Our recent holiday to Bluestone, Wales was one of our most favourite holidays yet! It was our second as a family and we made so many wonderful memories that will last a lifetime. It was a long drive from where we live in Kent, especially with a teething toddler. However, it was more than worth it. Here are some of my highlights:
1. Family time
Day to day life can be mundane sometimes. As much as you try to have fun, things like cleaning and work often get in the way of spending as much time together as a family as you’d like to. It was wonderful to have a few days to just dedicate to spending quality time with each other, whether we were running around on the beach or taking part in Smokey Joe’s Shindig!
It was great having so much time to play with Autumn and seeing her so happy. We had great fun at Shelby Snail’s Messy Play and she couldn’t contain her excitement when Shelby himself came to visit!
2. Coracle rowing
I first found out about coracles on holiday a couple of years ago, when we visited The National Coracle Centre at Cenarth Falls. These small, round, keel-less boats are rowed with one broad paddle. As you could probably imagine, a boat that sits on the surface of the water and only has one paddle rather than two oars is quite tricky to master. I’d never tried it before and was delighted when I found out it was one of the activities available to book on Bluestone’s lake! I started off spinning in circles, but by the end I’d got the hang of it and was doing laps of a marked section of the lake.
3. Being in nature
I’m so used to living in a town, but I’ve always wished I lived in the countryside. Fortunately, where I am in Kent you don’t have to go far. However, it’s still not the same as waking up surrounded by trees with the Preseli Hills in the distance! The weather was far kinder to us than it was when we visited Bluestone in November, as you’d hope at this time of year! I enjoyed eating breakfast out on our picnic table in the mornings, listening to the gentle buzz of people surrounding us starting their days. We also enjoyed a lengthy walk along one of the nature trails within Bluestone one evening. Autumn was in her element and particularly enjoyed all the exploring!
4. Walking a llama
Llamas and alpacas have been amongst my most favourite animals for a very long time. I’ve wanted to go for a llama trek for years and this holiday seemed like the perfect opportunity. We went for a 2 hour trek with Macsen who was SO FLUFFY! Matthew and Alexandria, the owners of Pembrokeshire Llamas, were lovely. Their baby (also called Macsen) was adorable. As we had Autumn and Macsen (the llama) is only a year old, it was definitely a baby trek! Autumn was trying to help me near the end of the trek, insisting on holding the very end of the lead and she learned to say “llama!” When we got back, we were kindly given more water (it was very hot, especially after walking around the beautiful Welsh countryside for a couple of hours) and I met all the other llamas! It was a wonderful experience and one I definitely recommend.
Here’s another picture of Macsen, just because he’s so cheeky and cute.
5. Beach days
On previous holidays to Pembrokeshire, we’ve visited beaches but the weather has never been warm enough for a proper beach day. Thanks to the heatwave, we actually got to spend lots of time on the beach this holiday. One evening we even stayed on the beach at Tenby until gone 8 o’ clock and we only left when we did as we needed to get Autumn some dinner and put her to bed. Autumn loves the beach and had a fantastic time. She particularly liked it when I dug a huge hole and spent ages playing in there, dancing and splashing her feet in the water at the bottom.
Bluestone is a short drive from so many beautiful beaches, you can’t really go wrong with any beach you decide to visit.
6. Golf buggy
It might sound like a silly highlight, but we loved the golf buggy we hired for the week! Ours was called Anna and midweek we decorated her with bunting.
Autumn loved her and was always excited to go for a ride, often shouting “Wheeee!” with a huge smile on her face. She certainly made getting where we wanted to go quicker and easier, especially as the weather was so hot. Despite having a top speed of around 10 mph, I really enjoyed driving her.
One evening, I even went for a late night spin to look at the beautiful sunset over the Preseli Hills.
7. Feeding ducks
One of the memories of the week that stands out for me is feeding ducks from my hands, as that’s something I’d never done before. It felt very strange!
Autumn loves ducks but was a bit unsure at first when some younger ones came waddling towards her. However, when she saw me feeding them, her confidence soon increased and she helped me by throwing food to further away ones.
8. Freedom & relaxation
It was wonderful to just have a week where we could just relax and do everything at our own pace. We could go swimming as much as we wanted to (the lazy river at Blue Lagoon was amazing in the sunshine) and just be ourselves without worrying about deadlines or time constraints. It was fun to just feel free and to explore, probably even more so for Autumn who could run around as she wanted while we were at Bluestone and was in her element the whole week. She loves the outdoors!
9. Green Man Parade
The Green Man Parade was a wonderful, colourful way to end the week. The drums and atmosphere were brilliant and it certainly finished our holiday on a high. I was glad we stayed for it, even though it meant getting home around midnight and having to start work at 7am the next morning on less sleep than I’d have liked!
We had an amazing week and I’m desperate to go back to Bluestone again as soon as possible.
Disclosure: We were given a midweek break at Bluestone in return for this blog post. As always, all views and opinions are honest and my own.