Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Beautiful Barafundle Bay

I could start off with an apology about the weighting of pictures to words in this post, but quite frankly, I'm not sorry.

I mean, I could look at these views all day.

By day three, I had the itch to jump in the sea and feel the sand between my toes. We jumped in the car, and within a half hour down some winding country roads, we were running around like big kids on a near deserted beach.

Barafundle Bay at Stackpole has been continuously voted as one of the best beaches in both Wales and Europe, and it's not hard to see why.

We parked the car at Stackpole Quay, and walked the half mile or so, up steps and over gently undulating cliffs to get to the bay, teasing us in the distance. It's the not easiest beach to get to, (certainly not pushchair friendly) but it's more than worth the walk.

There are no facilities at the beach, so we just enjoyed the morning splashing about in the sand, chilling on the rocks and just generally soaking up the sunshine.

A little tropical paradise, right here in sunny Wales!

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Day 2: Exploring Bluestone

We woke the next morning with the sun rising over the lake and the sound of the ducks making their ungraceful crash landings. Taking our bleary eyes upstairs, we relaxed with a cup of tea before making a traditional big ol' holiday breakfast. His 'n' hers obviously, no surprises for guessing which is which!

A few more lazy cuppas ensued, watching the lake glisten as we read and doodled the morning away. Finally we decided to make the most of what was turning into a beautiful day, and pulled our wellies on for some exploring.

Stumbling upon some historical sites and then...

 Getting lost in them! You can spot a wild Sara if you look close enough.

Following the nature trail deeper down into the valley, we spotted the smoke rising in the distance. On closer inspection, it turned out to be what would quickly become our favourite spot at Bluestone.

Camp Smokey is an outdoor restaurant and bar, nestling in the woods. With a menu of smokey barbecued meats and an open air fire pit at the back for roasting marshmallows, it's an easy place to while away the time.

Although, while relaxing listening to the birds and the river, don't be too alarmed if you hear a few shrieks and screams. The zip wire flies right over your heads, and the sky trail climbs up in the air all around you. Makes for good entertainment, if you're not brave enough yourself!

However, it's all worth it to huddle around the fire with a marshmallow topped hot chocolate!

We headed back to the lodge for a little snooze before making our way over to the Well Spa for a bit of pampering. As a surprise for Mr P's birthday, I booked us in for an afternoon treat at the Spa, including treatments, nibbles and bubbles. Of all kinds!

We had such a fantastic afternoon! The staff treated us wonderfully and I had an amazing massage which completely popped all the knots in my hunched up tense shoulders! As well as the outdoor jacuzzi (worth doing the drop and run with the dressing gown for), there are numerous thermal rooms, including steam rooms, saunas and ice rooms!

The Well Spa is open for day visits too, so I'd thoroughly recommend this for a girly day out even if you're not staying on site.

All dazed, chilled and smelling lovely, we dressed up and headed over to the Knights Tafarn for dinner.

There's only one way this day could have possibly gotten any better. Enter my best friends: wine, cheese and carbs.

Mr P went for the curry special, lamb rogan josh complete with a poppadom on the side the size of my head.

Listening to the night's entertainment, we huddled up next to the log fire and toasted a perfect day in our Pembrokeshire paradise.

Friday, 13 March 2015

Welcome to Bluestone

I was lucky enough to be invited by Bluestone to stay for a few days to chill out and enjoy some of that magical spring Pembrokeshire air. Even luckier, our break coincided with Mr P's birthday! A morning of presents, tea and chocolate for breakfast followed by a road trip - is there anything better?

We piled my little car high with wellies, chunky jumpers and enough pick 'n' mix to keep a 5 year old going for a week and set off to the West. Two and a half hours later, we arrived at at the super efficient drive through check in at Bluestone!

Having stayed before, we knew what to expect, and parked our car in the long stay car park to have a wander before the gates opened at 4.30pm. Cars are only allowed on site after 4.30pm to unload, and then have to be returned back to the car park until checking out. Buggies are available for those with little ones, but for us two it was the perfect excuse to get a bit more exercise in.

Standard first stop...find the pub!

We wandered around, stretched our legs after the journey and reacquainted ourselves with the little village, before walking back to the car to bring her in to unload.

We pulled up outside our lodge and ran inside like the excitable big kids that we are, opening all the doors, poking around in all the corners and jumping on the beds.

The lodge we stayed in was called a Ramsey Lodge, and its best feature is its quirky 'upside down' style of living. The bedrooms were downstairs, opening out onto the tranquil lake, and the living area and kitchen were on the first floor.

The lodges have all the comforts and mod cons that you could possibly need, and also include a helpful little starter pack in case you've forgotten any bits and bobs.

Just as we were walking back from dropping the car off, two glittering rainbows appeared over the lake, brightening up the grey afternoon sky. Promising that there won't be any more rain for the rest of our stay? We tried to hunt down the pot of gold, but to no avail.

A little tired and worn out after the journey and unpacking, we decided to spend our first night snuggled up on our sofa, and eating pretty much all of the nice food we'd bought!

And of course, a bottle of Chateauneuf-Du-Pape for the Birthday boy!

With full bellies and a glass of red in hand, we cwtched up on the sofa and watched the lights twinkle on the lake, dreaming of tomorrow's adventures...