The morning of our second full day at Bluestone started off well; we awoke feeling refreshed and happy that we had all slept through, and looking foward to a day of swimming, exploring and going for a nice meal that evening. However, that was not to be. Ava woke up, shouted to us and then started being sick! We brought her into our bed and grabbed a few towels and I tried not to cry about our ruined day (not really). I did however get a bit panicked about how we were going to deal with this without loads of towels, plenty of extra bedding and a washing machine. But luckily the Bluestone staff were amazing and brought us a big pile of clean towels and took our used one’s away, checked if there was anything they could do to help, and let us stay an extra day! How great is that? I had started to worry that (I’m a worrier, can you tell?!) we would have to make the (loong) trip home in the car with a toddler throwing up everywhere, so it was a big relief to be able to stay an extra day, and so nice of the resort to let us.
A few hours later we tried giving Ava some toast which she thankfully kept down, and she seemed brighter as the hours went by, which was such a relief. For the first time since we had got to Bluestone it wasn’t raining, so we all wrapped up warm and went for a lovely walk around the grounds, splashing in plenty of muddy puddles along the way (Ava’s favourite pastime). The grounds of Bluestone are so beautiful even in rubbish weather and there is so much land to explore. The Village has the restaurants, a bakery and a good size village shop that stocks a lot of products.
After our stroll we decided that we were too tired to go out for a meal, and we wanted to give Ava something relatively plain, so we decided we would cook ourselves (Paul) again. So we didn’t actually get to sample much of the food on site; only the takeaway and some fish and chips at the Blue Lagoon Water Park the next day (not great), which was a shame, but it was really great to have a proper kitchen in our lodge so we didn’t have to eat out even if we didn’t feel like it.
On our last day at Bluestone we braved the pouring rain again to venture to the water park in the grounds of Bluestone. We spent a fun few hours splashing about and jumping the waves from the wave machine, which Ava absolutely loved. She didn’t want to leave. The main pool was smaller than I expected and non-swimmers weren’t allowed past a certain point which meant that there wasn’t a huge area that you could go in with young children; but it was still good and a great activity to have in the grounds to get away from the rain for a bit. It’s free if you are staying at Bluestone. The whole of the water park felt a bit like it could do with an update to me, but that is probably standard for a heavily used pool. There are three flumes which the boy said were good and an outdoor lazy river, which was absolutely freezing when we were there! It was also here where we found out we had a brand new nephew! After the swim we went back to our lodge, completely exhausted but happy where we all had baths and showers and spent our last evening relaxing.
We really loved our time at Bluestone National Park Resort; it was just what our family needed. It’s a lovely place to just have a relaxing time or to do more physical activities if that is what you want. Our lodge was really nice, and I especially love that the living area is upstairs so you have better views, and it is just a nice change from the normal layout. The grounds were beautiful and even though we didn’t try any of the places to eat in the Village, there seem to be a good range of options for your evening meal. The staff we encountered were all really lovely and friendly which makes a big difference. There is so much you can do there, that I do feel like I missed out on a lot of stuff, but that is not a bad thing, I just wish we’d had longer there and a bit better weather (and a non-poorly child). Bluestone is a great place to go with children as there is just so much for children of all ages to do, and many things that they wouldn’t usually get the opportunity to do.
I’m struggling to think of any proper negatives really; I wish the buggy’s were cheaper to hire, as at £75 for a weekend it does add a good chunk onto the cost of your holiday, but you don’t actually need one. It would have been nice to have and good fun but we were fine without one and that is with a young child (Daddy’s shoulders did come in useful sometimes though!). You do get regular emails from them once you have booked; encouraging you to book activities and telling you about things at Bluestone, and there do seem to be rather a lot of them, but I find things like that rather easy to ignore if I don’t want to read them so it didn’t bother me that much.
I do think it would be useful for there to be some lockers in the Adventure Centre so that you don’t have to hold on to all your ‘stuff’ constantly, especially when you are taking part in something like ‘Kingdom of the Elves’ where you are walking around for a while.
I would love to go back to Bluestone again but only if it was for a week or so as it is such a long way away for us to go; and I would choose to go back in the spring or summer months too. Even though Bluestone is still gorgeous whatever the weather, and there is always loads to do, I would love to be able to do a lot more of the outdoor activities such as the Steep Ravine (a treetop adventure with zip wires, high ropes and loads more – I LOVE that kind of thing!), and have a meal at Camp Smokey, an outdoor venue (which we discovered isn’t open in the wintertime, which is a shame as I’d pictured us wrapped up, sitting amongst some outdoor heaters and enjoying some red hot food!), and just not have to worry about staying warm after getting soaked by the rain. I’d also be sure to pay a visit to the Wellness Spa if I was there for longer, and spend some quality time by myself!