Folly Farm Adventure Park & Zoo | Review


As you know we recently enjoyed a wonderful few days at Bluestone in Wales. We wanted to make the most of our trip so I made sure to research nearby attractions, and one that seemed perfect for us was Folly Farm. Now don't be fooled by the name - Folly Farm is more than just a farm, it's also an adventure park, funfair and zoo! We were so excited to visit, and we weren't disappointed.

The park is just a short drive from Bluestone in the heart of Pembrokeshire. The day we visited was a bit chilly and VERY windy however we still managed to enjoy our day and spent well over 5 hours there, (we could have spent the whole day if it was a bit warmer). There was so much to see and do for all ages and I'm sure there were bits we missed.

Our first stop was the Jolly Barn which is home to all your farm favourites from sheep and goats to pigs, chickens and ponies. We let Indiana out of her pram and let her wander around to explore the animals. I loved how clean the whole farm was and there were plenty of points to wash your hands too which was great to see. All the animals seemed happy and I especially loved the chicken enclosures which were more than just your average chicken coop!

The whole area was themed with huge signs, areas to learn more about the animals, and even interactive areas with games and more. Throughout the day they bring out different animals to meet and touch. Indiana adored the rabbit and had a constant look of awe in her face when stroking it. Jack even got to milk a goat which was a pretty cool thing to do!

From the barn you can venture outside and enjoy the free tractor ride - a 15 minute round trip around the outside farm area. Indie loved being able to look around and see the animals, and I thought the driver gave really interesting information throughout. There was even a stop-off to go on a nature trail part way through if you fancied it.

After all the fun of the barn we went in search of some lunch. With it being so cold we didn't bring a picnic; although there were plenty of seating areas if you did decide to bring one. We stopped at the Funfair Restaurant which is located inside the Vintage Funfair. It looked a bit outdated from the outside but I think that just adds to the theme they're going for inside the funfair.

They offer a selection of hot food choices from pies and chips to jacket potatoes and spaghetti, all at reasonable prices. Indiana had a children's lunch box which included a sandwich, crisps, yoghurt, chocolate bar and drink. We all found the food to be really yummy and Indie especially enjoyed her chocolately treat!

There were plenty of other places to eat while at Folly Farm including snack stands throughout the park offering yummy treats and drinks, the Carousel Cafe by the soft play area inside the funfair, the cafe at the entrance of the park and a burger shack outside - although this was closed during our visit.

After lunch we explored more of the vintage funfair which was so much bigger than we first thought; I've recently discovered it's Europe's largest undercover funfair! With  retro games such as hook-a-duck and penny machines to the big favourites such as the waltzers and the ghost train - there was plenty to enjoy! We didn't actually make it onto any of the rides as Indiana is still a little young (there are kiddy rides too), and with me pregnant Jack would have had to enjoy them by himself haha.

There are very reasonably priced with tokens only costing 50p each, and then each ride only being 1-2 tokens! This was really impressive as it's much cheaper than fun fairs at local beaches such as Brighton Pier.

The back of the funfair was home to the biggest adventure play I'd ever seen - Carousel Woods! All undercover and surrounded by seating so that parents can sit and relax while the kids go have fun. Again Indiana was too young for this, but I know if we visited when she's a bit older she'd be in there for hours haha.

This wasn't the only play area in the park however - there were huge play areas outside as well; pirate ships to climb, a dragon playground, diggers for both kids and adults (at a small charge), pedal tractors and even a ferris wheel! These were practically empty during our visit but I can imagine during peak Spring/Summer periods these are very popular.

My absolute favourite part of the park was the zoo! I was only expecting a few small enclosures with smaller animals but I was completely blown away by what there actually is. Every single enclosure was large, modern and seemed well managed - something I think is very important when I visit a zoo.

The zoo is actually home to over 50 species amounting to over 250 animals and they are even expanding as we speak with the addition of flamingos and rhinos to come. We wandered around the monkeys, lions and camels and found some rather funny river hogs who were running around in a conga line haha. We didn't see any of the animal talks but did happen to visit the giraffes (the only ones in Wales!) when they were receiving some training from a zoo keeper. She was answering questions and it was really interesting to watch and listen to.

My favourites and I think Indiana's too as she slept for the most part haha, were the penguins. One side of their exhibit was a large glass panel which let you see right into their water tank. The glass was crystal clear so you could see them really up close swimming about; they seemed to love the interaction as they came right over to where you were to look.

The zoo also has an 'interactive zone' which houses more animals as well as being an education based sensory centre. Jack and I had great fun chatting to the parrot inside as well as following a little stamp trail - Jack was very proud of getting all his stamps haha.

Overall we had a fantastic day out and would definitely love to visit again! It's a great day out for all ages and I can see why it won  Best Day Out in Wales in the National Tourism Awards recently! I still cannot believe how reasonable the prices are: £10.95 for adults, £9.95 for children aged 3-15, senior citizens and the disabled and then under 2s are free. You can even purchase an annual pass which I think is well worth the money as there's so much to see and do!

*We received our tickets free or charge in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own*

25 Week Pregnancy Update | Baby #2


Bump definitely feels/looks smaller from 2 days of hardly eating!
Reading my apps this morning as seeing '15 weeks to go' was crazy; that seems like no time at all! Finding the vegetable comparison size seems to be getting more difficult as some places I look say cauliflower and some say aubergine haha. Either way baby boy weighs roughly 660 grams and is about 35cm long (anyone else just compare this to a 30cm ruler you used at school haha?)!

This week I had my first experience of having to get up in the night to wee - I know I'm lucky to make it this far haha, but it was bloody annoying! Especially when I find it so hard to get back to sleep once I'm awake. Linked with this is that I've been needing to go all the time even if I've only just been haha. Pip must have been jumping on my bladder this week!

I saw the midwife on Wednesday and talked through all my worries and concerns with her. She agrees she's going to keep an eye on his size as she could tell he's a big boy haha. She didn't measure my bump which I thought was odd (they did at this stage with Indiana), but said everything felt in the right place. My urine, BP and his heart beat were all perfect so she was happy. She said I've just got to keep her updated on my migraines if they are coupled with swelling as it could lead to pre-eclampsia. She also confirmed my suspicions and he is all down my right side - and still is right now!

I thought I was finally feeling better until I was hit with a sickness bug yesterday. I didn't even keep much water down which was worrying. I'm feeling slightly better today though - I'm still feeling achy all over but I have managed to eat.. woohoo!

Hopefully I'll have nothing to say next week as I'm sick of feeling sick haha!

Bluestone Wales | Ramsey Lodge Review


I'm hoping you've read my daily diaries and overall review of our Bluestone Wales holiday by now, if not check them out! As mentioned we stayed in a gorgeous Ramsey Lodge during our 4 night stay - although there are a whole selection of different lodges, studios and cottages to stay in! This is going to be a review of our lodge (this is just my opinion and of this certain lodge we stayed in).

The lodges are accessed by key cards which you receive when you check-in. We were provided two however only one worked during our stay. I'm sure this would have been sorted if we went to the Village, however we didn't bother as we were always together anyway. Wi-fi is free within the lodge and the park itself although we sometimes found it a bit slow.

First impressions of our lodge were simply 'wow!'. I was so impressed how big and how lovely it was inside. Ramsey Lodge's are 'upside down' living so the bedrooms were on the bottom floor, and the living space upstairs; to make the most of the beautiful views. It was a bit strange sleeping downstairs and I did find I kept the curtains drawn most of the time as anyone could look in (there were no net curtains for privacy). These curtains were amazing though as they were blackout and kept all of the sunlight out.

The lodge sleeps four with one double bedroom and one twin bedroom, both with en-suite bathrooms. They also come with a travel cot as standard which is what Indiana slept in. The bedrooms had loads of space with both a chest of drawers and a wardrobe in each (not that we unpacked haha). The beds were made on arrival with lovely fresh bedding and towels were provided for each guest. These were really comfortable - although the pillows were so plump we felt you didn't really need two.

The double bedroom's bathroom had a bath with overhead shower. The bath was a lovely size although we did find the taps fiddley to get to a good temperature, and where it was so big it took AGES to fill up haha. The twin bedroom's bathroom was a wet room which we obviously didn't need to use.

The travel cot provided was by Mothercare so we knew it was good quality (Jack took a while to put it up as a typical man he didn't follow the instructions haha). It was tricky to find too as it was tucked behind the wardrobe in the corner. The mattress was very basic so we used extra blankets to pad it out, and you have to bring your own bedding as well. I did see a lot of people bring their own mattresses but I don't think you really need to if you just use extra blankets!

We spent most of our time in the lodge upstairs in the living space - Indiana did have a whale of a time going up the stairs though haha. Stairgates are provided as standard at the top and bottom to provide safety. I found the one at the bottom in our lodge quite stiff but this wasn't too much of a bother.

The whole area was open-planned which is what we're used to at home so really liked this. It meant that we could be sorting something out in kitchen, while we could watch Indiana play in the living room.

The kitchen was great and has everything you'd need for a self-catering holiday including fridge (there was only a small freezer section though), microwave, toaster and kettle. We didn't used the oven as we ate out a lot, but Jack did say the hob was confusing at first - there are instructions provided for everything on top of the microwave though which is a good idea.

There was a decent sized bin which had both a rubbish and recycling section; a brilliant idea. We were never told where the main bins were though which we thought was a bit odd. A great addition was the dishwasher as we really didn't fancy washing-up on holiday!

A 'welcome pack' was waiting for us when we arrived which included a sponge, dishcloth, extra bin bags (one of each), a tiny washing up liquid (I would bring your own if you didn't want to use the dishwasher), and a pack of 3 dishwasher tablets. It also explained about additional services such as laundry - there isn't a washing machine in the lodge.

Next to the kitchen was a lovely dining table with enough room for 6 people. A highchair (Ikea Antillop) is provided as standard and was great for Indiana. Ours didn't come with a tray but I did notice others did - luckily Indie can eat from a bowl/plate at the table, but would be worth asking if you wanted the tray. I wasn't so happy it was on carpet though as it wasn't very easy to clean up the mess haha.

The living room was spacious and you could really see the beautiful view from the sofas. There was a TV with Freeview as well as a DVD player provided. The batteries in our DVD remote control weren't working so it was pretty useless - luckily Jack brought his PS3 so we just used that instead. The TV automatically turned on to the 'Bluestone TV' channel which provided information and emails!

Overall we loved our lodge and it really suited our family, however there were a number of negatives we noticed too:
  • No cupboard locks in the kitchen - Indiana knows not to go through cupboards as we don't have locks at home, however I know this would be an issue for many!
  • Linked with the above is the fact ALL breakables are in low cupboards - who's idea was it to put glass and china in easy reach of children?!
  • No plug socket covers - again not very safe!
  • Dim lights - we found that the lights didn't really make a difference (especially in the bedrooms), and had to have them all on at night just to be able to see.
  • The heaters were quite small and unless turned up quite high (which would have been dangerous around Indie), it got quite chilly in the evening.
  • Poor signal - there isn't much phone signal in the lodges so it was hard for Jack to order our takeaway - a service which they provide!
  • Heavy doors meant they didn't stay shut properly (this was especially true with the main bedroom door).

We loved our stay and these negatives really wouldn't put us off visiting again. I'd love to come back in the summer to make use of the picnic table, as that's something we didn't really use. As you can tell Indiana was definitely in her element!

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

24 Week Pregnancy Update | Baby #2


24 weeks means we've hit V day! Viability means that if anything were to happen now and he had to be born, medical teams would do anything they could to try and save him. He's almost a foot long now - about the size of an ear of corn - and weighs more than 600 grams.

I started the week still with my headaches but they seem to have eased a bit now. I'm seeing the midwife on Wednesday so will definitely be mentioning them to her (a lot of people have mentioned them being linked to blood pressure).

Apart from that it's been a pretty good week! Here in Kent we had a mini heatwave on Tuesday and Wednesday and it was absolutely boiling. I got to wear my first maxi-dress with my bump and it was soo lovely to actually show it off (not that I can hide it any more haha). It was a bit too much for me though and I did have to hibernate indoors with plenty of drinks.
Braxton hicks have definitely stepped up recently I've noticed. They aren't painful - my whole belly just goes really tight and hard for a few minutes and then relaxes again. I've noticed I get them more if I've been walking a lot (to work for example) so have to really slow down to relax them.

Movement wise this baby boy is a right groover! According to my apps an anterior placenta usually means lighter movements, which are usually lower down and to the sides; and my uterus is only meant to be just above me belly button. I feel him ALL over though and recently he's been doing full body movements and sitting in my ribs - just like his big sister did!

Like I said I'm seeing the midwife on Wednesday just to get things checked over and to finally pick up my MatB1 form. Yay to getting maternity leave fully sorted! I'll let you know how that goes in my 25 week update next week.

Bluestone National Park Resort | Review


We were recently lucky enough to be given the opportunity to be a #bluestoneblogger. We enjoyed an amazing 4 night break at the Bluestone National Park Resort in the gorgeous Pembrokeshire in Wales. I'm hoping you've read my daily diaries by now, if not definitely check them out as there's plenty of pictures and more information about what we got up each day. This is going to be a review of the resort itself and what it has to offer.

Bluestone is situated within the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park and is the perfect destination for a self catering break. Whether you want to relax and take it easy at the Blue Lagoon Water park or Spa, or get out and about for some adventure - Bluestone has it all! The views are breathtaking and it was so surprising how quiet it was even though the car park was always full.

We stayed in a luxury lodge - of which there are 9 types, although they also offer cottages and studio apartments to suit any party size. These are all situated within the hills of the park and are all set for a self catering holiday the second you arrive. There's free wi-fi throughout the resort - a nice bonus and perfect for us bloggers.

To check-in the run a sort of 'drive through' system which is so easy and quick. We had to wait in a short queue as we arrived around the check-in time of 4.30pm, but once to the front we were all checked in within about 5 minutes (all they need is the party booking name or reference number). To check out you simply return your keys into a box by the barriers by 10am, however you are free to use the facilities until 3.30pm.

The park runs a strict no car policy which we thought was a brilliant idea; especially as Indiana loved to run wild the whole time we were there haha. There's a long stay car park by the entrance where you leave your car throughout your stay - there are obviously exceptions for those that require their car. The barrier opens at 4.30pm and cars had to be back in the car park by 10pm. After that they had to stay there until the Friday morning when we were able to pack the car back up to leave.

The park is quite hilly, and depending on where you were staying it meant walking up and down hills a lot. This wasn't a problem for us as we loved the fresh air and the weather was great. However there is the option to hire a buggy for £80 which did look very fun to whizz around in. You can also hire bikes from the same area too.

The centre of the resort focuses on The Village which is the hub for the shops, customer services and most of the places to eat. There's also a beautiful play park ideal for both younger and older children. We found it cheaper to buy from the local supermarket but if you do need any extra bits Newton's store is perfect (a little over priced but that's to be expected). We found the little milk vending machine SO sweet for those milk emergencies too.

There are endless activities to enjoy while at Bluestone. We were so lucky with the weather as it was beautifully sunny, if a little windy, the whole week. There is something to do in all weathers though if you do travel during worse weather. Plenty of those are included in the price of your holiday which we thought was brilliant. Then you can also pay extra for optional activities - these can either be pre-booked before you arrive or booked once you arrive (although there isn't a guarantee there will be spaces left).

The main free activities are the Blue Lagoon swimming pool and the Adventure Centre which is home to soft play, a bouncy castle, a Lego wall, the NRG Games Room, The Circus Room (under 5s play room) and a huge play area.

The Blue Lagoon is absolutely amazing and perfect for all ages, especially families. They have family changing rooms which is a huge positive for us and plenty to do inside. The main pool also doubles as a wave pool and is the entrance to the lazy river too. There's a separate gated kid's pool and a range of flumes for the older kids and adults. If you fancy a bite to eat while you swim there's the Fish Shack which offers a range of snacks, drinks and meals.

The Adventure Centre was our favourite place to let off some steam. As well as the free activities inside there's also the 'Big Four' - The Swing, The Drop, The Wall and the Sky Trail, a climbing wall and more all for a small extra charge. We obviously didn't try any of these out as Indie is a little too young, but they looked like loads of fun!

Turn right as you go into the building and you can make your way to the Circus Room - perfect for 16 month old Indiana! With soft play, a sensory tube, building blocks, tents and plenty of seats for the adults, it's the perfect place for babies and toddlers to run around safely.

We paid a little extra (£7 a session) for both Toddler Sensory and Messy Play, both of which we enjoyed thoroughly. The toddler sensory wasn't as great as it took place in the Circus Room, which proved too much distraction for most of the kids and it was free to use anyway! They also have a fully licensed crèche for if you want some 'me' time away from the kiddies. These are just two of the extra activities available at Bluestone, you can see a full list here.

One of the older activities we did try out was the Crossbow lesson over at the Tournament Field. Jack was very excited to have a go and Indie seemed pretty keen too haha. The lesson was very good and he had great fun trying to hit the targets (he was very proud to hit the smallest target for the highest points haha).

Another brilliant free thing to do are the nature trails and exploring! We had a lovely adventure down to Camp Smokey in the Steep Ravine and then on one of the easy trails towards The Village. The trails are definitely not buggy friendly though so keep that in mind if you do plan to go on an adventure! The Steep Ravine is also the location for more exciting and daring activities for older children and adults. These are charged extra but definitely looked like a lot of fun.

One area we didn't see or get to enjoy was the Well Spa Retreat. We simply didn't have time, and we wanted to spend as much time as a family as possible. The Spa is a 5* resort and offers a range of treatments including massages, beauty treatments and even a little something for the men! Prices range from £30 to £170 so definitely more of a treat I think.

Food & Drink
Bluestone is perfect for a self-catering break, however if you fancy having a break from the cooking completely, there are plenty of places to eat and drink. We only cooked on one occasion during our stay as we wanted to make the most of it. The kitchens are well equipped, however Jack did have trouble with our hob as it took about 20 minutes to heat up!

Miller's Bakery is perfect for those lazy mornings offering fresh bread and pastries (which was absolutely delicious), as well as ice creams, snacks and lunch time food. They have tables inside and out so it's perfect for a sit down bite to eat or food on the go!

Our first night we ate at The Farmhouse Grill. They offer a variety of meat and fish grill dishes, using fresh ingredients (as well as a carvery on a Sunday). We didn't have the best experience when we went - read day 1 of our holiday to find out more. The food was tasty though!

We also tried out The Knight's Tafarn which is a more relaxed pub like restaurant. It definitely felt more kid friendly and I loved the atmosphere. The service was so quick and portions were generous (especially the kids meal). It did mention about entertainment most evenings but we didn't see any of this.

On our final night we used the takeaway service - a brilliant touch we thought. Perfect for those lazy evenings and for parents like us who wanted a relaxing, tasty meal but while the baby slept peacefully. It was easy to order; however due to lack of phone signal Jack did say it was slightly hard to hear. The food arrived exactly when we asked and in their own little takeaway tubs. They deliver between 4-10pm and there's free delivery for orders over £20.

We didn't get to try out any other places to eat as we simply didn't have the time! While we were there the newest restaurant called the Oak Tree had it's grand opening; serving traditional Welsh meals with an Italian twist. It looked lovely but the food wasn't food us and didn't seem kid friendly.

There was the Wildwood Cafe which is located upstairs in the Adventure Centre. The room was beautifully decorated and had a pirate theme while we were there. They even do a dinner show which would be fab for those with older children. Finally there was also Camp Smokey which we didn't go into but it was too early for food. They offer rustic bbq food as well as the chance to roast marshmallows over an open fire!

Overall we had an absolutely amazing time at Bluestone. There were a few negatives such as the poor service at The Farmhouse Grill and the lack of cupboard locks in the lodge (I'll go into more detail of this in my review of the lodge). However we found that these were nothing compared to all the positives and the brilliant time we had!

I'd totally recommend Bluestone and will definitely be going back - this time as a family of 4 and without the bump so I can join in more of the fun!

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