As much as I love getting on a plane and flying off somewhere exotic, there has to be something said about the ease of just packing everything into a car and heading off on a staycation.
So when we touched down from Morocco, rather than endure the post holiday blues, we set off on another adventure the day after. This time to Wales.
We’d been to Bluestone in Wales previously, so we knew what to expect.
A great family friendly holiday resort, beautifully designed, prioritising children’s play and outdoor fun with modern and sleek designed accommodation.
We packed the car with all our essentials and packed up all the food left over from the Christmas period too. You know, tins of biscuits, jars of jam, cans of whatever hadn’t been consumed. Which by the way was a great idea- it got rid of everything in one hit! Including the excess milk we’d bought that was taking up freezer space!
The reason I love Bluestone is because you can spend as much or as little as you want when it comes to cost. There’s no obligation to spend on site if you don’t want to.
In fact you can happily enjoy all the complimentary features with your children and not feel guilty for not spending on the additional activities because there’s just so much on offer that will keep them occupied anyway.
Including the amazing pool which has a wave machine, a toddler pool, jacuzzi’s, a pirate play area with water canons and a lazy river along with many slides to enjoy- the slides not so much for myself or Little London currently, although Mr London Mum certainly took advantage!
Having all these complimentary areas- both indoors and outdoors, worked out perfectly for my pregnant self. It meant I got the chance to sit and relax when I needed to, whilst making sure Little London was burning off all the energy he possibly could ensuring easy bed times and a tired child come the evenings.
He’s too young to enjoy some of the crazy adventures that are tailored for older children, but again that’s why I love Bluestone. Every age group seems to have an additional layer of fun targeted for them. Whether you need something to occupy a newborn or an adult. It means returning will never be boring, because there’s something different that perhaps couldn’t be enjoyed the year previous.
While we took advantage of many of the classes for our toddling son when we first visited, this time around he wanted to go swimming every day, and seeing his confidence in the water increase was just amazing to witness.
I always compare Bluestone with Center Parcs. Because for me they are very similar in terms of what they offer- they are both luxury self catering UK breaks. But the pricing just doesn’t compare.
Occasionally of course Center Parcs can throw in a great deal which is worth considering, but whenever I look to book a break those deals never seem to exist. And the price of Bluestone is just so much cheaper consistently.
For example, a 3 night weekend break to Bluestone for two adults and two children on the 3rd March would cost from £349.00.
At Center Parcs, the cheapest lodge they have on offer is £529.00. That’s quite a big jump in my books. £180.00 spent on activities and eating out at Bluestone would be worth it in my books and you’d be getting everything at the same price as you would at Center Parcs, just for accommodation.
While there are many more Center Parcs resorts meaning finding one closer to home is a bonus, what they do lack is the beauty and the activities that surround Bluestone- in addition to the difference in price.
Being land locked in London I love any escape that means I get to see the sea and enjoy the freedom a good beach has to offer.
One of the best beaches in the UK has to be Tenby beach. It just stretches for miles and is covered in soft sand.
Maybe the inner child in me comes out when I see the ocean, but it also has the same affect on my toddler. Being able to feel the sea breeze and run away from the waves together just doesn’t grow old ever.
And if you do venture into Tenby which is literally a 15-20 minute drive, I highly recommend visiting The Salt Cellar.
The food is outstanding and the prices are extremely reasonable for the quality of the meals. In fact in London our meal would have cost at least double if not triple the amount we paid.
Although winter probably isn’t the best season to visit Bluestone given the amazing natural beauty that exists in the area (and the fact Camp Smokey is shut for the season because it’s outside- which is my favourite restaurant at Bluestone), we found it the perfect time to just escape the cold and dreary grey days personally.
Rather than suffer the January blues we were enjoying ourselves splashing in the heated pool and ignoring the mundane-ness outside if the weather wasn’t playing ball.
And if memory serves me right the price of a midweek Monday-Friday break in January was well under £180.00 for two adults and two children (that was the size lodge we picked).
And if the weather did perk up we ventured outside the resort to explore. It made perfect sense to us, and certainly helped liven up and enjoy a month where usually there isn’t much excitement going on.
Do you know what I love the most though?
The fact that we’ve still only scratched the surface when it comes to Bluestone and the surrounding area. There’s still so much left to explore and enjoy for future visits. That’s when you know you’ve found a staycation gem.