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To ask about Butlins...

(134 Posts)
bertiebassett Sat 25-Aug-12 17:47:28

I want to have a short break with just me and DS (aged 4) before he starts school. I noticed that Butlins have some good deals on first week in September...but....
Is Butlins (Skegness) ok? I'm a bit of a snob used to quite high standards...

Feel [embarrassed] to ask this really!!!

matt645 Thu 31-Jan-13 16:01:43

It's ok but gold accommodation is a must IMO, avoid the canteens and eat in the bar and restaurants.

The kids love it and that is why you go in the first place isn't it?

mumof2girls99 Sat 22-Dec-12 21:59:58

ive been to butlins and never had a issue with it my toddler would be bored at center parcs i think she loved butlins though plenty for her to do the accomadation was clean and the staff where friendly

pekapakou06 Sat 08-Dec-12 20:25:05

It's butlins fgs it's aimed at families, living in ghetto are you for real?

TheHumancatapult Mon 27-Aug-12 16:07:06

I admit do like centre parcs especially at 4 he be happy with pool and park , ( I do find Elverden better as is smaller )

ShiftyFades Sun 26-Aug-12 22:17:12

Didn't use the crèche. Not something I'd be keen to do as DS is quite clingy and it's only work if I did settling in sessions I think. If I dumped and ran I'm pretty sure they'd be on the phone asking me to collect him wink

RowanMumsnet (MNHQ) Sun 26-Aug-12 21:18:11

Hi there

As this isn't really an AIBU, we've moved it to the 'UK Travel' section.


giveitago Sun 26-Aug-12 20:30:23

OP - good for you - you will like it I'm sure.

reddaisy Sun 26-Aug-12 20:11:40

You will never regret not going to Butlins! Have fun at Centre Parcs.

bertiebassett Sun 26-Aug-12 19:17:13

Well....I'm afraid I've changed my mind now....there were too many negative reviews!

I've booked Centre Parcs instead grin

picklechops Sun 26-Aug-12 17:59:59

eeeks! we are staying in the wave hotel at bognor in two weeks. I'm really excited about it as it sounds so family friendly but the reviews here really are mixed.

has anyone used the creche facility? Hoping DH and i can sneak off to the cinema one afternoon whilst DS has some fun.

giveitago Sun 26-Aug-12 13:53:08

It sounds then like it's very hit and miss. I was nervous about booking but we had a great time.

But my views were based on a childhood experience that Lovecat mentioned - my df took us home within 24 hours because he heckled a
comedian because he was being xenophobic (talking falklands war here - way back when) and then we got heckled by the entire audience. So just upped an left and I do remember the accomodation being dark and dank.

Next generation on I found it great for my kid. I din't like it much but kid did and that's what makes a good break in my opinion.

JustSpiro Sun 26-Aug-12 12:55:32

I can certainly understand after those stories why you wouldn't want to go back.

It's a shame it's obviously so hit and miss on occasion though, as that's not been our experience at all, although I must admit I do tend avoid waterworld like the plague.

Lovecat Sun 26-Aug-12 11:54:20

We went to Butlins in Bognor for a midweek break when DD was 3 (4 yrs ago). Will never go back.

I have never seen so many people chain-smoking and swearing (generally whilst manning a pushchair) in my life - I didn't think I was snobby til I went to Butlins (we did Pontins when I was a child and we loved it) but that was awful.

Our accommodation (silver apartment) was actually loads better than the damp gulag we stayed in at Centerparcs, so we were happy with that, also the food in the pub and the hotel restaurant was really, really good (rest of the time we s/c or ate out), also the children's activities were great and DD loved the free rides. Pool was freezing cold so we only went once, which was a shame as it looked like a good complex, just too bloody cold!

However, I found it depressing and largely because of the people there. We saw fights break out most nights, the showbar place was filthy, packed to overflowing and stank - we just about got a table one night for the panto show and had to leave it was so horrible - DD couldn't see a thing so she wasn't upset - and the canteen, which we had to walk past to get to the pavilion, looked like hell on wheels - massive, massive queues (I hate to have a set time to eat so could not have been doing with that) building up an hour before they were due to be let in to eat and, walking back afterwards, looking in the windows and seeing piles and piles of plates still heaped with food being chucked by the cleaning staff - the food looked grim but we couldn't work out if it was being left because it was awful or because the helpings were so massive people couldn't eat it all (and waste depresses me too). Having to walk past a massive amusement arcade (another pet hate) to get anywhere also irritated me.

So it's not for me. DD liked it but not enough to want to go back - she lives in the pool normally and it was too cold for her - so thank God we never have to return!

And Bognor appears to be caught in a wind-tunnel - we went up the coast to Brighton for a day out and it was so hot compared with Bognor we couldn't believe it!

PenisVanLesbian Sun 26-Aug-12 11:37:49

yup. Down my back, standing at a bar. That alone would put one off.

AKissIsNotAContract Sun 26-Aug-12 11:36:57

Penis: someone actually vomited on you shock
That's worse than the poo in the pool at Bognor.

PenisVanLesbian Sun 26-Aug-12 11:33:06

and adding grin to your incredibly rude posts doesn't make it funny.

PenisVanLesbian Sun 26-Aug-12 11:31:27

Theres a lot of snobbery going on from the the Butlins folk, not against them. hmm I've never been in a gite in my life, but thanks.

If you can't understand the simple fact of someone not enjoying a horrible experience without resorting to insulting them, just because you had a different experience, you need to try harder.

"Butlins is all about fun, smiles, good food, bright lights, entertainment, trying something different occasionally and meeting/mixing with all walks of life."

In my experience which is as valid as yours, none of that is true. Butlins was about boredom, frowns, bad food, neon lights, no entertainment, trying something different but never again...and having someone vomit on me and a red coat fondle my arse.
So yes, I will go to the South of France, thanks all the same.

JustSpiro Sun 26-Aug-12 11:23:17

I enjoy not having to rack my brains to find something to occupy DD with every day and seeing her enjoy herself, not having to shop, cook or clean for 5 days, being able to have a couple of glasses of wine of an evening without having to think about taxi's or who's driving.

TBH the first time we went MIL treated us and I did think it would be like the seventh circle of hell, especially during the school holidays, but was pleasantly surprised. We've always booked for the following year whilst still there which does make it a lot cheaper - usually about £500 for Mon-Fri in the Easter Hols, in Gold or Deluxe with Premium Dining.

The sort of holidays I would really enjoy are not child friendly so will have to wait until DD is a bit older. DH and I both work and have busy social lives - he does lots of sporty stuff, I get up to London regularly to meet friends and visit galleries and exhibitions, which is my 'thing', so having a 5-7 days family time where DD's entertainment is a priority doesn't bother us, and perhaps because we only have her, it's much easier for us to go somewhere with everything on hand.

I suspect if you have 2 or 3 children that will play together and make their own entertainment, it makes villa type holidays a bit less hard work (in some ways at least!).

balotelli Sun 26-Aug-12 11:21:59

For me Seeing my DC having as much fun and pleasure as DC can manage is what a holiday is all about. I had plenty of self indulgent holidays before DC and will have plenty more when DC can do their own thing without us.

Butlins is all about fun, smiles, good food, bright lights, entertainment, trying something different occasionally and meeting/mixing with all walks of life. If thats not your thing then please dont go and ruin it for the rest of us. Stay in your gite with your pinot and brie and leave the happy kids and familes to us shaven headed tattooed northern low life. grin

dancingwiththedevilonmyback Sun 26-Aug-12 11:15:17

i love it, we go every year, to bognor, i used to work and live there ten years ago so its like coming home for me, its clean, the staff work hard to give the kids a great holiday and the shows are fab.
we met katy from i can cook this year and the girls had an amazing time. free funfair, beach, swimming pool, entertainment... what more could you ask?

BeeBee12 Sun 26-Aug-12 11:09:06

I get a million times more fun out ofwatching the kids get excited at butlins thsn doing adult stuff.I love it.

giveitago Sun 26-Aug-12 10:53:44

Oooh we're so skint that we went to Bultins in Bognor - I was a bit skeptical. But it was fine for that sort of break - good value and no drunk people streaming the place etc. And it was much cleaner than the 'villa' we had at center parcs.

If it's a bargain, try it.

PenisVanLesbian Sun 26-Aug-12 10:49:47

it will cost less, probably.

reddaisy Sun 26-Aug-12 10:49:32

And our local theatre often has touring Bob the Builder and other novelty shows on throughout the year so I take the DC there as I can endure 90mins of pain for them!

reddaisy Sun 26-Aug-12 10:46:44

I understand that kids love Butlins and I said upthread that I hated every second of my stay there and turned down a free return trip.

What I don't understand is why so many posters put their children's enjoyment above their own. I will never go on a holiday that is solely about the DCs enjoyment again as I am the one that works hard to pay for the holidays and I deserve a break that I enjoy too. I am thinking about a Eurocamp trip next as I think we will all enjoy that and it probably won`t cost that much more than Butlins.

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