Photographer of Families, Small People and Delightful Places, Travel and Lifestyle Writer and Blogger, Lives in Newcastle, Loves the North, Often Accompanied By A Beagle Named Holly Bobbins

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Bluestone Resort, A Beautiful Break in West Wales

Bluestone Village, Bluestone Restort, Bluestone bloggers review by Mandy Charlton, photographer, writer, blogger

A couple of weeks ago when I was beaten and broken and didn't know if I could go on, I received an invitation for Looby and I to go and stay at Bluestone in Wales for a midweek Christmas break and though it meant an 18 hour round trip on several terrible trains it was 110% worth it.

Looby and I stayed in a Tenby Lodge which was bigger than our house, we finally had a bathroom each, a shower each, (we have no shower at home) and more room than the 2 of us could ever possibly hope for.  I don't think we got under each others feet even once!

For 3 glorious days (5 day break but we spent 2 days travelling) we laughed more than I can remember laughing in ages, we went swimming more times than I've been in the whole of this year and we fully embraced the festive winter wonderland that is Bluestone Wales.

On Tuesday we flew with Elf Airways to Elftopia, a memorable almost hallucinogenic experience in which I laughed so much that I could barely stand up, along the journey we met Judy Free, Dave, Biggles, Pat Sharpe in his fun house where I played the spaghetti string noodle, let's just say, I really got into the experience, I got to be the fun parent, my anxiety subsided completely for just a few days and I could breathe with the whole of my lungs.  That welsh air is good for the constitution and even better when the sun shines and you can get outdoors.

On Wednesday the weather Gods did not smile upon us, but, undeterred, we went to visit Santa in his workshop whereupon Looby asked for a horse, she always asks for a horse, one day when I win the lottery I shall buy her one.  Seeing Santa was a really special experience, he came down into his workshop via the chimney, boot first and I felt a lump in my throat, the nostalgia of seeing Santa warmed my heart, seeing all of the small people, eyes wide open with wonderment, and that included Looby, Santa at places, I've found can often not spend as much time with older children and concentrates on the smallest but not real Santa, Santa at Bluestone had a huge chat with Looby and made sure she felt just as included as the smaller ones.

On Thursday Looby wanted to go on the Zipwire course, a paid activity which cost £35 but I didn't mind, its all part of her outdoor home education experience, in the morning she'd done the climbing wall and indoor high wires 4 times, thankfully a combination ticket which costs £23 is available.  The Zipwires though, I'm not really sure how she could go on a 100ft zip wire without any fear at all but she did, she was so fast as she zipped over my head, what was nice was that I also got to go along and I waited down below with a good view of what she was up to as 2 expert tutors helped her master the 5 different zip wires.

We packed so much into 3 days, that on Thursday afternoon when the sunshine finally came out all we wanted to do was go for a wander in the outdoors instead of going swimming once again, I have to mention the Blue Lagoon though, I'm quite frankly amazed that you get free entry into a waterpark included in your accommodation price, it's epic, I went on 2 out of the 3 waterslides several times, as well as enjoying several swims around the lazy river which takes you outdoors.  We even went to Frost Lagoon on Wednesday afternoon where Jack Frost electronically DJ'd and the whole place became more frosty and festive, it was packed at that point and both Looby and I wondered where all of the people had suddenly come from.

At no point during our stay did we feel the need to leave the resort, at Bluestone every thing you could possibly need is provided, the Newton Stores stocks a range of gourmet locally sourced products as well as pretty much all of the groceries you'll need for a stay, the shop next door sells gifts and clothing and the restaurants are good, the Farmhouse Grill was fabulous and the Knights Tafarn provides traditionally pub fare in a very busy atmosphere.  We loved Ty Coffi though, the little coffee shop with the friendliest staff and the best ice-creams and milkshakes, more Welshbucks than Starbucks!

When we left on Friday I felt ready to make it to Christmas, It didn't happen and I broke again on Sunday but at least I delayed the inevitable and in truth, I would go back to Bluestone next week, in fact, if they have a lodge Looby and I could take up residence in for the foreseeable I would have been very grateful, well maybe, Bluestone is a no dog zone, and that's perhaps the only sad thing for us, we would have loved to take Holly Bobbins but she enjoyed a holiday in Yorkshire so all was well in the end.

I want to say a huge thank you to Bluestone for inviting us to spend the week with them, whilst they provided our accommodation I paid for everything else and this review is honest, I don't think it'll be the last time we visit the land where Welsh cakes are better than Scones!
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