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Bluestone Wales

20 replies

donkey86 · 27/07/2021 19:24

Does anyone have any tips for things to do in or around Bluestone resort in Pembrokeshire? We’re (me, DH, DCs aged 1 and almost 4) going for a week in mid-September.

We haven’t booked any activities yet. Should we? Do they get full? We’ll probably explore the local area off site at least half the week. I would like to get several trips to the pool in too though. Any must-dos?

I see their website quite heavily recommends the golf buggies. Are they really necessary? I wasn’t planning on getting one. Presumably the site isn’t that big? We’re staying in a Ramsey lodge, I don’t know whereabouts.

How’s the food in the restaurants? It would be nice not to have to cook too many days.

I think I first heard of Bluestone on Mumsnet years ago and vaguely squirrelled it in my mind as a place to go one day. I hope it’s still recommended!

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LadyMonicaBaddingham · 27/07/2021 19:33

The Secret Owl Garden is brilliant and really near to Bluestone. If you want a good wild beach, head to Freshwater West. There's also Hangar 5 trampoline park in Haverfordwest. Don't bother with Oakwood though, it's shit.

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Evergibbon · 27/07/2021 19:37

We loved it there and only went out one day of a whole.week. we did get the buggy as we had 2 3 year olds at the time and the pool is a fair walk. To be fair the golf buggy was brilliant fun!

Folly farm is nearby and worth a visit you can use tesco vouchers. And the beach at Tenby is gorgeous

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mumonthehill · 27/07/2021 19:39

Although kids too small to do the activities, Wild Lakes wake park just down the road does great food and it is fun to watch people while you eat. Llys y fran has just been re done and they have bike tracks and lovely walks. Obviously lots of beaches !

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ellesbellesxxx · 27/07/2021 19:40

We walked everywhere with our twins (the first time they were 2 and it exhausted them!)
We loved folly farm for a day trip and the beach at Tenby too (although when we went in May couldn’t use Tesco vouchers for folly farm, maybe it’s back in use now)

We went to dinosaur park at Tenby, that was quite good too

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ineedaholidaynow · 27/07/2021 19:42

Watching a current thread on Center Parcs about the lack of washing machines, it might be useful to check what washing facilities there are, or be prepared to pack more clothes as I don't think the lodges at Bluestone have washing machines either.

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csiaddict · 27/07/2021 19:42

If you're not elderly or have mobility issues you don't need the golf buggies.
Activities are pretty expensive so choose carefully. Make the most of the pool - that's the big attraction and you don't pay extra. It's residents only in the morning I think after which it's open to non-Bluestone residents so make the most of that time.

Food in restaurants is good (depends on your budget though - you might want to stock up on ready meals instead).
I did see people cycling round on mountain bike trails- can you take your own bikes there as that might be an option to avoid the buggies.
Some nice walks on site which were nice.

If you want to get away, Tenby is a lovely town to explore and not too far away. They also have a lifeboat station there which was interesting and the kids got to see it launching which was exciting.

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Callcat · 27/07/2021 19:45

Anna Ryder Richardson's zoo nearby is great. Really good day out. Tenby also worth a visit.

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FlyingFlamingo · 27/07/2021 19:47

The Secret Owl Sanctuary has closed, the birds are in the National Botanic Garden near Carmarthen, which is a bit further away but worth a visit.

If you go to Freshwater West get some lunch from
Caffi Mor - it’s amazing!

Other beaches worth a visit are Broadhaven South and Barafundle.

Narberth has lots of good food options - especially Ultracomeida.

We’ve never felt the need for a buggy and we’ve been there lots of times. We usually book a day or so of activities ahead because they do fill up. Wacky Racers was fun the last time we went if that is still running. We like the Chippy, Camp Smokey and The Oak Tree. I wouldn’t bother with the Farmhouse Grill. Y Tafarn is ok.

With little ones I would definitely find time for Folly Farm.

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SpamIAm · 27/07/2021 19:47

My kids are the same age. We don't book any activities - plenty of free stuff to do, and even more now the Hive is open.

Golf buggy definitely isn't essential (as long as you don't mind carrying the 4 yo if they get tired walking up the hill!) but they are fun.

We always book folly farm for the day we leave (we don't have far to travel home so can stay most of the day). You can't use Clubcard vouchers any more so it is quite expensive but there's so much there you can easily spend a whole day there and still not see it all. As well as the farm animals and zoo, there's also a fairground, soft play and loads of really good outdoor play areas.

Other than that we don't tend to go off site much really. We'll maybe have a beach day if it's sunny, or last time we went to Hilton Court Gardens which is a lovely couple of hours out. Beautiful gardens plus all these little wooden houses to explore which my 4yo loved. Think she'd have happily moved in to one of them 😂

My 1yo isn't fit to be taken to restaurants but we've had the food from them all when they were doing takeaways. All nice enough. The pizzas are lovely and they do delivery. Camp Smokey food isn't particularly anything special but it's a lovely setting so we tend to do lunch there. The chips from the chippy were amazing the one time we've had them (longest wait of my life though) but I've seen mixed reviews so it seems quality varies a bit there.

There's a Facebook group you might find useful, bluestone information or something along those lines.

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donkey86 · 27/07/2021 19:51

Huh, I had no idea Anna Ryder Richardson had a zoo. I remember her from Changing Rooms! I’ll look it up. Good tip re the laundry - I’ll check but I think we’ll be needing to do it all when we get home.

I’m making a list of everything suggested so far, thanks! The dinosaur park sounds right up our street.

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MrsHerculePoirot · 27/07/2021 19:53

Folly farm and the dinosaur park place are excellent days out for kids that age. Play areas in bluestone and lots to wander round - although pushing a buggy up after old Smokey is a mission 🤣 we had a golf buggy once for one day but you don’t need it.

Choose and book the activities you really want to do in advance so you get the times you want.

Pool in the morning before public is allowed. It’s great!

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Simplelobsterhat · 27/07/2021 20:02

We've been 3 times and managed fine without the golf buggy with similar age kids first 2 times. It's not a huge site but it is quite hilly. We hired one between extended family group the last time we went though and it was fun to have and made life a little easier,especially for the 4 year olds who were at that too old for pushchair but still quite little legs stage.

It's a lovely area so in terms of off site places to go it depends what you are looking for? - there's something for everyone. Folly farm is a fantastic full day out for the ages of your DCs. You have a huge choice of beaches of all types within half an hour. Saundersfoot is probably closest and is a lovely sandy beach in a little harbour town with shops and places to eat.

We haven't been in the summer and not since covid, so activities probably different, but I would say it is worth booking. Don't overbooked though- at that age they will be happy with pool, play areas in serendome and I believe a new indoor play centre just opened, plus walks and play area in village centre. Camp smokey is worth a visit if only for a drink and marshmallows as it feels quite special in the woods.

Definitely need to book evening meals out too. The restaurants we've been to were nice enough and very child friendly. I think there are also some takeaway options. We picked up click and collect at Tesco Carmarthen on route last time which worked well as site shop smallish.

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TomAllenWife · 27/07/2021 20:18

We've been loads, always hire bikes rather than the golf buggies

We normally go in winter & love cycling up to the pool in the dark and use the lazy river under the stars

Activities are fun, but there's also the big inside play area with crazy gold etc

We have enjoyed: safari jeep thing, archery, zip wires & organised bike ride

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BitterTits · 27/07/2021 20:23

We really liked Heatherton World of Adventure.

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Madcats · 28/07/2021 07:09

I took my then toddler to Bluestone when it first opened (coincided with some major building works). I managed fine with a lightweight pushchair and raincover. We were as far away from the pool as possible.
We continued to visit for the next 10 years.

Buy/borrow some waterproof dungarees and wellies and reins and they'll love the beach whatever the weather.

The beaches at Tenby are great.

Maybe check Tripadvisor reviews (filter to read outside school hols) to assess whether you need to book things. We've never really bothered (but I expect all the lodges are fully booked this year).

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MrsFriskers · 28/07/2021 07:27

Picton Castle is close, and has fab gardens, fairy door trail, a small zoo and birds of prey flying displays. Otter feeding too, I think. Maria’s cafe on site is great food. Saundersfoot (coppets hall) beach is well serviced for parking/cafe/SUP hire and no dogs.

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Handsnotwands · 28/07/2021 07:52

There’s loads to do in the area. Beautiful beaches every way you look, fantastic castles to explore. Heatherington is a great, good value day out. Water sports galore. Tenby for buckets, spades, cockles and mussels. It’s a fabulous area to visit - enjoy

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gogohm · 28/07/2021 08:01

Recommend driving down to st David's and taking a boat trip if weather isn't rough, went recently and was really good (just an hour one and saw so much) Another idea I did years ago is to buy the kids binoculars and little notebooks to write/draw what they see - we also had a mini bird guide and a mini insect guide. Mine are adults now but still love nature

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mamaduckbone · 28/07/2021 08:24

If you're having a beach day I would recommend freshwater east, Tenby or saundersfoot rather than freshwater west - it's an amazing beach but not really suitable for little ones if they're likely to want to go in the sea - it's great for surfing / body boarding but the tides are extremely strong.

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ExplodingCarrots · 28/07/2021 08:24

Local and ex bluestone employee here.

Golf buggy - I was quite young when I worked there and walked the park extensively and used to scoff at people using the buggies Blush BUT after I had my DC and we holidayed there myself I realised the need. Wherever you are located on the park you will end up walking up steep hills. You could be lucky and staying in Pentre Ifan or Augustus way and the walk to the pool and adventure centre is close but if you want to access the village where main restaurants are it's at the the bottom of the hill. If you're knackered / kids grump after a swim the buggy was a bit of gods send. But please PLEASE don't your kids drive it on your lap. They do have zero tolerance for this now thank god.

Blue lagoon - this is still closed to the general public. Check you don't need to book slots .

Local recommendations

  • folly farm (not accepting Clubcard anymore ) and currently you have to book entry spot in advance via Eventbrite to guarantee your visit . They're free and then you can purchase entry ticket either online or on day. Hopefully that will have gone by September but never know !
  • Freshwater east beach . Easy access beach with toilets.
  • barafundle beach if you want something special but it's a bit of a walk with steps
  • bosherston Lilly ponds. A lovely walk but not buggy friendly
  • bug farm St Davids
  • Manor park wildlife zoo
  • heatherton
  • dinosaur park
  • boat trip to caldy island if it's still operating
  • hangar 5
  • Pembroke castle
  • crabbing down Carew mill
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