The food the rooms the entertainment Whats Butlins at Skegness really like
Towel or bear? You decide. The budget-conscious are no doubt drawn to the fact that so many attractions are free of charge once you’re at Butlins. You don’t have to count your pennies or say no to just another ride when you’re at the vintage-style fairground complete with waltzers, dodgems and carousel. A few rides and attractions carry an addition charge, but the vast majority are free and queues are virtually non-existent. My daughter was keen to visit the fairground as often as possible, as well as the neighbouring games arcade with its tuppenny push machines. It was well worth paying a small extra fee to hire a three-seater bike and spend a happy half hour exploring corners we hadn’t seen on foot. We also paid just a few pounds for a round of crazy golf. Read More’Only seeing your parents at mealtimes, Butlin’s was a children’s paradise’ Study your site map well, as there are hidden treasures waiting to be uncovered. We enjoyed seeing snakes and other critters in the Discovery Studio and played endless games of Cluedo after stumbling across a board games lending library in a quiet corner. Search for them and you’ll find some nostalgic remnants of early Butlin’s, including carriages from a monorail and old-fashioned chalets. Anyone for ice cream? But once we stepped inside the accommodation it had Butlin’s written through it like a stick of rock. From the Skegness cushions on the primary coloured sofas to the wooden pin the tail on the donkey game on the wall, the decoration was inspired, retro and a brilliant reminder of the heritage of the brand. There are numerous different types of accommodation at Butlin’s, with numerous different prices. Ours was spacious, well-appointed and spotlessly clean. The big stage shows are so popular that some people start queueing hours in advance. There’s really no need to leave the site at all, and we didn’t touch our car until it was time to go home. We did walk off site to paddle in the sea and build sandcastles, before a bracing stroll along the prom to get the full British holiday resort experience. You don’t even need to do that though, as Butlin’s has created a mini beach inside the resort complete with outsized seaside accessories for the full selfie experience. Like so many other aspects of Butlin’s, the food experience is what you make it. I’m sure some families arrive with their weekly shop, or buy ingredients from the two small supermarkets. But if you want to eat out there’s a varied selection of cuisines to tempt you. Billy the Butlin’s bear. We spent four nights at Butlin’s Skegness, staying in a two bedroomed Seaside Apartment. Among the more exclusive accommodation on the site, at first glance it looked a world apart from the old Butlin’s stereotype. If anything it looked more like a rival holiday resort, the one renowned for being middle class and located in wooded areas. 1950s advert for Butlins One thing we did struggle with was figuring out where to start with the entertainment. There’s so much going on, so many varied things happening at the same time, you almost want to clone yourself to take it all in. We visited during the school holidays with my eight-year-old daughter, and discovered a packed programme designed to provide something for adults and children of all ages. Helpfully, guests are given printed guides to exactly what is on when and where plus details of the age ranges it is most suited to. You can also download an app with everything from interactive maps to restaurant opening times and menus. Get the biggest Daily stories by emailSubscribeSee our privacy noticeThank you for subscribingSee our privacy noticeCould not subscribe, try again laterInvalid EmailButlin’s is all poolside knobbly knee competitions and poky chalets the size of the average garden shed, isn’t it? Come on, climb out of the 1950s. If it’s been some time since you last visited the original British holiday camp then you may be surprised to discover it’s undergone something of a renaissance since Gladys Pugh last said Good Morning Campers. Rather like a bag of pick n’ mix sweets, a short break to Butlin’s can contain whatever you choose to put into it. If you’re content with nothing but fizzy cola bottles then they’re there for the taking, but you can opt for mint humbugs or luxury toffee as well. A game of crazy golf whiles away a happy hour. We saw Titan the Robot, live wrestling by men in tiny, shiny pants, a puppet show and were encourage to exercise by giant Mr Men. But that was just the tip of the big show iceberg with other offerings including a circus, magic acts, a Sleeping Beauty panto, Paddington Bear and much more. The shows were so popular that some people started queuing hours in advance just to get a seat near the front. And if you consider the ticket price to see similar calibre acts at theatres elsewhere, you can easily see why lots of Butlin’s guests pack their holiday with as many of them as possible. Splash Waterworld ranked near the top of our Butlin’s highlights list. We enjoyed it so much that we spent hours moving between the different pools and water features, two days in a row. The outdoor rapids were a favourite – so much so that we stayed outdoors in our swimsuits even when it rained. A Butlin’s full English. There was so much to choose from in the Scoop ice cream parlour that it took quite some time to make a decision, then of course we had to visit again the next day to try a flavour we’d missed. I can confirm that bubblegum flavour ice cream does indeed turn your tongue blue. We had a premium dining package, which included breakfast and evening meal each day at either The Deck Restaurant or The Yacht Club. We hadn’t expected so much choice, so much fresh food and the lack of queues. It’s self-service, with much of the food cooked in front of diners, and there are no limits on what you can have or how many times you can top your plate up. Over the four days we had roast dinners, poached Salmon, rainbow-coloured vegetable stir fries and thick wedges of cheesecake. You could have burger and chips for every meal or you could have four courses rounded off with cheese and crackers if you wanted. Pin the tail on the Butlin’s donkey. Butlin’s is much more than that 1950s cliché. It’s a well-rounded family resort that can be exceptionally good value if you want it to be, or a more luxurious escape if that is what your heart desires. And there isn’t a Gladys Pugh in sight.