Friday, 29 May 2015

Days out: Bluestone National Park Part 2 #bluestoneblogger

On our second day at Bluestone we took L to a softplay (presumably for kids over 5) at the Adventure Centre. We gently bounced her up and down on the front section of a bouncy castle or played for a bit in a ball pool. Whilst she enjoyed both for a couple of minutes, it was difficult to encourage her to enjoy the experience. 
Having said that we had a lovely time playing "crazy" golf (until my golf ball flew towards someone seating on the sofa) and putting L's name on the Lego board.
Tip: if you have a little one with you and no relatives to hand a baby carrier could be your saviour if you want to play mini golf, shootout or air hockey.

We wanted to explore Circus Zone room which is another soft play room for under 5's, but at that time there was a baby sensory class and we were advised to wait, but as L is on a strict sleeping routine we couldn't wait too long and opted to follow a nature trail instead (we had a choice of 2: steep one and pushchair accessible one).
I didn't pre-booked any classes such as messy play and sensory class, as L can sleep from 30 minutes to several hours and as it's hard to guess when she will be ready to do things we had to miss on the opportunity, but opted to go for a long walk and to enjoy the fresh air.
Few months before our visit I have looked at the activities that I can book online, and at first I thought that navigation was a bit difficult, I was going back and forth trying to find free and paid activities for babies but in the end (30 minutes later) I got the hang of it.
On a third day we decided to venture outside of Bluestone, we went to Folly Farm, which is a fairly local zoo/farm, which is a great day out and I would also recommend visiting Tenby, which is 15 minutes continuation from Folly Farm. 
We did both Folly Farm and Tenby in one afternoon. I did not know much about Tenby beach, but the sand and view across the sea was lovely.

Tip: prepare to pay 5p for a single carrier bag if shopping in Wales or if buying fish and chips and want them wrapped.

The second venture away from Bluestone was to Pembroke docks, which was on the day 4. 
We decided to eat out at the local Marston's pub Y Cerrig Glas (postcode SA72 6JY) as we particularly enjoy their BBQ chicken & ribs and had gift vouchers. What a nice place to eat! Newly opened restaurant, nicely decorated, clean, has an activity corner/play area for kids, which L loved. 
She has spent few minutes playing with bead mazes whilst we were waiting for our order. After a quick meal we headed towards Asda which is just across the road (postcode SA72 6DA). 
Similarly to Tenby we just loved the view across the docks!

Even though we didn't do many activities we thoroughly enjoyed water park, (a lot of) walking and finding new trails or places to see at Bluestone. 

Blue Lagoon water park
We were really looking forward to swimming as it was L's first time. Changing rooms had a very comfy baby changing tables, which I liked a lot and looked like L was comfy sitting on it. I must admit I have never been to a water park before and expected a proper swimming pool with lanes, how little did I know that water park is so much more than just a swimming pool! 
We absolutely loved the wave machine, bubbles in the shallow pool for younger children and the lazy river! The only negative was the warmth of the water, I didn't think it was warm enough, thankfully L had a baby warmer on.

Tip: bring some bath toys with you to entertain your little one in the water and towels. It helped L to feel comfortable in the shallow pool and kept her occupied for a while.
The Bluestone village looks slightly different to the rest of the resort, different coloured cottages ans shops, play ground, the milk machine (I have never seen one before!) and the information centre where you can pick up maps or book an activity for yourself or your little one.
The lake is close by to the village centre and a very peaceful place with cute little ducklings floating with mum and dad.

Walking vs Buggy
Generally Bluestone is not so big and we thought that it was quite accessible without a buggy, you can also use a free shuttle bus but we haven't seen many people using the provided service and it seemed that it wasn't frequent anyway. 
The only 2 steep hills were on the way to the village and the path to Camp Smokey and the rest was walkable.

- Even though Bluestone is a car free resort it would be nice to see more road directions i.e. one way road, dead end, exit (that one was very confusing) as we thought that signs are not clear or obvious. We have noticed too many land rovers driven by staff members, it would be ideal to see them driving buggy.

- I have felt a little bit uncomfortable when was changing L in the ladies room at the Adventure Centre. Facilities were open for everyone to see us, it is not discreet and the lady behind me could clearly see L's private parts. Also the fact that the changing facilities were in the ladies room make it less appealing for male gay couple.

- Trail stones/pebbles were my worst nightmare, pushing a pushchair was at times impossible (Camp Smokey trail, Lake path) and I wish there were less of them as they were more of an obstacle.

- I was really happy with the location of our lodge, with L waking up from any noise, it was an ideal, quiet area far enough from hassle and bustle of the village. It would be great to see an option to book an accommodation in a specific area by choosing the lodge on the map, that way you stay in control of your own holiday. 

Disclaimer: We were offered a 4 night stay at Bluestone National Park for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.


  1. Looks like there's lots to do there! #SummerDays

  2. This is such a thorough review and I bet lots of people find your insights really helpful. Tenby beach looks gorgeous. I have been tempted on occasion to book Bluestone myself but it is quite far from where we live in Northumberland! I also love the milk machine! Thanks for linking to #traveltales - I've added this post to our pinterest board xx

  3. I've heard so much about Bluestone.

    Your photo's are great. One day we hope to visit. :-)

  4. We only live an hour or so away from Bluestone and can't wait to hopefully visit one day. I'm loving that milk machine, such a great idea! Thanks for linking up with the #SummerDays linky it would be lovely if you could add the badge to your post to let others know about the linky :-)

  5. Really useful review - we will be there in a couple of months time so appreciated reading this! Cannot wait to go!! Thanks for linking up with the #SummerDays linky - hope we see you next week. We would really love it if you could add the linky badge to the bottom of your post next time! Thank you!!

  6. Wow you must have whizzed through Folly farm, we spent the whole day there and could have stayed another lol! The views at Tenby are lovely aren't they, definitely worth a visit. And Bluestone is brilliant, we stayed there in march and I loved reading your review #triedtested

    1. it seems like we did but we have seen everything except play are as its for older children and not for a 10 month old