When I got the email inviting us along to review Bluestone Wales I literally jumped out of bed with excitement. Nestled within the beautiful Pembrokeshire countryside is this golden treasure – 500 acres of nature, woodland and lodges.
I had wanted to visit for ages. Just looking at the pictures made me feel happy. Free Range Fun was exactly what we needed. I travelled with my 8 year old daughter and my friend and her 7 year old son.
Disclaimer: I was provided with a free stay for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.
Before we arrived
Planning your stay at Bluestone is nearly as exciting as the trip itself! Before your trip begins you can ‘manage your booking’ online and book in any activities or meal reservations. There’s even a Bluestone app – so download it before you go and it will even lead you to your lodge.
I did a little bit of research before I took a look and a firm favourite was Camp Smokey. Unfortunately as our trip was very last minute it was already fully booked – so try and book your activities and meals as soon as you can.
We booked tickets for Black Bart’s Dinner Show and decide to let the children decide what activities they wanted to do when they got there. We had so many plans already, we weren’t sure what we’d have time for!
Packing was easy – we knew we could drive our car up to the lodge to unload so we literally just threw everything in, without having to worry about carrying anything.
Arriving at Bluestone
When we arrived we were so in love with the lodge we both ran around screaming and my daughter Face-timed her Grandma! The lodges are just beautiful – we loved the upside down living (bedrooms at the bottom).
I felt so at home straight away – it had everything we needed and more. A fully equipped kitchen and even a dishwasher!! I’ve never had a dishwasher so I squealed when I saw it. Everything looked clean, fresh and the teapot was shiny (I was also excited about the teapot!).
When you book a Friday – Monday break you can arrive from 11am on the Friday to use the facilities and check-in is from 3pm. As it was a last minute surprise trip for us I had to work on the Friday so we didn’t arrive until late evening, but next time we’d definitely make the most of that full day. You can use any of the Bluestone facilities.
On our first morning I woke up singing
I’m not normally a morning person but waking up in the lodge and opening my curtains surrounded by nature felt like bliss, it felt like we were a world away from anyone.
After a lovely cooked breakfast in the lodge (shiny teapot included) we used our first morning to explore the site. It is beautiful.
The children rode on their bikes and we felt really at ease to let them ride off and explore because no cars are allowed on site once you’ve unpacked on arrival day. Our kids loved this freedom, and it was nice to be able to give them it without worrying.
We soon realised there was plenty to do so we decided to hold off booking any activities, there was so much to offer already.
We took a tour of the nature trail, played in the park, enjoyed a drink in the pub garden and the children enjoyed exploring the stream, the grassy hills and the beautiful nature around us. Pure free range fun.
I think children always seem much calmer and happier when outside and surrounded by nature. It reminds me of one of my favourite quotes. “Children cannot bounce of the walls if you take the walls away” Erin Kenny
Everything is in close proximity so we could stroll back to the lodge at our leisure for lunch or rest breaks. I genuinely think the children would have been just as happy spending time in the lodge, they loved it.
“I liked chilling in the lodge. I dreamt I was still there last night.” Zachary age 7
We visited the Adventure centre in the afternoon and ended up spending more time than we thought here. We couldn’t drag the kids away. I’m not a fan of ‘soft play centres’, but this felt different. The tree-house/outdoor design gave it an outdoorsy feel and I felt quite comfortable on the lovely sofas while the children played.
Entry to the adventure centre is included in your stay and you can even play mini golf. We played with the children and just incase anyone is interested, I won.
We missed out on visiting the Italian for dinner as it was fully booked so we headed to the pub for dinner. I don’t know what I expecting but the food was far better than I imagined at such a good price, we all really enjoyed it.
Back to the lodge for a film and treats and the children enjoyed making a den. If you’re looking to get cosy on an evening take some cushions/blankets for the sofas. I brought the pillows up off the bed, but some cushions would have been lovely. Remember you can drive your car up to the lodge, so don’t worry about having to carry lots.
Blue Lagoon Water Park
A chilled morning (with another cooked breakfast) in the lodge and then we headed to to the Blue Lagoon for swimming. We used the family changing rooms for ease, you need £1 for the lockers.
My daughter loves swimming so she was really looking forward to this. She loved the waves and the outdoor rapids the most – I think we went round at least 17 times!
There are four different slides and the most amazing little splash pad and pool for little ones – I really wanted to steal a little one and sneak in there to play.
“I loved the swimming, but the water slide gave us a bit of a shock.” Zachary
I usually dislike the after part of swimming as I hate getting dry, but we used the big stand in air dryer for £1 and it dried us all off I seconds, I definitely recommend this.
An afternoon spent on the bikes and exploring the nature trails before we headed off to Knight School (all included in the price). This was one of the highlights for me, the two knights were hilarious and brilliant with the children.
My daughter is usually a bit unsure around new people and especially when trying new things, but the knights gave her the time and space she needed and then she was happy to give it a go. She enjoyed learning how to sword fight and found it very funny when the knights pretended to die! This was a great introduction before the knights parade we were looking forward to that night.
Black Bart’s Dinner Show
We booked in for Black Bart’s Dinner Show on the Sunday night. We were a little disappointed when we arrived as our table was nestled right at the back – but we soon realised the show was very interactive and the cast were brilliant at engaging everyone. It worked out as a blessing as our two don’t enjoy loud noises as much as some other children, so they enjoyed watching some of the show from afar.
The cast and show was fantastic, we all enjoyed singing along and the children took on some challenges in-between our banquet of chicken, chips, corn on the cob and coleslaw. A yummy feast fit for a pirate.
We followed the parade after dinner and assembled for the jousting tournament. What a wonderful spectacle! Pure joy and squeals is excitement from the children and very entertaining to watch – the knights had me in stitches.
“The Knights were amazing.” Zachary
After a jam packed Sunday, we were worn out and headed back to the lodge for bed.