January is such a bleak month. What with the new year, Christmas decorations now gone, suddenly your house feels vacant devoid of any kind of cheer, not to mention the dreary cold weather. What’s there to like about this month? Nothing.
When we were kindly offered to stay in Bluestone Wales sometime in October of last year but had to cancel since my husband couldn’t get time off work, we thought of rescheduling it to the dreaded month of January and I’m so glad we did!
We left North Cornwall midday on Monday after dropping Doc off at the kennels. After stopping only once, we arrived in our destination before 6pm.
We stayed at Ramsey lodge, which had an “upside-down-living space” which worked really well so you could view the surroundings early in the morning while sipping your first cup of coffee.
The lounge had an open plan with the kitchen fully equipped with everything you’ll ever need for your stay. It had a small fridge, a microwave, cooker/oven, and was pleasantly surprised that it had a dishwasher!
We came prepared and brought washing-up liquid with us which wasn’t even necessary since everything was provided from washing-up liquid, sponges to even 2 dishwasher tablets, which we quickly used up of course, but since we weren’t expecting the dishwasher, we just washed-up after our meals rather than get more.
There was also a big wardrobe complete with iron, ironing board, vacuum cleaner, clothes drier, and even a broom.
We were really impressed with the bedrooms, both came with an en-suite (handy for bigger families). Again everything was provided, even a hair-dryer!
After settling in and having a quick dinner, we decided to go down the village and explore a bit in the dark. We ended up in the pub (as you do) and found ourselves in conversation with a lovely Welsh couple who gave us tips on what to do and where to visit in Wales.
While we don’t don’t do new year’s resolutions, we however aim to try and do more outdoor activities like biking as a family, especially since T received a new bike from Father Christmas this year. With that in mind, we took her bike along with us, knowing that we could rent bikes for my husband and I for the duration of our stay.
If you’re an active family, I strongly recommend hiring bikes instead of a buggy to get around Bluestone. It’s cheaper and your kids will love it (T did!). Don’t worry about being not fit enough, I’m certainly not. And I wasn’t embarrassed to get off my bike when I had trouble cycling uphill. To see my daughter and husband have so much fun, was so worth it!
The first day was just spent cycling around the village, not really exploring yet but just getting our bearings.
In the afternoon, we excitedly cycled to the Blue Lagoon for some fun in the water.
After cycling all day, we found what they called the “lazy river” really relaxing. It took you all the way out into the cold air (but it didn’t matter because the water was really nice and warm) and back into the indoor pool of the blue lagoon.
The pool also had the usual artificial waves and showers which came and went, all the kids loved it. T surprisingly opted to keep doing the lazy river than the slides. I guess after so much biking, she just wanted to relax.
We spent the next day in Tenby as recommended by the lovely Welsh couple we met in the village pub at Bluestone. And since we really enjoyed our visit at this lovely seaside Welsh town, I think it deserves a post of its own.
Since this was our last day, we planned to explore and bike as much as we could around the park. First stop was Camp Smokey.
We had to leave our bikes behind since they weren’t allowed inside the camp and besides, it is a bit of trek to the campsite.
Understandably Camp Smokey is closed during the winter months and will open after the half-term break in February. I can imagine though in the summer, this will be a really good place to just hang out and enjoy a barbecue.
For those who are not afraid of heights, you can book try out their tree-climbing and zip wire through the lovely forest.
We biked through their Archery and Clay shooting yard, where one can book if you’re into this kind of activities.
If you’re a really keen cyclist, they have different bike trails, depends on what kind you’re after. We of course, chose the easiest trail. And at this point, we were headed for the ruins of Castle Coch.
Just when I thought I had lost both T and my husband because I was cycling really slow. I saw this…
There’s nothing much written about the story behind the ruins of Castle Coch. All I could find online was that it’s a manorial hall house built in the 14th century. That’s about it. But what really struck me was the stunning beds of snowdops infront and on the sides of the ruins.
It definitely was worth getting lost to see this forgotten ruin. Next stop was the lake!
One can book a canoe if you’re into canoeing or strolling around the lake is actually enjoyable too.
The Light Experience is definitely something to watch out for especially if you have young kids in tow. The attention to detail is just amazing, especially the Fairy Village where one can peek through the windows of each fairy house or shop and see miniature furniture fit for fairies! We came to see this at night after dinner and it was so worth it!
After cycling, we came down to the village to have a quick lunch.
We wanted something light so chose the lovely coffee shop which served amazing milkshakes!
After a quick rest back in the lodge, we went back to the Blue Lagoon to relax in the calming lazy river.
Did we like Bluestone?
I asked T and the husband whether they enjoyed Bluestone. T of course shouted YES! I NEVER WANT TO LEAVE BLUESTONE!
The husband who isn’t easily impressed also agreed with T. He said what really impressed him were how helpful and nice all the staff were.
As for me, I also gave a resounding YES just like T. Let me count how much…
1. I loved the lodge where we stayed and how well-quipped it was.
2. I loved cycling around even though at times it felt like I was going to have a heart attack.
3. I loved how there’s something for everyone whether you’re an active person or not.
4. I loved the little village with it’s shops and restaurants. I loved everything! Would we come back? Definitely!
My husband and I found this on the wall in the village and it sums up what Bluestone is all about:
We especially loved:
Bluestone believes that when you look at life through the eyes of a child it’s amazing just how much you can learn.
With a manifesto like that? How can one go wrong?
Have you been to Bluestone? If yes, did you love it as much as we did? If it’s a no, is this the kind of place you’d love to visit as a family?
Disclaimer: We were kindly offered accommodation to stay in Bluestone for 4 days for the purpose of this review. However, all views and photographs on this post is by yours truly and my little family.