Bluestone National Park Resort, a free-range holiday resort, full of adventure for all the family. From the moment we arrived, until the moment we headed home, Bluestone exceeded all our expectations. We switched off from the digital world and enjoyed some magical and unforgettable family time in the heart of Pembrokeshire.
As this post goes live, my brother and his young family are enjoying their own adventure at Bluestone. We truly loved it that much, that we’ve recommended it to most of the families we know.
In July, we travelled to Wales for a mid-week break at Bluestone. We were expecting great things having read all the reviews and still now, we talk about our holiday all the time.
Bluestone National Park Resort
In a nutshell…
Bluestone, Wales is a 500-acre woodland resort that is set in the UK’s only coastal National Park. Bursting with wildlife and with over 100 exciting indoor and outdoor activities, the Blue Lagoon and their award-winning luxury Well Spa, Bluestone caters for a wide range of tastes and ages and it’s your choice how active – or easygoing – your break is.
Arrival at Bluestone and our Lodge…
Guests can access the resort and use the facilities from 11:30am on their arrival date. The rooms however, cannot be accessed until much later in the day. Times vary dependent on your booking.
On arrival we were provided with a welcome pack which included two key cards, site maps, an activity planner, a list of onsite facilities (inc opening times) plus a safety guide.
We stayed in a Caldey style lodge, which sleeps a family of four. The single floor lodge was spacious inside and featured a double and a twin bedroom, a wet-room (no bath) and an open-plan lounge, kitchen and dining area. To the back of our lodge was a paved patio and picnic bench and bike rack.
The self-catering lodge had standard WiFi access, and some modern appliances; hairdryer, kettle, toaster, oven, microwave and dishwasher. Crockery and cutlery is available for all your cooking needs. Towels and bedding are provided, and a maid service is available at extra cost. An iron and ironing board can be requested from the office.
Minimal supplies are provided (one toilet roll, two dishwasher tablets, small container of washing-up liquid). You will need to top them up so do consider taking them with you. Alternatively, they are available in the Village Shop onsite.
You can drive your car down to your lodge when you check-in, in order to unload your belongings. Your car must then be returned to the main car park (free) and left there during your stay. This ensures that the site remains car-free during your stay and therefore perfectly safe to roam with your little ones.
Getting around the resort…
Cars are only permitted on site when checking-in and checking-out, but you can still get around the resort by hiring a golf buggy, bike or using the free bus shuttle. We chose to walk everywhere and enjoyed finding all the hidden surprises around the site which we may have otherwise missed. However, I would definitely recommend hiring a golf buggy if you aren’t up to lots of walking, because the resort is HUGE.
The Bluestone village is central to the resort and has it’s own pub, a village shop and gift shop, restaurants and play areas; Treetots for under-6s and Treetops Adventure playground. There’s also the festival parades that bring the village alive twice a week to enjoy.
The Well Spa is also located within The Village for those looking for a little pampering, as is The Village Hall, for all your shows and pantomimes.
The Adventure Centre…
The Adventure Centre has it all. For the little ones, a soft play area, bouncy castle, The Circus Zone, and Baby Sensory and Messy Play Sessions. For the older children, there is a huge climbing area, the Sky Trail and The Wall. The whole family can enjoy the Mini Golf together and a small arcade area.
There is also a gorgeous enchanting Cafe onsite should you get peckish.
The Blue Lagoon…
The Blue Lagoon is an indoor water park with plenty on offer for everyone and free to use as a Bluestone guest. Nippers Cove is a dedicated area for Under-5s and the main pool features a wave pool, water jets and other aqua surprises. There are also slides, flumes and a lazy river to enjoy. Qualified Lifeguards are poolside at all times.
There are plenty of spacious family changing facilities available plus lockers (£1) for your belongings. There is a pool side kiosk which serves snacks and drinks, plus a cafe upstairs which overlooks the pool area.
The boys had a fabulous time splashing around whilst mummy watched on from one of the balconies. I think they would have happily stayed in the water all day.
Free Range Fun at Bluestone Wales
A stroll around the Lake…
The lake is an absolutely beautiful place for a stroll. Its serene setting is blissfully quiet and home to lovely plants and plentiful wildlife. Before heading down to the Lake, we removed the Flora and Fauna page, from Bluestone’s Village Voice magazine and the boys enjoyed finding some of the plants around the lake. See below, Jack trying to blow the pappus from a ‘Dandelion’, that photo still makes me laugh.
Around the lake, the boys spotted Ducks and Ducklings, Dragonflies, Bees, Frogs, Spiders and Butterflies. We didn’t manage to find any of the shy rabbits though.
Located by the Lake, is the Ranger HQ, home to plenty of free-range fun and games. Plenty of information can be found here about the wildlife located at Bluestone so be sure to visit. Outdoor workshops and water activities are run from the HQ, such as paddleboarding, kayaking, Raft Wars and Nature Detectives. We talk about our Nature Detectives experience further down in this post.
There is a fab Bug Hotel located just down by the Lake’s entrance, the boys loved finding the little critters. There are loads of these located all around the resort and we may have hidden some painted Newbury Rocks nearby for other children to find…
A walk in the Woods…
With 500 acres of woodland and countryside to explore at Bluestone, you had best pack your best walking shoes! We had a wonderful time wandering the woods at Bluestone and found some amazing hidden treasures, which really should not be missed. Words cannot describe how much the boys loved these walks and the excitement they experienced when stumbling across these little gems.
The woodland scenery is breathtaking. The giant trees, babbling brooks and steep ravines, make the perfect setup for the ultimate adventure holiday. There are different nature trails that can be enjoyed by those of all abilities and ages, so there really is free-range adventure here for everyone.
It’s the added details that Bluestone bring to the whole outdoor experience that I just have to share with you. From the tiny fairy villages to fairy houses built in the trees, the hidden Bluestone Rocks and sprinklings of fairy dust, or the painted toadstools and decorative bugs throughout the woodland. For me, it’s these things that make this place truly magical for the family.
Our Nature Detectives experience…
This session was fantastic and was great value for money. Jack and Hudson became little Nature Detectives along with lots of other children (and their families), and went in hunt of minibeasts and fallen leaves.
Beginning at Rangers HQ, all the children were provided with a Rangers Kit consisting of full outfit, a compass and lidded jar, plus a Free Rangers booklet full of free-range fun ideas. The hunt took place around the Lake and within the surrounding Woodland.
Having gathered their bugs, frogs and lizards safely within their jars, the children returned to the Rangers HQ to release their finds into the Bug Hotel. To finish their experience, the children made their own nature hats using any leaves they had found.
The session that we attended was fully booked and so I would advise you book early so not to be disappointed.
Nestled at the bottom of Steep Ravine with a babbling brook coursing by on either side is Camp Smokey, a place to enjoy outdoor dining with a difference. It is a fantastic venue to enjoy smoked dishes all cooked to sizzling perfection right before your eyes and to watch friends and family flying overhead on zip wires.
We absolutely had to roast some marshmallows whilst we were at Camp Smokey, how could we not? The boys loved it, and there is no denying that us adults did too.
Finding Castell Coch…
Be prepared for something incredible here. Located on the grounds of Bluestone is a place that is truly beautiful. I think we were extremely lucky to find the Castle ruins, and I’m so thankful we did. Whilst I wont spoil the adventure for you, feel free to contact me if you would like some advice about finding it should you be heading to Bluestone soon.
Thank you very much for reading thus far. I hope your read has been helpful and informative.
We found the entire site to be very well maintained and extremely clean. The staff were always very pleasant.
The site is full of adventure and things to do, yet strangely leaves you feeling fully recharged and relaxed. There is something very wonderful about Bluestone, that you really can only understand by experiencing the magic yourself.
I think you can probably guess just how much we loved our stay at Bluestone, it is truly the most wonderful place for disconnecting from the outside world, enjoying quality family time and for creating memories.
We was really sad to leave the resort and will absolutely visit again. We love you Bluestone!
Lisa and family
*We were gifted with our stay at Bluestone in exchange for our honest review.