I have arrived back from Butlins at Skegness today after a 4 night break away. I found many fantastic things, and many disappointing which I can only describe in a review! This wasn't my first time at this resort, however the last time I went I was only 14, which made my experience much different! To round up how I am reviewing my stay at Butlins, I have to point out I am 21 and went with my partner who is 22, so our experience is based on the stay, food, general entertainment and things to do rather than the kiddies activities, as we did not go with a child. I felt for our age group, there just was not anything on which catered for our age group, and because of that, my stay this time around wasn't amazing.
We paid £200 for 4 nights for a room only apartment with a premium dining plan which included breakfast and dinner.
Checking in, getting our keys and finding our room was fantastically easy! We didn't turn up until 3.30pm as our letter stated we could not access our room until 4pm- which I find to be far too late. Rather than wander around skegness or hang around the resort, as it was terrible weather that day, we decided to be sensible, and actually turning up at 3.30pm meant no queing or waiting! We could check straight in, get our keys and were told on a map how to find our room.
Parking however is a different matter, by the time we got around to our area- which was in a bungalow, all of the spaces were taken. We would have had to park very far away from our area if it wasn't for my amazing parking skills and tiny car, as luckily I made my own parking space in a tiny little plot in between two car parking areas! As anyone arriving by car would have to drag all their luggage to their room, I found it really irritating that there were so little parking spaces! Our room I must add was on the opposite end of the bungalows, so we would have had to walk a long way!
Butlins promise to not allow you to enter your room until 4.00pm is true I must add! My partner kept swiping our key card in desperation to get out of the rain, and the door clicked open dot on 4.00pm haha!
We were quite clueless when it came to checking out, all we knew is that we had to be out of our room by 10.00am- they made that clear! So we cleared up our room, got our bits in the car and went for breakfast!
A cleaner pounced into room as soon as we stepped out of our door- no exaggeration! And as we left our room 45 minutes earlier than advised, we were quite shocked to be ushed out so quickly! So I really do not understand why we had to wait until 4.00pm to get into our rooms when checking in? We ended up leaving our keys with the cleaner, as we didn't know where to give them in, and it wasn't stated anywhere in our letter or welcome pack. Many people were leaving them with security on the way out, so im guessing everyone was clueless!
We didn't get any sort of goodbye, not even someone dressed in a dinosaur outfit waving seeya! Nothing! In fact I felt like they were rushing us all out so they could get the next lot of guests in that day!
There was a 15 minute que to get out of Butlins as it led out onto a main road, although as we were kicked out early we decided to gain another day away and spent the day at Ingoldmells before our 2 hour drive back home!
We paid for 'room only' for our stay, as we couldn't be bothered to cook and paid for included breakfast and dinner in our stay.
I must stay, I was pleasantly surprised with our room! As there were only two of us, I expected a tiny little bedroom with a bathroom, but we got much more! Our apartment had a hallway leading from the door, with a decent bathroom with a shower, and two rooms! We had one room with a double bed, and another with two singles, so we ended up using the spare room to store our clothes and bits!
Our apartment came with two wardrobes and one closet for coats, along with a handy iron and a clothes horse. The heating comes on within minutes and heats up the room quickly, and there was a HD tv in our room- which was tiny, but fine for 4 days!
I was dying for a cup of tea when we arrived after my 2 hour drive, so I was very pleased to find a kettle, tea bags, cups and glasses etc in our room!
At Butlins, if you want a maid, you have to pay extra. In fact, if you want anything extra you have to pay. For example, Wi-fi costs £15 per device per stay, which I thought was disgusting.
Bad points about our room- I didn't want to have to put any bad points, as I was pleased with our room.... however, all throughout our stay, my partner had terrible allergies and a bad chest, and it was not until we were tidying up to leave that we noticed our bedroom window frame covered in black mould!!! Condensation had been building up during our stay, which didn't appear to be affecting any other rooms, however the black mould was clearly not just from the last 4 days! You may wonder why we only noticed on our last day? Well the bedrooms have curtains, which have no net curtains, and is directly next to the walk way, so people can walk by and see you in bed! Because of this we kept the curtains closed all throughout our stay for privacy!
WAS FANTASTIC! Initially we only paid £180 for the ordinary food court dining plan with our stay, but were offered to upgrade for only an extra £10 each for the whole stay! If I were to book this on their website, it would have cost £5.50 per person per day to upgrade, so we thought this was a bargain! And the food did not disappoint! There were different meats and different dishes on everyday! With a carvery section, pasta, jacket potatoes and also a fast food section which was either fish and chips or sausages etc.
The puddings were also great! We had a different choice of cakes or fruit everyday, with also different crumbles with custards.
There are staff going around clearing tables constantly as it was always busy, and at times I did get a bit annoyed as staff were trying to take our plates as soon as we'd finished, even with pudding still on the table. I wouldn't mind, but at one point my partner went for a drink and nearly had his dinner taken away! It was a bit like being abroad, if anybody has been away you'll know what I mean! And every member of staff who I came across in the dining area was actually foreign, which puzzled me!
Breakfast in the premium restaurant is 8.00 till 11.00 which was great for us as we aren't early morning people at all!
Dinner was between 4.00 and 7.00, so you get the options to have a early or late dinner, and we were told the meal slots were open longer than the cheaper food court options which was also a bonus!
It's hard for me to comment on the entertainment, as we only went to one of the shows which was the 'live comedy' and to be fair, it. Was. Terrible. The comedian did jokes about kids, which most of the audience didn't get, and people like us who didn't have children were sat lost! The rest of the jokes were rubbish too, I actually felt sorry for the poor guy!
The price of drinks were a rip off! We didn't expect them to be cheap, but we were charged £8.80 for one pint of lager and a coke with a shot of vodka! That didn't really make us want spend the night there!
Every other organised entertainment was either things like music from the 70's- directed at the older generations, or 'meet fireman sam' 'have fun with billy bear' etc- really not for us! We found all the entertainment was either aimed at mature adults, or families with children.
There's a cinema at Butlins... which shows again, either kids movies such as the smirfs, or poorly rated movies which wouldnt be worth wasting your money on.
When we did go into the pavilion to play a game of bowling, we found it would cost us £10 for a game which would last about 15 minutes, so we decided against that!
There are two arcades and grabber machines dotted around with a build a bear workshop, puppet shows, hair braiding and toy shops etc- so really all for kids!
Butlins does have a swimming centre! And I would recommend going here, whatever age you are it is great! With famous slides, even ones which flow outside and stay running EVEN when it is raining outside, it is great fun! There are also areas separated for younger children, but also jacuzzi and fountains. The swimming centre is free during your stay so you can go as many times as you'd like! And I loved that the changing area is one shared room! There aren't separate male and female changing rooms, which is great for families, and we found it much easier to be able to share a locker. I guess many people would hate this arrangement, but I personally found it much more convenient. There are obviously private changing rooms, and in fact there's no room to get changed out in the open so it is quite civilised. Even though the pool was busy, we didn't have huge ques for the slides and never struggled for a locker or changing room, although this may be due to the time we went- as it wasn't the school holidays therefore not peak times.
At our stay in Butlins, we went out everyday. The first day, we spent the evening in Ingoldmells which is only a 20 minute walk in a straight line, or a 60p one way bus fare! The second day we went into Ingoldmells again, but made the mistake of paying for the red bus which comes directly into Butlins. Do NOT catch this bus it is a rip off! They charged us £4.80 for a return to Ingoldmells (a 2 minute journey) and as stagecoach- which run a lot more often only charge £2.40 for both of us return! In fact, we ended up stood in the rain waiting for the red bus and 5 stagecoach busses passed us in that waiting period!
If you've never been to Skegness, I would definitely recommend going into Ingoldmells and Skegness as they are quite different and offer great days out whilst staying at Butlins.
Our third day we went into Skegness, which cost us £6.80 for both of us return. In Skegness we went to the sealife and nature centre- and there are loads of shops!
Butlins is also by the seaside, and there is a back door gate to access onto the sand which I could imagine would be great in the summer! So maybe if we went on a warmer season, we may have had more to do!
We LOVED the food, as it was all you can eat and we didn't have to cook, so for us it was worth the money just for the food haha! We don't feel we overpaid for our holiday, but I wouldn't have liked to stay longer than 4 nights.
It was a nice cheap break away with my partner, but if you don't have young children I wouldn't recommend going to Butlins im afraid. We found it quite boring, and if it wasn't for the surrounding areas, we would have had nothing to do. There's tonnes for kids, and even my partner agreed we'd think about going back when we have a little family, although it would have to be out of peak times as Butlins can be quite expensive during the busier times!
Thank you for reading! I also post on Ciao.
Just completed our third annual stay at Butlins Skegness in the February Half term. It started 3 years ago when we where looking for something to look forwards to, to get us over the winter - Butlins in Skeggy seemed to have all of the answers. This year we went for a silver room and premium dining - that is a comfortable 2 bedroom (sleeps 4) 1 bathroom suite of rooms in a dual storey terrace of rooms/ suites - our rooms where clean and comfortable and included a TV with freeview in both bedroom, a reasonable shower and tea and coffee / kettle tray. It was a bit like a Travel lodge / HI Express room with the added advantage that they don't expect the kids to share your room with you, or a pull down sofa as a bed. All 3 of us where very comfortable for our 3 night / 4 day stay. From the moment you arrive, we arrived on the Friday afternoon, to the moment you leave, we left on the Monday lunchtime, there are things going on, places to go, eat, play, and shows to see as well as the pool / water slides - this really impresses as most holidays restrict your usage of things by arrival times and check out times and scheduling, not at Butlins! We booked the premium dining - fantastic - all you can eat breakfast and dinner buffets (we skipped lunch) with good opening hours to suit all needs. Place was always clean, well stocked and good service, regardless of how busy they where. The food choices certainly seemed to cover most tastes, from small continental breakfast to large British Fry-up and everything in between (porridge, kippers, meat and cheese...etc.) and dinner included a traditional roast + veg every night, kids menu stuff (nuggets etc.) Indian / Chinese, Pies, not to mention sweets, fruit etc - ALSO with fruit juices, tea/ coffee, squash etc, all included too - no extra charges for anything and no one harrassing you to try to upsell and get you to buy something or anything. There is a bar and wine list in the restaurant at reasonable prices if you wanted it but no pressure.
The entertainment was first class with different shows every night - we paid for the sky bar passes which give you guaranteed seating and a private bar, but the jury is still out on whether that was worth it this year as the staffing was very poor for some reason - but even this we enjoyed to get away from the crowds. Finally, the indoor oasis type pools wher ealsways great fun, never too busy and clean. A brilliant holiday in the depths of winter at a decent price and as it was only a long weekend it saves your holiday days off from work for the summer.
We have been to Butlins three times now and enjoyed every minute! There is so much to do, so plan your day carefully. The shows and entertainment are first class. The kids just have a great time. I would recommend going halfboard the food is brilliant, there is such a variety and when we went the kids had the option of eating wholesome and healthy Annabel Karmel meals. We have been in the summer and for a christmas wonderland break, which in my opinion was completely magical. The looks on the kids faces was just priceless! There is something for everyone at Butlin's and watching your children immersed in a fantasy land is worth every penny. If you don't want to stay on site there is absolutely lots to do in Skegness, and the site has it's own beach, which was a ten minute walk from the accommodation. Book a holiday at Skegness Butlin's and you won't be dissapointed!
I have just returned from a long weekend at Butlins Skegness so thought it would only be right to write a review on it. Whilst reading remember it is my experience there was lots more things to do than what I did, I can only comment on what I did.
The holiday cost £100 for 4 of us through Sun holidays we arrived on Friday and check in was 4 o'clock we arrived at 4 and it only took about 10 minutes to get our key and away we went. On entering Butlings we were asked to show our letter and thne told which line to follow to the appropriate check in office. I thought this was good cuts down on the waiting time for all. We were in the basic accomadation which after a confusing walk round we found. For some reason the colours on the map we were given were different to the ones on display but we got there in the end.
The accomadation was basic we had 2 rooms one double one twin and twin beds were easily moved to make a double. The living room had 2 basic settee which had seen better days and were faded but you can't expect luxury for £25 quid each now can you. We had a cooker, toaster, fridge, ironing board and airer also 4 cups, saucers, plates, wine glasses to keep up us going. The bathroom had a shower which was clean but the water trickled so lightly out of it it hardly had any effect. There was also a locked cupboard not sure what was in there but there was a lot of flies and a funny smell so we joked there must be something in there that shouldn't be. It was bearable for a couple of days but any longer and I am not sure I could have taken it.
We were right near the main attraction so went to explore. I was very impressed with what I found inside having never been to a Butlins before I didn't know what to expect. There was a SPAR, gift shop, bar, face painter, arcade, pancake stand, hot dog stand, ice cream stand to name but a few. There were also restaurants which were buffet style and varied from £9.95 to £12.95 which I though was a great price however they were only open for breakfast and then dinner was 4-7.30 which for us was early on holiday I like to eat later as we were self catering we cooked ourselves one night, we then had fish and chips from the inside take away which tasted sweet to me so would not recommend that.
The arcades had the usual flashy light machines, and 2p machines to loose your money in. The night entertainment was very good lots on offer - there is centre stage in the big tent, then reds which was another big show room and then a couple of pubs Jaks and Sun and Moon to choose from as well as coffee shops so the choice was brilliant something for everyone, also a big fun fair on site as well.
Day time entertainment included indoor swimming complex where there were a few water slides, rapids, wave pool, jacuzzi - the only thing here was the water was freezing so we didn't stick around long. The changing rooms also were a little on the well ived in side could probably do with abit of a refurd here. But to be included in the price I can't really complain if I had paid it would be a different story.
There was also mini golf to keep you occupied, a snooker hall, pubs, an outdoor assault course, a spa all of which were reasonably priced. I don't know why but I thought that Butlins was going to be over priced especially the bars I was expecting airport prices for some reason but it was actually ok.
I think for familys it would also be really good and there is no need to actually leave the complex because you have all you need to keep you enteratained on site, there was even a cinama which we visited on our last night, it was small but comfy enough and wee lived in like everything else.
I will give Butlins 3 stars because it was entertaining and reasonably priced but some parts could do with a revamp and if I had paid more I may not have been so happy with the overall experience but like anything you get what you pay for.
I've been going to butlins since 2006 and each holiday has been amazing and each better than the last.
Although not the cheapest hoiday you will ever have, it's definatley the place to go for entertainment and all round, all weather fun!
Okay, so the facilities are really good in my opinion. There's a spa on site (looks really nice although I've never been in myself), swimming pool with flumes and rides and inflateables and anything else you can think of! The three main entertainment venues are the Skyline Pavillion, Reds and Centre Stage. The Skyline Pavillion is the big white tent right in the heart of the resort and is just so unique and amazing. The Skyline is home to Centre Stage, The Skyline Stage as well as an arcade, various food outlets and shops. Not forgetting Hotshots where you can play pool, bowling and grab a drink. You can also have your photo taken with various children's characters such as Barney, Angelina Balerina and Fireman Sam in the photopoint. There's a lovely bar opposite the phot booth called Bar Rosso which makes the best hot chocolates! Lovely soft seating on the sofas very relaxed whilst still able to keep an eye on things going on around you. Back to Centre Stage. The only problem I have is that you have to be queuing around 1 and half - 2 hours minimum to get a seat in the evening. Not good when you can only sit on the floor as you're nt allowed to take seats from the Skyline Cafe just a few feet away. Anyway, if your willing to do that (like me) then it's well worth it. I queued for around 2 and half hours and got really good seats for me and my family to see The X-Factor and Britain's got Talent stars. (Although saying that, I went and sat on the dancefloor with the little kids right in front of the stage and no-one batted an eyelid) After the years I have been going there, I've found out that if you want to get a picture/autographs/chat whatever with the stars, then stand outside the stage door round the back as soon as the show is pver. You won't be waiting lond becuase they'll probably go over to Reds straight after. I met Elliot Minor after on of their concerts and a redcoat went and pushed through the cue inside to get my autograph book signed by them after the show. I also waited for Danyle Johnson (X-Factor) and Tobias Mead & Peridot (Britain's Got Talent) and I just missed Danyl and Tobias as they where in a car about to leave but I got a picture with the Peridot guys after being slighly cheeky to their manager :) So yeah, if you wnat to meet them, from what I know there is only one exit round the back which is just near the underpass to get the caravan village.
New for 2010 in Centre Stage is the Sky Bar which you pay around £20 for a week to have a guaranteed seat and a waiter or something. Not a bad price by any means, but you're not really close to the stage. But anyway, the option is there but I'd advise pre-booking as it was completely full when we were there.
Anyway, Back to the resort....
If you don't fancy that, the there's the Crazy Horse Saloon, Jak's and even the fair opens late night on certain days. On the first day you should be given and Infunmation guide (if not you can pick one up from the new InFunmation point in the Skyline) this details what's on and when and will tell you when the fair opens.
Reds is pretty much the same as Centre Stage for queuing so I won't go into that.
There's a crazy golf course and panning to gold and the new high ropes course which looks good. They've also made a few changes to the resort for 2010, for example, they've built a new path and hire shop, added some wooden meercats near the standard accomodations and a giant deckchair as well as adding a prond (with no fish) and a bridge over it and painting the front of Reds to a creamy white colour.
Beach was nice with the land train running from Butlins gates to ingoldmells.
Overall, Butlins provides the best holidays and I will ocntinue to go there.
Great smell (wierd, I know but if you could bottle that smell....)
Great FREE funfair
Great for all the family
Great all round.
EDIT: Just read a comment about the accomodation aspect of Butlins and I can't believe I forgot to write about this! Anyway, I have stayed in Butlins accomodation once and the rest of the times I have been I have stayed in the caravan village.
Only good reviews for the accomodation from me. We stayed in a Silver room (which means dinner and breakfast included) in Starfish Quay and it was a nice room. 2 bedrooms, one double and one single with the bathroom in the middle of the two rooms. Bathroom was clean as were the rooms and we had room cleaning who came in everyday and emptied the bins and made the beds and stuff. Never saw them come in whilst we where there so I can't comment on the cleaning staff personally but they did a good job. Room wasn't far from the main resort but just far enough so no-one was kept awake at night by drunks and/or loud families and whatever so a nice ballance between the two. Also had to go up stairs to get to our accomodation, not a problem for us but if you want a ground floor room, then ask when booking and they'll sort it for you.
Caravan Village. Never disappointed. I won't speak about the Caravan as it was privately sub-letted but the site was lovely, neat gardens, mowed grass and the caravans are all well kept. (We stayed in the Sandhills area) It is quite a walk from the caravan to the main resort so if you're not able to walk very far then you may find it difficult but to me it was fine. There's always a man on the gate to get through to the Dunes part of the caravan village and main resort. Trust me, the same men every year we've been and they're all lovely and remembered us. You have to show your pass but after they've seen you a couple of times, they just know and don't bother asking anymore.
Overall 10/10 for accomodation and 10/10 for the whole Butlins Experience!
Butlins is a name synomous with British holidays. Ever since Billy Butlin opened the first holiday camp at Skegness in 1936, the idea has grown and evolved, hitting a peak in the 1950s and 1960s just before the foreign package holiday took off.
Two family holidays in the 1970s left a lasting impression on me. Back then Butlins had holiday camps all over the country, and I have very fond memories of family holidays in the camps in Ayr and in Filey.
Of course what I didn't realise then was that the package holiday was already killing the holiday camps off, and despite the popularity of the TV show "Hi de Hi" in the 1980s, which took a nostalgic look back at the holiday camps of the 1950s, the holiday camp itself quite simply wasn't very popular anymore.
Butlins had to slim its camp portfolio down and somehow modernise, and the Butlins we know today is a far smaller outfit than it was during my childhood, with only three locations in the UK now - in Skegness, Minehead and Bognor Regis. Crucially, they are no longer "holiday camps" but "resorts" - even though at the end of the day, the concept remains the same as it was when I was a child - but perhaps with a bit more entertainment thrown in and better accommodation.
We had already taken our holiday this year before the school summer holidays even hit, and I didn't really fancy another break abroad for a while, especially as I am currently selling my house and have a proposed entry date for August.
I quite fancied a short break in July however and suggested Butlins to my daughter. She was very enthusiastic about going there after perusing the company website, so I decided to see what was on offer.
~~What You Can Get~~
The resort offers self catering breaks or half board ones in three levels of accommodation.
Standard accommodation is the most basic, followed by silver and then gold. Standard accommodation has one CRT TV and if you are in self catering will have some cooking facilities. No towels, toiletries or maid service is offered and don't expect a hairdryer or iron either.
Silver is one step up - but the only real difference accommodation wise is that you do get maid service.
Gold offers a flatscreen TV and DVD player, toiletries and towels in your bathroom, hairdryer, iron and ironing board, TV in the main bedroom and full maid service.
Other accommodation is available at other resorts - but in Skegness it's purely Standard, Silver or Gold.
~~What I Booked~~
My original booking was for a three night weekend break in silver accommodation on a half board basis.
I was expecting a twin bedroom with TV and en suite bathroom with shower, and little else. This came in at £152 for myself and my daughter.
About two weeks before I was due to leave however I received a call from Butlins, offering me an upgrade on both dining and accommodation.
I was unaware when I booked that Butlins have several restaurants in their resorts, and when I made my booking I had opted for a standard dining service. The lady who phoned me told me there was premium dining on offer, which included a carvery and a better choice of dishes. As this was only going to cost a few pounds extra each a night, I decided to go for this.
She then said I could upgrade to gold accommodation too - for a total cost of £60 we could upgrade both the accommodation and the food - and having found myself tiring of basic accommodation on UK breaks of late, I decided to push the boat out, bringing the total cost of 3 nights half board for two people to £212.
~~Where is the Resort~~
It used to be easy to go to Butlins if you lived in Scotland - you just headed down to their property in Ayr, but with this long since changed hands and now a Haven camp called Craig Tara (and not a place held in high regard either), Skegness is the closest option - a 320 mile drive from Edinburgh.
The resort is well signposted and is located on the A52 road to the north of Skegness itself.
The resort welcomes day visitors as well as holidaymakers so you have to look for the correct entrance when you arrive, and have your booking reference with you to show to the staff who will open the barriers for you.
The staff opening those barriers will tell you how to reach the car park for your accommodation. The site has colour coded lines on the roads to help you find where you are going - for instance I was told to follow the green line and then the amber one to find where I had to check in.
The Gold Reception is a stand alone building with several plush sofas and plenty of space. We visited a few times during our visit and there were always two staff members on duty there.We were given a welcome pack which included our key cards and dining cards and asked where we had parked. When I told the receptionist where my car was, she remarked I had chosen well, as our apartment was right beside the space.
Everything is clearly marked and I found our apartment very easily, with it being located up one flight of stairs.
Check in areas for Standard and Silver accommodation is far more basic however - it seems to be a stand located inside the main Skyline Pavilion in the resort, so don't expect the plush reception area unless you are in Gold accommodation.
I was most surprised to discover we had been allocated a three bedroom apartment for our stay.
Our keycard worked without any problems and when you enter the hallway there are two bedrooms on either side. Both of these bedrooms contain one narrow wardrobe, two single beds and a bedside table, and had a less than lovely view of the car park.
You then come to the kitchen/lounge area, with the kitchen including a dining table and 6 chairs, cooker, microwave, fridge and kettle, along with cupboards full of cutlery and crockery.
The lounge had two large faux leather sofas, coffee table and a large flatscreen TV with DVD player underneath. It didn't escape my notice that the TV was bolted to the TV table it stood on. There was a Paris balcony door which overlooked a pleasant grassy area and more apartments.
To the right of the kitchen area was the bathroom, which was very clean and contained a bath mat and 8 large towels, along with some Yves Rocher shower gel, shampoo and conditioner.
The master bedroom was located to the right of the lounge area and comprised a double bed, dressing table with stool, large wardrobe and two bedside tables. The hairdryer could be found in here, and inside the wardrobe there was a safe and an iron and ironing board.
First impressions were very good - the space available was fantastic and we quickly unpacked whilst my daughter did as all kids usually do in such places, and switched on the TV.
This was to be our first disappointment - as the picture was truly awful. I have had digital TV at home for years now, and as a result am used to pristine pictures on TV but the TV in Butlins offered a step back to the days of snow on analogue TV, with most of the channels on the lounge TV being unwatchable. The picture was marginally better on the bedroom TV but still not good.
My daughter had brought her portable DVD player to watch in the car on the journey south so she decided to watch a DVD in the apartment and the picture was perfect, so clearly the fault lay with the signal rather than the TV.
I did complain to Butlins about this a couple of times - I appreciate most people don't go on holiday to watch TV but I paid extra to stay in a Gold apartment only to discover one of those extras didn't actually work. The staff at Gold reception said they were "changing the system" and send people round, but as the second technician who arrived said to me, the new system had been getting "changed" for quite some time now and this system had ruined the TV signal in many apartments.
I eventually submitted a formal complaint about the TV service as I believe Butlins are not offering a quality service and whether the blame lies with Butlins or the outside contractor responsible for getting TV to guests, the fact remains that it is the customer who is currently suffering. And I was staying during the World Cup final - which as you can imagine led to a lot of unhappy customers.
As we were staying on a half board basis we didn't really use the kitchen facilities at all, merely using the fridge to keep drinks cool. The fridge had no freezer section and I noticed the seal wasn't very reliable...you had to check every single time to see if the door had closed properly.
The bathroom contained toilet, wash hand basin and small shower cubicle. I found the step up to the shower a bit on the high side, and there was no ledge inside to place shampoo or shower gel, which meant you were constantly getting up and down to find things. The cubicle was very small too -which was okay for us but you might struggle to get a small child and yourself in there. The water pressure was good and the hot water was constant.
Maid service is provided 5 days a week - for whatever reason you don't get it on Sundays and Tuesdays. This was fine for us except the maid didn't give us any toilet paper when servicing the room on the Saturday, leaving us short. I was able to get some when I asked at the Gold Reception, but bear in mind the Gold Reception isn't open 24/7.
I found the service to be perfunctory - certainly beds weren't fully turned down and the only real difference I noticed was the bin had been emptied.
You also have to be prepared for noise from other apartments - whoever was staying in the apartment above us was particularly noisy with regular bumps and bangs being audible and this continued until around midnight, which wasn't really conducive to a good night's sleep.
There are several different restaurants in the Skegness resort. As we were on premium dining, we were allocated the Yacht Club restaurant, which was located at the northern side of the Skyline Pavilion and therefore closest to where our apartments were.
On arrival we had to give our names and show our dining cards, which were punched to show our first meal had taken place.
The Yacht Club features faux leather high back chairs and dark wood tables and is quite dimly lit - this is supposedly meant to give the place a more upmarket feel.
However at the end of the day it's just a buffet restaurant with a small bar area for those who wish to purchase alcoholic drinks or branded soft drinks to have with their dinner.
The food on offer was reasonable but I have to say from the off I had a dodgy tummy on a couple of occasions during our stay and one of those occasions occurred after dinner here.
There is a selection of two soups, bread, and a small salad selection on offer. The carvery area will have two choices of meat - we saw roast beef, chicken legs and steak pie during our stay for instance - along with roast and boiled potatoes, Yorkshire pudding, stuffing and a selection of vegetables. There was a "Gourmet Spice" area which had a small selection of Indian or Chinese food, and then a hot plate area which had dishes such as macaroni cheese, fish, chicken nuggets and lasagne. Chips were always available here too.
There was a dessert area which offered cakes, jellies, fruit and ice cream and a drinks area offering tea, coffee and soft drinks.
We were a bit disappointed with the food on offer here, never mind my dodgy tummy.
Although it is a buffet and you can go up as many times as you like, you still have to ask the server to put your food on the plate. This might seem no problem to most people, but my daughter really hated this. She is autistic and finds having to interact with strangers really difficult so this meant I had to do all the speaking for her.
The buffet does have trays so at least I could order both meals together and carry them back to our table easily.
The quality of food was variable. On our first day my daughter had macaroni and chips and the chips were decidedly undercooked. I had a vegetable soup and salad, which was very nice.
I also found the carvery in the Yacht Club was the best part of the buffet, so I was relieved we had upgraded our dining as without it we would have struggled to find something to eat for dinner.
Breakfast was decent enough but as someone who likes my eggs cooked hard and my bacon crispy, this was never going to be on offer as food isn't cooked to order. There is a reasonable choice of sausage, bacon, fried bread, hash browns, tinned chopped tomatoes (which I thought was a bit on the cheap side for so-called "premium" dining), baked beans and mushrooms along with fried and scrambled eggs.
Cereals, fruit, toast and preserves were also available, along with croissants and pain au chocolat.
Soft drinks consist of water, fruit juice or fruit squash. The fruit squash was absolutely horrific - you could taste the additives as you drank it - and the concentrated orange juice was, unusually for places like this, quite strong and perhaps could have been diluted a little bit more. I found myself sticking to water.
I really felt we were spoon fed in the restaurant - for instance there was a self service ice cream machine but a staff member dispensed it to all and sundry. Having said that, the ice cream itself was watery and bland - despite copious amounts of butterscotch sauce added on top.
Staff were pleasant and efficient, usually asking if plates were finished with before taking them away, although there was one exception unfortunately, leading to my daughter not being best pleased at the removal of her dinner as she went to get another drink.
Breakfast is served between 8 am and 11 am, with dinner served between 4pm and 7pm.
The heart of Butlins Skegness is the Skyline Pavilion - this is a huge white marquee with several peaks, which dominates the resort.
Inside there is a main stage which features lots of daytime shows, and there are shops, bars and restaurants inside too. There's also a ten pin bowling alley, amusement arcade, cinema and theatre complex.
There is a supermarket here too, which offers reasonably priced fare although if you are staying on a self catering basis and doing your own cooking you might be better driving to the Morrisons store in Skegness itself.
Butlins has lots of character based entertainment for smaller children, and we saw an Angelina Ballerina show inside the Skyline Pavilion as we were walking through for instance. My daughter wasn't interested in much of this entertainment unfortunately, and she eschewed most of the activities on offer as she preferred the amusement arcade.
There's loads to keep you amused in Butlins with tennis courts, adventure golf, huge climbing areas and an arts and crafts area.
There's an outdoor swimming pool and an indoor Splash Waterworld which comprises flumes and giant slides. We didn't visit the outdoor pool but did enjoy the Splash Waterworld. Please note you can't take photographs at either pool.
The Splash Waterworld features flumes and slides, rapids and a general swimming area and was enjoyed by both of us. You do have to queue to go on the more hair raising slides but we went early in the morning and found it was busy, but not unpleasantly so. I would imagine later on in the day, especially if it were raining, would be more crowded. You need 20p to use the lockers here - this is refunded when you go to get your stuff back.
The thing I always loved best about Butlins when I was a child was the funfair which you could use repeatedly as you had paid for it with your holiday.
Unsurprisingly, this was my daughter's favourite part of the Butlins experience, and we spent much of our time at the funfair and in the amusement arcade nearby as my daughter enjoyed using the penny slots.
The funfair is fairly small and don't expect any white knuckle rides - if you want them go to Fantasy Island next door. There's dodgems, a carousel and a few other rides such as the Miami Wave which swings you up high and fast, and the Galaxy machine, which my daughter particularly loved.
Safety is taken very seriously here and all rides have height restrictions which are vigorously enforced. The only time I saw any lapse in this was when a woman went on the Galaxy ride with her large handbag, which unsurprisingly then fell out of the car she was riding in and landed underneath the machine. To add to the drama a young lad also felt sick, leading to the ride being abruptly halted. This was all quickly resolved however - but acted as a stark reminder as to why it's not smart to take a huge handbag to the fairground.
We also visited the cinema to see the latest Shrek film. The cinema is run by ABC Cinemas and it costs £5 for an adult and £4 for a child to see a film. The selection is pretty limited and it's worth noting that they do not accept the CEA card so sadly no discounts are available for the disabled.
You can also go to the beach, with the beach gate open from 10.00 am to 5.30 pm. Despite the blisteringly hot weather when we were there, my daughter didn't fancy it but it did look inviting with deckchairs available for hire and food stalls set up every day.
Butlins is famous for the Redcoats, who are the entertainment staff employed to ensure you have a fun packed holiday.
This is fine if you like an in your face kind of entertainment, but less so if you enjoy something a bit more subtle.
My daughter wasn't particularly interested in the entertainment at all - so we missed seeing George Sampson of Britain's Got Talent fame doing his show, but we did catch Kelly Brazil as Hannah Montana - which unsurprisingly was a must-see for my Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus daft daughter.
Kelly is a decent enough singer but she was quite obviously rather long in the tooth to be impersonating the schoolgirl Hannah Montana. Her act was good fun however, complete with fake American accent and a video proclaiming her to be "the UK's number 1 Miley Cyrus tribute act" which played as she changed from being Hannah to being Miley. She looked a bit more believable as Miley but still the suspicion lingered she was significantly older than the girl she was paying tribute to.
Of course the show was aimed mainly at young girls and it went down a treat with them, and my daughter loved it. In fact when I asked her if she preferred the show at Butlins or the Miley Cyrus concert I took her to last year in Manchester she couldn't decide!
We also went to the Family Karaoke and while I appreciate this is a matter of taste, I found it hugely disappointing.
It was run by two redcoats and frankly, they spoiled the entire karaoke experience for me and my daughter. My daughter usually loves karaoke and will get up to sing (although she draws the line at asking for a song - go figure!) but she refused point blank to sing at Butlins.
Part of this refusal was due to the venue - she disliked the huge stage - and that's not Butlins' fault. However the redcoats were both clearly frustrated stand up comedians and they also resorted to the lowest common denominator in "comedy" - which is to slag off the audience.
Worse, this extended to people who got up and did karaoke, with copious use made of a brown bag with two holes cut out for eyes which proclaimed "body from Baywatch, face from Crimewatch". They would also interact with singers in a less than flattering manner and frankly they were a distraction.
We decided to go back a second time in the hope that perhaps some different hosts might make it better, but sadly this wasn't to be. The hosts bemoaned the fact no-one wanted to get up to sing, but when I bit the bullet and suggested a song myself, they decided to spin things out as long as possible by playing music instead - meaning only one singer got up about every 20 minutes. Eventually I got fed up waiting and we left - and we weren't the only ones.
Butlins is good at providing something for everyone but the problem with this is that much of what they offer is mediocre.
I think if you have small children, it's perfect as there is much here to keep them amused and entertained - never mind the fact there is a nursery for them too.
Their shortcomings become more evident if you travel with older children who are harder to please - and of course I have a teenager with autism - probably the hardest category of child to please it has to be said.
I am not a huge fan of being spoon fed on holiday - whether that be entertainment or the food itself - and I do feel Butlins try to spoon feed you a lot. This works if you have small children who will lap the spoon feed up, but less so if you want to try things out for yourself.
The accommodation and food are fine - there's nothing spectacular about either but they will suffice so long as you aren't expecting luxury in the apartment and gourmet dining in the restaurant. I also cannot fault the cleanliness of the resort - both inside and out, and we saw the site regularly being cleaned.
Everything has an air of mediocrity about it I felt - there's nothing especially wrong with the place but there's also nothing outstanding about it.
I do feel that we probably came at the wrong time. If I had taken my daughter to Butlins when she was about 7 or 8 she would have loved it - and I probably would have done too as your child's delight tends to be contagious. Certainly her joy in the fairground during this stay transferred on to me - and I stopped going on fairground rides a long time ago.
The place is ideal if you are disabled - there is easy access everywhere with lifts making entry into the theatre complexes a breeze and ground floor accommodation available (although for some you have to pay a small fee to secure it when booking). Disabled parking is also conveniently and copiously located throughout. Unsurprisingly there were lots of disabled guests at the resort.
My daughter's autism was acknowledged and understood when we had a couple of problems with her refusing to talk to staff members and I do appreciate the fact Butlins clearly take the time to train their staff so they have an understanding of all disabilities and not just the ones people can see immediately.
So overall I probably won't go back to Butlins - a combination of their resorts being located in places which involve a long journey from Scotland and my daughter's disinterest in much of the activities on offer along with mediocre food and accommodation have meant this trip, my first to a Butlins since the 1970s, will probably be my last.
We arrived on the Friday, late aftrenoon. Pretty simple to check in. Although there were 8 of us in total, 4 arrived first and the others were joining. It took about 5 mins for us to check in and we were allowed to check-in on the others behalf so that they could go straight to the chalet to meet us on arrival later.
The appartments really are lovely: clean and modern and totally NOT what I expected. I am used to centre parcs or more traditionally "up-market" locations, and I was expecting it to be old, dirty and worn. What I found was a great suprise! We had paid approximately £100 each for the silver accomodation.
Every lodge on the site is close to the main centre stage where all the shops and bars are, so no worries about where your lodge is.
The entertainment really was good. 911 and the Honeyz were amazing and we were never short of something to do or something to see. I was particularly worried that the price of drinks and food would be inflated due to the fact that they have a captured audience but this wasnt so. It was relatively cheap. What's more (we didnt realise 'till our second night), there is a spa shop in the main arena which you can buy alcohol from up to 10pm and drink while watching the entertainment. There were offers in there, for example 5 bottles of some kind of replica smirnoff ice alco-pop for a fiver. Great times!!
Also, a must = remember the fancy dress. We only took fancy dress for 2 nights (and I initially didnt like that idea) but on the night we didnt do fancy dress we really felt out of place. EVERYONE is in fancy dress!!
A good tip is to book for next year when you are on site: we have booked for 10 of us in silver accom and it has come to £40 each for the 90s reunion in March 2011. Even if we cant go, it's not much lost and I'm sure we could sell our tickets.
Definately recommended. Godd for singles, couples, stag and hen party's. Young and old alike. There were plenty of teens, although an equal balance of those in their 30s/40s and 50s there. Great for everyone!
We have visited Butlins 3 times in the last couple of years and it is just brilliant. I have an 8 year old and a 4 year old and they believe Butlins to be the most magical place of all. The food is great and it is real value for money, we still haven't actually done everything that is available at the resort yet as there is just so much going on. It really is an action packed holiday! Recently we thought that we would have to cancel our trip this year due to financial circumstances, but when I rang customer services they were so helpful and even allowed me to defer my break to later in the year to give us more time to pay and actually resulted in us saving £250 off the price of our holiday, we haven't told our kids about the trip at christmas, we are keeping it a suprise...one they will never forget!
Butlins,Skegness is a great holiday for the family.We have just fineshed are holiday of 7 days yesterday as a family of 4.We liked it that much that we have already booked the exact same holiday for next year.
When we arrived we were welcomed by friendly and helpful staff who made checking in very easy and quick.
Parking was great as there was lots of space and there was even on side parking for some visitors that were staying in there accomidation.
Accomidation:Our family decieded to stay in a silver rated shallet.There was enough room for us all but the room wasn't really that modern.Having room service was helpful and convinient for us.
Meals: We booked the half board service;we ate our meals at the Ocean Drive resteraunt.There was a lot of choice and variety of food from roast dinners to burgers,ice cream to full english brekfasts.It was really good as the toast was already made so there was no need to quee for a very long time.The best thing was that you could have as much food as you wanted.There is a wide range of dining places for the people on self catering eg. burger king
Shops:There are a lot of gift shops but only really one food shop-Spar.Be careful when shopping there because we found we were given the wrong change 3 times during our stay.
You will NEVER be bored at Butlins!!!If you are taking a young child there are puppet shows to watch,barney and pingu story time and even Thomas the tank Engines photoshoot.There is also the main characters named "The Skyline Gang" which will give you hours of special entertainment.It's not just for young children there are lots of arcades,shows,swimming places, funfair and sports activates.Most of it is FREE.But the adults need some relaxation so thats why there's a indoor spar with heated pools.There is also pubs were you can chill out too.
Scenery:There is beautiful plants and flowers surrounding the camp and also a little river were I saw 2 ducks resting.
I totally recommend Butlins and I hope you have a great time when you go there for a visit.
By Amber,age 11
I visited Butlins in Skegness for the first time for Mother's Day weekend in 2009. I wasn't sure what to expect having never gone to a holiday camp before. I was very pleasantly surprised! We had booked our break online and had got a three nght break for the bargain price of £79! We have been to Butlins at Skegness once more since then for Christmas 2009 and we are booked to go again very soon :-) I will try to go through the Butlins experience stage by stage for you below;
The booking process: We have booked all three of our breaks online. I have found the website really easy to use and you can save different quotes in your account so you can compare prices for different options easily. Depending on what offers are current there are some big savings to be made on the brochure prices. A deposit is payable on booking, the amount varies depending on how close to your chosen break you are and the balance is payable 6-8 weeks before you go.
I have also spoken to the Customer Advisers when we decided to change our booking slightly and they were friendly and helpful. The two people I spoke to both treated me like they enjoyed speaking to me and were chatty and appeared to be happy in their work.
Prior to your holiday you recieve your booking confirmation in the post which explains what you need to do on arrival at the park. This is easy to read and details exactly what you have booked so you can check to make sure it's all correct.
Arriving at the Park;
When you are on a Standard or Silver break you can check in from 4pm although it does say you are welcome to use the park facilities from 12:30. When you arrive you show the security guard on the main gate your booking confirmation and they direct you to your check in point. There are coloured lines on the road to follow to get to your destination which makes it really easy (otherwise it would be very easy to get lost)! When you get to the check in point the staff are friendly and chatty and take their time to make sure you understand the directions to your apartment. When we went to our first break we got a free upgrade to Silver which was a lovely surprise.
We have only ever stayed in a Self Catering Apartment so that is what I am reviewing. The Silver Apartments are clean and modern. We have always been given extra space to what we need, upgrading to a double room and two twins rather than one twin room but I doubt if this would happen if we went in school holidays! In Silver apartments you will find a full range of cooking equipment, a microwave, toaster, kettle and a small pack with tea,coffee, washing up liquid and tea towel. The bed linen is provided and the beds are made up for you. The beds are comfortable if a bit squeaky! Theres a TV and comfortable sofas in the living area. The shower room is clean and tidy but you must bear in mind that towels aren't provided unless you book Gold.
I honestly don't know where to start! The Park is centred around the Sky Line Pavillion which houses the Main Stage area. Inside the Sky Line you will find Burger King, The Supermarket, The Fish and Chip Shop, Amusements, Bowling, Coffee Shop, The Butlins Holiday Booking Shop, The Butlins Merchandise Shop, Toy shop, Cinema and Photo Centre! I'm sure I will have missed somethings but you get the idea! The main area in the centre is where you can see a lot of the shows by the redcoats and the childrens characters. Seating can be a bit limited at really busy times.
There are two fairground areas, one for the little ones which we use most as my little girl is almost four and one with larger rides for the older ones. The rides are a bit basic and if you like daredevil rides you would be better popping down to Fantasy Island! Onsite you will also find The Sun and Moon pub, Papa Johns Pizza place, Centre Stage (for the big entertainment events), Reds (smaller entertainment with good disco for the littlies), Various canteen areas for those on half board, The Yacht Club restaurant for those on premium dining (I can't review the food as our next holiday is the first we have gone half board for), The Spa, Nursery (which is paid for seperatley and is fully OFSTED inspected, The Hire Shop and I am sure again theres bits I have forgotten!
I can wholeheartedly recommend a holiday at Butlins Skegness for anyone with young children. It really is a magical time and my little girl talks about it all the time. I can't wait to go back and have fun!
Get in your car or jump in a taxi with all the Xmas Pressies and head off to Wonderland!
We stayed at Skegness for Xmas 2008 and Xmas 2009 and will be returning in 2010. Me, my wife and 2 children of 3 and 2 couldn't want for more from this amazing truly magical experience.
In 2008 we stayed in Standard Accommodation for 5 days from 23 Dec until 27th. 2009 we stayed for 10 days from 23 Dec until 2 Jan. We realised from our 5 day stay that we really weren't ready to go home. The Xmas stay is just bursting with excitement and 'too' much to do! So we decided to book double for the next stay and it really was so much more worthy. It was just right, not too little and not too much. The Xmas side of the break is perfect as you can get a seat quite easily in the venues ie pubs and shows and all is 'just' right with regards space. But as soon as the adjoining New Year break kicks in with those who stay for the 3 day break it really does change. I'm 37 and a real party goer and adventurer but it really can get a bit too much in the respect of not being able to get a seat anywhere, esp the show venues, but ok in the cinema and pubs. And people become quite irate because of the busy-ness of it all, it really does become crowdy. But it depends on the individual, if you love fun this is why you come to this particular place and you just get on with the hustle and bustle. But the Xmas side of the holiday is the perfect part of it. The New Year bit is the cheap 3 day break which people arrive on just for a p*** up after Xmas.
Enter your appartment, unpack, put up the mini Xmas tree and decs and switch on the lights!
The accommodation really is faultless as you get what you pay for.
Our Standard room on our 2 visits was most acceptable. I wouldn't recommend paying more for the next upgrade of Silver as you only get a slight upgrade which includes a bigger TV and dining table. We visited one and we wouldn't have paid more when the Standard is most acceptable in comparison. We have booked Gold for 2010 which I will detail later. The Silver is in the same area aka Village as the Standards. There may be a few more advantages over the Standards which you will see in the brochure but they aren't substantial. The Standards really are good, 2 twin bedrooms, kitchen & lounge and bathroom with shower. I was very impressed on my visits of the cleanliness of the appartments.
Opening pressies on Xmas day is so special in your holiday appartment. No stress. No cooking. No Mother in Laws. Then you can get off and relish the entertainment whether that be a panto, show, a swim, a pub meal or a stroll around the park.
We stayed self catering on both holidays but we won't be doing that again this year as the food in the pubs aren't that good. The Sun & Moon Pub meals are appalling, microwaved Chilli Con Carne at such a small portion for the price. Steak also very poor. But the pub itself is brilliant, very spacious and comfortable and excellent for the kids to play in as it has a separate playroom.
The Italian Pasta restaurant serves up again very appalling food. We tried pizza and pasta. The pizza was tasteless and the pasta was just so poor and soggy. But their pots of coleslaw are amazing!
The fish and chip shop and café is the best fish and chip shop in the world!! Need I say more? Just eat there!!!
We managed to get into the Yacht Club Premier Restaurant in 2008 and had a top notch meal, it really is the best. So much choice. But we couldn't get in last year as it was fully booked. I would recommend if you want good food while you are here then book to eat in that restaurant when you book your holiday. I think it is around £10 per person per day.
In 2008 we pre booked a Xmas Dinner for us 4 which was expensive, around £40 each for 2 adults and the baby and toddler had to pay £25 each!! But it really wasn't worth it, it was poor. The set up was great, in the Sun & Moon but the food was an incredible small portion and not a vegetable in sight. So last year we didn't do this, we just got those amazing fish and chips!
The entertainment is purely magical.
WARNING: People with nothing better to do on their precious break spend up to 2 hours queuing outside a show venue just so they can get a preferred seat. Don't let these people spoil your break as you will get a reasonable seat anyway in the huge venues but it won't be a satisfactory seat in the New Year 3 day section of the break. Why stress trying to beat these people to the front of the queue or joining them in the queue when you can be enjoying your precious time doing something else of the many things happening instead of sadly queuing?? You will still be able to get a seat and see the show, that's how the venues are designed.
We will always come here as a family for Xmas because Butlins 'makes' Xmas with its amazing entertainment. Everywhere you go there is something happening. On Xmas Eve you get to take your kids to Santas Grotto where they get to see Santa and his helpers and they are given a really special present! It amazes me how friendly the Staff are all around Butlins. They just want to help you and make sure that you have such a wonderful time. They really genuinely enjoy their jobs and helping us. The Xmas Pantomime on Xmas Eve (and again shown in the New Year Break) is top class. A most impressive main Centre Stage huge enough to hold everybody staying. The drinks are most reasonable too in price. We were buying a 4 pint pitch of Tetleys for £9.00. Pints are no more than £3.00 in any venue.
The cinema was brilliant also. There was a choice of more than 5 movies to watch. The main Skyline Centre is packed with entertainment from the excellent Puppet Castle Show to the Skyliner Events of live acts. And there is a daily Photoshoot that the kids can have with their fave cartoon characters inc Pingu and Angelina Ballerina. There are 2 Magicians acts also at Centre Stage one of which is ok and one which is just terrible but I won't name them here. Last year we saw probably the most impressive entertainer ever, Kelly Brazil impersonating Miley Cyrus. She could have well been her. We loved the Front Room Pub, very relaxing for a drink but they don't serve meals, just brunch and snacks. Nice to lounge in there on Xmas Day and take a few presents along for us all to open. The swimming pool which we went to last year is just amazing. We didn't get chance to go there on the 5 day stay as I was saying before there just isn't enough time in 5 days but in the 10 day stay it was just right. The pool has 3 excellent water slides all taking you at different speeds so suitable for all ages. Also a lovely wave pool.
The funfair is very dated, only worth one visit, not good at all.
Burger King is it's usual excellent quality for lunch open all day until late. Xmas Eve really is the busiest day with so much going on including a magnificent firework display at night. Xmas Day is the quietest with not as much going on as other days. But as usual everything is open! The shop is most reasonable selling all that you need which is quite like a small supermarket. Again most friendly staff. They obviously love their jobs!!
The Bowling Alley is great fun for the whole family but it's just short of a tenner for 2 to play.
As soon as you arrive you are so welcomed. Last year we decided not to drive and arrived to Skegness by train but we won't do that again. The reason being is because trying to get a taxi on departure from Butlins to the train station is an absolute nightmare. If you are not driving you have got to walk from your appartment to the taxi collection (at the rear of The Front Room Pub) area with all of your luggage on trolleys provided with moaning rushed along kids in tow and in our case this took over half an hour to walk with us worrying whether we would get a taxi on time to get us to our train. You see the problem is, you can't pre book a taxi!! They just call on departure days and pickup people from the queue! We only just got our train on time but it was really stressful. This year we have booked a taxi to take us to Butlins from home and a return journey so that it can pick us up from outside our appt. We won't drive because of alcohol being in our system from Xmas celebrations, and we know that the police are keen that time of year.
This year we have booked for Gold Accommodation with meals included. We booked on site as you get an excellent deal! We saved £950 just for booking onsite!!!!!! For 4 of us for 10 days 23 Dec until 2 Jan in top accommodation with meals included and breakfast it cost us £1700. The reason we have gone Gold is because it is going to suit the kids and also we get to eat in the Premier Restaurant every morn and eve!! We don't want to eat the poor food anymore (except Burger King & Chippy) and we want the toddlers to have more entertainment in the appartment. You don't tend to think of it but there really is a need even on holiday for the kids to need entertainment (when they get bored of their xmas pressies!) whilst you're in your appt ie in the morn or when you are getting ready to go out or when you're nursing the hangover. So the Gold appt gives you a lot more space, large screen tv and a dvd.
Butlins Skegness Xmas is truly magical, you will love it, but go the 10 days to get the whole experience.
I have spent many a weekend here at Butlins in Skegness but always the adult 70's themed weekends. They have been brilliant and for about £80 for 4 days and 3 nights its a real bargain.
To be honest though i would have no idea about the facilities Butlins has to offer as we were self catering so ate in to save on funds and then partied all night.
The clubs provide a brilliant range of entertainment during the day and then at night and there is always something going on. Reds, Centre stage and Jaks the night club will keep you entertained till the early hours.
After my partying stage i finally settled down and had a baby and decided to give the Family Butlins a try. And i am so glad i did.
I don't really know where to start, Going half board meant we got to take advantage of the buffet breakfast and Dinner. It was ok, Not 5 star but that is not what I expected so not a problem. There was plenty of variety and some great Annabel Karmel children's meals which my son adored.
In the day, Well where to start. The facilities are amazing. An indoor and outdoor pool, Bob the builder Land, A fully equipped nursery which is payable locally but very good value and fully qualified staff is just the tip of the iceberg.
Play areas, the fair, soft play areas and a fully equipped playroom which is situated in the nursery grounds but all children must be supervised. This was a life saver. To know that my son could run riot for hours while mummy sat back and relaxed!! Naughty hehe!!
The staff were all extremely helpful and polite, It was a really cheap deal for 5 days, 2 adults and 1 child half board for £200, What more could you ask for.
Eating on site was very expensive, We did it once and never again, £20 for 2 adults for a pizza buffet, and they didnt charge us for my son thankfully. But if you are Self catering there is plenty of places to eat, Just expect to pay a lot for it.
The resort is a 10 minute drive in to the centre of Skegness and all its attractions and has its own beach. Perfect!
Parking can be difficult if you want to get close to your accomodation, if you dont mind, then its all good.
just returned from skegness,ive never come across such a moneymaking scheme in my life ,the fair was not free at all, everywhere you ventured you got kidded into paying out for something,i felt sorry for families who had a few kids with them, most things on the fair were £4 per go,the food was nice but no organisation at meal times, long lines no order whatsoever, what about the great british butlins,full of foreign workers, what about jobs for our people. also lots of money spent i dont know what on,supposed to be apartments there just updated chalets from years ago i wont be returning anyway
Have just returned from a week long break to butlins with my husband and three sons, aged 1,3&5. It was our first visit and we will be definetely going back again. It is such a fun resort with so much to offer for the kids. I think the biggest advantage for us is that there is two funfairs, one for the little ones and one for older children and they are both free. Everyday we would spend time going on the rides. There was also a really big waterworld with big slides and an outdoor pool which was also free. You really could go to Butlins and not spend any money, another of our highlights was a pantomine we went to.
There is a down side to Butlins though and that is the amount of people who are there. Everything you want to do you have to que for and some of the more entertaining shows such as x factor stars people were queingfor over four hours and that really wasnt something we wanted to do.
we are just back from a 4 day half board gold accomadation break at skegness (17th august to 21st august 2009)There was my wife, our daughter and 2 grand children.The accomadation, and food at the yacht club was excellent, the entertainment was very good , drink prices ok....bottle coke £1.20p, pint of lager £2.40p so not too bad at all.We had a real fantastic holiday, and hope to go back again soon, if i could give it marks out of ten i would say 10/10,