You know you’re onto a winner when less than an hour after being somewhere the kiddos ask if you can come back again next week. That was my five-year-old daughter after she’d come down the slide in the Splash Waterworld park at Butlin’s, Skegness, for the umpteenth time at the weekend.
I agreed without hesitation. And here’s why we’re all so keen to go back – Butlin’s has got it all. It doesn’t matter how old you are, or what you like to do when you’re on your hols, there’s everything for everyone here, all in one place.
I haven’t visited the Skegness resort since I was 12 – when I went on a school trip for a French day and if I’m perfectly honest I can’t really remember much about it. When we talked about going for a family day out I won’t deny we had a few reservations about it being a bit cheesy, or just like an old episode of Hi-De-Hi.
How wrong we were – it was absolutely fantastic from start to finish, and those other things I mentioned above, well they’re all just part and parcel of it’s charm!
Butlin’s IS the quintessential English holiday treat. We arrived just after 10am when it opens to day visitors and parked on the opposite side of the road, before taking the underpass to reach the resort. We were given a map and an itinerary of shows for the day ahead and it didn’t take us long to unanimously decide we’d hit Splash Waterworld first, before taking in the Mike the Knight and the Glendragon Anthem live show.
We had high hopes for the water park, which is one of the country’s largest, re-opening in 2013 having had £16m spent on it – and we weren’t disappointed.
Considering how busy they are, the changing rooms and shower areas are incredibly clean and tidy, while the pools themselves were fantastic. There are several different ones of varying depths, all of which were a perfect sub-tropical temperature.
Our little ones at three and five loved going down the slides in the smaller ones; sadly the queues for the bigger ones were rather long and they weren’t quite tall enough to go on some of the more adventurous ones like the 60ft high Vortex Fast Flume and Outdoor River Rapids, which impressively wind their way around the outside of the building like this –
But nevertheless they had great fun exploring the watery paradise including one pool with a cave-like grotto to swim through and another where jets of water shoot out from the side. It was an effort to tear them away after more than an hour of whizzing about in the water – but we had a hot date with Mike the Knight, who also proved to be a big hit.
Theatre and puppet shows are on at intervals throughout the day and lasting half an hour, Mike the Knight kept them well entertained with lots of songs and dancing to join in with. The show was on a stage in the distinctive looking Skyline Pavilion – a giant Tardis of a building which is home to shops, restaurants, amusements and loads more.
By the time it was over we’d all worked up quite an appetite, so decided it was time to find somewhere for lunch. Butlin’s Skegness has several great eateries to choose from including Firehouse, serving flaming great British Chicken, Rock & Sole Fish ‘N’ Chips, Burger King, an Italian Restaurant and the Sun & Moon pub, which is where we plumped for.
There was plenty of choice on the menu for grown-ups and children, including a Sunday carvery. The food was good and the service prompt. Having been told there was a half hour wait, our orders turned up within 15 minutes. Four clean plates later and we were refreshed and ready to see what else Butlin’s has to offer.
We knew there were fairground rides having spotted them from the roadside so we made a bee-line for the Little Stars Funfair. This is great little area dedicated to younger thrill-seekers and my pair had oodles of fun going on virtually everything – and all without having to wait as there were no queues! They enjoyed the rockets which zoomed them up into the sky, cars going round a track, chug-a-bugs and teacups the most.
They even tried out a couple of bigger rides over in the traditional fairground, which also featured a giant carousel, dodgems, Miami Wave and a few old-fashioned sideshows like hook-a-duck and a coconut shy, which could be played for an extra fee.
Once the rides ran out (or rather me and Yellowbelly Daddy ran out of steam) we decided to walk up to the top of the resort which has a gate onto the beach. Well you can’t visit the seaside without a paddle or stroll on the sand, can you?!
Before home-time we managed to sneak in an ice-cream, watched another puppet show and took a few snaps in the resort’s photo garden, which is home to a giant deck chair, Lilo, and buckets and spades.
Looking at the site map, there’s as much again that we didn’t get round to. As well as all the entertainments we tried, Butlin’s also has a cinema, bowling alley, football and beach volleyball courts, play parks a climbing wall, day spa, arcades and amusements, soft play area and more rides. Now you can see why we need to go back!
If you want a great family day out, then look no further than Butlin’s – you’ve got everything you’ll ever need – and possibly more – all in the one place.
It was ace.
We’ll definitely be making a return visit very soon!
Disclaimer – we were gifted entry to Butlin’s for the day courtesy of Visit East Lincolnshire in return for an honest review. All opinions and views expressed are our own. For more information, prices, what’s on and offers visit www.butlins.com