I'd seen Bluestone a lot over Instagram and Twitter for a few years so to actually have the chance to visit was super exciting and I had high hopes.
Holidays as a solo parent are pretty daunting. I'd managed a 2 night stay in Milton Keynes which was pretty simple and of course a 5 day stay at the Isle of Man. The Isle of Man gave me an insight into what the drive would be like with just me and two boys (we drove to Liverpool then got the ferry to the island) and stayed in a tent for the time we were there.
So, although I managed to get through that holiday going to Wales did seem like a challenge but one I was excited about.
I'll break down our days in a separate post but wanted to do a Five Things Highlights post as we had such an amazing time.
1. The Views
I've always loved Wales, it's one of my favourite places and I've got a lot of memories of visiting as a child. I've never been as far into Wales as we did this time, with Pembrokeshire being the far West of Wales I was looking forward to seeing more of the country.
Not only was the drive there beautiful, and the areas around Bluestone beautiful, but even the views from the park are stunning. The accommodation we stayed in was an upside down house so the lounge and kitchen were upstairs. This was especially nice in the morning making a coffee whilst looking out over the views of the park and the woodland in the distance.
Even going for walks around the park or simply to the activity centre and swimming pool was enough for us to be able to take in the views.
We stayed in a Gateholm lodge which as mentioned above is an upside down style lodge. There was a double bedroom with an ensuite bathroom (consisting of a bath with overhead shower, toilet and basin) there were two other bedrooms which both had single beds in them and a main bathroom which had a shower enclosure, toilet and basin.
Upstairs was open plan kitchen, dining and lounge area. It was so spacious, with a dining table and 6 chairs, a coffee table, a tv unit (with tv) and two large sofas. The kitchen had everything we needed with loads of storage space and worktop space.
Although there was only 3 of us and we could have been in something smaller it actually felt lovely and would be somewhere we would stay if we returned. It would be ideal for a bigger family too with the amount of beds and space.
3. The local area
We did have one day where we left the park to explore the local area. We ideally wanted to visit a couple of castles but it was difficult to park so instead we "had an adventure" which is where we just drive not really knowing where we are going.
We ended up at the most beautiful beach in Tenby and sat there for a while with the whole place to ourselves. It was just like being in a postcard, it was so stunning. Beautiful sand, blue water and pastel buildings and houses.
After a while it started to lightly rain and although we sat in it for a while we had to leave as we'd only put 2 hours on at the car park. We took another adventure and went for fish and chips.
Honestly, this was the most perfect place to just go out in the car and drive and get lost knowing that wherever you end up will be beautiful and have something to do.
4. Free activities
I'll be writing a separate post about going to Bluestone on a budget. I planned our stay not based on a particular budget but I there was a particular figure I didn't want to go over and as a solo parent, money was/is limited, but I didn't think this should affect or prevent us from having a holiday. Bluestone does have particular activites which are free.
We made a visit to the Adventure Centre every day for the boys to use soft play and for us to have a game of crazy golf. There was a bouncy castle in the adventure centre too which was really lovely for the boys to be able to use too.
There is a lovely park near the village centre which we only visited once as we found it on our last day, and obviously the walks around the park are just incredible and mean that, for us at least, there was no need to pay for any additional activities.
And, the best bit, the swimming pool. I was most nervous about going swimming with just me and the boys, especially with the slides and lazy river but we had the most amazing time and so much fun. We loved it that much that on the last day, instead of leaving at 10am to drive home, we instead stayed and left at 3pm so we could make the most of the pool!
A bit cheesy really but it has to be the last of our highlights. I think there were certain ways there could have been improvements to the holiday, and things I felt were missing, but it didn't affect our holiday and isn't anything the boys would have picked up on.
We all had a cry on the Thursday night and on the Friday which means a lot I think. It's definitely somewhere we would recommend and consider visiting again.