Monday, 23 March 2015

Free-Range Fun in Bluestone


In the rural rolling hills of Pembrokeshire National Park in West Wales resides the beautiful Bluestone Holiday Resort.
With green countryside, blue seas and yellow daffodils trumpeting the arrival of spring - I was lucky to visit during a bright and sunny week in mid-March to explore the resort and local attractions.

Bluestone generously offered to provide me and my family with this holiday break in exchange for this review - all opinions are my own. 


Even before booking, I heard lots of good things about Bluestone from friends and family, so I was eager to experience the resort for myself - and share it with you!

I arrived with my family of 8, including a 3 and 5 year old who were just as excited as us adults.
We were allowed access to our Grassholm lodge (above) at 4:30pm, and it certainly brought the wow-factor. It's cosy yet spacious, stylish yet charming. 


The lodge also came with a fully equipped kitchen including a fridge, freezer and dishwasher. It was great to make some of our own food on some occasions to feel really at home - there's also a takeaway delivery service available.


Each of the 4 bedrooms were very comfortable, and there were 3 luxurious bathrooms. I particularly liked the powerful showers, deep bath tubs and high vaulted ceilings. 


At the centre of the resort is the village which has a collection of well stocked shops for groceries, nibbles, toys, as well as a bakery and variety of restaurants. There's also a Health Spa (yellow building below) for those who love relaxing on holiday breaks.


Nearby is also an open park that the children loved loosing themselves in.

We loved Miller's Bakery for their bread and pastries. I tried a warm pie and hot chocolate one afternoon and it hit the spot perfectly!


For those of you who love an active holiday, surrounding the village is a variety of outdoor pursuits such as archery, clay shooting and an assault course. There's also the steep ravine, an area for adrenalin junkies with a zip line and high ropes challenge in the dense forest.


Some of these activities come with a cost, but I found there's plenty on offer for those on a budget.
For example, one afternoon during my stay I really enjoyed pulling up the walking boots and taking the nature trail around the resort. It skirted trickling streams, an old Iron Age fort and ended by Bluestone's large lake (very top image).

It was so refreshing to see the local wildlife coming out of winter's rest, and breathe in the pure Pembrokeshire air. 


The whole family loved the Adventure Centre and Blue Lagoon (indoor waterpark) that guests have access to. The flumes were fantastic fun, and the warm wave pool had water jets and a lazy river.


One of my favourite elements of the resort is Camp Smokey. It's nested in the base of the ravine, immersed by the thick woodland.


It's a dining venue where food is smoked while you wait. You can sit outside by a piping fire and churning water wheel, or sink a pint in the bar.

In the evening during certain times of the year it's exclusive to adults with live music. I'd love to come back and experience this!


At night under starry skies it was incredibly atmospheric, and like being transported to an alpine retreat.

One evening we enjoyed drinks in the Knight's Tavern, a themed medieval pub in the Village. I liked the sound of the menu, but we decided to eat in the Farmhouse Grill nearby to experience both.


Coming out of the cold and sitting next to a burning log fire was a great start. There's salad bowls and fresh bread to enjoy before or with your food.
A few of us had gammon, and one tried the ribs and described them as rich tasting and very meaty. Each meal was also generously proportioned - we were stuffed!
I'd really recommend trying the creamy sliced garlic potatoes, very more-ish!


Bluestone is certainly a destination itself, but there's also plenty of places on your doorstep to explore, such as Oakwood Theme Park, Folly Farm and a sprinkling of chocolate box villages and coastal towns like Tenby.


We visited Tenby during our stay and had a fantastic time shopping and walking along the beach!


Have you visited Bluestone or Pembrokeshire? It would be great to hear what your thoughts were in the comment section below or via Twitter @ExploreWithEd.

Thank you Bluestone for a brilliant stay, the lodge quickly became a second home and the children did not want to leave! 


For more information or to book a break here, visit their website: http://www.bluestonewales.com/
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