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Archive for the ‘Country parks’ Category

I wanted to write a review from the viewpoint of a wheelchair user because unless you are in a wheelchair others cannot fully grasp the sometimes minor and sometimes major challenges we face.

The resort can be booked for 2, 4 or 7 nights and our 4 night stay started on the Monday night.  I am so grateful for @marvellousmrsp for giving us the spare room in their lodge because it was such a wonderful experience going away with a few friends to such a gorgeous place.  The resort is divided in different areas like little suburbs around the main Bluestone village.  I can still manage to push myself much of the time but if I was booking a lodge for myself I would request one with an entrance more level to the road.  This wouldn’t be any issue if you had one of these amazing chairs from @trekinetic and they tell me that I can upgrade my Trekinetic K2 if necessary – 🎉GTE-parked

The lodges are spread out so you don’t feel as if you are on top of each other like in most static caravan parks and the forest and trees all over the place make for a truly beautiful site with wonderful views of the lake and the Preseli Mountains.

I had plenty of space to store my wheelchair and walker in the entrance hall without cluttering up the lodge and the carpet in the entrance was designed for cleaning plenty of muddy boots and wheels.

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The space was bright, open and airy and we immediately felt at home….

I had the downstairs bedroom which was next to a very spacious bathroom with a wet room shower and a full bath.  I was able to wheel myself around without any issues and right up to the basin.  Our bathroom didn’t have any grab bars or aids so you would need to enquire if any lodges have them if you needed them.

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The kitchen cupboards were all on the low level and open-plan and accessible with everything you need to make meals if you don’t want to eat out.  The resort has a great selection of restaurants and small eateries to choose from if you prefer to not cook at all.

As a wheelchair user I was allowed to keep my bus outside the lodge and use it to get around.  All other guests are required to remove their cars to the car park for the duration of their stay.  Golf buggies are available to hire and are everywhere and looked like so much fun.  Remember to consider this when saving for your holiday as the site is in the hills and quite extensive so anyone who struggles to walk any distance would need one – or just want one for the sheer fun of it! There is an on site bus and train that is free to use as well – after all, at the end of a day swimming and playing it is nice to be driven home.

Bicycles with trailers are also invaluable as well as the wheeled and collapsible cart I took with.  @tootsiestalesuk loved it so much that she immediately added one to her shopping cart.

 

The many and varied willow withy artwork around the resort are gorgeous and add to the whole magical forest theme.

I definitely built up a bit of extra muscle and got a fair bit of exercise during our stay. The surroundings are so lovely that you want to get out and explore / which is what this place is all about. There is also a beach and many other activities nearby if you want to explore further afield, but we found that there was so much on site we didn’t need to or want to go anywhere else.

The swimming arena isn’t just for swimming, but has a river, slides, obstacle course and waves. We spent a very happy afternoon poolside and although the main lift was broken on the day we went, there was an alternate lift we could use to gain access to the change rooms and the pool. I was asked if I needed the pool hoist, which I don’t, but it was good to know one is available.

There are plenty of great coffee houses and kiosks around the resort and we made good and frequent use of them for our daily coconut latte fix 😁.

Everywhere we went we were met with the friendliest staff imaginable. They went out of their way to help and provide assistance. One lovely lady even offered to push me up the hill from the Village to our lodge before they realised I didn’t know I could use my car – great customer service is invaluable, and it abounds at Bluestone resort.

A well deserved award for a resort that is beautifully maintained and is thoughtful to the environment.

If I could sum up our stay in only one photograph, it would be this one which I’ve titled ‘Free Range Kids’, as per @bluestonewales manifesto….

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After our four nights stay, we had made new friends, seen wonderful things, been on wheelchair adventures, enjoyed lots of great coffee and generally had a fantastic time.

Would I come here again? Would I recommend it?

Absolutely, definitely, 100%!

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Having not been very well recently has affected my usual get-up-and-go (and my blogging apparently!).  In order to get away, even if it was just for 2 days, we headed off with the family to try a little camping.  It has been so long since we went away and back then we had a huge motorhome which is now a thing of the past.  The aim of the weekend trip was to see how we managed with a tent and me in a wheelchair.  The campsite we found was absolutely beautiful and so peaceful.  It had just the right amount of facilities with a couple of toilets and showers and a little cleaning area.  Only 10 tents allowed which made it peaceful and quiet (until our grandsons arrived that is!) – just what we needed.

My Trekinetic K2 was ideally suited to this location as it was quite hilly and the toilets were over the grass and up a stone driveway.  No problem as hubby provided the necessary propulsion because of the injury to my shoulder.

On the Saturday afternoon we took the family down to the little stream (or beck as it is called in Cumbria) along the farm ‘roads’.  Going downhill is always fun, but coming back uphill is a much bigger challenge.  Now for the confession – on this trip, the pictures of me are a little staged because coming down the hill I managed pretty well with some assistance but I needed both hubby and my daughter to give me a push back up again!!  I was quite useful though in shouting warnings of any impending dung heaps which they tried valiantly to avoid – not always successfully. Oh well! what else can you expect when out bundu bashing and enjoying the countryside.

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And by the way, how come I always seem to have a child hitching a free ride??

Camping proved to be wonderful in the great weather; I think we had better try it a few more times before we decide if we can camp around Canada though.  I must say though that I think without the Trekinetic K2 a lot of campsites would be much more difficult.  Now all we need is to find a more comfortable bed and I think I could do this more often.

Definitely a worthwhile weekend experience; and here’s to many more happy camping holidays!

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Looking for a place to take the family for a day out involves a fair bit of planning but we knew we wanted to visit one of the National Trust properties near us – but which one?  Looking through the literature it was obvious we had a winner when we found out that Speke Hall has created a maze since our last visit – woohoo!!  A definite hit with the whole family plus the grounds and house are amazing and if you like aeroplanes, then you are in for a treat because it is right next to John Lennon Airport in Liverpool.

It is easy to get to, has great parking, a nice little tea room and plenty to see and do for all ages.  On this occasion we did not go into the house because we had all the grandchildren in prams and it would have been a tad difficult controlling the rather excited youngsters.  No, the outdoors seemed best, BUT, the weather was definitely not playing ball 😦 .  The first hour or two were spent having hot drinks in the tea room and then a picnic under the lovely big umbrellas in the courtyard.  A great spot, but we would have preferred a sunny, grassy embankment!  Not to be deterred, the girls took the two older children off to the maze – pouring rain and all.  Umbrellas at the ready they negotiated their way around amid much hilarity and squeals of delight.  Here they are victorious at the end of the trail – a little damp!

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Following our lovely picnic lunch and the eventual end to the downpour, next came some serious puddle jumping – boy do I wish we had brought those wellies with!

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The Trust provides a handy golf caddy to take visitors to the house if you need and I noticed that this is equipped with a ramp if you are in a wheelchair.  We walked as the weather had done a full 360 degrees and was beautifully sunny.  The children had an incredible time with the equipment provided by the National Trust to help little explorers…..

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This house and gardens are a definite must and accessibility is really good and the pathways well maintained and easy to get around.   A most successful day out – give it a try, I highly recommend it.

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We had an amazing day out in the beautiful British summer weather today at the British Food Festival at Walton Hall in Warrington. When we realised that it was being held in a park of some sort we swapped my slick indoor tyres for the knobbly outdoor ones in case the terrain was a bit challenging – a good call because the trip from the grass field was a little muddy and bumpy.

I cannot abide big crowds because being lower down than most people makes you feel even more hemmed in (probably what children feel like) and the incredible weather brought people out in droves; not a big surprise when you combine, good weather, good food and good beverages all n one place!

On the positive side for me was another unexpected benefit of my Trekinetic K-2 – the umbrella! Not only did it provide wonderful respite from the rays for our newest granddaughter and I, but it acts as an amazing privacy and perimeter barrier – we did not get jostled or bumped at all because people kept an awed and respectful distance – brilliant!

Another great reason to buy a K-2 😄

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Every year our church at TCC (Todays Community Church) has a little gathering in the grounds of Haigh Hall.  We were very lucky with the weather today and after stocking up on a few picnic essentials, we headed to the venue.

The grounds are lovely and are often used for wedding parties and we arrived just as one party was getting photos taken around the big house.

I had my off-road wheels on and cambered to the ‘mean’ setting (very spread for extra stability) because I knew we would be up and down after our grandson who has enough energy to power a few hundred duracell bunnies for at least a year!

Apart from it being a bit blustery, it turn out really well and it was wonderful to be able to get around on the grass without getting stuck every few feet.

Even better is the fact that we don’t have to be at work tomorrow because of the spring bank holiday in England – I may actually get that quilt finished… see my other blog for details.

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