Create fun family memories at Butlin’s Skegness – Scotland on Sunday Travel
Our children overheard us whispering about booking a hotel and thought we going on a surprise holiday to New York. It was, in fact, the original York we were heading to and they were sorely disappointed when they realised that ‘old York’ has no skyscrapers but beautiful historical cobbled lanes and a majestic Minster instead. But they soon perked up when they realised that York was a mere stop-over on the way to somewhere far more exciting (especially when you are nine and seven years old) – Butlin’s! In fact, Reuben and Sarah were beside themselves with excitement when we told them that we were going to Butlin’s in Skegness for a whole week. Full disclosure; we have been to Butlin’s resorts before so we knew what we were letting ourselves in for. We had very high expectations of being thoroughly entertained and well-fed, without any cares or stress.
On arrival at the resort, check-in was a simple and quick drive-through process and we were soon exploring our home for the week, a beautifully decorated two-bedroom ‘seaside apartment’, close to the heart of the action. It even had a built-in ramp for my wife’s wheelchair. Butlin’s really does cater for all, including those with mobility issues. Everywhere in the resort was accessible and the world famous Butlin’s Red Coats and support staff are always keen to help make your stay perfect.
The resort is HUGE and we spent our first afternoon exploring and getting our bearings. Upon discovering the latest addition to Butlin’s Skegness, our children disappeared, shrieking in delight into the new £2.5m SKYPARK interactive play park. Not only is it a feast for the senses, with its six zones that celebrate positive play emotions (joy, calm, excitement, happiness, surprise and curiosity), but it’s ingeniously engineered to challenge young minds and bodies of all abilities. Reuben couldn’t get enough of a digitally interactive game which can only be described as a massive version of the classic 1980’s electronic game ‘Simon’. We watched him and newly made team-mates sprint around a circle of pillars with digital displays, trying to keep up with their corresponding colours. There are multiple game modes and it entertained groups of children for hours. Sarah preferred the more classic apparatus including the swings and trampolines, both of which have wheelchair accessible options.
My wife believes that it’s not a proper holiday if we have to cook, so we opted for the premium dining package, which includes unlimited breakfast and dinner buffets in a choice of two on-site restaurants. As well as a vast selection of hot and cold choices, there are live cooking stations, with the menu changing daily. Needless to say we all ate like kings and even the fussiest of our children had a full belly after every meal. There are also a number of other pubs, restaurants and cafes to suit all tastes and budgets in the resort. Butlin’s have a very handy app for ordering and paying for food and drinks in most of its venues, making it extremely easy to order anything you fancy without getting up from your seat. This is particularly useful during the entertainment shows so you don’t miss a single gag, song or stunt.
One of the things Butlin’s does so well is cater to so many different tastes and budgets. From self-catering to premium dining, from all the included activities such as the Splash World water park, shows and funfair to the added extras like adventure golf, archery and T-shirt design, you can really tailor your holiday to suit you. Butlin’s entertainment is legendary and it never fails to disappoint. For the youngest of guests there are daytime puppet and character shows and tots discos. For everyone else there is an amazing selection of high-quality live entertainment including musicals, circus, dance acts, magic shows, and celebrity gigs. The highlight of my wife’s holiday (possibly year) was getting a hug and a peck on the cheek from STV’s Stephen Mulhern after his hilarious show ‘Spellbound’ which combined magic and his famous comedy with audience participation. My favourite was Electric City music and dance show and the kids loved the Masked Singer Live (we won’t give away which celebrities were behind the new characters’ masks!).
If you’re looking for a day out of the resort there’s plenty to do in the surrounding area. We ventured out along Skegness promenade and visited Natureland Seal Sanctuary and Skegness Aquarium. Both were well worth a visit and the beautifully designed pirate-themed aquarium has a new animatronic dinosaur park, which is a must for all dino fans. There was a children’s quiz to complete all around the aquarium that really entertained Reuben and Sarah and best of all there was real pirate treasure as a prize. For a complete change of pace and a bit of local history we took a ride on the Lincolnshire Coast Light Railway (LCLR). Pulled by a wonderfully preserved steam engine called ‘Jurassic’ we sat in a rustic open top carriage, which was originally used to transport Second World War soldiers, and felt the wind in our hair as we chugged past Skegness Aerodrome and the along the pretty Lincolnshire woods.
If you haven’t had enough of the fairground rides at Butlin’s, Fantasy Island theme park is only a five-minute drive away. We spent the day exploring the park which incorporates rides for all levels of thrill-seekers and scaredy-cats as well as Europe’s largest seven-day market. We made good use of our unlimited Discovery Wristbands and had a blast trying out the roller-coasters and indoor rides. None of us were brave enough to go on the Odessey coaster with its 124ft vertical loop though!
We all thoroughly enjoyed our holiday at Butlin’s Skegness, which masterfully marries the traditional with the ultra-modern and never fails to create wonderful family memories.
Butlin’s offer four-night Spooktober breaks on 16-20 October staying in a two bedroom Silver Room in Skegness from £140.Butlin’s offers a four-night showtime midweek break staying in a two bedroom Silver Room in Skegness from £49 on 29 January 2024.Price is based on a family of four sharing and includes live shows and activities. Dining packages start from £22.75 per adult, per day and £11.40 per child, per day.To find out more or to book go to butlins.com.
Natureland Seal Sanctuary