Nestled in the hills of Pembrokeshire there is a little oasis: a magical place which has taken over the 500 acres of the Bluestone resort for two months of the year. Set in Britain’s only Coastal National Park: not only can you enjoy the sloping hills, enchanting woodlands and skim stones on the lake durnig a stay at Bluestone. But during November and December, Bluestone is also the gateway to a magical place. Elftopia!
For anyone not in the know, the elves have taken over Bluestone and are using it as an airport to transport visitors to Elftopia. They have transformed the adventure centre into a winter wonderland full of fun, and are waiting to send you to a land of magic. We took a flight with a difference, make some reindeer startdust ready for Christmas Eve, and competed to find out who really is best: kids or grown ups – I swear it was fixed!
Overall though it was around 90 minutes of pure festive fun which the kids loved. The Bears personal highlight was the star room; a room filled with glitter? What’s not for a 3 year old to love. The best bit? Well, it’s included in the price of your stay though you will need to book your place quickly as they fill up pretty quickly.
That’s not the one festive treat on site at the moment though, as the Christmas panto is already in full swing. This year it’s Beauty and the Beast, which as soon as we found out we knew we’d have to go. It’s one of the Bears favourite Disney movies so we knew it would be an instant hit. We weren’t dissapointed as both kids were utterly captivated throughout.
As for mum and dad – we actually had a great time too. I’ll be honest and say we expected Butlins standards but in reality it was actually a pretty great production. They used the space they had amazingly well, it was well acted, everyone could sing and did a great job. If your kids love a bit of Disney I couldn’t recommend booking to see the panto enough. I promise the little man loved it, even if he didn’t like being quite this close to the cast!
However, places fill up pretty fast as it’s only a small venue so make sure you either book it before you arrive, or as soon as you get there.
It’s not just about the special events though, as Bluestone has so much to offer year round:
With two young children, this kind of holiday really appeals to us as there is so much to do on site without having to venue too far and Bluestone is no different. Not only is the setting beautiful which allows for some great walks around the site exploring the little structures in place and the lake, but there is also a fantastic play park on site in the main village.
Then up at the top of the hill – and yes, it is a big hill so be warned! – there is the Blue Lagoon: a fabulous water park which my kids absolutely loved. Although they’re are a little younger, it still had plenty to offer with a secure toddler area which allowed them a little freedom to explore rather than be held in our arms the whole time.
There is also an adventure centre on site which hosts soft play, a bouncy castle, crazy golf and plenty of things to climb around and explore. At this time of year it’s all ready for Christmas so get ready to get into the festive spirit.
Due to the size of the site and the number of hills, there are golf buggies to hire. Unfortunately we were too late as not only were they all booked out, but they are pretty costly too so that has to be weighed up when deciding to rent one for the weekend. The downside to this though was that it made for a lot of traffic around site. We also saw a lot of cars driving around which meant that it didn’t feel particularly safe. If the kids wanted to go out alone, I wouldn’t have been happy with them roaming around site on their bikes for example. As it is, our children are a long way away from that stage so it didn’t impact us as much as other families.
There was also a spa on site, a steep revine to explore for the adventurous as well as many other little activities such as 4×4’s which our two were just a little too small to get involved in, but I look forward to trying them on future visits.
A LITTLE ABOUT THE REST OF OUR STAY
We stayed in the Tenby Lodge: a semi detached lodge which is perfect for larger families. With 1 double bedroom with ensuite, 2 twin bedrooms and 1 bathroom alongside the open plan living area, dining area and kitchen it was the perfect size for 4 of us. With a 1 year old and 3 year old they need plenty of room to get up speed and the layout of the Tenby Lodge was perfect for that.
There was some work going on outside as they are completing an access road. However, as we stayed over the weekend, we only actually saw work going on last thing Friday when we arrived and first thing Monday as we were leaving. Even then, it was very quiet and we couldn’t hear anything from inside the lodge.
The kitchen was so well stocked that we found ourselves not needing the little things we always bring away with us ‘just in case’. Things like tea towels, washing up liquid, a cheese grater, kids plates, bowls and cutlery…you get the idea. There was no need to use any of it though as it really did contain everything we needed.
Fancy a little tour? Then come take a look around our lodge:
Forgot something? Then no problem as there is a shop on site to cover any of the basics that you may have left behind, as well as a selection of shops to have a browse around.
There is also a large number of dining options available on site such including cafe’s, pubs and restuarants. Personally we just stayed self catering as with two very fussy (and loud!) eaters we’re at a stage where that’s just easier for us. No one likes a hangry toddler in a restaurant while they’re trying to eat do they? However, looking through what was available it seems there was a wide range of things on offer and something to suit everyone. For us? Well, we did discover the fish and chip van one evening walking back to the lodge which was just perfect!
With Tenby less that half an hour away we couldn’t resist getting out and spending a little time at the beach. Yes it’s November and it’s freezing but who cares, we had a great time.
If you do fancy getting out and about though and seeing a little bit of the local area, then there are pleny of local attractions including Folly Farm, Dinosaur Park and Oakwood Theme Park to name but three that we were recommended as really great days out. Personally we didn’t get much further than Tenby as there was so much on site to keep us occupied that we simply ran out of time. However, Pembrokeshire is such a beautiful part of the country it’s great to take the opportuity to explore a little if you can.
We did however use our National Trust membership on the way home to break up the 4 hour journey for us, stopping off at Dinefwr en route for a wander and some lunch. At least that put us an hour down the road pointing in the right direction.
Needless to say, we loved our stay. Our kids are at an age where this kind of holiday with the amount of things to do one site it so appealing to us. Well equipt, the accommodation was not only comfortable with plenty of space but it also contained everything we needed without needing to bring too much from home.
There wasn’t anything that we didn’t enjoy and from what we could see, the options available to them will only get bigger and better as they get older. Which is great, as it’s always nice to find somewhere that will grow with you and your family. Should you wish to look at booking your own visist to Bluestone, you can do so by visiting their website.
For us, happy children = happy parents and we can’t wait to hopefully come back again next year.