A few weeks before leaving the UK I had a very special farewell holiday with my family at Butlins Minehead Resort courtesy of Butlins Ambassador Programme. It didn’t quite begin as planned but once we arrived and the sun came out we had a great time.
Our party included myself and my 3 children (aged 8, 3 and 1), my brother, his partner and their twins (aged 1) and my dad, stepmum and one of her grandchildren (aged 7).
Our gold apartments were almost identical to the one we stayed in during our Christmas break , so I won’t repeat myself. I would however highlight a few things if you are taking toddlers. Firstly the doors are very heavy and sprung , my youngest children managed to avoid trapping limbs but I didn’t feel very relaxed. My crawling nephew who is into everything managed to pull a heater off the wall, knock the television over and get into every cupboard in the kitchen, so needless to say they didn’t spend a lot of time in the apartment. That said, with the true Butlin’s spirit at heart, you will get the most out of your break by getting out and out enjoying what it has to offer. My dad stayed in a silver apartment and was more than satisfied with the size and comfort.
The whole party were very impressed with the quality and choice of food, a difficult task to provide something to suit everyone in such a large party.
We were so lucky to have a day of glorious sunshine that we could spend in the outdoor pool, this was suitable for all ages and they all had a great time. The indoor pool was even more fun for the older children, though I didn’t get a chance to go on the slides this time as I had to stay in the shallow pool with the little ones. Getting 4 under 5’s ready for a swim was a bit of a military operation but they loved every minute.
The outdoor fairground was perfect for the 2 older children and the indoor playground in Bob the Builder’s yard was enjoyed as much by the younger ones. The twins were a little young so went for a walk instead but my 1 year old had a wonderful time . We spent a good few hours there, there were hardly any queues and as it was undercover it would have been fun in any weather.
Primarily the shows that we watched were in the Skyline Pavilion . This was an easy place to head to each evening. The children were happy watching shows, running around on the amusements or playing in the softplay and we could get a drink from the bar. My 3 year old was so excited when she met characters from the Skyline Gang. My youngest 2 avoided getting lost by wearing a wristband with my phone number on it provided by the red coats, a great idea for peace of mind in a busy venue. Our favourite show was ‘I Can Cook’. Katie was brilliant with the children and really energetic and engaging. There was lots of audience participation (arrive early for a good seat if your children would like to get up on stage) and we all got to taste the produce at the end. My 3 year old was excited to meet Katie and wanted to ask her if she could come to our house to cook with her.
In some ways it is difficult in a mixed aged party to get too involved in activities. Many would have been suitable for the under 5’s or for the older ones but not all together. The idea of this holiday was a final farewell before we head off to the states so we didn’t really want to split up.
There were quite a lot of paid activities, we chose a few , the children had donkey rides, my eldest climbed the climbing wall and the older girls went to the cinema with their nanny. We felt the cinema was a little expensive, costing around the £20 mark for 3 children and an adult. The cinema was almost empty and may have been busier if it had cost a few pounds each.
The highlight of the holiday for the littlest ones was meeting Billy Bear everyday at mealtimes. My one year old now calls all teddy bears Billy Bear.
With 4 children under 5 it wasn’t always the most relaxing holiday in the world, but the perfect way to involve all the family and say goodbye to the UK.
Thank you so much to everyone who made our year as a Butlin’s ambassador a wonderful experience and all the best to the current group of ambassadors. Perhaps we could bring Butlins to the US? Somehow I don’t think the Americans would get it.
This review is based on a term time 4 night break during June in a gold apartment with premium dining.