More about Butlins Resort - Skegness
Family Week at Butlins Skegness
Having read some dire reviews of Butlins, it was with some trepidation that we set off for Butlins to meet the rest of our family there. There were nine of us including three under fours. The week was billed as family fun and it certainly lived up to its name.
As this was primarily a holiday for the young children, bear this in mind when reading the review.
We had booked as Gold Accommodation half board.
Check-in was efficiently performed in after about three minutes queueing. The accommodation was clean and modern and we had requested adjacent units which were provided. There was plenty of hot water (sometimes too hot) and there was a housemaid facility on all days except one, which provided clean towels etc. There was a fridge and cooker, as you could also use the accommodation for self catering. Car Parking was near the accommodation so unloading was relatively painless.
A short walk from the accommodation found us alongside Bob the Builder's yard. In here were four rides for the little ones, which they enjoyed immensely. We were to revisit many times in the next few days. Queues here were negligible, and I think always just involved waiting for the ride to stop before getting on. Next up was the pool facility, which had CenterParcs style cubicles where you go through from the dry to the wet side. These were clean, but there was some cardboard litter from Armband containers and some swimming nappies left on the floor on one occasion despite large notices in each cubicle asking you to place these in the bins provided. The water was warm and there was much to do in here. Some of the flumes were not in operation but all of them operated at some time during our stay. Queues for the standard flumes were variable, but if you chose your moment, there was a wait of no more than a couple of minutes, with sometimes no wait at all. If you did not look at the queue before ascending you could wait for some while. The major flumes had longer queues with waits over 15 mins. The little ones had their own facility with mini slides.
The funfair had a good selection of free rides, again with minimal waits while we were there, but the dodgems had a strict no bumping rule that rather took out the fun. The soft play area was inside and free and had a ball pool and climbing facilities with large soft blocks to arrange. There were two areas, the larger one for slightly older kids.
The beach is adjacent to the camp and is sandy.
The evening shows consisted of a tots disco followed by a show which featured characters such as Bob the Builder, Pingu and Billy Bear. These were well put on and the redcoat comperes were very enthusiastic. The Reds facility where these shows were put on became very crowded and this meant a queue to get the best seats. There were also shows in the Skyline pavilion and Bob the Builder's yard, which meant that there was something going on most of the time.
We did not visit the adult venues later in the evening as by this time we were worn out, but our grown up children did and reported no problems.
Eating was in the Yacht Club, which had a variety of table shapes and sizes, and was able to accommodate our party on a single table on all occasions except one. The food here for both Breakfast and Dinner was excellent. It was basically self service with a selection of traditional meals such as shepherds pie and fish& chips (but tuna steaks and lemon sole!), sausages etc, alongside dishes like Chicken in black bean sauce and stir fry. A salad bar was also provided. You could eat as much as you liked. The quality was excellent.
In summary, we were what I would call out of season, so the facilities were not overstretched which I think is where some of the reviews may be coming from. I was concerned about smoking in the venues, but this was not too much of a problem and will be history in a couple of weeks anyway.
We went with trepidation, but had a thoroughly enjoyable five days - but need a holiday now to get over it as we were on the go all day.
Stayed at butlins skegness for the 3night pre christmas break, it was a fantastic experience all round. We booked the gold half board break which was very good value for money. The apartment had 3 bedrooms, lounge and kitchen, it was very warm considering it was december and very clean and in excellent condition. Because we were in the gold accomodation we took our meals in the yacht club which was a seperate dining room. We looked in at the other dining room and the food was basically the same, the only real difference was that the number of people dining in the yacht club was a lot less so therefore no queueing. There were table cloths on the tables and it was altogether a more relaxed evening meal. The times of the meals were also from 4.00 until 8.00 whereas in the main dining room it was only 4.00 until 6.00. So my summary would be if your evening meal is a big part of your holiday then go for the gold, if you just want to get something to eat and then get on with the entertainment then save the money and book the silver accomodation. The rest of the holiday was typically butlins, lots of things to do for the whole family, visit to santa, pantos and plenty of indoor entertainment. Of course the swimming pool was a great hit with the kids even though it was a bit cold for us oldies!! A really nice prechristmas break and would definately go again.
value for money
i have three children ( 7 ,3 and 21 months) and we spend on a weekend over £ 40 on nothing really so recently we paid to go to butlins skegness for the day -for something different.It cost £ 22 for a family ticket we could get on site at 10 and stay until 6 -although we were told an hour or so wont make a difference as long as you dont turn up hours later!
I have to say absoulutly marvellous!!!Once in most things were free -swimming pool is amazing( not as warm as i thought though -but still amazing) There were lots of different parts-shallow water with water sprays blasting you great for my toddler.two big pools for general swimming and toddler slides plus the space bowl and flumes which my 7 year old loved!( my 3 year old was tall enough to go on one flume but she decided against it! )There is also a playground situated in the shallow bit clean,safe and great fun! Make sure you visit the toilet first though as it seems an endless walk when you have a 3 year old bursting for a poo!!
Outside fun fair was a good range of rides although very strict on height restrictions for example my 7 year old wasn't allowed on the carasol on her own but was allowed on the scary rides with her dad. My 3 year old at our local theme park gets on gets on alot of the scary rides as a passenger but not here .I feel abit too strict on height restrictions- saying that she loved the bob the builder rides situated else where so at least they had rides to go on and my 21 month old loved these! Again all free!
Nursery is massive and offers a wide range of little tykes toys and numerous craft activities so kept every one happy here for a long time-We also had wendy from bob the builder joining us and had photos taken with her.THere are lots of photo opportunities at photo sessions but taking your own photos is prohibited so head to the nursery and they will happily pose for free!
There is also a big indoor soft play all free suitable for all 3 of my kids
The bad side is there are loads of sweet shops ( not cheap) and arcade machines-( my husband thought this was great!)so stay clear and focused other wise money will soon get spent!
WE didnt actually see any red coat shows as im guessing they are for night time or we was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
We spent our entrance fee and 3.00 on 3 drinks so the kids had a whale of a time all for £ 25 .( remember on site food will be a tad expensive we took a picnic and ate it on one of many picnic spots
Loved it that much we are going again tommorrow-!!!
We will be back !!! but hopefully the smoke will have gone.....
Just back from an enjoyable 4 day break with the children. They loved the pool and most of the entertainment. The panto was great and they enjoyed the wresting and singers. The Skyline Gang are great and keep the little ones well entertained too. Not enough entertainment during the day though really for the over 8's unless you are willing to pay for it - lazer quest, go carts, crazy golf, bowling etc.
An on-site betting shop - whats all that about ??????????????
The best part of the holiday for the boys were the pool and slides. In fact we all enjoyed this. It was clean and tidy too and not too overcrowded. Yes you have to queue for some of the slides, but they are worth the wait!! They even got ME on the 'space bowl' and i DON'T do rides !!!!
The Reds club is supposed to be non-smoking, but unfortuantely as you go into the place and out of it you have to walk through a thick blanket of smoke with the children. I had to cover my face with my scarf as you cannot breath. How stupid is it to place smoking bins in the entrance to encouage inconsiderate people to smoke there. This needs to be addressed immediately as it is a diabolical and senselss situation.
Stayed in Silver s/c accom which had all been updated and new. For the price the rooms were very reasonable. The crockery and cutlery were unclean though !! The rooms were really warm as heaters worked really well. Would prefer to pay the extra and stay in Gold again next time as it is much more comfortable and roomier. Stayed in one earlier in the year but they were fully booked this time.
Once you see the brown sign for Butlins - thats it..... you have to find your own way from there as there are no more signs and you have no idea which way to go. There is one road in from both sides and both sides were chokka - so had to queue to get in and then queue again at guest services for ages as everyone seemed to arrive at the same time !!
What a great break!
Stayed half board in a Silver appartment with my family (children 9 & 11) for 3 nights. Had a great time. Food was good not like the old days, plenty of choice! No queuing even though it was half term. If you book, would definately go for Silver or Gold and if possible request accomodation in Starfish Quay area. Recently refurbished - very clean and comfortable. Will definately go back!!!! Only drawback, if you are going to any of the clubs , make sure you get there early otherwise you could be standing for a very long time. Great entertainment nevertheless.
Brilliant for Kids! Will go again
Just come back from Butlins after a 4 night stay at February Half Term and can definitely say we will be back. It was our first time and we were slightly worried after reading some reviews that we wouldn't enjoy it. We stayed in a silver apartment with a 5 year old and a 2 year old. We booked a 2 bed apt and were given a 3 bed which worked out better for us as the children could have their own rooms. Accommodation was basic but clean and of a good size. Bob the Builders yard was great for both my children with 4 rides ideal for their age. They enjoyed the kids clubs activities which were run in a nicely done out and equipped room with the red coats. The entertainment was very good for children and on an evening tots disco started at about 6pm followed by shows such as sooty. The Reds club where the childrens entertainment was held was completely no smoking which was a refreshing change.
All in all ideal for people with children as their is so much to entertain them. Go with an open mind expecting basic accommodation and brilliant entertainment for the children.
Had a girly weekend in Sept last year the accomdation for standard was dirty and smelt would not recommend anyone stopping in Stardard accomdation staff on the site where helpfuly in other things when I contacted butlins afterwards they were not interested did try when we were there but they did'nt help either. Not changed snice my days working on the site.
Just returned - 27th April from Butlins at Skegness. Whether we were just lucky but Silver Apartment had new carpet and pots and pans and microwave. The place was spotless, and everything worked. Only critisisms were tiny tv, tempermental shower and absence of coat hooks. The food was overall very good, - only moan here was that dinner was 4 -6 when it would have been better to go on till 7. Bob the Builders yard was good indeed and of a very high standard. The grounds were beautifully landscaped and there was no litter. Altogether a very good experience.
Old memories die quickly
As a child I remembered having many a great holiday at Butlin’s. Now as a parent we decided to take our two children. After all, all the entertainment is free and I remember it being a fantastic place mainly for children. My two girls should love it.
We stayed in the Silver Self Catering Apartments and surprisingly they were well thought out and reasonably comfortable if basic. It contained everything you needed. So what if the cover on the sofa was bust and showed the foam where the zip wouldn’t fasten, and a couple of the bed sheets had small tears in them but we weren’t going to let that spoil our holiday so we simply used the sleeping bags we brought with us just in case.
Let’s start with the free things.
Swimming Pools - What a fantastic pool - or it could be. Sections of it were closed off with no explanation or aparent reason. The Master Blaster ride is fantastic once you've queued up for over an hour and only half an hours queuing for the Space Bowl. Be warned, the queue for these is in a steel covered tower that gets very cold when the outside weather is bad. You might want to wear some veruca socks or something as well, as I saw a couple of kids accidentally pee themselves because they didn't want to lose their place in the queue. Cant comment on Bubble Mountain, the Wave Pool or the Blue Flume as none of these were working. On the Flumes though, only a 10 to 15 minute wait so worth queuing for that 20 second ride.
Fairground - I remember this being quite large. Where's it gone? Anything that's worth going on, you have to pay for. If you want to pay for your rides then may I suggest popping down the road to Fantasy Island at Ingoldmells. Here you will get a fantastic selection of rides but none of them free. The free rides on site are lacking to say the very least. The fairground should keep your children entertained for about 2.5 hrs. Just remember that approximately 2 hrs of this time will be queuing.
That’s about it for the free things. Just about everything else had a charge for it. We never got a chance to play snooker as the tables were always full. I do seem to remember there being more of them in the past and they were housed in a building that was light and airy with panoramic views around the building. Now it seems like it’s a seedy backroom with more emphasis on drinking at the bar there.
There is something that has increased in size though, you will be glad to hear. The Amusement Arcades ! The place now looks like a veritable SkegVegas. Not sure if it’s a good thing though.
Cinema - You have to pay for it - it used to be free from what I can remember.
Reds - Go once and you've seen the whole week’s worth of entertainment.
Centre Stage - Go once and you've seen the whole week’s worth.
Crazy Horse - Aparently enjoyable. It seems caravaner's get better entertainment !
There are other places but it’s the same thing everywhere. Same old same old.
FOOD AND DRINK
Food - Whilst Papa Johns Pizza establishment offered exceedingly good value for money and good quality food, it was spoilt by their efforts to see if you needed anything else once 3 out of our 4 were no longer eating. We were asked 3 times in 5 minutes and it almost seemed as if they were trying to get you out of there and get the next paying customer seated. Burger King were more than happy to charge you for what you asked for but then give you a wrong cheaper item that you didn't ask for and say they didn’t understand English too well. The Moon and the Sun started with promise in that we were clearly understood, and our request for no sausages on my wife's plate was clearly confirmed. However, on the foods arrival, there were the sausages so one breakfast got left (well, you don’t like to cause a fuss when you're on holiday do you?) We also thought it would have been freshly cooked, but for food to arrive within two minutes of you taking your seat says otherwise. Quality left a lot to be desired and prices were ridiculous at £28 for two adults and two children for breakfast! We had one other meal on site (an evening meal) and promptly requested our money back and left.
Drink - My wife and myself are possibly the worst customers that you would want to serve at a bar being ex trade ourselves. We expect a certain level of service and cleanliness. We took to taking our drinks from disposable cups. A Bar person should acknowledge new customers within 2 minutes of arriving at the bar and always greet you with a smile and a happy word to make you feel special. One or two tried but my recommendation is to do as we ourselves did along with half a dozen other couples in our immediate vicinity and that is to smuggle your own drink in and take your own cups - A Thoroughly Disgusting Experience.
On the whole, the site is clean and security is good. Your children should be quite safe. The Red Coats seem to try their best but considering that the oldest was only 25. There is the lack of matriarchal or patriarchal figure that you used to get years ago and now they simply get the respect of a kids mate.
The Beach is fantastic, but then again Butlin’s can’t really do much to spoil that. Or can they? Staff quarters are still no better than slums, its just unfortunate that you have to walk past them to get to all the main distractions.
We went for 7 nights during Whitsun Week. A week that charges a premium because it’s a school holiday (good old Butlin’s mentality) and what we considered to be a premium week in holiday times. What we got was very disappointing and so far below the standard of even a basic holiday abroad which we could have obtained for a lower price than this holiday and almost guaranteed getting good weather.
I say we went for 7 nights, but due to the extremely poor quality of Butlin's Skegness, we decided to cut our losses and come home two nights early on the Wednesday (and Friday to Friday? where do they get that from?)
We made several attempts to complain but again the queues were prohibitive and on a number of occasions the customer services were closed. On the one occasion that we did get to talk to someone, the reply was "You can’t blame us for the weather"
If like me you had fond memories of Butlin’s my advice is to keep them as memories and don’t try to re-live your past. It will not happen.
If you are a possible new customer, then I will NOT say don't go. A lot of people have had a good experience and if it was always as bad as the picture I have painted here, Butlin’s would have closed down many years ago. What I will say is "Fore-warned is Fore-armed" be prepared to complain. Don’t be fobbed off by stupid responses from staff in front of you, be prepared to take it higher to the staff behind the scenes. And finally don't bother trying to say "I'm sending this complaint into Watchdog". As I found out from another person among the several who left at the same time as ourselves, Butlin’s response was "We are too big to be blackmailed and we would prefer not to have your business in the future"
My review above is, in the very least, honest. In some places brutally honest. I have no problems with anyone contacting me to ask more questions and will answer them as honestly as my review.
I hope you find this review useful and good luck with your holiday and have fun.
"Butlins - Day time"
When i went to Skegness i stayed in the most exciting place in the world!!!
I had never stayed there before and only had my mums word that it was good but when i got there finally after the 4 hours driving there i was reasonably impressed!!!
I was amazed by how big it was and how far it was to walk from my apartment to the complex!
As soon as you walk into the complex you are suddenly hit with the noise of screaming, laughing and talking and children!!!!
I was complaining for the 1st day from the amount of children and saying it wasnt like a holiday for me!
But towards the end i enjoyed it, and even went to watch the childrens entertainers only because beneath all that make up im sure they were mighty fine young men! =-)
It is the best place for the children as there was Bob the Builder and his team, Pingu, Fireman Sam and Billy Bear.
Also a couple of the red coats become the Skyline gang and generally just mess about as i got soaked from when they were playing with water guns.
There is also puppet shows and discos especially for the younger children!
In the complex there was a show done by the African Acrobats and they were amazing, i ended up watching them 4 times because they just blow me away.
There was a lot of flips, and climbing on each other to form towers and then they did a fire show!!!
"Butlins - Night time"
There is 2 big clubhouses for the family entertainment which depending on when you go is different every time, when i went there was Stephen Mulhern from CITV Channel but my sister went this year and one of the entertainers was Rik Waller (From pop idol).
So def look into who is there that week before booking it!
There are the usual acts on like the chip shop boys, off limits and the redcoats who dress up and do tribute acts etc.
I think Off limits are the best out of the lot which is a band with a female vocalist. They sing old songs for the parents and the chart toppers, what i was quite impressed with was that the men on bass and drums were given the chance to sing and they sang the rockier songs by people like the killers and the kaiser chiefs!
For the adults there was also a club for when they put kids to bed which was a good place to go as you get to chill out and get away from hyper children running around all over the place!!!
They also do pretty good drink deals!! =-)
As we didnt want to stay on the complex the whole time we went on a walk to Ingoldmells, to get here we could walk along the beach front the whole way! which made the trek a little bit worth while!!!
Ingoldmells has a lot of little cafes and bars so i was happy and for everyone else there was a massive market which is big enough to get lost in (Yes i did!) which sold everything!!
And there is Fantasy Island!!! I only had enough time to go on the log flume which was great and the roller coaster which was really good because as you are at its hihest you can see over Ingoldmells and youi can see how far the complex is away from the ride!!!
Apparantly there are new rides there now which are bigger and better than anything else that have been there before.
If you wanted to go into Skegness there is a bus which goes past butlins entrance every half an hour or so and that takes you directly into Skegness.
In Skegness try and visit the Skegness Natureland Seal Sanctuary. This is a lovely place as the people who work here rescue seals who have been caught in fishing nets etc and are hurt or if they have been abandoned by their mother.
They do feeding time with the seals and get to watch as a trainer does little tricks with them while giving them fish just to show the visitors how fast they can swim and there abililties they use in the wild to catch fish etc!
You will also find penguins, tortoises, different fish and a petting zoo outside.
Inside you walk through different passages and you will see lots of exciting fish and reptiles such as snakes, crocs, nemo fish, lizards.
There is also Tarantulas and scorpions!!!
Skegness has a lovely beach which has donkeys on it!!! There are lots of shops which was very popular in my eyes and even brought myself a pair of wedges from the new look there!!! totally different from the one in Macc, they were Skegness shoes!!! =-)