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Butlins should not be the 'butt' of stupid jokes

UNITED KINGDOM | Monday, 1 November 2010 | Views [797]

Butlins. The name brings smirks and giggles to the faces of many English friends. In fact I would go as far to say they may be mocking me for holidaying in Butlins.

As an Aussie I had no idea what Butlins was. Started in 1936 Butlins has been a holiday camp destination for the English, where adults could dance, children could be looked after in the creche. Stories of the 'Red Coats' staff and the 'Hi-de-Hi' greeting had been told to me from those who had been there and those who had were English. It really seems to be an institution! Nowadays Butlins has entertainment for all ages and I would totally recommend it to those who are looking for a family holiday.

We trooped down to the Minehead Butlins, located across the road from a peaceful beach. Checking into out simple accommodation was a breeze. Our accommodation consisted of a 3 bedroom, one bathroom, one kitchen and living room apartment. Simple fittings, simple furnishings, but for us (2 Adults, 3 boys aged 16, 12 and almost 5) totally adequate. There is however and better option in the form of the BlueSkies apartments that have been built by Butlins right across from the beach. I would totally recommend having a look at these if you are interested in heading to Butlins because they were nicely fitted out and a great view across the beach. We would definitely book this accommodation option for next time.

Food at Butlins was simple but plentiful fare. We purchased the catering for breakfast and dinner options. The food was mass produced, but the eating monsters that are the 3 boys managed to enjoy trying everything on the menu. There was at least 4 different main meal options per night, vegetables, fruit, deserts, non-alcoholic drinks, and at one stage the 12 years old thought he should try all the deserts available that night. Until he got told off by his Dad. Breakfast was all you could hope for, being hot full english, cereal, porridge, fruit etc. on the whole it was good, but I am amazed hot many hot chips the holiday makers were eating! Maybe I should not have been that surprised, seeing the enormous size of some of the patrons...whoah!

The activities were great, and for the most part included in the cost. Centreparcs tended to have many activities that were extra cost. We Enjoyed the indoor waterpark - it had 4 great slides, a lazy river and pools to enjoy. We played ping-pong, did archery, enjoyed the shows in the evening, the 12 year old played in the football competition everyday, the young one had rides in the Bob the Builder park, while the older boys had the bigger rides available to them...all at no extra cost. I can tell you the highlight for the boys was having to do homework every afternoon back at the apartment.

There were other activities that did incur costs, such as Go-Carts, arcade games and climbing activities, but our mob had plenty to do without paying for more.

Any extra costs we incurred were from purchasing alcohol from the numerous bars and pubs on site. Well we also purchased some food for lunch, drinks for the boys and had a Costa coffee at the onsite coffee shop.

Overall, it was a great family holiday camp. It never felt overly crowded, lots to do all the time (we barely scratched the surface when it comes to the plentiful live entertainment), lots to do for all ages (particularly tricky when you have such a big age gap like we did), staff were polite and price wise it was good value compared to other similar camps.

Don't let people mock you into not going. Butlins is cool, no matter what they say.

Tags: beach, butlins, children, enlgand, holiday camps, kids, minehead, teens, waterparks

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