Our short break at Bluestone.

If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook you will have noticed that last week I shared lots of pictures in gorgeous countryside and some from a beautiful, spacious, modern lodge much nicer than my home.

We were invited to spend 4 days at Bluestone National Park Resort and we had such a lovely time.

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We stayed in a 3 bedroom, upside down living lodge. It was so spacious and there was plenty of room for all of us and for all of our bits and bobs. The accommodation was a bit tired and a few things needed seeing to but still we were very comfy and more than happy with it.

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We were so close to everything, I think we had the best spot. Less than 5 minutes walk from The Village that has all the shops and The Village Hall where kids club is held and also only 10 minutes from the adventure centre that housed the huge indoor play area, crazy golf and circus zone soft play.

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At Bluestone you can hire bikes to get around if you like and we had considered it but in honesty, with the location of our lodge, we wouldn’t have needed to. The kids didn’t tire of walking because the whole site is very compact so I was glad to have not subjected myself and other holiday goers to the spectacle of me trying to ride a bike towing 2 children in a trailer.

You can also hire golf style buggies to drive around in and I’m going to be a bit grumpy. We didn’t like them. I think it defeated the ‘no vehicle’ vibe because we had to dive out the way (only I’ll know if I’m exaggerating here) of them coming down the footpaths every few minutes anyway. It’s like trying to convince people they’re being outdoorsy and leaving the madness of the world behind when really they’ve just exchanged one set of wheels for another, only this time there’s no windows and the seat is slightly damp.

Plus at one point I saw a guy letting (what looked like) a 2 year old drive so I think they could do with a ‘Are you a complete idiot?’ test before hiring them out.

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There are lots and lots of activities you can pre-book during your stay (for an extra cost) and while these all looked lots of fun we decided we wanted to use the week together to just chill out and take it slow. We had imagined we’d meander along to the pool a few times and take a walk in the lovely surroundings but in actual fact there was so much to do we barely sat down.

Aside from the pool (more on that below) there was the adventure centre, the circus zone, the outdoor play area and the kids entertainment hour. Plus meet and greets with the woodland creatures, we only made it to one of these but the kids loved it. At Bluestone there is so much included with your break that if you didn’t want to there really isn’t a need to pay for any extras.

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We did peek in at the Alice in Wonderland dinner show and wished we had booked it so next time we will look at doing that if they have something similar on.

The pool was fantastic. I’m not a huge fan of swimming but it was a good one. As soon as you walked in the heat hit you and the water was lovely and warm. I spent most of my time sitting doing nothing in the toddler pool bubbles.

The main pool has waves at set intervals and the kids and I loved that. They were pretty strong though and at one point I did have to be pulled out by my 5 year old whilst clinging onto my top for dear life so I didn’t flash everyone (yes my 5 year old is more composed than me in most all situations)

We had a few blips at the pool mainly to do with the supervision and minimum height policy. I think tighter rules for the staff would be helpful because it’s not great to be told one thing by one person to be told that’s not the case by another.

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On the first day there we headed to the pool and our eldest girls were super excited to go on the slides. There is about 3cm between them height wise and first the shorter of the two went to try out the slide. She went on no problem but when it came for Pepper’s turn (the taller of the two!) she was told she was too small. You can imagine how upset she was, especially as she knows she is taller it must have seemed so unfair, but the staff had changed over and obviously the new supervisor wasn’t feeling like giving a tiny gal a break.

We were also stopped on our third visit to the pool and told we couldn’t enter with our adult to child ratio. The previous day a member of staff had explained the rules regarding us going into the pool with 4 small children and we were happy to follow them. However the person who approached us simply said ‘you can’t go into the pool, you need another adult’. I said I was aware of the rules and we had no intention of taking the youngest two out of the toddler pool (designated safe area) unless on a 1:1 adult:child ratio. The member of staff then implied (I feel) I was lying about my childrens ages by commenting on how small they are.

Anyway, despite attempts to kill our vibe we went swimming each wearing a snazzy blue tag on our wrists and having filled out a form confirming we were who we said we were when booking our holiday, what purpose this served I don’t know.

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The kids hour entertainment was so much fun. All the parents were encouraged to join in too and I really enjoyed it. The entertainers were full of energy and ideas and became my idols when they kept their cool despite my kids insistence to ‘help’ them with everything.

The scenery at Bluestone was glorious. We didn’t explore as much as I would have liked but what we did see was just beautiful and I was so relaxed wandering through the forest. It was made even more magical in the evening with the brilliant light show. The fairy village was so enchanting and it will stick with me forever.

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We all loved our stay at Bluestone and will definitely stay there again in the future. Made what was a bleak and grey start of the year very cosy indeed.

 

 

 

Nat Halfpenny

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