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Haven or Butlins? Or will I not be able to bear either of them?!

(21 Posts)
Tommy Wed 18-Jul-07 16:23:12

haven't booked a holiday yet and want to go fairly local-ish (South of England). We think the holiday camp place might be the best route to go down having never been on holiday as a family before (usually just go and stay with ILs).

We are looking at Butlins, Minehead or Haven - Doneford Bay. Has anyone been? Would you reccommend it?

It will be DH and I and the DSs - 5, nearly 4 and 5m


LilyLoo Wed 18-Jul-07 16:26:46

the dc's will absolutely love it and therefore you can enjoy the holiday as they won't be moaning.
Not somewhere i would go if i didn't have dc's but we entertain that type of holiday for them and we all have a good time. If you get the weather it's fab and you can head off the site to look around the local areas. Just to say i would get a caravan if they are available as 100 times nicer than the chalets when we last went at easter.

Tortington Wed 18-Jul-07 16:27:53

i would go for haven over butlins

butlins is shit

Katymac Wed 18-Jul-07 16:28:10

I didn't like Doniford Bay - but I wasn't really expecting to

The food was all deep fried & last year after 9 pm smoking was allowed (obv that wouldn't be allowed now)

For the entertainment during the day you had to accompany the children (so what was the point?) & you couldn't run a tab at the bar - you had to pay for each round of drinks

DD & her bf loved the pool and the swimming activities - they also enjoyed the evening shows - some of which were fab and some fairly ropey

I also found the relentless bingo/raffle/we wnat your money stuff a bit hard to handle

Grounds were OK - but nowhere to play at all
Chalets were basic (& not very clean)

Tommy Wed 18-Jul-07 16:31:26

Lilyloo - is that Butlins or haven?

MamaGryffindor Wed 18-Jul-07 16:32:01

yeah butlins is WANK
just go for a day if you MUST

Tommy Wed 18-Jul-07 16:33:09

this would be why Butlins is cheaper then...

WestCountryLass Wed 18-Jul-07 21:02:27

If you are looking at a Haven, I can recommend Rockley Park near Poole. It was a really well kept site Close by, not even 5 mins in the car, was Hamworthy Park which was really great!

Tommy Wed 18-Jul-07 23:16:38

thanks WCL - we did look at Rockley but it is a bit too close to home!

We're getting dangerously close to booking the Butlins so I'd really appreciate some more feedback if anyone's there!

margosbeenplayingwithmynoonoo Wed 18-Jul-07 23:20:31

We went to Butlins just recently twas crap.

loud loud LOUD. All of the time.

We only went because they had Milkshake live.

Never again.

Not one of us enjoyed it.

Chalets were dirty

TinyGang Wed 18-Jul-07 23:29:17

Agree with margo totally about Butlins. We went about 4 yrs ago. It was dirty, noisy and I hated it.

Ds also decided to begin crawling the week we were there and kept getting wedged into filthy corners in the chalet.

We've been to Haven sites quite a few times though. They seem a bit less 'in your face' and are often in really nice areas so you can get out and about and not be too overpowered by Rory the blimmin Tiger if you don't want to be.

There was no escape at Butlins; Noddy was the star of everything iirc.

Sammy3 Wed 18-Jul-07 23:44:18

We went to Butlins Minehead & I agree that the chalets were riff. We have a habit of taking our shoes off indoors. After walking around the chalet for a bit, I noticed my feet were filthy! They obviously don't clean/hoover much. The kids enjoyed the covered dome but it was crowded. The puppet shows would have been great for the little ones if they could see (no way we could get close enough to see).

At the time, they had Noddy/Toyland rides but I think it's Bob the Builder now. That was great since the rides were all free & not crowded.
The beach was nice & uncrowded, though that might be due to the fact that we went off-peak. Wouldn't go again though. I can't live in dirt.

We did Haven in Wales many years ago. It was alright. The accommodation was basic. There seemed to be lots of kids' activities. We're not into the typical holiday nighttime er "entertainment", but sat near the back & used it as an opportunity to drink while the kids were entertained by playing with the kids of like-minded parents who weren't interested in the shows, but were glad of the space at the back where the kids could dance/play. We don't get out much at home.

PartyClown Wed 18-Jul-07 23:48:44

We went to a Haven place in Wales a couple of years ago, and if I was offered a choice between Haven and Hell, I'd have to give it serious consideration. The pool was so packed we were wedged in like sardines, the changing rooms were mank, it was all spend, spend, spend, on crap, crap, crap, with all the bells and whistles, and lights that kids love, to maximise pester power..... it just wasn't for me, though the kids loved the entertainment.

Sammy3 Thu 19-Jul-07 00:01:07

The only park-type holiday We've enjoyed is Centreparcs. It's just that they're so expensive.

jellybeans Thu 19-Jul-07 00:06:11

Haven and Parkdean are great, kids love them and when it is raining, you have the pools and kids clubs. We generally go to the quieter parks and never had a rowdy place. Yes some of the 'things' are expensive but you don't have to buy all the fluff, my kids are used to me saying no lol.

YouDontHave2BPosh2BPrivileged Thu 19-Jul-07 00:08:07

Centerparcs are very good - and pricey

You seem to pay for cleanliness

youpeskykids Thu 19-Jul-07 00:30:30

There is a lovely resort in Warmwell, Dorset. Now owned by Parkdean Holidays UK but am sure it used to be owned by Warners.

Accommodation is in log cabins, which are nicely spread out, resort is clean and facilities are great, and is not too big.

Try looking on

Am sure this isn't as expensive as Centre Parcs

SueW Thu 19-Jul-07 00:31:30

DD & I go here with my parents regularly and have done since my DD was 5yo and we needed a break as she was poorly.

It's a good British Beach Holiday iyswim. Static caravan park with option of apartment if available; pool is very sheltered from any wind and a real suntrap; toddler pool and larger pool. Kids can go crabbing from Mudeford Quay. Pretty much on the beach.

Our day tends to consist of 2 hours on the beach, 2 by the pool, 1-2 two on the quay. This year (DD 10) we went to the Isle of Wight from Lymington.

There's a clubhouse and children's entertainment but we have never used them. A small shop on site for basics, a Sainsburys about 1.5 mile away, a cafe on the beach, a pub on the quay etc.

Tommy Thu 19-Jul-07 08:26:25

thanks for all your replies.

DH seems keen on Butlins now since he chatted to his sister - she went there last year and liked it

We don't really want to do Dorset as that's where my ILs are and we need a break from the same attractions etc.

Will look at Haven again - can't afford Centreparcs unfortunately

Rorytigger Fri 20-Jul-07 16:19:16

Butlins Minehead - tis fab! DD's (2, nearly 4) LOVE it. We liked it so much we've booked to go next year. Stay in Gold Accomodation (HB) though - food and rooms are much, much better than Silver or Standard.

Haylstones Fri 20-Jul-07 16:28:14

Haven Doniford Bay is utter crap, we went last year and I had a huge list of complaints, including dd falling through a broken chair, cutting her arms and bumping head on the floor- nobody came to see if she was OK (despite the huge bang resulting in EVERYBODY turning round to see where it had come from) and when I complained they gave her a twix (she was 2 ffs). It took 3 days to get it logged in the accident book etc but sadly there were loads of other complaints (another major one being the smell of vomit at the bar...constantly)

Butlins Minehead was far superior, busy yes, cheesy yes but dd loved it and our accommodation was fab. Only down side it takes much longer to drive to than you expect.

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