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BLUESTONE - WALES | TRAVEL DIARY PART ONE


Arriving at bluestone after eight hours of travelling was exhausting and so exciting. We took a train from Bitterne to Southampton central, Soton central to Cardiff and then Cardiff to Narberth. We then waited 30 minutes for a taxi and finally arrived at bluestone around 8pm! 
We were kindly allowed to be taken to our lodge by the taxi, we arrived at number 23 Carn menyn, a beautiful green log cabin called a "Ramsey Lodge" an upside down house and it instantly felt homely. 








The layout of the lodge is lovely, the bedrooms are downstairs and the main bedroom has patio doors outside to the "garden" and thankfully the twin room (the littles room) has a big window instead of the patio doors, which was a blessing as Lucas learnt to open the door. 
I liked the nappy bin in the adapted wet room too which is the en-suite to the twin room. (Bluestone are very good at recycling which is a bonus in my eyes).

On the first day we walked up to the blue lagoon in the morning for a morning swim. The kids loved it and loved the waves. Lucas' favourite was the "lady river"... lazy river to most. Iris hasn't been swimming for a long time so she took a bit of encouragement, I am pleased to say that by the end of the week she was a pro and didn't want us to touch her whilst she kicked her legs wearing her armbands. 

Swimming exhausted all of us (mostly myself and Iris) and Iris ended up napping on the way back in the pram and I napped too that afternoon. I was exhausted. We all had some lunch and then decided to go and explore to find the chippy for dinner. 



Bluestone village has the most beautiful colourful cottages and buildings that really is the 'insta dream'. Our mission was to find the cottage named 'Iris cottage' to get a picture of Iris in front of it. Iris was NOT playing ball and although it looked like no one was in there, if they were they were probably huffing and laughing at us. The littles played in the park for a while as it was quiet and although its not enclosed (which meant we couldn't just let Iris go off as she is a cheeky one) the park is a good size to be able to keep an eye on them from a bench (if you trust them - like we do Lucas).

We left the pram at the bottom and had a walk through the treehouse which leads you to a grassy area to play football or have a picnic and there's a smaller enclosed park (perfect for little ones like Iris). This had swings, a slide and an area they could run around.

We finished the evening with a walk back to our lodge with freshly cooked sausages and chips (and  the most delicious curry sauce). When I say freshly cooked, I mean it, they cooked everything fresh there and then, so yes you order and have to wait 5-10 minutes for it to cook but it's fresh and you know your chips haven't been sat in the deep fat frier for hours. I have heard from another blogger Katy, who was there at the same time as us, that theres absolutely no cross contamination on the gluten free chips too. Her daughter has severe allergies and she was absolutely fine, so well done to bluestone too as they obviously take cross contamination VERY seriously which is really helpful for anyone with allergies or intolerances. (I've also heard to battered halloumi is AMAZING)

I totally forgot to take photographs of our chippy tea, what a TERRIBLE blogger I am. I blame the fact we had some ducks join us (we didn't feed them) BUT it is on the vlog i'm working on, so you'll just have to watch it.


Full day number two, another VERY busy day! We got up early and headed straight out for a walk. We headed off down to the lake near Bartholomew rise and walked through the woodland area. We followed pen glyn brook stream all the way down to camp smokey and back. There's so much to see during your walk through the woodland areas. it's not just wooded areas with nature to look at, theres little wooden houses (you cannot go in them) and lots of things for the littles to find.

On the way to camp smokey we found little red mushroom stools that the littles posed on for photos and there was even a fairy area, where the fairies live and they have their own special doors, there's fairy dust sprinkled all over the place and even a troll bridge to quietly cross.
Unfortunately we had to explain to Lucas it was a Moomin troll who was really lovely, just really tired and you don't want to wake him up. We didn't expect us joking about the troll under the bridge and tiptoeing across it would scare him but it did. I even had to pretend I had seen the little cute Moomin asleep under the bridge. Bless him, he said he saw him too and said he was no longer scared, thankfully.







We arrived at Camp Smokey and was instantly hit with that lovely smell of bonfire, we all love that smell right? Camp Smokey isn't ridiculously priced and you can do a lot more there that what we did. We went purely so Lucas could show off to us what he'd learnt about cooking on open fires and fire safety at forest school and he totally impressed us!

I ordered a hot chocolate (£3) and Brad and the littles had marshmallows to toast on the fire (£1.75 for 10 marshmallows) You can also make smores for £2.50 too. You can also have a choice of alcoholic drinks and there's a delicious menu for food too including pulled pork and halloumi and veg skewers! I mean who doesn't love alfresco dining?
You can also book in for entertainment in the evenings for the smokey shindig and they also have panning for gold on offer too. We wish we'd spent longer at camp smokey and had ordered some of the food but we'd already done a food shop for the week and didn't want to waste the food we'd ordered.







On the walk back we headed down the bug trail where people had painting rocks and made them look like bugs and Lucas and Iris loved spotting them out. Lucas even said to Iris at one point "Iris, they're not real, you cannot hurt them, so you can touch these ones" which was so adorable. He's learnt so much at forest school, so these sort of activities had him in his element.

It was lovely watching Iris and Lucas running off together holding hands and him telling her about nature and that she had to be careful.
There was lots of boards around showing Lucas what birds and bugs he could find in the woods which he found extremely cool. He took a lot of time really taking in the boards pictures. He didn't believe that theres a bird called a 'great tit' and asked Brad 3 times before asking me what the bird was really called. I think Brad and I should stop calling each other 'a great tit' when we're in the woods as a joke as Lucas thinks we're joking now.
There's also little bug hotels too, which Lucas and Iris spent time looking in to see what they could see and Lucas told me he could see Spiders.

We did stop for a rest in a cute stick house. Lucas said it was stickman's house which was lovely. It's so lovely to see his imagination running wild even with the troll bridge in the forest. It goes to show they don't need to be indoors with a bunch of toys or in front of a screen to be imaginative. It makes me super proud.

We finished off day two by going back for a pizza lunch, playing with some bubbles and then heading out to swimming.
We went to swimming via the mini bus that's on site which is amazing. You can either hire a golf buggy or bikes for the week or walk and hop on the mini bus at the bus stops dotted around and we didn't feel like we'd made a mistake opting for walking and the mini bus at all.

So I don't overwhelm, I'll be posting part two some point this week, so look out for it. It will include a different walk, ice cream and the activity centre!




*We were invited to stay at Bluestone Wales in return for an honest blog post about our stay. All words, photos and opinions are my own.*

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