With a lot of people turning to ‘staycations’ this year, many have flocked to a once very traditional British break – Butlins.

With some not fond of what is arguably the nation’s most famous holiday camp weekend, a review seemed necessary.

LincolnshireLive’s editor, Natalie Fahy, went for a long weekend in Skegness and discovered she loved it much more than expected.

Read more Coventry news here

This was her review of her time there.

“I will admit I may have said in the past, ‘Butlin’s is not for me, it’s too noisy and and full of ‘Hi De Hi’ Red Coats.’

“I am that person who likes going on holiday in the rain to Scotland, far away from other people – I’m not a sun worshipper and love a windy hike (I’m nice really…)

“But over the years I’ve worked at Nottinghamshire Live, becoming editor in 2020 and later that year also taking over the editorship at Lincolnshire and Derbyshire Live I’ve noticed something. Everyone else LOVES Butlin’s. Our readers love it, people who work with me love it, families at my kids’ school love it. So maybe I was wrong?

“I decided the only way to the truth of the matter was to experience a Butlin’s holiday myself, and of course we would have to go to Skegness, a mercifully short journey for me, my partner and my two boys, who are five and nine.

“A holiday to Butlin’s needs prep. I’ve discovered – as most of you probably know – that if you want to make the most of your time there you’ve got to get booking things. Dining options come first. We were on Premium Dining, but you can cook in your accommodation if the facilities allow and you prefer.

“Then you’ve got to book your shows and extra activities like archery, climbing wall, laser tag, high ropes. You can turn up to the pool, fairground and some other activities any time. You can download the Butlin’s app before arrival to make this all really easy.

“So, prep done, we piled into the car and endured an hour or so of ‘are we there yet?’ before arriving at check-in and being directed towards our accommodation.

“And that was when the action started – braving several plates of food at The Deck (eat as much as you can handle), and then onto Animal FX show in Studio 36. The kids loved the animatronic T-Rex and elephants, I enjoyed using the B-Serve app to have wine brought to the table. No mean feat with the huge size of the venue!

“I’ve seen some criticism of Studio 36 and yes it does look a bit like an exam hall with the lights up and no show on, but once the show is on, the lighting is right and the room is packed full of people dancing, you really couldn’t fault it.

“We stayed in a Seaside Apartment (more about that here) and our walk back that night was two minutes.

“Day two involved archery in the morning – separate sessions for the different ages – and a go on the climbing wall in the afternoon. My five-year-old decided to provide his own entertainment for the assembled crowd of parents by scaling the 11-metre high wall on his own on the first go. I definitely won’t be forgetting that experience.

“Walking around the resort you start to get the vibe of Butlin’s. It’s a bit like when you move from London to ‘the north’ and suddenly everyone says ‘Ey up’ on your morning walk. Staff, whether Red Coats or otherwise, were always making eye contact, smiling and talking to the kids. I can’t think of one time when someone didn’t go out of their way to interact with us and make us feel welcome.

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“Saturday night we were at the buffet again and then it was on to Cirque Du Hilarious, again in Studio 36. A sort of Chuckle Brothers meets Lee Evans, with a hefty dose of ‘only the adults will get this bit’, I can quite honestly say that I have never seen my kids laughing so much. One was on the floor at one point…

“Of course the ending of the show was perfectly timed to allow us to zip over to the fireworks just behind Studio 36 and what a display – I could feel the heat on my face.

“Onto Sunday and we had a bit more free time, spending the morning in the pool, whizzing around on rubber rings and round the rapids. The afternoon was spent in a traditional seaside manner, with ice cream from ‘Scoop’. This is no rip-off merchant – for three scoops of ice cream in two cones, with topping and sauce we paid just over £4.

“We sampled some of the fairground, but wanted to save some of it for the ‘scareground’ which started at 7pm each night. Welcome by friendly yet scary monsters, we entered the spooky graveyard and chatted to its inhabitants. All good fun and no-one was too scared to sleep!

“By Monday we were – I have to admit – exhausted, but in a good way, and also quite stuffed from all the eating. Always the sign of a good holiday I’d say.

“Our departure was marked by the five-year-old getting into the car, unzipping his pencil case and drawing a picture of himself “crying because I had to leave Butlin’s”.

“I think that means we’ll be coming back.”

What do you think of Butlins? Let us know in the comments!

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