Saturday, 10 October 2015

Our Trip To Butlins Caravan Park

Butlins is somewhere I've always thought about going but somehow never quite around to, so when we were recently invited to try out a weeks stay at Butlins Caravan Park in Skegness of course we jumped at the chance!

Butlins Caravan Park is located directly across the road from the Butlins Skegness site, and it couldn't be more ideal for families looking for all the fun and excitement of a Butlins holiday with the added bonus of a peaceful retreat away from the hustle bustle at the end of the day.

We were given a Gold Plus caravan for the duration of our Monday-Friday stay which was perfectly timed alongside the Butlins main sites Just For Tots break which we were very excited about.

When we arrived we found the caravan spotlessly clean and all ready for us with beds made up. The caravan decor was light and airy, and there was plenty of free floor space for Tyne to run around - everything we needed was there, from towels to kitchen equipment such as bottle openers and ladles.

Our little welcome pack of tea and coffee there to greet us after a nightmare 10 hour journey from Devon during what was possibly the worst motorway journey I've ever encountered - boy were we ready for some relaxation and fun!

We headed straight over to get ourselves acquainted with the Butlins main site, there is an under road pass through you can use if going by foot but we chose to drive over as we knew that Tyne would most likely be sleepy when we left and as he no longer uses a pushchair he wouldn't want to walk home when sleepy.

Butlins itself was amazing! We spent a lot of time in the Skyline Pavillion as it really did feel like they had everything under one roof - there was the main Skyline stage where shows and character meet & greets took place, the Center Stage bar and show area for larger shows in the evenings, a fantastic Little Tikes play town full of Little Tikes cars and bikes, play houses and slides etc which Tyne absolutely adored and used multiple times every day that we were there.

Arcades in skegness

Arcades in skegness

Arcades in skegness

There was also an arcade, lots of rides, a bar for the grown ups where a singer performed live each evening, a cinema which screened some Toddler classics throughout our stay and was free to use, a convenience store, a sandwhich/coffee shop, a fish & chip shop, a toy store, a sweet shop and a burger king.

Away from the Pavillion there was so much more on site too, in fact the options were almost endless.

There was kickabout quay for football related games, a little photo beach area, lots of free play space, a childrens fair ground and one specifically for tots, a soft play area, a larger arcade, another convenience store, Little Stars studios where various groups and classes took place, the nursery area where activities such as Messy Play and Toddler Town were held, and of course the fantastic Splash Waterworld pool area.

There were also lots of restaurants on site, offering plenty of choice, and an ice cream parlour too!

The best part of the Just For Tots break for us was all of the character shows and meet & greet opportunities - Tyne absolutely loves the chance to meet giant mascots of his favourite characters, and on holiday he gets so excited about the holiday camp mascots so even though he hadn't heard of Billy & Bonnie Bear before (Butlins own mascots) he was bubbling with excitement to meet them on the first evening and didn't stop talking about them all week long!

While we were there he also had the chance to meet: Bob the builder along with Wendy & Spud, Barney the dinosaur, Mike The Knight and Evie, Scooby Doo, Fireman Sam and even his favourite character from the show Naughty Norman!, Pingu, Angelina Ballerina and - best of all - his favourite Thomas The Tank Engine and the Fat Controller!

When I first read the characters involved on the Just For Tots break I was bowled over by the amount of them, and assumed it would just be 1 or 2 of them there for each break - I couldn't believe it was actually all of them and that the children had numerous chances to meet them throughout the week!

The characters also performed in some great shows - the Thomas show and Scooby Doo show were Tyne's favourites but he really enjoyed watching them all, and loved the interaction with the fabulous redcoats.

Aside from the shows and meet & greets, Tyne also loved joining in with the activities - the Little Tikes Town and Toddler Town were firm favourites, and he also loved the Tots Disco at 6pm each evening - he also joined in with some of the structured activities including the Playdoh session which he absolutely adored, the arts & crafts session where he made a Halloween bat, and Soccer Tots - he'd never done anything like Soccer Tots before but he had an absolute ball (pardon the pun!) and it's really made me think about signing him up to something like that at home.

All of the shows, meet & greets, and activities we took part in were included in the price of the break - I assumed we would need to pay extra for the arts & crafts or soccer tots sessions, but we didnt which I think is really amazing.

We spent one of the days visiting the Tots fairground which Tyne loved - the main fairground was fun but some of the rides were for older children so I loved the addition of the Tots fairgrounds which had rides like the airplanes, teacups, and ladybirds which were all perfect for little ones - again everything was included in the price of the break, no need to pay for the rides!!

On our last full day we went along to Splash Waterworld, we'd read fabulous reviews on it with TripAdvisor so were looking forward to checking it out and we weren't disappointed.

Even the changing rooms were fun and funky with disco lights in the showers! The pool itself was split into 3 sections - one for the grown ups and older children which looked lovely, one area with a really cool little lit up cave that Tyne loved and a lazy river (which is always something I look out for, I love them!) and a toddler area with slides especially for little ones - Tyne LOVED them and we couldn't get him away from them for at least an hour, just going on again and again - he had a brilliant time.

On one of our days we took a trip into Skegness to check out the local area but it did seem like a lot of things were closed due to it being out of season, it was nice to have a look around though. If you're looking for caravan holidays in Skegness I would absolutely consider Butlins as it's such a short distance from the town centre itself and has great public transport links too.

Skegness town center

Aside from all of the fun activities at Butlins, Tyne also just loved hanging out in the caravan - he spent his mornings colouring in, lounging around watching dvds, playing with his playdoh and the toys he brought along, and just generally having fun - he's asked at least seven times since we got home if we can go "Back to the campervan again" so it's safe to say it was a hit with him!

I loved how comfortable our beds were, how quiet the caravan park was and that we didn't hear a peep out of any neighbours throughout the stay. It was also such a blessing to be able to self cater too!

We all had such a fantastic time at Butlins, but we all commented that we were so glad after our busy days on the site to get away from it all - away from the busy main site and across to the nice peaceful caravan park.

We would absolutely go back to Butlins for a Just For Tots break again, and I would 100% book into the caravan park rather than the main site- it really did offer the best of both worlds!

To find out more about holidays with Butlins Caravan Park, please click HERE

If you'd like to check out our little video of our stay at Butlins, take a look below:

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