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To be wary of butlins?

(68 Posts)
Haveacwtch Tue 11-Feb-14 13:10:03

We would love to take the kids away on the weekend of half term (21st feb). I have two boys 2 and 5. Centerparcs and bluestone way out of our budget. I fancy butlins and think boys would have a brilliant time. We would be looking at a silver apartment.

There are so many bad reviews though and I am worried

Any experiences please?


shewhowines Tue 11-Feb-14 13:15:16

We did Butlins occasionally, when the kids were young and now do Centreparcs, as the kids are older and can appreciate the activities more.

Butlins is far better for little kids. They loved the rides and shows. Yes it's tacky, but I got enjoyment out of watching them enjoy themselves.

Centreparcs is far better for older ones and for us

DeWe Tue 11-Feb-14 13:18:22

Silver apartment isn't much better than standard assuming you aren't spending long in it. You get a microwave and a toaster and slightly more space. Standard is absolutely fine, but take a spare blanket or two in case it goes cold.

sonlypuppyfat Tue 11-Feb-14 13:20:08

I've only been to Butlins once and we all hated it I never knew I was a snob til I went there. I can't afford centre parks anymore been a couple of times it is lovely. Now we go to Haven we have the best caravan we can afford and just use the pool.

cantbelievemyeyes Tue 11-Feb-14 13:21:50

What are you wary of? I've been as a kid and as an adult and always had a great time. Accommodation is fine, lots to do for kids, some reasonable entertainment at night (though I've only gone to Adults only 70's/ 80's type weekends in more recent years).

babacoon Tue 11-Feb-14 13:22:43

We are planning a visit to Butlins this year. But most likely in October/ November time. would that be any good?

Stinklebell Tue 11-Feb-14 13:29:57

I've been to the one in Minehead twice. Hated it both times.

First time was 12 years ago, horrible. Was told it had changed and got talked into going a second time about 4 years ago. Still horrible grin

On both occasions the apartments were filthy - last time we went I found a humongous poo left behind in the toilet and it looked like someone had sorted their bikini line out in the shower as what looked like pubes were left in the shower tray

I don't like the organised activity/Hi-Di-hi-ness of it all either.

A few friends go and really like it but my experiences of it have put me off

I hated Centreparcs too though

PooroldJumbo Tue 11-Feb-14 13:36:02

I've never been but I thought I liked the idea of taking my young DC to Butlins for a short break. A few of you are making me think again, though.

AdmiralData Tue 11-Feb-14 13:42:08

I've been. The apartment was a good size. Extremely clean, shower and toilet were spotless. Nice little pathway to the beach. Good activities for children. Entertainment wise better for children. My family are going in September this year.

fluterby Tue 11-Feb-14 13:51:24

We had what I think was a silver apartment in Butlins Bognor about 5 years ago. It was on the edge of the car park and like a terraced house. It was fine, perhaps a little dated. We had meals in the cafeteria and they were fine. We only really did the daytime stuff but it's ok - there are things to do and it's right by the beach. I've no idea what it's like in the evening though as we had a toddler who needed bed by then. I think I probably prefer caravan sites though. Just a bit less built up I suppose.

Haveacwtch Tue 11-Feb-14 13:52:50

Thank you. Just looked again now and we would probably go for a silver room and the premier meal package as the apartments are sold out. Think kids would love it and I'd love seeing the kids enjoying themselves.

I'm sold!

Gladvent Tue 11-Feb-14 13:53:14

My DC totally loved Butlins. Luckily for me the inlaws took them - I really don't think I could stand all the other peoples kids.

Babyroobs Tue 11-Feb-14 13:58:22

We went many years ago and have done a few day trips there but I wouldn't go back now. The kids loved it but I found it scary. I almost had an arguement with a huge woman who plonked herself down next to my dd almost forcing my dd off the bench at the Noddy Show, then she was giving me hard stares and generally intimidating me. There were other gangs of chav teenagers fighting and screaming at each other in the kids play area. All in all a bit scary and not my type of place. We are going to Center Parcs this Year!

I8toys Tue 11-Feb-14 17:18:31

YANBU - Butlins is like marmite.

We have been to Skegness for the last 5 years at Halloween and for a summer hol with friends- it is good for kids that age and brilliant value for money.

But now they are getting older its not for us and last year was the last time - we've had enough!

People can be rude but I think you would get that in any environment where there are large amounts of people and children.

We also go to centreparcs in Holland and Belgium every year which is a different animal all in itself - this is more suited to our boys now aged 8 and 10.

What I would say is that we go silver self catering as I don't think for us after being around people all day in the Skyline Pavilion that I want to eat with them as well and there are set meal times. Also we booked sky bar tickets so we could watch performances from the comfort of the bar above. They proved well worth the money.

Nerfmother Tue 11-Feb-14 17:30:01

We are going again after the little ones begged but have booked the most deluxe hotel to escape to. We found that nothing happened at meal times; it was v regimented. The pool had a queue - we've been offered the chance to buy fast passes fgs but havent. I'm dreading it - slot machines, beery people from breakfast onwards and a bundle at every show to get their kids to the front. Horrible.
The older two say it was their best holiday ever.

SoonToBeSix Tue 11-Feb-14 18:01:49

Butlins is great my dc love it, can't understand the snobbery.

napoleonsnose Tue 11-Feb-14 18:18:01

We did Butlins once. We've also done a couple of other mobile home on a park type holidays with evening entertainment. Hated all of them. Just not my cup of tea. Kids enjoyed it though. I'd far rather self-cater with a load of like-minded families and let the kids entertain themselves. Each to their own though. DH went on an 80s weekend to Butlins last year and had a whale of time probably because it was men only and he didn't have to deal with me whingeing.

MistressDeeCee Tue 11-Feb-14 19:05:52

I took my DDs to Butlins 3 or 4 times when they were little, they had a whale of a time that's all that matters to me. I quite enjoyed it myself. I think some people can be quite snobby about Butlins. I prefer Butlins over the ridiculously overpriced Centerparcs, but nice for those who can afford it. I couldn't. At most Butlins you can combine with beach holiday, as beach is well within walking distance. That suited us.

ApocalypseCheeseToastie Tue 11-Feb-14 19:12:36

The pool at skeggy is amazing, it's just had a huge revamp too.

We take the kids every other year or so, yes, it makes my eyelid twitch on occasion but they have a ball, which is all I care about.

Will say tho, skeggy is the nicest one and very clean.

DumSpiroSpero Tue 11-Feb-14 19:24:27

At 3 & 5 your DC's will love it - it ain't Sandals but if you enjoy seeing your kids have a good time with the added bonus of not having to cook or wash up for a week you should have fun.

creamteas Tue 11-Feb-14 19:27:44

My DC loved Butlins when primary age and we went several times. It is really set up for kids and most people were really friendly and accommodating with my ASD DC. We self-catered but had meals at some of the restaurants.

In contrast, Centreparcs was grim. The accommodation was worse and most activities were over-crowded. Lots of snotty people who were often passively aggressive about my DC.

TheScience Tue 11-Feb-14 19:28:57

I've been (Minehead) and really liked it! Stayed in a self-catering apartment, it was dated but clean and functional. DS loved it. Unlike Center Parcs pretty much everything is included in the price - he really enjoyed the softplay, swimming pool, playgrounds, Bob the Builder land, fairground etc and all the Thomas/Fireman Sam/Pirate shows.

mygrandchildrenrock Tue 11-Feb-14 20:33:28

When I was young, we used to drive past Butlins at Skegness every summer on the way to visit grandparents who lived nearby. I longed to visit, but we never did. Fast forward 25 yrs and I took 2 young teens there for a week and we all had a great time. Used it as a base and went out and about. There were also plenty of teenage activities to do on site.
Fast forward again and I took 2 little ones there and again we had a lovely week. There was lots for them to do and they really did have a fun packed week.

QueenofLouisiana Tue 11-Feb-14 20:41:10

We went at Christmas and had a fabulous time! We had a Gold appartment and premier dining. It was clean, well looked after and really quite pleasant.
DS had a great time, swimming pool was lovely and he enjoyed the activities.

Beavie Tue 11-Feb-14 20:43:13

Not sure about any of the other butlins resorts but the minehead one is pretty good now. I went last year and couldn't believe how much it had changed. We got a free upgrade to a silver apartment which was clean and modern with everything we needed. The staff were all really polite and the customer service was amazing. Loads for the dc to do, they both had a brilliant time. Have been to center parcs many times too and we enjoyed butlins just as much! If you can go during the quieter times (not school hols) you will get a lot more out of it.

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