Gate crashing!

Nanna and Grandad had booked a caravan just outside of Saundersfoot, well, I say “booked a caravan” I actually mean, arranged to stay in a friend’s caravan. I will not link the place here, because frankly it was horrific; it was a wet week, but it was less damp outside of the caravan.

Anyhow, we had some nice, enjoyable family time whilst Daddy Bruce stayed at home, working – no amount of black mould and damp was going to ruin our fun. We went on adventures with Nanna, Grandad and Peter in the car, in the rain, by foot… whatever we could do.

We visited Tenby, and had a wander around the coast and town there. We went swimming at the Blue Lagoon Water Park and visited the Dinosaur Park. These visits definitely aided our ability to entertain the children whilst not being in the caravan.

It ws a fleeting visit for us, and so there’s not really much to say apart from the reviews of the 2 attractions we attended (which you can access via the links above)

Review: Blue Lagoon Waterpark Wales

Being a swimming pool, I can’t really do much in the way of photography here… and being a very wet day, most photographs were akin to the featured image here, for the “outside” picture. But I can certainly let my words build the imagery, and the web page for the pool has 360 views anyhow.

The Blue Lagoon pool is actually part of the Bluestone National Park Resort Wales, and the mornings sessions are exclusively for guests of the resort. However, they do allow the public in for paid, timed sessions in the afternoon. Pre-booking online is advisable as they get busy, but also because you can save up to 15% on the entry price that way too.

To get to the pool, you have to come in through the driveway up to Bluestone, and turn off for the pool car park, which is rather large so capable of handling even busy sessions. And on arrival you have to walk over a bridge from the car park to the building, this gets the kids excited everytime, they feel like they are walking into a castle over a moat.

Once inside, entry is via a turnstyle barrier, activated by scanning the barcode on your ticket which will become active a little ahead of your time slot. There’s then a lift, or stairs, down to the changing rooms which have family, female and male changing areas, ample lockers, separate showers and toilets and a big drying machine.

Immeditely as you enter poolside you are faced with the beach pool, a large walled pool which gradually gets deeper. When you reach 1.1-1.2 metres deep, in the right hand side of the pool is an exit outside by way of a lazy river, which after flowing out to a small cove pool, meanders its way back indoors to the left of the main pool. You can exit the pool in the outdoor cove (and brave the elements) to access the outdoor jacuzzi. Inside, above the lazy river’s re-entry to the pool is a bridge over to the indoor jacuzzi. No children are allowed in these (last time I checked it was 12+ for indoor and 16+ outdoor).

Just to the left as you come in to poolside from the changing rooms is “Nippers Cove” a small fenced off area which houses a small pool about 20-40cm deep, with a bubble jet area, some interactive “squirty” type scupltures and some rock pools built into the wall that the children can explore. Just off to the right on poolside is a small pool, probably about 50-60cm deep, with lots of jets and splashy things, including a small tower that slightly older children can explore and enjoy, it’s themed to look somewhat like part of a pirate ship.

Above the pirate splash area are the steps up to the flumes. There is the wild water, which is an open flume that goes outdoors into 2 landing pools on the way down, with 2 slightly bigger, round pool areas outdoors, before coming down a short enclosed slide back into the main building. Then there’s the blue, entirely indoors flume – which is the fastest of the flumes in the Blue Lagoon, and you are required to lie on your back with your legs stretced and crossed and arms crosed across your chest. It is very fun. And quite light until the final stretch which is in darkness for a couple of seconds.

The other 2 flumes are still reasonably fast (depending on how you slide down), but for those who have issues with it, are both entirely in darkness the whole way down. We quite enjoy these as a family, because they are next to each other and so you can kind of race each other to the bottom.

There are then geysers, jets, waves etc. to be enjoyed throughout the main pool and lazy river. I have to comment on the waves too, considering they are the most powerful ones I have ever experienced. It’s amazing, waves with actual power – if you think sitting in the shallows will be the best option for a gentle experience – think again, as the waves break you will slide backwards with each wave, though great for jumping over or for family comptetions to see who can hold their ground the best.

It cost roughly £10 a ticket, but it’s not just a pool, it’s a water park so, you kind of expect to pay a premium. Normally, when we go it’s free as we are staying at Bluestone, but on this trip we were public guests, however in spite of the expense we are always happy to be there.

Blue Lagoon Wales

Review: The Dinosaur Park

Whilst gate crashing Nanna and Grandad’s holiday in Saundersfoot, we visited the Dinsosaur Park, near Tenby.

It was on a main route and easy to get to by car, although the sat nav indicated I should enter through a field rather than the actual entrance, which crept up on me on a fast road, so I did have to find somewhere to turn around. But that said, it was immediately obvious I had made the mistake as the park is visible from the road.

One of the things I really liked about this place is that, unlike other small parks of a similar nature, once you pay your entry fee most of the rides are included. Though, when I say most of the rides are included, the ones I am excluding are 2p/ride. And they even gave the children some 2ps to get them started.

The park itself had a walking trail, which we didn’t get to do (2 people with mobility issues with us, so we stuck to what they could manage that day. And during certain periods they have the “safari” tours. Don’t be fooled by the queues on this one, they get people through as quickly as possible… we were waiting for about 10 minutes max. And bascially, you get on a large golf buggy, and get driven around a small trail with large model dinosaurs and sound affects. To the person who expects 5 star quality and comfort from a 2 star hotel, you are probably going to be disappointed. To the person who can respect “I didn’t pay masses, so this isn’t going to be the most magical experience ever” you may very well enjoy it, especially if you can look at it from a nostalgic and playful perspective.

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There is a small information centre and a cafe that does your average “day out” food (chips, sarnies etc.), which was reasonably priced and well portioned. The staff were all polite, friendly and helpful.

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Then there are the rides, some of them are manned like the water zorbing, tubing, “skiddy cars” etc, and then there are orb cars, kids bikes, mini karts etc. that are unmanned and are either help yourself, or insert 2p to ride. There’s also a maze, a play barn and a park. The rides there aren’t all listed here, click on their web link at the bottom to see a full list.

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But we had 3 very different personality 5-10 year olds with us and they all were completely enertained right up until the moment we said we had to leave. They loved it. Red faced, sweaty, full of fresh air, laughed out, tired and happy. You know you are on to a winner when that’s the end result of the day. And it didn’t break the bank either – around £30 for the 3 of us to enter, and if you get the receipt stamped during your visit, you can return within 7 days for a heavily discounted price.

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The Dinosaur Park