A Welsh wonder: Spas and spectacular scenery at Bluestone Resort

Image of Camp Smokey from Bluestone National Park Resort. It is a large wooden cabin with water wheels out the front. A small group of people are gathered on the balcony.

Bluestone Resort, in southwest Wales, is a great place for bridging the generation gap

Fancy a holiday with all generations of your family? Bluestone National Park Resort is a great base for exploring the stunning Pembrokeshire coast, and has plenty to offer. There’s tons to do, but even if you don’t stray too far from your digs, you’ve still got more than 500 acres of woodland, fields, lakes and more at your disposal.

We got the train to Narberth, which is the nearest town and station. It’s about 15 minutes’ drive from Bluestone, but my non-driving partner and I took a taxi. As well as being a handy spot to do a big shop before going to Bluestone, it’s a great spot to check out Skomer Island. Hailed as “exceptional” by Sir David Attenborough, the island is littered with puffins at certain times of the year.

But what about the resort itself? We were mostly surrounded by families, but with good planning, especially at busy times, we found we weren’t too bothered by the noise and bustle. There are a lot of buildings at Bluestone, but they’re set out so that most of the cabins, shops, restaurants, and activity areas are fairly close together. This means that if you venture off for a walk, you don’t have to walk far before you feel fully immersed in nature.

One of my favourite areas to explore was the rather obviously named Steep Ravine, a criss-crossing staircase that takes you down into a massive pine forest, full of dirt tracks and secret areas. We visited in September amid a massive storm, so while we didn’t get too lucky with the weather, there was plenty for us to do onsite.

Bluestone’s spa bliss

Image of the Well Spa Retreat, a large yellow building. It has a pointed rock out the front with a sign reading "Well Spa"

Well Spa Retreat

There are plenty of activities that are better suited to adults than kids, such as the spa, which suited me and my partner just fine.

At the Well Spa Retreat, you can book treatments that come with a two-hour pass to the spa itself or, you can get a two-hour pass to simply chill out at the spa, which might be all you need.

There are so many different rooms for you to explore at the spa, including two steam rooms, each pumping out different herbs and two saunas, a Celtic sauna and a brick sauna. The Celtic sauna was bigger and hotter and illuminated in green, while the brick sauna was smaller, but still lovely with wooden benches, so you weren’t perching your bum on bricks.

There’s also a salt room, ice pod, meditation room, reading room, waterfall showers, a hydrotherapy pool and, a big chill-out room with free tea and coffee and lots of comfy chairs.

By far our favourite experience was flitting between the saunas and steam rooms, then covering ourselves in ice in the ice pod. It really gets your heart going and is great for your skin!

Getting active, despite the weather

Image outside showing ruins surrounded by grass and trees, with leaves growing over the stone.

Gorgeous outdoor spaces to explore

Wales in September is always a gamble with the weather, but we tried out mountain biking, which was one of Bluestone’s WYLD off-resort adventures. We were lucky enough to be the only ones doing it in the pouring rain (I wonder why…), so we got to spend time with Declan, who heads up the WYLD activities. He is very passionate about his job and clearly cared a lot about what he was doing.

The mountain bikes are super fancy e-bikes with some real power. This meant that going up steep hills felt like a breeze and three hours of intense distance didn’t feel all too bad. This activity is not for the faint-hearted though. Some of the hills we went down almost had me flying off, even though I cycle most places and ride a motorbike, and have pretty good balance.

Storms ahoy!

Image of the interior of the Blue Lagoon Waterpark. It is a huge domed building with a mostly-glass ceiling. There is a large pool and multi-storey canopied areas to the right, from which you can access huge tube slides.

Blue Lagoon Waterpark

Even though we were unfortunate with the weather, we weren’t easily put off from exploring. The only bummer was that during a storm, when the winds were really high, a good chunk of the resort was shut off for our safety. We were a little annoyed, but when we went walking the next day and saw that a large tree had come down, we understood why.

Our planned canoeing trip was cancelled, but we weren’t too upset. Looking out at the grey sky and seeing the pouring rain, we didn’t really fancy it. If you’re wondering what else there was to do when everything outdoorsy was shut, the short answer is: plenty.

Between The Hive, The Blue Lagoon Water Park and Serendome there’s always something to do indoors. The Hive is definitely aimed at kids, but has a bar and neon bowling to keep the adults happy. Likewise, Serendome is kid-friendly, but has takeaways for the adults and a bar, so you’re never, er, parched.

Being a water baby, The Blue Lagoon Water Park was my favourite, and we spent a lot of time there. It was a giant domed building with a massive pool, wave machine, outdoor lazy river, outdoor and indoor jacuzzis, a shallow pool for small children, a pirate-themed sensory pool with lots of jets and streams and the four, fairly fast paced, flumes, which we loved. There were two pitch-black total thrill rides, one being super-fast and long and one open-top ride for two people that went outside with two hidden pools along the way. Tons to do for all generations.

What about the accommodation?

Image of a double bedroom in the accomodation stayed in at Bluestone Resort. There is a large white double bed, with neatly folded towels at the bottom. To the side is a small table with a lamp, a framed photo, and a big glass door, leading onto a little patio with a picnic bench.

Ramsey Lodge

Our cabin was bliss. it was unattached and so, if the windows were closed, you would have no idea you were in a resort with thousands of other people. We stayed in Ramsey Lodge in Forest View, which was close to the village, but far from the entrance and the three main indoor activity centres. This is definitely a better choice if you’re arriving by car, unlike us. We had to get down there on foot with all our stuff, which was not so great. There is a guest transport bus that goes around the resort every half an hour, but for the five days we were there, we never managed to work out the timings. Plus, it didn’t run on a Monday, which was the day we arrived, of course! But, epic walks aside, having our own cabin in the woods to snuggle up in after being out in the rain was really nice.

Dining at Bluestone

Image of a table of food, focused on the nearest plate of food: grilled vegetable gnocchi. Both at the table have glasses of wine.

Grilled vegetable gnocchi at The Farmhouse Grill

We were never short of things to eat. Even though we arrived with snacks and lunches from our big shop in Narberth to save a bit of cash, we ate more food from the resort than we intended. This is because they had deliveries to the lodges. For a couple who lives off grid in an old converted caravan in the woods just outside the Devon moors, this was a total luxury for us!

We ate out for dinner one evening at The Farmhouse Grill. This seemed to be fairly popular and had cosy vibes. There was a separate bar for drinks and chips. Despite the meaty sounding name, I was happy to see they had a good selection of vegan and vegetarian dishes.

I asked the server what she’d recommend for a veggie and after a rave review of the grilled vegetable gnocchi, I decided to go for that at £16. And I wasn’t disappointed. It was rich and filling. My carnivorous partner decided to get a frankly ridiculous hunk of braised beef short rib for £24. For the sheer size of the tender slab of meat, we didn’t mind paying that price. His glowing review was total silence while eating it, a brisk hobble home, and straight to bed after he’d finished it. I think that means it was good, right?

And as for takeaway, we felt spoiled! There was a good selection of options for eating in front of the telly on the wet nights. The menu was categorised into different cuisines, fish and chips, curry, pizzas, sides, and desserts, as well as alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. For both of us, a main, drink and dessert worked out at about £25. It was pretty reasonably priced, it came quickly and arrived with a good range of sauce sachets.

If you plan to do a lot of self-catering, make sure you stock up on a few pantry basics, like oil and condiments as there are no ingredients in the cabin, not even tea bags. There are cleaning products and bin bags, but no food to cook with, so I would definitely recommend ordering in one of their hampers before you arrive. I’d personally recommend the Standard Family Hamper.

Getting the best out of Bluestone

An image showing the inside of Bluestone Resort's Serendome. It has huge structures to climb on, including a series of hung up tires, high up stairs, wires, and more. The ceiling is mostly glass, with a view of the sky and a low set sun.


The best thing about Bluestone is the site itself. Apart from all the free activities, the best part for us was the acres of woodland and grassland. We’re lucky enough to live surrounded by nature on the outskirts of Dartmoor, but at Bluestone, we found ourselves wandering around in awe of the breathtaking beauty, even when it was pouring with rain.

It’s a great place for anyone who lives in the city, or anyone wants to be surrounded by beautiful landscapes, but still wants loads of indoor entertainment and creature comforts, such as takeaways.
The site is much better if you have a car. Most people coming to the site are families, so presumably at least one person in most groups would have a driving licence. But for us, we had to do a lot of walking.

Once we arrived by taxi from the train station at Narbeth, we were the only people on foot. We found the transport bus timetable baffling, so we did a lot of cycling. There are buggies for rent, but these require a driving licence. We found ourselves very jealous of people driving, albeit slowly, up the resort while we walked or cycled.

But overall, we had a fantastic holiday and it was well worth a visit. For the festive season, they’re offering special ‘Christmasland’ breaks, where you can save up to 35% on activities and stays start at £18pp per night. Seasonal highlights include shows at The Cloud Theatre, Christmas film screenings, hot chocolate and popcorn, and a chance to visit Santa’s Workshop and Rudolph’s Breakfast Barn. The Serendome will be turned into a Christmas wonderland, The Blue Lagoon pool will be transformed into The Elf Lagoon, kids can enjoy a VR sleigh ride, and the village park will turn into the reindeer village!

Christmasland runs from 6 November 2023, to 4 January 2024

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About Lili Lowe
Lili works across all the channels; writing articles, taking photographs, creating content, and designing eye-capturing imagery. She's an animal-lover who cries just seeing a picture of a baby sloth.

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