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Talk to me about Butlins

34 replies

CupcakesK · 22/11/2020 15:14

Thinking of booking a holiday to Butlins (probably Skegness) next summer (in term time) for me, DP and DS who will be 15 months at the time. We've never been before - what do we need to know before we go? Any extras you recommend getting? Which accommodation? Is 7 days too much??

OP posts:
Daisychainsandglitter · 22/11/2020 17:58

Hi OP, we've been to Butlins every year for the last four years and my kids love it.
I've not been to Skegness as usually go to Bognor.
What I would say is don't go if you are expecting a relaxing holiday but the entertainment is really great.
They've also put in a brand new pool at Bognor in a seaside theme which my kids love!
We stay in the good apartments which are pleasant and comfortable but the resort also has hotels in which look v nice and silver apartments which are self catering chalets but a little on the basic side.
Bognor also has a spa if you want to have a treat and manage to get some time away from your DC.
They do just for tots breaks which would suit your DC. The entertainment is gentler and is tailored the under 5's. It's also very good value for money as the weeks are outside of the holidays. I imagine with a DC as young as yours that 7 days is quite long and maybe a 4 day break might be better.
I really recommend it. DD1 is autistic and absolutely loves it especially the skyline gang. Holidays are tiring as there's so much to do but if the kids are happy then I'm happy Smile

Daisychainsandglitter · 22/11/2020 17:59

Meant to say gold not good apartments!

lachy · 22/11/2020 18:45

Go for the most expensive chalet. The Skegness chalets were nicer than Bognor Regis, try and book when there's nothing on like 70's weekend/Family Fun weekend as it'll be quieter. Theme weeks/weekends are crazy busy.

x2boys · 22/11/2020 19:17

I have been to Skegness Butlins twice and we stayed in silver apartment,s self catering ,they were fine and surprisingly comfortable ,there ,s a Morrisons and Tesco in Skegness I you want to cater for yourself we did ,it is what it is ,it's loud and busy but kids generally love it ( assuming things are back to Normal of course )

Wrigleys123 · 22/11/2020 19:30

If you are a light sleeper take earplugs, the seagulls at Bognor are so loud and will keep you awake all night! We had a gold apartment and it was okay but still not as good as places like centre parcs obviously. The entertainment and things to do for kids is great though

Soubriquet · 22/11/2020 19:36

I’ve been to butlins several times (Skegness) and I do love it there.

There’s always things going on for kids and they love going too.

I would go during a just for tots week if you can because you get special benefits like the pool having quiet times in the morning.

Definitely pay for a meal plan. We didn’t do this one time and paid so much more for food than we would have done if we had paid for the plan. However, if you can afford it, go for the more expensive type as the food is so much better than the basic.

A pass to get in early for the entertainment would be worth it if you plan to go every night, otherwise it’s fine just to squeeze yourself in with everyone else

Most weeks at butlins run from a Monday to a Friday so 7 nights would be too much.

Soubriquet · 22/11/2020 19:37

Oh, we don’t stay on site either. We tend to stay in the luxury caravans held just off site. It’s usually cheaper that way but it means a 10 minute walk as opposed to 2 minutes.

Roselilly36 · 22/11/2020 19:40

We had quite a few breaks at Butlins when my DS’ were little, they really enjoyed them. Entertainment is great for the kids. Enjoy.

foxes15 · 22/11/2020 19:41

We went Skegness October half term, at the moment it’s very different to usual.

We stayed in the fairground apartments, I would recommend them as they were a walk from the entertainment so quiet, ask for a ground floor apartment with a toddler as we were on the 3rd floor and getting a pushchair would be a killer, they also had an internal staircase. That wasn’t a problem for us and our children are older.

We paid for the basic food package, restaurants were safe, everything was still buffet but individually packaged or served by staff members.

All activities were booked in advance and drinks and food were all ordered to your table using an app.

The entertainment is geared to younger children with a mini fairground and plenty of family friendly shows. The beach is also just outside the gates.

It was a go to holiday when ours were younger.

x2boys · 22/11/2020 19:46

As I said we self catered so I can't speak about the food ,I always thought the meal plans looked quite expensive but I guess it depends on your budget ,but Skegness itself has quite a few pubs etc and takeways that you can eat in or takeaway ( assuming restrictions are lifted by then )

happylittlechick · 22/11/2020 19:53

We go standard or silver apartments both are fine as we are out most of the day. Don't pay extra for passes as you won't need them term time.
Download the app and you can see what's on at what tome and plan your day around it.
Catering is good lots of options buffet style. Nothing fancy though. I don't see the value in premium- we did it once as it was the same price but wouldn't pay more for it.
The tots weeks are good but I bet Your little one will love it either way.

CupcakesK · 22/11/2020 20:00

Thanks for the replies, very helpful and lots to think about. Unfortunately we can’t go to any of the just for tots weeks, so it’ll be a normal term time week for us, hopefully there will still be plenty to do. Seems like 4 nights will be plenty though. I did wonder about the caravan option as plenty of people have said it’s quieter, but think it may be too far to walk with a little one (not sure we’ll want to take the stroller everywhere). Our other accommodation option are the seaside apartments, but they seem to be a lot more expensive and I’m not sure if they’re worth it

OP posts:
Tiredmumno1 · 22/11/2020 20:07

If you are looking at the caravan option, we have used Willis Holidays and they are lovely to rent off, no problems and she has some nice vans. Some of them are quite close to the tunnel to go through to Butlins, so not too far to walk at all.

Soubriquet · 22/11/2020 20:09

You can hire little red wagons if you don’t want to take a pushchair everywhere. You can also hire pushchairs too.

I would advise you have something because it’s easier to pop them in something for a rest rather than whinging toddler because they are tired.

Talk to me about Butlins
Pipandmum · 22/11/2020 20:12

We stayed in one of the hotels as I didnt want to cook. But I wouldn't go with a toddler. I would only go when kids are between 8 (as under 8s can't go on a lot of rides) and 12. After that they are too old.

happylittlechick · 22/11/2020 20:13

I've never been disturbed by the noise as term time is usually quiet. 4days is plenty. I think the new style silver apartments are nice. I think it says 10 minute walk in the website but I'd say it's more like 5.

Soubriquet · 22/11/2020 20:16


We stayed in one of the hotels as I didnt want to cook. But I wouldn't go with a toddler. I would only go when kids are between 8 (as under 8s can't go on a lot of rides) and 12. After that they are too old.

You have tots village where all the rides are catered specifically for toddlers.

They all come with seatbelts so even little ones can ride alone Hmm

Yes, they have to be a little older to ride some of the bigger rides in the fair ground but even then, my oldest was 3/4 when she went on them so not hugely old
MondeoFan · 22/11/2020 20:22

We go every year to Bognor Butlins and it's great, only stay in one of the 3 hotels though and use the dine around dining option.

x2boys · 22/11/2020 20:23

Agree @Soubriquet I think the last time we went ds1 was either 6 or 7 and he could go on most if not all the rides ,Butlins is brilliant for little children my oldest always enjoyed going in the " secret entrance " in the sweet shop which was just smaller ,I'm not sure older children and teens would enjoy it but generally younger ones do it caters specifically for younger kids .

MillieMoodle · 22/11/2020 20:23

We went to the Skegness one October last year with a 3yo and 8yo and had a great time. The entertainment for little ones was great, the tots fairground was fab, they both loved the arcades. We stayed in a standard apartment which was basic but clean. We were right next to the Skyline Pavilion on the ground floor but didn't have any issues with noise, although we were out late each evening. We ate breakfast and lunch in the apartment and then dinner out. The Italian restaurant was our favourite. If you plan to eat out, I'd recommend booking all restaurants on your first day for the week, as the bookings filled up really quickly when we were there so we ended up eating quite late some nights. We went at October half term though, so it was really busy.

PinkSpring · 22/11/2020 20:24

We went in September to Skegness, first time going there with our 14 month old. We stayed in the most expensive accommodation - the seaside apartments. They were ok, but smaller than I anticipated and a bit grubby.

We did the premium food plan and I wouldn't bother with it again, we found the food in the deck and the yacht club to be of a pretty poor standard, we aren't fussy eaters but the food was just rubbish. I would rather pay more and use one of the many restaurants or even just self cater than use the food plan again!

Funfair was good but as you have to wait for the rides to be cleaned after every single use at the moment, it can take a while. Many of them also don't run when it's raining as it's all outside (apparently some of the other Butlin's have the funfair inside)

It's noisy, it's busy (even when it was meant to be reduced cavity!), it's not relaxing in any way - but children love it.

Hohofortherobbers · 22/11/2020 20:43

We went to Bognor last year with dc 5 and 8 for a 4 night summer holiday break (2 adults, 2 children was about £500 I think), glorious weather helped. Happy in the standard chalet, we self catered. It was basic, but comfy and clean, kitchen was well equipped, though a microwave would have been useful. We didn't eat out on site as I had read it was average and expensive, went to a lovely seaside restaurant one eve for fish and chips after a great afternoon on the beach. The entertainment was brilliant, kids were kept busy all day long and nearly all activities were included in the price so it wasn't expensive once you were there. Probably only spent £50 extra whilst we were there on drinks, ice creams, additional activities like the go ape and go karts). The splash zone was great, waterslides, rapids, wave machine, we went every day. The evening entertainment was really good too, drinks were reasonably priced too. My dc had the best time ever and would love to go back.


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Mammyloveswine · 22/11/2020 21:09

We did Skegness butlins when DS2 was 15 months!

Ds1 was 3.. we had a great time! Honestly bestl
Holiday ever!

QueenofLouisiana · 22/11/2020 21:18

We went for a few Christmases when DS was younger, staying on gold apartments. They are a bit of a walk from the main entertainment, which needs to be factored in with toddlers. If you want a quiet stay, try to get a top floor, it’s worth the walk upstairs to avoid having people walking over your head all evening, IMO.

SpillingTheTea · 22/11/2020 21:23

We've been to Butlins every year since 1998 when I was a kid!
Didn't go this year because of COVID! Sad. We go to Minehead.
Bognor is too close for us as it's near home but we've been on day trips there. Never been to Skegness that one doesn't appeal to me.

DS was 3 months when we went and we stayed in a gold room as we had a dining plan.
We've stayed in all sorts, standard (wouldn't recommend), silver rooms, silver bungalow, silver apartment they're all okay tbh).

Next time we go we will stay in gold apartment or the lake chalets.

There isn't any musts for us to take in all fairness. We try to keep it light. Just enough clothes for day and evenings (we got changed before we went out for dinner and for the evening entertainment).

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