Butlins – Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it.

Butlins – Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it.

There is a pre conception when it comes to Butlins. A pre conceived idea. I would be lying if I said I don’t or well didn’t subscribe to it. Yet we are brought up not to judge a book by its cover, or to tarnish everyone with the same brush. So why doesn’t this principle apply to the family holiday resort made famous by Billy Butlin?

Having a severely disabled brother did mean I spent many a summer holiday in the UK, namely at Butlins, being only an hour and a half from my home town of Bristol. My point is I know first hand just how exciting going to Butlins is as a child. It is Mecca for kiddies. Don’t get me wrong as an adult I know the shine has worn off. Trust me I know. I would rather sit on Banana beach supping champers or a roof top bar in Dubai with a Caiprinhia in hand however my two year old would not. Neither would my one year old for that matter. Whilst we have taken them abroad and tried to maintain some kind of similarity to our former life, naturally we have had to accommodate and accommodate we have. Last week I took my two littlies, with Nanny Pat, my sister and two cousins to Costa Del Minehead, specifically Butlins.

I have said it before and I will say it again – it is not to be sniffed at. The accommodation on offer really is impressive. I know not every abode is, and you can, if you wish, opt of a room only. Being 7 of us however we didn’t. The newly refurbed Chalets are beyond impressive. The are bright modern, clean and spacious. We also chose to have our ‘food in’ which basically means you get breakfast and dinner – again not normally something we would choose but we were all about the easy life this holiday, neither me nor Nanny Pat were prepared to cook, wash and clean. I couldn’t really fault the food. There was plenty of variety and always a ‘freshly’ cooked option. Even better, someone cleared and washed our plates for us. Result.

Chalets at Butlins

All these commodities aside, beyond doubt the best thing about frequenting Butlins was the that there was something for everyone. Our age range was 1 – 72 (sorry Nanny Pat). My two year old was, without doubt, living the dream. We took her to Menorca just 6 weeks earlier and she was such a wuss. She wouldn’t go on any rides, hated it if you put the money in the ride that require a pound, or a euro to work, she was scared of everything. Now however she was a different child.

She displayed some quite unexpected bravery. She went on all the rides, searched my pockets and purse for a money to put in the machines and legged it to the nearest soft play. We did somewhat create a monster by coaxing her onto these rides as we couldn’t then get her off, not without a fight. She loved the parks, the slides climbing up on all adventure playgrounds. We took her swimming and she loved that too.

zara on obstacle course in the park

My little-ly wasn’t the only one who was entertained either. There was endless activities for the 8 year old and the 12 year old. There was a pop up rollar disco, which was the cause of a few bruises and plenty of entertainment for Nanny Pat and I as we watched the kids try, and fail to stay up right. There was a cinema, bowling, bikes and go carts to hire, rides, a massive inflatable dome like thing that everyone was climbing on. There really was loads of activities. Oh and bars for mum. Something for everyone.

Zara on plane ride


Toby in train ride with nanny pat

Zara in bike

Without doubt the thing that made this holiday was the enjoyment my little girl had. It made me want to take her back so she could of it all over again. It made me want to take my little boy again next year so he will able to have the holiday she had this year. It made me enjoy my holiday because she was having such a fabulous time. So for that I certainly will not be knocking Butlins.


What do you think? Have you been to Butlins? Did you enjoy it? Do you have a pre conceived idea of the holiday park? I would love to hear from you.

Diary of an imperfect mum
Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday


  1. August 18, 2016 / 3:52 pm

    I’ve not actually been to Butlins, I’ve been to a few haven parks though. I have always thought they are perfect for kids and clearly Zara thinks so! How brilliant that she was trying all those new things with such confidence. Gorgeous pictures, I’m glad you had a great time. #ablogginggoodtime

  2. August 18, 2016 / 5:21 pm

    Oh I have very happy memories of the few family holidays we had in Butlins. The entertainment was always brilliant. So glad you had the perfect family holiday. Thank you for linking up to #ablogginggoodtime ????

  3. August 19, 2016 / 10:00 am

    As a child I desperately wanted go to Butlins. My cousins went every year and I thought they were so lucky! My dad wouldn’t take us though. Now I have a husband who wont go. I still want to though! #ablogginggoodtime

  4. August 20, 2016 / 7:19 am

    I know what you mean about the preconceptions around Butlins. It did used to have a bit of a shabby reputation but we visited with a guest day pass a couple of months ago and we were really surprised at how much there was for the kids and how clean, friendly and impressive it all was. The free fun fair was a real winner as putting coins into rides on holiday can be like feeding strawberries to a donkey can’t it? 😉 Pleased you had such a great time. Lovely post xx #ablogginggoodtime

  5. August 20, 2016 / 10:15 pm

    Aw looks like you had a great time. Resorts such as Butlins are great for the little ones and I’ve been looking for something similar for next year. thanks so much for linking with #KCACOLS.

  6. August 20, 2016 / 10:16 pm

    I’ve not been to Butlins, I spent a lot of my childhood living abroad so any holidays in the UK were visiting family. JHogg and I have been discussing UK holidays for out family as Piglet grows though – Butlins etc do seem the sort of place kids could have so much fun! #kcacols

  7. August 21, 2016 / 7:14 am

    I think to children Butlins is super exciting! I’ve never stayed there myself but I dropped my daughter there for a netball tour and I was so impressed with the accommodation and she had a fantastic time! I also have friends who go there every year for a girly weekend – they love it! Maybe one year I’ll go – who knows – but I think you’re right, people have a preconceived idea which isn’t necessarily the right one! Glad you had fun lovely #KCACOLS

  8. August 21, 2016 / 8:03 am

    Never been to a Butlins but you’re definitely selling the idea to me. The fact that you can get your meals delivered – love it! And the way it caters for all ages and you can pack up the car with everything you need. Sounds like a great holiday #KCACOLS

  9. August 21, 2016 / 4:04 pm

    People definitely have set ideas about Butlins but we love it! We do the Christmas Fantasy at Minehead every year and honestly, we’d be going again this year if we weren’t getting married the weekend before Christmas! Butlins is great, we always go for the dining plan too :) great post. #KCACOLS

  10. August 21, 2016 / 5:32 pm

    Any holiday where the kids are well entertained makes life easier for the parents and therefore gets a massive thumbs up from me. The chalets look lovely #kcacols

  11. August 21, 2016 / 7:50 pm

    I completely agree when you say theres a pre-conception when you talk about Butlins to anyone however seeing everyones reviews and vlogs over the last few months, I would love to take Mia there as I think we would all really enjoy it! There seems to be something for everyone to do and plenty to keep everyones interested! Lovely photos! :)


  12. August 21, 2016 / 8:13 pm

    I have to say I totally agree. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it! We’ve stayed in static caravans in the UK and the kids clubs were such a hit. What toddler wouldn’t like to hug a giant rabbit! Glad you had such a great holiday #KCACOLS

  13. August 22, 2016 / 6:13 pm

    we had the same pre-conceptions of Haven tbh! I thought it would be rough and horrid and it wasn’t at all. You’ve even made me want to try butlins haha!! #KCACOLS

  14. August 22, 2016 / 6:34 pm

    That airplane ride looks fantastic! #KCACOLS

  15. August 22, 2016 / 6:47 pm

    I LOVE Butlins. We used to go every year as kids so I have some lovely memories of it. We went a couple of years ago for the first time as a family and had a great time, can’t wait to go again! x #KCACOLS

  16. August 22, 2016 / 9:18 pm

    I have fond memories of Butlins but haven’t been for years or with the kids! I guess they have to move with the times and must be doing something right to keep going! #KCACOLS

  17. August 23, 2016 / 5:45 am

    I have never been to Butlins. It’s probably something I’d enjoy, especially now I got a child of my own. We always used to have holidays away in Wales and the caravan parks had similar entertainment. I enjoyed it as a kid. #ablogginggoodtime

  18. August 23, 2016 / 9:10 pm

    We used to visit Butlins in Pwllheli every summer! They had a FAB swimming pool with all the slides and rapids as well. We also stayed at Butlins in Blackpool and it was great fun! I’d love to take my girls to Butlins when they’re a bit older #KCACOLS

  19. August 25, 2016 / 7:49 pm

    Sounds like you had a great time! It makes such a difference when the kids enjoy themselves doesn’t it! We’ve not been away anywhere this summer, but am quite tempted to look into Butlins for next year now! x #KCACOLS

  20. August 28, 2016 / 9:59 pm

    We are Butlins converts too! Two visits to Bognor and it always remains at the top of the list of my daughters favourite holidays. Which one did you go to – I ask because we saw a sign for Butlins on the way back from Cornwall just now (M5/M4) and hadn’t realised there was one there? We commented as much as we went by? We would certainly go back but somewhere other than Bognor as we know that one inside out now #KCACOLS

    • tammymum
      August 29, 2016 / 6:15 am

      We went to minehead Somerset. It’s my fav although oh only been to that and skeggy, haven’t tried bogner. I would definitely recommend giving Minehead a go though if you’re looking to try a different one xx