this wasn’t a big deal as our lodge was close to the main car park (disabled/blue badge visitors are allowed a vehicle on site though of course)
After a 3 and a half hour car trip to Pembrokeshire where Bluestone National Park is based, we were more than ready to crash out with a pot of tea at our Lodge. We arrived quite late in the afternoon as check in wasn’t until 4.30pm (you can however pay a small fee for an earlier check in) so the plan was to get Harry fed and us all tucked up in bed nice and early ready for action the next day! Despite the late check in, guests are very welcome from 11am to use all the facilities they have to offer which I think is a great touch and there are plenty of places to chill out, eat and drink if needed
We were so happy with our accommodation it was absolutely perfect and we took along some friends to enjoy the trip with us. We were allocated the Caldey Connect Lodge which is actually two lodges with an interconnecting door, handy for when our friends wanted some down time or peace and quiet from little-but-loud Harry. Both lodges were so spacious with plenty of room for Haribo to run and bike around and I also loved that it was all on one floor with no stairs or such dangers (However the lodges that are multi floor all come with baby gates)
The Caldey Connect sleeps up to 8 very comfortably and came with a travel cot which saved us so much space for the car journey!
I couldn’t fault the cleanliness of the place in the slightest, it was impeccable and quite clearly very well maintained – Even the highchair provided was super clean!
One thing I was disappointed with was our bathroom, it was a wet room but it was literally a SOAKING wet room! It basically flooded with every shower we ran so we spent a good while mopping it up with spare towels and trying to stop Harry from going swimming in it! I have since heard though that you can request a lodge with a bath which is something to consider if you have a littl’un.
There is no cleaning service or towel replenishment included as part of your stay but you can pay an additional fee if its something you would like to have and there is also no laundry facilities, but again Bluestone do provide a service at an extra cost.
Outside the patio doors of our lodge was a lovely green grassy area with picnic benches, which I am sure we would have made full use of during the summertime and you are welcome to use disposable BBQs if you wish!
In the heart of Bluestone is The Village which actually feels like a proper little Welsh village with cute little terrace cottages (which you can also stay in), where you can buy freshly baked cakes from Miller’s Bakery, a pint at The Knights Tafarn or emergency supplies at Newtons Store. I also came across a milk and butter vending machine which I thought was such a fab idea! There were three restaurants in the village, The Farmhouse Grill, The Knights Tafern and The Oak Tree. We only ate at the Tafarn which served traditional pub grub but it was surprisingly delicious! I opted for hearty fish and chips with mushy peas and it was divine! There is also a little spa in the village which unfortunately we didn’t get time to try, but I have only heard good things and it looked like the perfect place to unwind.
The outdoor playground for the kiddies was SO good, 100% one of the best parks I have seen with all its tunnels, swings and slides to play on, Harry was in his element!
There was so many activities for both adults and children – including the babies and toddlers! At the Adventure Centre was a whole list of sensory classes and crèche sessions as well as a Circus themed soft play area with giant Lego and cars to ride on!
Also in the adventure centre was a huge indoor playground which included rock climbing, crazy golf, a bouncy castle and a Lego wall as well as big squishy sofas for us oldies to rest our toes.
The Blue Lagoon water park was a massive highlight of the our trip, Harry absolutely loved it! There were four different slides for the big kids and adults, a lazy river, water shooting out from everywhere and best of all a wave machine which had us in stitches! Our friends also took a dip in the hot tub located outside and said the views were fantastic! The changing rooms were again so clean, much cleaner and tidier than our local pools and we had no trouble finding somewhere for us all to change relatively quickly. The pool water was also SO warm, almost like a bath which is perfect for young bubbas! We got to try out Harry’s waterproof Cochlear Implants for the first time there which was so exciting!
Our favourite place at Bluestone was most definitely Camp Smokey, a rustic woodland diner with a working water mill and camp fires. I felt so relaxed and “at one with nature” and the chilli dogs were out of this world – yummy!!! Also on the menu were toasted marshmallows which put a smile on everybody’s face, especially Harry’s!
The staff there were telling us tales of the “Adult Guest Only” parties they have there, with live music, food and dancing so if you are planning on visiting Bluestone with no children, Camp Smokey sounds like where the party’s at! Ahhh I can still smell the camp fire smoke in my hair…
Also down at Camp Smokey was the Steep Ravine where a lot of the activities for big kids and adults took place including Laser Combat, Tree Climbing and Sky Wires. We couldn’t go to Bluestone without experiencing a bit of high rise adrenaline so we booked up for the High Ropes Course, which is very much like a mini Go Ape with added zip lining! It was SO much fun we didn’t stop laughing! Mr H is a bit of a wus when it comes to heights so he was well out of his comfort zone and would still probably say now he would have preferred to have been sat with a pint of cider watching us swinging from the trees instead! Our instructor Jack was lovely and lots of fun, trying to challenge us to do each of the obstacles with no hands (no chance) and making sure we were safe whilst up there with 50 foot drops beneath us – eek! These activities are at a charge which we paid for ourselves, the High Ropes session was £28 pp for 2 hours and we enjoyed every second
Whilst we were zip wiring across 50 foot drops trees Harry attended a 3 hour crèche session which he seemed quite happy with! I was really anxious about leaving him at a place I didn’t know and with people I didn’t know but as soon as we got in the room he was straight in there playing with a dolls house and didn’t even notice us leaving! Apparently he spent most of the 3 hours sat on a key workers lap but he was fine. The crèche session again was at an additional cost of £25 for the 3 hours, which is pricey when you add on the cost of your “adults” activity, however we found it was worth it for a bit of a break and were really glad we got to do the High Ropes!
We also hired bikes for the duration of our stay and somehow I got roped into a 7 mile bike ride! To say Harry enjoyed it would be a lie.. he pretty much cried the whole time and then eventually wore himself out so much he fell asleep.. ON the bike!! I also wanted to cry myself.. i’m not cut out for exercise!!! We only went on the one bike ride but it was in such a beautiful setting, the scenery on route as stunning. There are tons of different cycle and walking routes so make sure you grab a map or ask the staff which ones they recommend
So I think you can tell by my rave review that we had a great time at Bluestone!! I can’t wait to go back again it was the perfect break for our little family and for our friends as well!!
My top tips if you’re visiting Bluestone
Take a lot of warm clothes if you’re going out of the warmer months. Although our lodge had heating it took a long time to warm up and I found myself quite chilly in the evenings!
Take more clothes than you think you will need, you’re bound to get muddy during the activities or even riding bikes and there are no laundry facilities on site
Take a pack of toilet rolls, enough for your stay as you only receive one or 2 per lodge
Request a lodge with a bath if you have babies
Take extra dishwasher tablets if you plan to use it
Be prepared for a lot of “hilly” walking, the site is massive! Unless you fancy hiring bikes or a golf buggy (the golf buggies actually look like so much fun!!)
If you are planning on hiring bikes make sure you take your own helmet. We assumed these came with the bikes but you either have to bring your own or buy one for a whopping £20! We went without but got stung when it came to Harry as he had to have one of course! We also took our own toddler bike seat as they don’t provide these either
If you plan to eat out I highly recommend the Tafern Pub for dinner. I had fish and chips and it was delicious! Service was great and the food came really quickly, perfect when you have an impatient and tired toddler on your hands
Will you be visiting Bluestone this year?? Take a look at my YouTube video for more info on Bluestone!
*Our stay at Bluestone National Park Resort was kindly provided to us for free in exchange for an honest and open review! All of the opinions expressed are entirely my own! Thank you so much Bluestone for such a great trip!!
Hi! I’m Lucie - I'm now in my 30's and I am a mother to 4 year old Harry.
I like to share my experiences of life with a deaf child via writing and filming videos for YouTube!
I also love trying out new products and experiences. I like to travel and generally get out of the house at least once in a day!
Expect honesty, parenting fails, flat lays and days out in the British countryside!