Back to Butlins

Butlins fair and skyline

Readers will know we have embarked on a few getaways this year. We have journeyed to Wales, Spain and Portugal thus far. Latest on our list was the one and only Butlins in sunny Minehead. Despite some of the more exotic destinations on our travel list, I must say this is one I was probably most excited about. We were invited to stay during ‘Tots Week’. A week with non stop activities aimed at the under 5s. So with the promise of endless fun and children’s entertainment I had visions of happy children making for happy parents. With excitement however comes great expectation so I was cautious to quell my excitement and keep some degree of level headed dread about the week. After all when did the new holiday #goals become kids rides, little tykes cars and Red Coats? It’s not like we were jetting off to sit cliff side in Santorini necking champagne.

That said, I have said it before and I will say it again, Butlins is not to be sniffed at. Don’t knock it until you have tried it. It is not the place you might remember or picture. Comments on my Facebook and Instagram posts throughout the week show that this pre conceived idea of Butlins remains strong.  People were genuinely surprised at the quality of our accommodation. At the picturesque setting and high standard finish. Once again we stayed in the new style chalets and I would challenge anyone to find fault with them. They are bright, spacious and tasteful. Importantly for us however was the outside space. We could open our patio on to a large grassy area and a pretty man made lake, adequately fenced I might add. The best bit about this, was allowing our children to run around outside. We had a beautifully sunny day and after a busy morning of keeping the children happy we decided an afternoon in the sun was in order.

Butlins West Lake Chalets accommodation

There we  sat, outside, playing skittles, cards, watching the children playing with their scooters and bikes as we enjoyed something cold and bubbly. We watched our children make friends with our neighbours, we made friends with our neighbours. It was a gorgeous day and we had achieved the goal happy children happy parents. It gave me a glimpse into my future, a bitter sweet glimpse. I saw the future where my children go off and play with friends, like minded beings of their age, preferring their company to mine. It was exciting yet terrifying. Over and above all though it was heartwarming to watch. My son, my once poorly boy was in and amongst it. Laughing, running and playing with the best of them. To see his enjoyment made me smile from the inside out.

Zara and Toby at Butlins

 

Champagne at Butlins

Zara and toby playing at Butlins

This wasn’t all he threw himself into. When we last visited Butlins some 9 months ago, he was still just a bum shuffler. He couldn’t walk and was left behind, often on Nanny Pat’s knee or watching from the pram as his sister ran off with her cousin onto the rides or the park. Now however he was a force to be reckoned with. He has found his feet and he ran from one activity to the next. He threw himself into everything, went ‘up in da kkky’ on the airplane ride and reached new heights as he climbed to the top of slides.

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This was my boy, my once poorly boy who was unable to breath or feed without assistance, who ‘failed to thrive’ or grow, who failed to meet milestones and who’s health and functionality was always tested and in question. He was well and truly thriving and loving every second of it. There was nothing he didn’t do and he followed his sister everywhere and on everything. I couldn’t be prouder of the children my babies are becoming.

I watched them freely mix the playdoh colours in the arts and crafts (no they’re not allowed to do that at home, yes really), dance at the tots disco, play in the parks, the little tykes towns, ride the train, play with the 2p machines and sit and read in the pop up library- it all gave me the warm fuzzies, because they did this together. They lapped up everything tots week had to offer as a twosome as brother and sister actually enjoying each others company and it made me smile from the inside out. It’s not just the little ones who can be entertained either. Yes we were here for tots week, but there is a great indoor pool that suits all ages, bowling alleys, go carts, high ropes, bars, pubs, restaurants  – you name it there is something for all ages.

Zara and Toby on little tykes toys

The best part though, my daughter, for now, remembers it. Every day since I have asked her what she would like to do today and everyday she has said ‘go boughtlins mummy?’ . The brummie in her is starting to show already. I said in my previous post that I spent many a summer holiday in Butlins and I knew just how exciting the prospect of a holiday there was to a child. I do believe it is already growing in my two year old. She already associates it with a place of fun, something to enjoy and look forward to. It makes me so happy to think that I (granted, with the help of this huge holiday park) am bringing this same level of excitement and pleasure to my daughter, that she too will have something that she is eager for and loves to do each year. That her and her brother will feel like the luckiest kids in the world counting down the days until they go ‘back to Butlins’. Yes I am speaking from experience here. I see now why my Nan did it, why every year she took me and at least 4 other grandchild along those windey roads to the Minehead coast, she did it for us.  I love her for it and I hope to do it for my children. I hope to give them the memories she and Butlins gave to me. Memories to hold and to treasure for a lifetime.

So once again, Billy, it has been a pleasure and we can’t wait to see you again soon.

Butlins - Just For Tots Week - All you need to know. We recently stayed at Butlins during 'Tots' week. Here is all you need to you know for the holiday aimed at under 5s.

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29 Comments

  1. May 9, 2017 / 7:54 pm

    This looks amazing! I haven’t been to Butlins since I was 15, and I was just visiting my boyfriend’s family who were on holiday there. I’ll tell you the story but not in public. I would LOVE to go on a family holiday there, it looks perfect!

  2. May 10, 2017 / 6:10 am

    That looks fantastic – I’ve never been but I can see the appeal of staying somewhere that is so kid-friendly. And it’s so great that your son was able to run around and really take in the whole experience – I can see why you were proud! #FamilyFun

  3. May 10, 2017 / 8:54 am

    We have never been to Butlins but the accommodation looks much newer and smarter than I imagined. It definitely looks fun for everyone! Its lovely to create happy family memories and as you say, somewhere that your kids look forward to each year. #FamilyFunLinky.

  4. May 10, 2017 / 9:04 am

    This looks amazing! I love a classic UK holiday. #familyfunlinky

  5. May 10, 2017 / 9:11 am

    Wow sounds a fab week and how lovely to be invited there! I’ve never been but it does sound like there’s a lot my toddler would like. Glad you all had a lovely time xx #FamilyFun

  6. May 10, 2017 / 9:31 am

    How lovely. Holidays are so worth it if the kids are happy. If the kids are not happy, no one is happy.
    #familyfun

  7. May 10, 2017 / 1:01 pm

    It looks a great place for family fun and a chance for everyone to chill out a bit #familyfun

  8. May 10, 2017 / 2:03 pm

    The kids look so happy in those little scooty cars!

    #familyfun

  9. May 10, 2017 / 3:24 pm

    Oh my word, how lucky with the weather were you? These photos are just stunning! Where can I book?! I’m so glad you had such a lovely time and, as you say, just such wonderful childhood memories you are making for your children. And, that, more than anything, is what childhood should be about xx #FamilyFun

  10. May 10, 2017 / 8:48 pm

    We haven’t been to Butlins or any other family based holiday as I’m always afraid it will be too child centred and I like seeing around a place, history, tourist attractions. Posts like this always make me question whether we should give them a try #familyfunlinky

  11. May 11, 2017 / 10:20 am

    I am ashamed to say we have never been to Butlins but we are dying to get there. This definitely makes me think we need to get there this year! Thanks for linking this up to #coolmumclub lovely xoxo

  12. May 11, 2017 / 11:38 am

    What a fab place to visit! It’s looks so tot friendly and relaxed. We have never been, but it is on our list of places to try. #ablogginggoodtime

  13. May 11, 2017 / 8:35 pm

    Ahhh this is much more than a review. I love the pics of the kids having fun together and loved your reflections on how your son has come on so much to be able to enjoy himself so much on this holiday. In terms of Butlins itself – I’m ashamed to say – I was maybe a little in the ‘sniffy’ brigade before seeing all your photos,posts etc but I am now very tempted to explore going ourselves! I’m so pleased you had fun Sarah. xx #familyfunlinky

  14. May 12, 2017 / 2:36 pm

    I’ve never been to Butlins and not really considered it at all but having a toddler now I can definitely see the appeal of having loads of facilities and activities all in one place aimed just at tots! #FamilyFunLinky

  15. May 12, 2017 / 7:12 pm

    I’ve never been to Butlins. Thank you for sharing your experience. #FamilyFun

  16. May 12, 2017 / 9:52 pm

    I would never have considered butlins for a holiday until I saw your pictures on instagram. I really want to take the kids sometime soon. #familyfun

  17. May 13, 2017 / 11:02 am

    Really good accommodation. I love my family UK holidays and try and have a couple of little breaks. This looks fab:)
    Mainy
    #familyfun

  18. May 14, 2017 / 8:23 am

    I have found memories of Butlins as a child! We recently did a week at a Haven site which I imagine to be similar. Those chalets look gorgeous and I’d definitely like to try Butlins. Thanks for joining #KCACOLS

  19. May 14, 2017 / 12:36 pm

    Aw we went the first week of May and loved it! My 4 year old has asked to go back for her birthday! haha! #KCACOLS

  20. May 14, 2017 / 7:59 pm

    Looks awesome. I haven’t been to a Butlins since I was a little kid. In Skegness I think it was. #kcacols

  21. May 15, 2017 / 11:22 am

    I have been following your adventures on Instagram and it looks like you had an amazing time and were also extremely lucky with the weather. I think Butlins has come a long way and apart from the grottier side of pissed up mums on some 80’s night, it sounds a great place to go! Thanks for linking for #marvmondays x

  22. May 15, 2017 / 4:09 pm

    We used to go to Minehead Butlins as kids and I have very happy memories of it. Plus Bognor and Barry Island. My parents weren’t really Butlins types but our grandparents used to take us and we had a whole lot of fun! #MarvMondays

  23. May 16, 2017 / 7:13 pm

    I’ve never been to a Butlins but it looks & sounds like proper wholesome fun! #familyfunlinky

  24. May 16, 2017 / 10:28 pm

    I loved following your Butlins adventures on insta! Looks like you had a really great time. Last time I went was when I was 8, I image it’s changed a bit since then! #ablogginggoodtime

  25. May 17, 2017 / 12:39 pm

    What a lovely post which really captures what Butlins is. On our first visit in 2011, I had all the preconceptions about Butlins but our family love it and go for at least one break a year. Our children will have the most amazing memories holidays of Butlins and to me the name just gives me the warm, fuzzies. We always go to one of the hotels at Bognor and they are top quality. Ours started visiting as toddlers and 6 years later there is always so much for them to do. Butlins is our happy, safe place.

  26. May 17, 2017 / 6:39 pm

    Awww so glad you had such a wonderful time – I am desperate to take Alyssa some time soon!
    Thanks for linking to #ablogginggoodtime Please join us next week too!

  27. May 20, 2017 / 7:54 pm

    I’m desperate to ty a just for tots week. And after already visiting Bognor a few times I’d love to try the new chalets at minehead. It’s just trying to fit it in this year. Lol.

    Glad to see you had a fab time.

    #KCACOLS

  28. May 25, 2017 / 7:49 pm

    Sounds like you had an amazing time! I think we went to Butlins when I was younger, but I don’t really remember. Reading this has made me really want to check it out though, it sounds like a fab holiday for families with young children. And how lovely that your son is doing so well and had such a fab time! x #KCACOLS

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