A few weeks ago we had what I think might be out best family holiday yet…. at Butlin’s! Who would have thought it!? I certainly didn’t know what to expect… but I was WELL impressed!
While there was a special offer on we’d booked one of the more expensive options, a lake view apartment. It was on the first floor so on the plus side we had a balcony but on the downside a couple of flights of stairs (the balcony definitely outweighed the stairs!)
Out of all the family holidays we’ve had I think this is the most spacious place we’ve stayed in, the open plan living area was big as was the master bedroom.
The space was well thought-out… there was plenty of room for storing things eg bathroom shelves, and a big hallway so plenty of room for empty suitcases… and loads of hooks for our coats!
I wish I’d taken more photos of the decor, every room had artwork including cute retro posters using old Butlin’s artwork which I thought was a nice touch!
A friend of mine was staying there during the same week so I got to see the next price down, the ‘silver apartments’ these are quite new and modern and looked fine inside, just not with such a premium-feel as the lake view area.
It was quite funny seeing the old-style accommodation right next to us… there was a stark contrast between the old and new but the old accommodation does look really cute and nostalgic!
The lakeside area wasn’t too far from the main facilities and had a nice little lakeside walk where you could see the ducks and play in a little play area.
Things to do
Well we were totally spoilt for choice for things to do. Our itinerary came through a few weeks before we went and I couldn’t believe the full range of activities for under 5’s eg football classes, balance bike classes, archery, play dough sessions, art and craft sessions. All free of charge!
On top of that, there was loads of other activities…. an outdoor fairground, an indoor fairground, soft play, a little tikes race track, some great outdoor play areas, amusement arcades and a brilliant swimming pool…. all free of charge! The swimming pool was one of the best we’d taken the boys too… lots of shallow pools, some little tikes toys to play with and some floats etc.
We made so many amazing memories… W spent hours playing play-dough, every day S made us go on the little ‘choo-chop’ at least once but cried on the other rides ‘no cars… no aeroplanes’! S loved getting in and out of all the little tikes while W loved playing in the fort/castle play area next door running wild with his imagination!
And if that wasn’t enough, being just for tots there were daily shows featuring Teletubbies, Justin Fletcher, Mr Men and Mr Potato Head! The queues for these are big and for some families I think it’s the highlight of the trip, but neither of our boys sat down for long to enjoy them… they can’t sit still!
When we booked, we booked a ‘dine around’ meal package which meant we had a buffet/all you can eat breakfast every morning and a choice of restaurants for lunch or dinner.
Breakfast was good, plenty of choice and great for the boys who love a big breakfast! I LOVED the pancakes!! It was quite an experience eating with so many tots and babies around!
We tried out the dinner buffet, the chicken restaurant (similar to Nando’s), the American burger and the Italian restaurant. They were all fine but my favourite was definitely the Italian, I had a lovely pasta dish featuring avocado yum!
We also had fish and chips from the takeaway, oh and hot dogs!! I think if you’re like us and don’t want to cook on holiday then the dining plans work out well but obviously a lot of people decide to go self catering… the choice is yours!
There’s a couple of shops there… a supermarket, toy shop and gift shops. We didn’t leave the resort but there’s a steam train nearby which is popular and lots of other attractions nearby like a medieval village/castle… and a zoo!
There’s also a Tesco, Lidl or Aldi and McDonalds just round the corner. Oh and a beach right opposite which we went to see after checking out!
Really struggling to think of any. The resort way exceeded our expectations… some parts are looking a bit dated but the staff do a great job keeping everywhere as clean as possible, no rubbish etc.
What impressed us most was the amount of things to do for the kids… we literally couldn’t fit it all in!
It would be interesting to see what it’s like on a non-just for tots week. I have a feeling most of the activities would still be on, just not the big shows.
It was lovely being there in just for tots week with hundreds of other like-minded families… I guess a negative for some people is the queues for shows and some of the activities but these didn’t really affect us!
Butlin’s, we loved you and had one of our best family holidays… we will definitely be back
Disclosure: We paid for this holiday, Butlin’s didn’t ask me to write this review and didn’t know I’d be writing it!