Bluestone is a resort which really suits a range of people. It appeals to the outdoorsy types who hire bikes and go on walks in the amazing forest or venture out to visit nearby castles and beaches. It also appeals to the ‘indoorsy’ types who like activities including waterparks, adventure centres, pubs, restaurants and spas!
We’re probably a bit of both as we love being at one with nature but also enjoy a bit of entertainment on a plate at times. We certainly packed a lot in during our visit to the vast Pembrokeshire national park resort. At the moment, Bluestone has been transformed into ‘Christmasland’ and has loads of festive activities happening throughout the season including ‘Kingdom of the Elves’, (see below) Santa’s Workshop and Christmas Parade.
We stayed in one of its many self-catering lodges that sleep from two to 12 people. Ours was a Ramsey Lodge which sleeps four and we found it clean and functional if a little lacking in ‘cosy’ features like lamps and cushions but you could always take your own! The kitchen is fully equipped with all you would need to eat in every night, although there are a number of themed restaurants and takeaways on site.
We really enjoyed hiring a golf-buggy to get around (some people had even decorated theirs with tinsel and Christmas lights!) I would recommend getting one with small children as things are quite far apart – although they are not cheap as an ‘extra.’ We went to the ‘Blue Lagoon’ waterpark where we had fun in the Lazy River and wave machine along with the ‘splash’ areas for younger children. There are good family sized changing rooms with nappy changing tables in them. Kids have to be 1.1m height to go on the fabulous water slides. It was mainly younger children during our visit as it’s term time, so I imagine quiet compared to school holidays. I do wonder how busy it gets at peak times following expansion of the cabins on the site.
One of our favourite things to do was walking into the forest to see ‘Camp Smokey’ – a camp fire/barbecue themed outdoor restaurant which is unfortunately closed during the winter months. However, you can go on one of the many walks around Bluestone and there are outdoor activities for all ages including archery, woodland high ropes and axe throwing! There are also a number of historic sites to find out about at Bluestone which I think they could make more of and will hopefully restore over the coming years.
The main event at the moment is Kingdom of the Elves. Bluestone puts on a different ‘show’ every year and people we spoke to said they return annually to experience it. Our opinion: Ed really enjoyed it, if a little overwhelmed at times, with very animated ‘Elves’ and a journey through a series of decorated rooms to rescue the Elf King. It was loosely based on the Nutcracker so we would probably have liked more of the story and less of the theatrics from the Elves.
Children can get dressed up as Elves (there were also quite a few adults dressed up too!) and you walk through different rooms as part of a story. My mum and I thought the best bit was decorating the gingerbread but Ed said it was rescuing the king. Kingdom of the Elves is on until Sunday 6th January. You can also book to see a Snow White Pantomime and there are Christmas lights switched on most evenings in the village. From January 7th 2019, it’s the Winter Lights display through the woods which looks amazing.
Bluestone also has a Well Spa which is nice to escape to if you have time! I went along for a massage and facial which was excellent. I would also rate the ‘Thermal Spa’ experience rooms including steam, sauna and salt room.
We have visited Bluestone before and so advice if you’re thinking of going is to bring ‘extras’ with you like toilet roll – they only give you one per toilet! A negative is that we felt that there are a number of ‘extras’ you need to pay for such as, ‘premium’ Wifi, flip-flops in the spa and also the buggy is quite expensive. We ate in most of the time as the kitchens in the cabin provide all you would need. There are a number of restaurants in the village but we felt that these were quite expensive for what you get in terms of food and ambience.
All breaks booked during the Christmasland period include tickets to Kingdom of The Elves for your whole party. You can stay at Bluestone throughout the whole Christmas period.
If you would like to know more, click on the Bluestone website here.
Disclaimer: we were invited along to Bluestone as part of its ‘Bluestone Blogger’ collaboration.