Our true intent is all for your delight. That’s the Butlin’s motto and I hate it. Sorry, Billy. It feels wordier than it needs to be and it doesn’t roll off the tongue very easily. (Says the professional waffler). But ignore me, I’m funny like that. I don’t want to get off on the wrong foot and I do believe your motto to be a true reflection of your ethos, Bill.
I do have one other little moan up my sleeve though, and I think I should just get it off my chest up front and clear the air. Ok? Here goes…the WiFi is shocking. Sorry, Billy. You can upgrade for about £15, which I did because I needed it to use the Butlin’s app and keep up with what was on. I found the upgraded service quite frustrating, with it constantly dropping off, but it was ok for what we needed and actually it meant that I wasn’t tempted to be on social media when I should be present.
Right, that’s the (very minor) negatives done with. Now, onto the good stuff…. everything else.
We went to the Skegness resort; the same one we visited (a bit apprehensively) last year. Over the years, Butlin’s reputation has taken a bit of a battering, falling out of favour to the likes of Center Parcs in the style stakes or holidays abroad with guaranteed sunshine. So we were pleasantly surprised when we arrived to find a resort with modern accommodation, tons of greenery (so much so that you almost forget you’re in the UK) and plenty of amenities.
We had such a great time last year that we booked for 2019 as soon as we got home, with Bear ‘counting down the sleeps’, since Boxing Day. I kid you not.
There are several types of accommodation to choose from to suit varying budgets and needs. This year we went for the Fairground Apartments, which were approximately a 5 minute walk from the main pavilion and pool, 3 minutes from the private beach and 2 minutes from the tiny tots fairground.
The apartment was two bed with a bathroom and kitchen diner. It was clean, bright, modern and comfortable, decorated with a fairground theme, which was far more subtle than it sounds. However there was a wavy mirror, the fairground kind that distorts your body shape, providing tons of giggles for our little ones who couldn’t stop laughing at their little legs and exaggerated bottoms.
We also had a patio as we paid extra to be on the ground floor. I’d recommend doing this if you can afford the £15 supplement. I think it’s particularly worthwhile if you have small children who may not be able to stay out late or if you plan to eat in a lot. Bear and Bunni love running around ‘on the teletubby hills’ outside the apartment while we cook.
In terms of ‘stuff to do’, there’s tons. We stayed from Monday until Friday and didn’t get to do everything, in part due to Bear and Bunni being only 2 and 5 and getting knackered but also because we simply ran out of time.
Almost every activity/club/attraction on site is free and it doesn’t even matter if it rains because there’s so much to do indoors, not least of all the pool which has so much to offer kids of all ages.
We didn’t do any paid activities – we didn’t need to – there was more than enough to keep us entertained without forking out any extra dough. Although we did spend time in the arcade everyday, winning a mountain of tickets to be exchanged for a plethora of plastic tat. As if we need anymore of that.
The Red Coats were a big hit with our children too. Since coming home Teddy has been referring to himself as Courtney, a lovely Red Coat who taught him how to spin a plate before playing with him and Posey (and the other children hanging off her fetching, white pleated skirt), for a good half an hour. Allowing The Bearded Manc and I to watch on and enjoy a quiet drink which, as all parents know, is a rare treat when on holiday with children. You can’t put a price on that.
Talking of price, our trip cost £300 plus food, petrol and spends, taking the total spend to £500. A fortune to some, I know, and it wasn’t small change to us either as we’ve had a really bad (and extremely worrying) year financially – fortunately for us, you can pay in instalments – but I challenge you to find a comparable holiday, with all that’s included, for that price.
Did I mention there’s a private beach included in that price? It is not only clean but feels extremely safe because it’s on resort and you can only gain entrance with a wristband, meaning everyone there is accounted for. Also, as it’s a stones throw from the apartments you can nip back and forth as you please, which is particularly useful when your children are top to toe in ice cream and have rolled in sand.
It was a full on, fun packed few days. From swimming, to cuddles with Mr Bump, partying with the Teletubbies and seeing Paddington on stage. There were ice creams (so many ice creams) and sandcastles, the two-penny push, holding lizards and learning about poison dart frogs. Planes were flown and trains were driven. There was a haunted castle and puppets. We ducked seagulls and devoured proper fish and chips. We captained our own boat and spotted seals and we brought half the beach home with us in our pockets and shoes.
It was absolutely perfect.
Perhaps we’ll see you there next year?