We are rather fond of Bluestone, Wales in our family.
It was somewhere I’d heard such wonderful things about for quite a while before we actually went ourselves and I was thrilled that it lived up to all the expectations I had.
We have been twice now, once in late spring and once in December for a winter break including a trip to the Kingdom of the Elves. And it sparked a conversation with the children about which holiday they liked best. I wondered if there was a particular time of year that is best for visiting Bluestone.
I think the best way to tackle this is to look at what you can expect from a holiday at Bluestone at different times of the year, and what we particularly enjoyed about each of our trips.
Spring and Summer
We went on our first trip to Bluestone in May 2017, so it was late spring and it was absolutely glorious.
We got really lucky with the weather and had plenty of sunshine and blue skies, with just a bit of drizzle on the last day. Which meant we seemed to have endless hours to get out and explore the resort. This would be a big draw for me to go again in the spring or summer, the fact that there are more hours of daylight to spend outside enjoying everything that Bluestone has to offer.
There are also a few things both onsite and in the local area that aren’t open, or have restricted hours, in the winter so the warmer months are a great option if you particularly want to do them.
This includes eating at Camp Smokey at the resort.
The steep ravine with its tree climbing and high ropes course is still open in the winter, and you can wander down to Camp Smokey for a look around, but if you want to enjoy a meal there you’ll need to book a visit in the warmer months.
We didn’t eat there when we went but it’s something I would like to try on another visit, now the children are older and more likely to try different foods. At Camp Smokey you can enjoy hot sandwiches, burgers and hotdogs as well as various snacks. The main appeal though is in the smokey smores, where you can toast your own marshmallows over the camp fire.
If you want to visit Folly Farm while you’re in Pembrokeshire you’ll also be better off choosing a spring or summer break, because it’s only open at weekends from the start of November to the middle of February.
Holidays to Bluestone in the spring and summer are great for simple things like letting little ones burn off their energy in the play park in the village.
They can still do this in the winter of course, and it’s still great fun, but it’s more relaxing for parents when it’s warm and sunny. You can let the children stay and play until it gets dark, while you sit down and enjoy a coffee or a milkshake from Ty Coffi.
The whole philosophy at Bluestone is about free range fun, getting the whole family out in nature and exploring. And the lake is a great place to go for a walk to experience some of that free range fun.
In the spring and summer especially the lake is brilliant.
Between March and October you can sign up for a whole range of watersports and water-based activities at the lake, from paddle boarding and kayaking to family raft wars. If you’re not feeling quite so energetic you can still have a great time walking around and seeing all the amazing wildlife.
When we went we were all so excited to see some ducks with their little ducklings walking around.
If you’re looking for more things to do to keep your children busy and entertained on your holiday there are all sorts of options in the spring and the summer thanks to the legends of the sea festival and the summer festival.
Both festivals offer so much to keep the whole family entertained, with special events, shows, workshops and craft activities.
A lot of these events take place out in nature during the warmer months which is really lovely.
And you can keep making the most of being outside at mealtimes too, by having a barbecue at your lodge.
All the lodges have little stands in the kitchen to use with disposable barbecues, which you can either bring with you or buy at Newton Stores in the village.
The one potential downside of visiting Bluestone in the spring or summer is that these times of year are often more popular and busier. What we found when we went in May though, was that even though the resort was busy, it really didn’t feel busy.
There is so much open space around Bluestone that we found plenty of places to explore that felt quiet and peaceful.
Autumn and Winter
Things can get so busy in the run up to Christmas and a few nights away at Bluestone is the perfect way to get away from it all and relax a bit. You can visit the spa, go for walks in the woods and around the lake and just enjoy a slower pace of life.
There are also some activity-packed festivals during autumn and winter too, from the Bwbach festival in autumn to the winter lights festival at the start of each year.
One of the biggest reasons to visit Bluestone in winter though is for the Kingdom of the Elves.
The Kingdom of the Elves is the hugely popular event that Bluestone put on every year in the lead up to Christmas, and it is well worth a visit to get in the festive spirit and is great for children of all ages.
One of the great things about Bluestone is that there is still plenty to do outdoors in the colder months of the year.
As long as you come armed with wellies and warm clothes (and possibly a torch) then you’ll still have an amazing time exploring the nature trails, the lake and the playground in the village.
The resort is set out so that you can get everywhere easily on foot, but if you don’t fancy walking everywhere in the cold then you can easily hire a buggy for the duration of your stay, or time your outings to make use of the free bus service that runs around the resort.
Visiting in the colder months might also mean that you get full use out of all the indoor activities on site that you might not get round to in the summer.
There’s the adventure centre that has enough to keep the children happy for hours at a time. And coffee and wifi for the parents.
The main indoor attraction for my family has always been the blue lagoon, and swimming here when it’s cold is a brilliant experience.
The lazy river takes you outside and it is something else when the cold air hits you for the first time!
We also absolutely loved the frost lagoon experience on our winter break. The pool stays open a bit later on these days, so you can swim after dark. There is music playing and disco lights flashing, and the pretty surreal experience of going from that to looking up at dark skies in the freezing cold when the lazy river takes you outside.
Bluestone is still busy in the lead up to Christmas, but again we didn’t notice it feel busy while we were there.
At other times in the autumn and winter though it may be quieter than the warmer months which some people might prefer.
You also have the added bonus of the local area being quieter too at these off-peak times of the year. You might not think of going to the beach on a chilly day, but it’s amazing to have the whole place pretty much to yourself. And you can still have so much fun, building sandcastles, exploring and even flying kites on windy autumnal days.
So, there are so many reasons to visit Bluestone at any time of year, I’m really not sure if there is one season or another that is actually better than any other.
It all depends what you’re looking for in a holiday really.
The one thing I preferred about our May trip was that we were able to spend longer outdoors. It felt like we were able to squeeze more out of each day because we were out exploring later into the afternoons and early evenings.
When we went in December though it was just magical.
I really don’t think I could pick between the two holidays as to which was my favourite. What’s so lovely about Bluestone is that they have found a great balance between keeping some things the same, so it’s familiar and almost like coming home when you go back for another stay, and updating things and moving with the seasons.
There are festivals throughout the year, celebrating the changing seasons and making a holiday at any time feel like something really special.
So I’m sorry if this post hasn’t actually helped you decide the perfect time of year for you to book a holiday to Bluestone, but as far as I’m concerned there is no bad time to go!
Disclosure – We were given a four night stay at Bluestone, including tickets to the Kingdom of the Elves, but all words and opinions are my own.