Bluestone Adventures | Tuesday 24th March

*Picture heavy post*

The view from our lodge was amazing, and Emily loved to have the doors open upstairs and sit and watch the world go by. It was a lifesaver having balcony doors upstairs, while I was cooking it started to get a little stuffy. It was nice to be able to open up the doors and let some fresh air in. I can imagine that come summer these doors would be open a lot. We didn't really have much planned for the day, we just wanted to chill out and make the most of the beautiful scenery and take everything in. In the end we decided to head up to the Adventure Centre to let Emily have a play and just get on with what she wanted to do, just because the day before she was stuck in the car all day. This meant a long walk for us, our lodge was right at the bottom past the lake, and the Adventure Center was right at the top near the entrance. So it was a fair old walk for us, I'll tell you one thing, I'm not going to miss pushing Emily up the steep hills. To get to the Adventure Centre we went through the village and past the Tree House. The Tree House is an outdoor play area for children, there was one baby swing which was in use all 3 times we tried to take Emily. I think it would be nice if they maybe added another one. The village was lovely, and it was like the center of the site in my opinion. There are restaurants, and shops located in the village. I would suggest purchasing groceries off site, just because the shop seemed a little pricey, however we did purchase a couple of items from the shop. 




I can imagine that the main part of the Adventure Centre would be lots of fun for older children. However Emily was much to small to enjoy it. We did however take a little wonder around, and see if we could find anything suitable for her in the main room. We did find a ball pit, and a smaller play area but it was full of toddlers, and I knew Emily would get a little over run, so we decided to give it a miss. The Adventure Centre has a lot to offer it is completely undercover so it is a perfect safe space for the children to burn off extra energy if its a bit drizzly outside. There is soft play, bouncy castles, mini golf, climing frames, discovery zones, Circus Zone, and this is also where activity classes such as baby sensory and messy play are held. The Adventure Centre also holds the big four, I saw one of the big four, the swing in action while we were there. It looks amazing, but absolutely terrifying, something I would love to do. Emily had a little bounce on the bouncy castle with daddy, which she found highly amusing, she loves her jumperoo at home. So as soon as she realized it was bouncy, she had a fab time!




We then went in search for the soft play area, I have to say everything in the Adventure Centre was pretty well marked out, there was signs for everything apart from the Circus Zone. We asked the staff on site where the soft play was, and they were helpful and pointed us in the right direction. Emily absolutely loved the sensory tube. It was her favorite thing in the room, she loved watching the bubbles, and the fish floating from the top to the bottom. She also was fascinated every time it changed colour. Emily isn't crawling or on the move at the moment, so it was nice to be able to sit her in the corner and let her explore the tube and the mirrors knowing that she was safe. She also loved the mirrors that changed her appearance, she wasn't really a fan of mirrors before our trip to Bluestone, she was only just starting to notice her own reflection. So when she saw these mirrors she couldn't stop smiling and giggling. 

The one critism I do have about the Circus Zone is I didn't feel there was very much for Emily to do. The room is such a big space but I didn't feel it was used to its full potential, and I really do hope it is something Bluestone looks into changing. In my personal opinion there wasn't much for babies to do. The room quickly became over run with toddlers, and while Emily liked watching them at first, she soon got frustrated with all of the toddlers wanting to see the sensory tube she was playing with. Obviously they are more than welcome to play with it too, but Emily did get shoved a couple of times and it left her a little stunned. I think that it would be nice to have a fenced off section of the room for babies, that way when it becomes a little too busy the babies can have somewhere to escape to. It would be easy to add mirrors, and treasure baskets to a little gated area, that way babies would be occupied but would have somewhere to relax. I understand that toddlers may want to socialise with babies too, and I do think that is lovely. However sometimes babies need they're own space, they can get over stimulated very quickly and then your left with a grumpy baby who doesn't know what they want. I spoke to a couple of other mum's of babies around Emily's age, and I got the same feedback, they didn't feel like there was much to keep the babies occupied. We visited the room 3 out of the 4 days we were there, and the only things I saw that were age appropriate for Emily to play with was a ball pit, and the sensory tube. I know another blogger mentioned play mats and a baby gym, but we didn't see these.


After we had played for a while, we decided to head for some lunch, the Wild Wood cafe is opposite the Circus Zone, so it seemed like the perfect place to go. I loved the theme in the Cafe, it reminded me of something out of Peter Pan. The room looked like it was based on a enchanted world, there was a giant tree in the middle of the room and with upstairs seating it looked like a treehouse. There was also a little nest pod which has a movie on show, and some comfortable cushions which I think is such a brilliant idea for those restless children to retreat too. You can also head through the double doors which leads to a upstairs seating area overlooking the Adventure Centre, so if you have children playing down below it is a perfect place to sit and keep a eye on them. The menu contained baguettes, jacket potatoes, sandwiches, light bites, burgers, and kids meals. I think the pricing was pretty reasonable, me and Sam decided to share a chicken and bacon baguette and get a side of chips each, which came to £10.95. The service was amazing, and we got served our food within 10-15 minutes of ordering, it was hot and absolutely delicious. 

The Wild Wood Cafe also serves a buffet style breakfast every morning, and there is dinner shows available to book in the evening. I know there is a pirate show on in the evening, we felt Emily would be a bit small to attend something like this, but I am sure children and toddlers would love the dinner entertainment. There are games to play, challenges to overcome and a sing-a-long. There was also a Woody Wild dinner show being held over at the Cafe, there was 4 characters that your children could meet over dinner, which looked like lots of fun. The price was really reasonable in my opinion for the dinner shows, £12.95 per adult and £7.95 per child. Over all the Wildwood Cafe was one of my favourite places at Bluestone, you can tell a lot of thought and imagination went into creating this space.


Once we finished lunch, we decided to head back down to our lodge while Emily napped, and then we decided to go on the nature trail in the afternoon. While on the walk back, we stumbled across Newton North Parish Church. It was really nice to see that the site of the 12th century stone building was left untouched, as such a important piece of history I thought it was a really nice touch to incorporate it in the site. It is absolutely lovely that you can still see the untouched beauty of it, It is located near the center of the resort. One of the things that really impressed me about the Bluestone resort was how well it was looked after, you could see that the staff who worked on the site genuinely cared about their surroundings. 




We decided to head out and walk along the nature trail, I wasn't anticipating that it would be quite as long as it was, but none the less it was do nice just to be outdoors exploring and away from the hustle of everyday life. We were lucky that the weather was really nice, I wouldn't advise that you take a buggy down the nature trail. Just because we struggled a little with rocks and the swivel wheels on the front of my buggy getting caught, but it was seriously worth the effort. The site is very well taken care of. There was a gorgeous little stream that leads down the majority of the nature trail. When you get to the end of the nature trail you end up at Camp Smokey. I think it took us about a hour to walk the nature trail, just because we walked both the red and green way. We chose the green way originally because we didn't think that we would be able to get our buggy up the steep hill on the red way because of all the rocks. However when we got to the other side and the two paths met we found a way to go back and see what was down the red route. They say curiosity killed the cat, well the curiosity definitely got the best of us. We wanted to see what the Iron Age Fort was, and we left feeling a little disappointed, as it was just a clearing in the grass. They're wasn't any information or anything telling us what was previously there. 

We really enjoyed walking the nature trail, and it was good fun to see what was awaiting us at Camp Smokey. We got to see the steep ravine activities, such as the zip wire. I think it is definantly something both me and Sam would love to do in the future. We are both thrill seekers so it really appealed to us, however I won't leave Emily, so next time we are going to head to Bluestone in a group so I have someone I trust to watch Emily. I really loved the atmosphere of camp smokey. Camp Smokey was nestled at the bottom of the steep ravine. It is the perfect place to go to enjoy delicious freshly cooked smoked dishes, while you watched friends and family overhead on the zip wires. Camp Smokey offers everything from freshly cooked smoked hot dogs, to smores. It is a place I would recommend checking out if you go to Bluestone.






*We were provided with a 4-night stay free of charge in exchange for a honest and personal review, However all opinions are my own.*

4 comments

  1. Love seeing how different your day was to ours :). We did see playmats and bits for babies in the circus room but agree it's definitely more for older babies/toddlers xx

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  2. Love the outdoors photos. Looks like you had a great time :)

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  3. Such an in depth review, you have a knack :) I on the other hand, terrible! We did see the play mats and bits for babies too, they were near the sofa's, just outside the soft play area and they also had a push a long walker too.

    I can understand your frustrations as you have a young one. My son has obviously been that age before and we have taken him to soft play from a very young age. These places have been VERY limited so the Circus Room was great in my opinion, but that perhaps is just a reflection on where I have taken Noah in the past and it doesn't mean there isn't room for improvement.

    I also agree that babies do get overwhelmed too and frustrated, especially when they aren't mobile. That has happened with Noah before and still does now at 16 months. I found taking him away from the situation, to something else, anything else helped so so much. He wasn't mobile until he was 11 months too so I had a very frustrated baby on my hands for a very long time, eek!

    That's awful that poor Emily was shoved, toddlers can be very boisterous but it's hard to avoid at any age really. I always watch my son around smaller babies and make sure he doesn't get too close but usually he just wants to cuddle them and is very gentle. Parents should always keep an eye on their child.

    Can't wait to see your day three!

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  4. some really great pictures you have taken, so pretty! Looks like a beautiful place :)

    thank you for linking up to #mummymonday - Love Gemma - host xo
    www.sunshineonacloudyday.co.uk

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