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Our holiday at Butlins: Part 2

Following on from Owl’s post last week, this is Monkey’s review of our Butlins break.

My holiday at Butlins Bognor Regis

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At Butlins we stayed in the Wave Hotel.  In the Wave Hotel there was a Games Port.  In the Games Port, there were 2 PCs, a Wii, a Playstation (with Minecraft on it) and more.  In the hotel room there were bunk beds with TVs on each bunk.

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At the swimming pool there were some water slides.  There was the Master Blaster.  There was a fairground with a few rides, swing chairs, dodgems and more.  Before we left we had ice creams.

butlins kids 2b

We were invited to stay on a 4 night break at Butlins Bognor Regis as part of our role as Butlins Ambassadors.  All opinions are our own.

Our holiday at Butlins: Part 1

I have already written here about our break at Butlins Bognor Regis, and so has Paul, so I thought it would be good to give the children a turn.  This is Owl’s review.

My holiday at Butlins

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On Monday 9th June we went to Bognor Regis, which is the sunniest place in Britain.  We stayed at a holiday resort called Butlins.  Our accommodation was in the Wave Hotel.

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In the Wave Hotel there was a Games Port.  There was also a swimming pool called Splash Water World and we went twice.  Near Bognor Regis is Fishbourne Roman Palace, and they have some good mosaics.

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We also went to the beach at Bognor Regis.

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On the way home we went to another beach, which is pebbly at high tide but lots of sand is revealed at low tide.

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Look out for Monkey’s review coming soon!

We were invited to stay on a 4 night break at Butlins Bognor Regis as part of our role as Butlins Ambassadors.  All opinions are our own.

Butlins Bognor Regis – a Review by Daddy

Butlins, Butlins, Butlins – a great time by the sea!

I used to read positive holiday reviews in paper and think “they must be positive as the reviewer got a cheap deal to go there”. Then last year Hannah got appointed as a Butlins Ambassador, and once I’d stopped cracking lame jokes (are they going to give us red Ferrero Rocher? Where are the Butlins Consulates etc etc) we chose Butlins Bognor Regis as our review destination.
And now we’ve just come back, I realise that, for a reviewer to give a positive review, the holiday has to be good enough to overcome the natural English traits of negativity and criticism.
And Butlins was good. Really good. Our kids didn’t want to come home.
Accommodation first. We stayed at the Wave hotel, and it was everything you could wish for in family accommodation: clean, modern, spacious and indestructible. We’d not stayed in a hotel as a family before and the children were very excited. We had two interconnecting rooms with us and the older boys in one, granny and the younger children in the other. All the children fizzed with excitement over their ship-style cabins with the bunk beds, and we loved the size of the room and our comfortable kingsize. But let’s not forget the elephant in the room:

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We all laughed. Yes, yes lots of hotels do towel animals but the Butlins masterstroke was to provide an instruction booklet on how to make the elephant. It’s a step up from the towel roast chicken my mum showed us how to make in Minehead one evening.
We had a slightly unfortunate test of the accommodation – our daughter came down with Tonsilitis, so she stayed in bed for much of the last two days. There are a lot worse places to be ill – I pointed out to her if she were ill at home she wouldn’t have a TV on the wall and a view of the sea out of the window. We took it in turns to look after her, and I have to admit I rather enjoyed my stints of sitting on the balcony reading the paper in between administering antibiotics.
On to the food. We had a half board package in The Deck restaurant, which was a breakfast and dinner buffet with the option to swap the dinner buffet for vouchers to use in other Butlins restaurants. We didn’t have a bad meal the whole time we were there, and even the standard of the breakfast buffet was excellent. I travel all over the country on business, and have used a lot of Full English and Continental breakfast buffets, but never one that included pancakes, kippers, made-to-order omelettes and porridge. The temptation was to eat too much, and of course we succumbed to this, particularly on the first morning. But with a long enough holiday I think we could manage to get back to normal eating levels.
We were keen to see what Butlins provided for the children, as when we’ve stayed at Butlins Minehead it’s been as part of Spring Harvest, with its own children’s programme. The first thing Butlins provided for our children was a dedicated Games Port containing Playstations, Wiis and other consoles. Telling an eight or ten year old that they can play whatever they want, including Minecraft, is a holiday winner. Our older boys spent at least an hour there each day , and the younger ones joined in from time to time.

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Then there were the live shows. We watched a full pantomime on the first night that was as good as the one we see in Epsom every year.. We saw the Skyline Gang show, the Mike the Knight show, the Thomas the Tank Engine show and the Puppet show – all the children liked them, even the older boys. If you’ve been nervous to take your children to the theatre, the great advantage of the Butlins shows is that the seating is informal, cabaret style. No one minds if you get up and walk about half way through.
The Red Coats do their job of keeping the children amused really well. Each live show had lots of the big kids in their smart red blazers acting as the audience stokers: dancing at the front, shouting ‘he’s behind you’, clapping along – what an exhausting job!

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We spent most of our time on site, but went to Fishbourne Roman Palace on the second day and Littlehampton beach on the way home. Hannah’s spoken about that, but the surprise for me was how little we went off site – there was enough to keep everyone amused for much of the time.
The swimming pool (Splash World) is well equipped, warm and with good slides. Minehead Butlins has bigger slides ,but not all of our children can go on them, and Bognor had a family slide that even the four year old could go down. He did. Again. And Again. And Again. He was delighted.
All-in-all, a great holiday and we would recommend Butlins Bognor to anyone with children. We brought granny along, and even she enjoyed it!

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We were invited to stay on a 4 night break at Butlins Bognor Regis as part of our role as Butlins Ambassadors.  All opinions are our own.



Butlins Bognor Regis: Some Highlights

We’ve been back from our Butlins break for a few days now, and there’s so much to write about that I’m having trouble knowing where to begin.  So I thought I’d start with some highlights of our holiday.

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The highlight of Monday was definitely checking into the beautiful Wave hotel after a tiring day.  We liked the decor, our interconnecting rooms were large, clean and comfortable and the children loved their mini ocean-themed rooms with bunk beds and TVs.  They wanted to watch a DVD straight away which gave me time to test our bed.  It was so comfortable that I nearly didn’t get up again, and when I finally went to bed that night I had the best sleep I’ve had in ages.

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On Tuesday we decided to explore the local area, and we had a brilliant day out at Fishbourne Roman Palace which is only a 20 minute drive from Butlins.  This was the highlight of the holiday for me and we will definitely be going back there soon.

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Wednesday was a difficult day as Rabbit wasn’t well, so we (Paul, mum and I) took turns looking after her while the others entertained the boys.  Luckily there is plenty to do on site, so the boys had a good day.  The combination of soft play, shows, the fairground, swimming and the games port at the hotel kept them very busy and happy.  Our highlight of the day was a fantastic evening meal at Turner’s restaurant, which Paul and I were able to enjoy with the boys as mum kindly offered to look after Rabbit.  I will review all the restaurants we tried in a separate post, but we were really impressed by Turner’s in particular.

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On Thursday we spent the morning on the beach which is right outside the day entrance to Butlins, and we had a lovely time.  It was nice to see Rabbit enjoying herself – though still unwell, she was a bit better than she had been the day before, and was able to have some fun in the sea before getting tired and needing to rest again.

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On Friday, the children were sad to be leaving Butlins but we had planned a detour on the way home to cheer them up.  We met with our friends from 3 Kids and a Gluestick and had a brilliant afternoon at Littlehampton beach, which is also only 20 minutes away from Butlins by car.  Rabbit was quite a lot better by then, so she was able to enjoy herself with her friends and swim in the sea which helped to make up for having missed the chance to go swimming at Butlins.  We had a really good holiday and we have promised the children we will be going back to Bognor Regis as soon as we can.  I never thought we would persuade them that another Butlins could be as good as Minehead, but now it looks like they are expecting to go to both every year.  Perhaps we’d better not let them discover Skegness just yet!

We were invited to stay on a 4 night break at Butlins Bognor Regis as part of my role as a Butlins Ambassador.  All opinions are my own.


Spring Harvest 2014

I know it’s not Spring anymore and this post is so overdue, but I have been looking back over the past few months and there are a few things that I really wish I had recorded on here.  I can’t catch up with all of them, but our annual trip to Butlins in Minehead for Spring Harvest is an important part of our year, and it would be strange to have nothing written about it.

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After a long journey down the children were very excited to catch a glimpse of the Skyline as we approached Minehead, and as soon as we arrived they headed straight for the Soft Play.  We had lunch and then registered for the children’s groups, and after that it was time to settle in to our chalet.  That was the bit I was excited about, and I managed to get one photo of our bedroom looking lovely, but the children left a trail of destruction everywhere else before I could record how nice it looked when we entered!

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One of the highlights of our holiday was the All Age Worship led by Big Ministries who are brilliant, and the children had a lot of fun.  It was a great combination of singing, stories, puppets, messy crafts and dancing with ribbons!  Somehow that makes it sound really busy, but in fact it was a very restful and relaxing end to the day.

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My favourite afternoon of the holiday was when Rabbit and I went in to Minehead with our lovely friend Sarah.  You can see from the pictures that Rabbit loved all the attention and had a really wonderful time, so that made me very happy.

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There are not many things that Rabbit likes more than ice-cream, but cuddles would probably come just a little bit higher on the list!  Or maybe not… but anyway, having both is definitely her idea of happiness.

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On the way back, when Rabbit realised that I was taking pictures of her from behind she insisted on leaning her head backwards so I could take a picture of her face upside down.  Funny girl!

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On the last afternoon of the holiday, we managed to fit in a bit of time at the beach.

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It was a little stressful getting everyone together and down to the beach, but once we were there all the children were happily occupied and I was able to have a moment to myself to remember Freddie and Matilda Mae who were very much on my mind that week.

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Playing with sand is so relaxing and we would all like to have stayed longer, but we had booked a table at the Firehouse Grill restaurant in Butlins to celebrate Tiddler’s birthday with our friends.  It’s a really good restaurant and we have eaten there every time we have been to Butlins in recent years.

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We ate early and the food was served quickly so we were able to make it just in time for the All Age Worship again in the evening.

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After that, while the older children were at their evening activities and Tiddler was getting ready for bed, I spent a bit of time with Rabbit in one of the outdoor play areas.

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We had a really good time and on the last day the children really didn’t want to leave.  While the older ones were in their final group sessions, Tiddler sat and waited patiently for the soft play area to open!  He spent the rest of the morning there, and when the older ones came back they had to have one last go too.  We all left with some very happy memories and are already planning our next visit in 2015!

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

A White Christmas at Butlins

We’re spending Christmas with my family this year, and I’m looking forward to it.  My brother and his wife will be over from Australia, which makes it a special one, and some friends from way back when will be joining us with their toddler.  With such a lovely crowd, I’m sure it will be a good one, but I must admit that some years we feel tempted to get away from it all and go on holiday for Christmas instead.

I’ve just found out that Butlins stays open over Christmas and New Year, which I didn’t realise before, so I’ve been fantasy planning for future years!  I was pleasantly surprised that it’s cheaper than I thought it would be – Christmas themed breaks start from only £41 per person, for a 3 night break.

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Since the weather turned colder, our children have been asking me to check the forecast every day to see if it is going to snow, and of course they are dreaming of a white Christmas.  At Butlins this year, it’s guaranteed!  In each of the resorts, there will be a magical Snowstorm show that takes place in the Skyline Pavilion.

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There are Christmas themed short breaks at all three Butlins resorts, at Bognor Regis, Minehead and Skegness, from 13th December.  There are a lot of fun activities included in the price of the break.  As well as the Skyline Snowstorm, there’s  a Winter Wonderland – where every child will get a free gift from Father Christmas, an Ice Rink, Christmas themed arts and crafts, and a traditional family pantomime.  If you are staying over Christmas Day, you will be treated to a 5 course Christmas dinner, so you won’t have to worry about cooking or washing up!

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There will also be live entertainment from children’s TV characters like Mike the Knight or Angelina Ballerina, and there are so many things for kids to do around the resorts, the only problem might be fitting everything in!  The indoor sub-tropical Splash Waterworld is always popular with our children, and there are traditional fairground rides too.

If you are visiting over New Year, your break will include a New Year’s Eve party for the whole family, with a spectacular fireworks display, and live entertainment throughout your stay.

You can book online or call 0845 070 4730.  All breaks are priced per person and subject to availability.

I love the idea of a family holiday at Christmas, and if it fits in with the plans of our extended family, we would definitely consider it in future years.


We are Butlins Ambassadors for 2013 and 2014.  Although we won’t be there at Christmas this year, we are looking forward to visiting both Minehead and Bognor Regis in 2014.