I was thrilled earlier this year to be chosen as a blog ambassador for Butlin’s. Butlin’s was where we went on holiday when I was small, and where we took the boys when they were four and six – that seems a long time ago now. As part of the Ambassador programme, we headed to Butlin’s Minehead for half term recently.
It was a boiling hot day when we set out for Minehead, and we took the scenic route there and back to avoid the traffic on the motorway as it was half term and a bank holiday Monday. The longer journey time – made longer by Si’s accidental detour on the way there, I might not have noticed if we hadn’t come across the same cross roads twice… – was worth it to not hit any traffic jams and for the gorgeous views.
Accommodation at Minehead
We stayed in a gold apartment, which meant we could park very close to our accommodation in the gold car park, and we had a separate check in office. It was therefore very quick to park up, check in and get to our accommodation. The gentleman that checked us in was really helpful and friendly.
I’ll be honest and say, that when I heard we had a gold apartment I had a teeny moment of disappointment, as a lot of the other bloggers had stayed in the hotel or the lakeside accommodation which looked stunning. I was however pleasantly surprised, our apartment was in a great position close to everything, and we had our own balcony.
It wasn’t as new and fancy as some of the other accommodation, but it had everything we needed in it, the balcony was great as we could open the big door when it was hot, and aside from an interior door that squeaked every time you touched it, making me wince for the people below us as we stayed up late, the apartment was lovely really.
Other than the really heavy squeaky fire door inside the apartment, the only other tiny niggle was the lack of plug sockets in our bedroom. The television in there was wired straight in to a socket that didn’t take plugs, so I couldn’t use my hair straighteners in front of the mirror, or plug our phones in over night in the room.
I was impressed however, that we had a safe inside the wardrobe, as having had a hotel room broken in to years ago else where, it was really reassuring to know that I could lock my expensive camera and the boys electronics away when we went out.
Premium dining at Butlin’s
We were booked in on the premium dining plan, meaning that we had the choice of two restaurants to eat in every day for breakfast and our evening meal. Either The Yacht Club or The Deck Restaurant, both had very similar menus but any different dishes were listed on a board as you walked in, which was handy and being right next door to each other you could actually take food from one to the other if you wished.
The food was fantastic, I really do recommend spending that little bit more for the premium dining. Every day there were new choices, and as it was buffet style – with different stations where they cooked you fresh dishes like burgers, pasta, pancakes and more – this meant that you could mix your plate a bit and have a little bit (or a lot) of what you fancied.
There was no limit on how much you could eat, hence why I have had to do a lot of running since we got home. I liked that not only was there a separate low down buffet area for children, but you were welcome to choose any of the adult dishes for children as well. The only thing they didn’t have much to my eldest’s disappointment was pizza, but there are places around the site and just outside in Minehead to buy pizza.
Entertainment wise, there was a lot to see and do whilst we were there. The only issue being, that as it was a school holiday break the place was absolutely packed and some nights we did have to abandon the idea of watching the entertainment as there weren’t any seats available. I swear some of the people there LOVED queuing so much they started doing it over an hour before the doors opened anywhere.
The poor quality of my photos are because I was having to use the zoom to show you anything, as most of the time we were very far back in the room anywhere we went even when we arrived just a few minutes after the doors had opened.
When we could get to see it though, the entertainment was very good. Vicky Jackson as Pink was very good, and we didn’t watch their whole show this time, but we have seen the SBX Champion show before and really recommend seeing them if you can. SBX do football skills, BMX stunts and more, perfect for tweens and teens.
There was loads on for younger children as well, Fireman Sam, puppet shows, Angelina Ballerina, Mike the Knight and more. With all this and the soft play area, Butlin’s really is perfect for younger children.
Don’t forget to collect your 2p coins before you go to Butlin’s, as there are two pence machines all over the place on site and in Minehead as well. The boys love two pence machines in arcades, so we always have a pot or two on the go collecting them for any holidays.
Diversity at Butlin’s
We were booked in for the boys to attend the Diversity dance workshop whilst we were there, since they aren’t really in to dancing themselves but love Diversity, we went along and just watched.
Diversity were brilliant with all the children at the workshop, really patient and they all genuinely seemed like lovely guys. The boys had their photo taken with them at the end and were a bit star struck at Ashley Banjo putting his hands on their shoulders during it. The workshop was well organised, and I liked that they let parents take photos at the end as well, rather than just insisting that you paid for the professional photo.
We watched Diversity perform that night, we queued for 40 minutes before as we knew from seeing the mile long queue for their earlier show, that it would be busy. Despite this we still ended up sitting so far back, that I didn’t even attempt to take photos. From talking to other Butlin’s ambassadors, I know that at the other sites they gave out tickets for Diversity to ensure only the correct safe number of people showed up.
I wish Minehead had done the same, as despite saying that people could only stand in the standing area at the back, we still had to ask several people to move, who arrived later and stood right in front of where we were sitting, so that the boys could still see Diversity. It was so busy I can understand why they tried it on, and the Butlin’s staff did move a few people.
Despite that though, their show more than made up for the few niggles, it was fantastic and they really got the crowd involved.
Our favourite night though, was when we went to one of the pubs on site, The Inn on the Green and watched the Redcoat Showcase with Natalie. This was one of the red coats singing various songs and she had such a lovely voice. The Inn on the Green was a much more chilled out place to spend the evening as well, it was quieter than the big entertainment places, ans whilst we were in there the boys could play outside with their new friends close by.
I wish we’d gone there more in the evenings and if we go back to Butlin’s again, I suspect we’ll be spending a lot of our nights there.
The boys loved their holiday at Butlin’s and we mostly enjoyed it, I think we would have enjoyed it a lot more if it hadn’t been so busy, as this did ruin the evenings a little for us at times. It was to be expected being school holidays though, and I would be willing to go again if we went with friends to enjoy the evenings with a bit more as well – in face we may be doing just this next year, hopefully in one of the lakeside chalets.
Our favourite bits were watching Diversity, Redcoat Natalie’s singing and oh most definitely the food. The boys loved the swimming pool, watching X-Men at the on site cinema, making new friends in the outside play areas and watching Diversity.
Minehead itself is lovely as well, and its great that Butlin’s is only two minutes walk away from the town and beach. Overall it was a fun family holiday and we are very grateful to Butlin’s for having us.
*we visited Butlin’s Minehead in return for an honest review, and that is what I have provided as always*