This is a collaborative post with Bluestone National Park Resort
When I left my day job a few weeks ago, I had expected it to be a seamless transition. Perhaps it is for some people, but for me the transition took a little time. You see, all this time I’ve been writing my blog, it was crammed into little pockets of time…a little frantic, if I’m honest. I just kept going at that same pace, but started to feel like I was burning out! So when the lovely team at the Bluestone National Park Resort in Wales asked us if we’d like a little break for the week, I jumped at the chance.
It meant more to me than just a bit of escapism though, it was also time for me and Emma to explore something new together. After my extended maternity leave, that Mummy and Emma time was something I missed a little. I completely took it for granted before, but when I was commuting I missed those lazy morning cuddles and discovering new places together. Even now I’m at home a bit more, we’re back into the nursery routine – so this was a such a lovely opportunity for us. Plus I’d never been to Wales before (I know, that’s a little ridiculous…) so off we went on a little adventure. We also roped in my best friend from school, to keep me company in the evenings over a few glasses of wine.
I have to be completely honest and say that it was no mean feat driving all the way from Brighton to Bluestone in a day. Emma was also feeling a bit under the weather and had those glazed eyes she gets when she’s about to get really ill, so it wasn’t the easiest journey. On the way back however, I realised the error of my ways and split the journey in half, stopping at Dyrham Park near Bath. I’d really recommend Dyrham Park, as it was a beautiful place – complete with cows all around us and the perfect way to stretch our legs. It also meant that Emma felt she had had a real break from the car seat, which is now called “Emma chair” rather than several short service station stops. It’s a no-brainer looking back…
Bluestone is approximately 35 miles from the M4 exit and although it took a while to arrive, we were greeted with smiling faces and such helpful staff. They completely understood why Emma was crying and made the check in process quick and easy. It wasn’t just at the check in desks that the staff were amazing though, this was throughout the resort – I was so impressed with the attention to detail and friendliness.
The Resort & Where We Stayed
Bluestone Resort is located in Pembrokeshire, in the heart of a national park – one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen. Surrounded by mountains and a coastline only 25 minutes away, the resort manages to offer everything a young family need. As you arrive, there is a check in booth to greet you and give you all the information you need to find your lodge. The staff were so helpful and we easily found where we’d be staying for the next four nights. I found the resort well sign-posted and also saw Bluestone staff walking around quite often, so if you were looking lost – there was always someone to help you on your way.
We stayed in the Pentre Ifan cluster in a Ramsey Lodge, which was perfect for us. Our lodge had one double bedroom and one twin bedroom with ensuite bathrooms downstairs, and then upstairs was an open kitchen and living room area. My mind was at ease as soon as we arrived and saw stairgates at the top and bottom of the stairs plus the travel cot ready for me to set up. I’d also recommend this area to stay rather than some of the lodges closer to the restaurants and shops, as ours was located close to the pool and adventure playground and only a short walk down the hill to the Village with the playground, shop and coffee shop. It was perfect for us!
Lots of people hired golf buggies for their stay but we decided not to because of our location to everything we wanted to see. Also, as Emma is still young enough to sit in the buggy, we were fine without it. But if you have children aged 3-12 years old, I would recommend it as Bluestone’s resort is quite hilly and little legs might get tired on the way.
The Village: Restaurants, Coffee, Shops & a Pub
The Village is located right in the middle of the resort and has everything you need for a little adventure out with the kids. There is a big playground for older kids with plenty to explore, but a Tiny Tots playground for Under 6 year olds behind this. It was fantastic to find the younger playground for Emma, as she often gets overwhelmed with the larger climbing frame and she loved having the baby swings to herself.
There are also a few restaurants, a pub, a local shop and coffee shop here too, which were invaluable to us. The local shop stays open until 7pm and was great for topping up on essentials, before we had a chance to head over to Tesco in Tenby (about 15 minutes away). I really thought this was so convenient to have such a lot on your doorstep.
Blue Lagoon & The Adventure Playground
The Blue Lagoon is the resort’s swimming complex and next door is the adventure playground with soft play and activities for older children. This is located behind the arrival booths and was in such a brilliant location to where we were staying. It was such a treat to have a swimming pool at arm’s reach and I can’t remember to last time Emma and I went swimming together! There’s also the opportunity to do a thermal spa experience, which I wish we had had time for…maybe next time.
I thought it was a great shame my stepson couldn’t be with us that week, as the adventure centre is something he would have loved. There’s an opportunity to do such a variety of sporting activities (from mini golf, to a sky trail zip line and a climbing wall); it reminded me of when we’ve been to visit Go Ape, near to where we live. It’s also a fantastic place to stay when the weather turns a little cloudy, as the young ones can go on the soft play while you wait for the sun to return.
What Did We Think?
We loved our week at Bluestone Resort, it felt like a home away from home with everything we needed at our fingertips. I’d definitely recommend it to other young parents too; it was our first time in Wales and we loved seeing the beautiful surroundings with Emma. While we were there, we also visited two wonderful beaches, which I’ll be reviewing in next week’s post – so make sure you don’t miss it!
Diclosure: Bluestone provided us with a 4-night midweek stay in a Ramsey Lodge plus premium wi-fi and Blue Lagoon passes for the purpose of this review
I’d love your vote in the Brilliance in Blogging 2017 awards in the FRESH VOICE category.
If you enjoy reading my blog, you can vote here – it only takes 5 minutes, thank you! http://www.britmums.com/nominate-for-the-bibs2017/