We were all excited for our first visit to Bluestone. My friend had mentioned back in December they had good deals on at that moment. I followed her link, put in some random dates for January and thought that sounds too good to be missed. I texted my mum straight away. I always tend to ask her for advice if I think I’ve seen a good deal for something. She said go for it and it would be my Christmas present. In the moment I had been waiting for a reply from her, there was only 1 adapted lodge left on different dates I had previously put in. I booked it instantly. I then had to think, my partner is going to have to take time off work, will they let him? And my son and daughter would have to be taken out of school and playgroup. It was a 4 night 5 days stay. So I thought even if my partner can’t take all the time off we could just go for 2 nights and could also ask my partners if they wanted to join us for part of the week.
Fortunately my partner could take unpaid leave. It’s not great but with no holidays left it was the only option. With my operations, hospital stays, and our 2 night in a yurt back in the summer, the past year, he had used them all up.
It did cross my mind about what my eldest, who is in reception, would miss 5 whole days of school. I had seen about fines too for parents taking their children out of school. I also knew that the law was on our side at the moment as my son is not 5 yet. The law says children have to be in full time education from their fifth birthday.
I spent the weekend before leaving on the Monday, packing up everything we needed. I packed a couple of toys, ranging from a small wooden train track, a toaster game they had for Christmas and some hand made activities (that I shall do a blog post on soon).
We couldn’t check in on the Monday until 4.30pm. You can pay a fee to check in earlier but I don’t have the spare cash to do that! You are able to use the on site facilities if you wanted before your check in time. I wanted to make the most of the days we had there, so that’s why we decided to head up to West Wales and go to Anna’s Welsh Zoo (Manor Wildlife Park) and then we would go to check in at Bluestone.
When we pulled up, we were in a short que of cars, with a little office building in the middle of the road, with a light system that flashed for 2 cars to go forward at a time. This is how you check in. They give you your lodge number and area, along with a map to show you the layout. For the disabled pass, we had to fill in an extra form and were given a laminated paper sign to put on our car dashboard. The disabled pass allowed us to take our car on site and park outside our lodge. Bluestone is a car free zone, except for unloading and loading when you first arrive and leave. The disabled pass was very useful, because there is no way possible we could trek up and down to the facilities and the main car park all the time, as it’s very hilly and steep in places. I’m not sure if we were ‘officially’ allowed, but to access the children’s outdoor play area or the village shop area, we needed to drive our car close to them. It was too difficult in my manual wheelchair with the slopes and to keep up with two excited children. I just couldn’t make it up any hills.
We made it to our Caldey Lodge. You drive through a bendy one way system. If you miss it then you have to drive all the way back around.
There was a pull in bit off the road by our lodge, that had 2 little signs, saying parking for 45, parking for 46.
When we first arrived, it was starting to get dark. We actually arrived nearly exactly on 4.30pm. It was very cloudy, but thankfully we left the rain behind in Cardiff.
So what did it look like inside? Here is a little tour:
As you enter the main door, in front of you is the living room area with 2 sofas, a coffee table and a television. Next to the living area is the dining table and chairs. On the right is the kitchen. I have just realised I didn’t take a photo of the kitchen! I took these photos when we first got into our room and all our bags and case were placed down in the big open plan kitchen area and I didn’t want to get all of our baggage in the picture. I must have then forgotten to take a photo later on! Silly me!
The kitchen had everything you need, a fridge with a freezer draw, oven and hob, toaster, kettle, microwave and even a dishwasher. We are not use to using a dishwasher so we just opted for hand washing the dishes like we do at home.
On the left as soon as you come through the main entrance, there is a door which is the bathroom area, which has a toilet with hand rails and also a shower and seat, and 2 sinks. It was a wet room. (By the way I tested the shower a few times and absolutely loved it! I’d love a wet room in my own home)
As you entered the living area a bit more, around the corner on the left were 2 doors, which were the bedrooms. One had a double bed in, and the other had 2 single beds in it. There was also a travel cot in a fold away bag. Each bedroom had a good sized wardrobe with hangers and pull out draws.
What I loved too, is that both bedrooms and the area by the dining table, had patio doors that opened completely out.
I felt safe-ish, to let my children play outside by the door while I was sitting on the bed. I explained that I needed them to stay in a certain part only so I could see and hear them. They did well, but after about 15 minutes, they started to get further and further away, and decided to run around the whole of the outside of the lodge. That’s ok, but it just meant I couldn’t sit on the bed comfortably anymore. My children are 2 and 4, and still don’t understand the full dangers, so I always like to keep a close eye on them.
Outside the patio doors by the dining room table, was a little paved area with a bench. There was also an outside light. We went during the middle of winter, so didn’t make the full use of it, but I can imagine in the summer having the doors open, a breeze coming through and chatting and eating outside.
The other bench you see in the photo below belongs to the patio of the lodge next to us.
We felt very comfortable in our Caldey lodge and settled quickly.
I’ll be writing another blog post shortly on the activities we got up to.