I admit it, I was a Butlin’s snob. If anyone had mentioned Butlin’s to me in the past I’d always imagined some run down cheap place where our parents went when they were younger. I saw peeling paint, tacky shows and cringe worthy red coats.
Well…I am a convert! After having Amelia and going to Center Parcs with her once we were disappointed with how little there was to do with her other than swimming that was included in the price we paid. I love the nature at Center Parcs and the accommodation is great but when we looked at prices for this year they were nearly double what we paid the year before.
I did a bit of research on places to go that were like Center Parcs and everything seemed to be pointing to Butlin’s. I looked on the website and read some reviews and people were raving about it! I looked at the prices and was so surprised that nearly all the activities were included and there were so many of them. We couldn’t argue with the price so we booked it. I was still a bit apprehensive about what it would be like and every time someone asked me where we were going I nervously laughed when I told them, waiting for their reaction.
Monday 12th March came and we made our way to sunny (pouring it down) Skegness. The check in was a drive through which was great as it was still raining and this is where we encountered our first lovely staff member. He was so helpful and friendly and started our holiday off really nicely. We found the car park near our apartment which was in the mermaid block (I was thrilled about this!) and we grabbed Amelia and ran in to the apartment. I was pleasantly surprised, it was bigger than I expected. I later found out this is because the Gold apartments which are meant to be two beds are always three beds in Skegness. We had a double room, two twin rooms, a kitchen, bathroom and lounge. We were on the second floor out of three and heard little noise from our neighbours. Our apartment looked over a grass area which attracted some ducks which was lovely. Being in a double bed was a bit of a test after being used to a king size and the shower could have been more powerful but for the price we couldn’t complain.
We arrived quite late on the first day so all we did was go for dinner. The restaurants were a 5-10 minute walk from our apartment, as were most of the attractions. This is one area that I feel Butlin’s lets itself down. The variety of foods for adults was okay but I found the children’s choices small. Gluten free options were practically none existent though and if there was an option it wasn’t great. The first night Kelly had gluten free pasta which was basically mush as it had been overcooked. I really hope this improves as it’s getting so much better everywhere now to be able to find a gluten free option.
The next day we got up and ready early and went to the morning bear show. Amelia sat on my knee and took it all in. I was worried that she might be a bit scared of the big bears but she really enjoyed it. We then went to tots football which I’ll admit I was a bit dubious about but Amelia loved it and was actually quite good at dribbling the ball around the pitch!
We took Amelia to a puppet show and then after her nap to the library where a member of the skyline gang read her a story which was so cute. The staff work so hard and are always smiling. They really do make your stay feel special.
We watched a bit of a show after dinner but Amelia was so tired we took her back to the apartment. She slept a lot while we were away. She had great naps and slept in longer than us in the morning which was amazing, although we didn’t know what to do with ourselves!
On the Wednesday we took Amelia to the Teletubbie show in the morning which she got very excited about and then went to tots football again. We went for lunch, Amelia had a nap and in the afternoon we went to archery. Kelly was very excited for this but Amelia wasn’t as keen. She enjoyed going to retrieve the darts and put the targets back up though!
We had a chilled night of dinner and then playing on the arcade machines.
On Thursday we had a lazy morning in the apartment. and then went to a craft session where Amelia (with quite a bit of help!) made a rocket. We went for an ice cream treat afterwards and Amelia zoomed her rocket around the diner.
That afternoon we went swimming. The pool was lovely and warm so it’s great for kids. It’s big and has a separate baby pool with it’s own slides. Amelia took her time to come out of her shell in the water but was soon on the slides, going down by herself. She didn’t like the big one I took her on though!
Swimming really tired her out and we went for dinner afterwards but Amelia wasn’t really in the mood, she just wanted her bed! We got back to the apartment, put her to bed and then started packing to go home the next day.
We had that much fun that we’ve booked to go again next year in May. Hopefully the weather will be a bit better and we can go to the beach. There is so much to do and the staff all work so hard. I am definitely a Butlin’s convert and have recommended it to everyone that has asked me about it. Amelia loved it and we can’t wait to go again.