Recent Posts

Easter at Butlin's Minehead | A Weekend Break with Unders 5s

Wednesday, 26 April 2017


This time last year, we had the most amazing Just for Tots break at Butlin's Bognor Regis. It's all Indiana has spoken about ever since, and she shouts "that's where we went!" every time an advert pops up for Butlin's.

You can imagine how excited she was then, when we told her we'd been spending our Easter weekend at Butlin's by the sea in Minehead! Although not a special Just for Tots break this time, we were all still just as excited.

Minehead is a lovely seaside town in the heart of Exmoor in Somerset. With a beautiful sandy beach right on the doorstep, and plenty of Butlin's fun inside the resort, it really is a fantastic break for all the family.

Arriving on site alongside 7000 other guests (Easter is clearly a VERY busy time to visit), we made our way to check-in. As we were staying in a West Lake's Chalet, we were directed to their dedicated check-in, where there was absolutely no queue at all.



I will be writing a separate post on our accommodation at a later date, with pleeeeenty of pictures to share. But we stayed in Edinburgh 34 - a lakeview chalet right at the back of the resort. The chalets are absolutely gorgeous, as is the whole of the West Lake's area, and we were very pleased with our stay. We were quite far from everything, but the walk was so pretty we didn't mind too much.

Entertainment

As we only had two full days of fun, we had to fit in a lot each day - a possible downside of a weekend break. There was still plenty on each day though, and there was SO much we didn't manage to do.




As it wasn't a Tots break, we also found there were more activities and entertainment catered to older children. This was understandable but still slightly disappointing, as our two (aged 3 and 20 months) did miss out on a few bits.

Activities for toddlers did include:

- Parent and toddler swim session
- Teletubbies, Mr Men, and Skyline Gang shows
- Billy and Bonnie
- Tots Disco
- Tots fairground and soft play
- Tots football (2 - 4 years)
- Puppet show
- Play areas

Of course there is still plenty they can join in with, as a lot of the ages are just guidelines. For example there was a drumming workshop which was advertised as 8+, but Indie was allowed to have a go as she could see over the drums.

Indiana at aged 3, was also able to go on nearly all of the funfair rides at Billy's Fairground, (the majority of the rides require your child to be at least 0.9 metres). This meant we spent the majority of our trip having fun at the fair... not that Jack and I were complaining!





I would 100% recommend downloading the Butlin's App during your stay. There is always so much going on making it so easy to miss something. It has a handy map of the resort so you can see where each activity / show is too, which we definitely needed!

Food and Drink

There are a number of places to eat during your stay, from fast food at Burger King to sit down restaurants and cafes. We had the Premium Dining Plan, which included our breakfast and evening meal at either The Deck or The Yacht Club.

We did find the food to be a little disappointing this visit, but that may have been down to the type of trip. The restaurants were VERY busy, and the queues at the live cooking stations were very long (especially in the evenings). Tables were very slow to be cleared too, so we often had plates all over the place.

The children's food choices were also a little poor and did get repetitive, which was a huge downside. Although they still had the children's cutlery and plates these weren't as nice as the ones at Bognor Regis, and the baby food on offer was behind the food stations instead of available to just grab too.



The food itself was tasty though, and always piping hot and fresh. There was a curry night one evening which was really tasty, and I don't have a bad word to say about the puddings! The joy of a buffet also meant we could keep offering the littles food, until we found something they would eat.

As our chalet was self catering we could have brought our own food for our stay. This would have been ideal for lunches, as the meal plan doesn't cover these. We ended up buying meal deals from the Cornish Pasty Shop most days, which was actually very reasonable priced (£3.95 for a children's lunch box which included a sandwich, packet of crisps, juice, and then either a jelly or fruit).

Drinks in the evenings were also very reasonably priced - although we didn't really have alcohol, so this could be a different story!

Extras

Although nearly everything is included in the break, there are some extras you can pay for separately. For us these really made the holiday that extra bit special. As we didn't leave the resort for day trips out, we also figured the money we spent was worth it.

With both littles now that little bit older, we decided to hire one of the famous peddle bikes this year. At £9 for 30 minutes (plus a £20 deposit) they aren't that cheap, but it was lots of fun. Don't be fooled though - these are a proper work out! We also managed to blow the tire on our first bike within 5 minutes. The staff were fab and brought us a new one really quickly, and let us start our 30 minutes over.


A little treat just for Indiana (although I know Parker would have loved it too), was a fairy princess makeover. Located just outside the Butlin's Store, the makeover package includes: hair, makeup / face paint, nails, a tutu, wings, crown, wand and allllll the glitter! 

It was on the pricier side at £20 (hence why only Indie was treated to it!), but I'd have paid so much more to see her amazed little face. She hasn't stopped talking about it since, and still dresses up as a fairy daily - although mummy isn't quite so good at hair.

The lovely lady who worked there was fantastic, and even managed to get shy Indiana chatting away. I'd definitely get yourself booked in though, as it was VERY popular when we visited.



Final Verdit

Looking back on our trip, all I can think is that 3 nights just wasn't enough. There is just so much to do and see at Butlin's - I'd honestly be amazed if you fit it all in. We wanted to swim again, go to the beach just outside the front gates, enjoy the arts and crafts activities.. but there simply wasn't time!

Visiting over the Easter break was a little crazy too. Yes there were lots of people, but it honestly never really felt that busy. The only place that didn't seem a little crazy was the pool (the queues were mad, and they had time limits in place). We were lucky that we could go to the parent swim, so we never actually experienced this ourselves though.


So would we visit Butlin's Minehead again?

100%

But I think we'd opt for a Tots break next time, just until our two are that little bit older. Although honestly, I'd go back tomorrow if I could!


We are Butlin's Ambassadors which means we received our stay and dining in exchange for our review and vlogs.  All opinions are honest and my own.

11 comments :

  1. I love the idea of a princess makeover and I'm glad she enjoyed it! I've never heard of Tots break, I think that's what we'd want. Looking forward to seeing the accommodation as that can really make or break a holiday.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh a princess makeover! That's way too adorable :3
    That sounds like a perfect place for a little family getaway :-)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Sounds like a lovely trip away, although the Tots one does sounds more suited. I love the photo of you guys on the peddle bike - such a cute family snap!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I like the idea of these holidays but we've never been on one as I prefer getting out and exploring the local area and am not sure how much offsite is usual (any ideas?)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There's actually quite a few things not too far away! Dunster Castle is literally down the road, and Minehead beach looked lovely. We went from Butlin's to Bath and Longleat too :) x

      Delete
  5. Everyone always raves about butlins and I never understood it until I had my girl last year! Thanks for sharing these wonderful photos!
    http://www.onesliceoflemon.com

    ReplyDelete
  6. S would absolutely love the princess make over! I need to get my but back to butlins because I haven't been since having children but I know my two would love it ox

    ReplyDelete
  7. Looks like fun - can't wait to see the chalet :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. I agree with much of what you've said. The food was a little disappointing in places and it's a shame the baby food is tucked behind the counter as having to wait to be served when you have a hungry tired baba isn't ideal! Although we experienced great service in terms of plate clearing etc so I guess they were just exceptionally busy that weekend! Lovely photos as usual xx

    ReplyDelete
  9. Oooh this looks great! I didn't know they do Tots-specific events although that ship has sailed I guess now that my eldest is in school. Looks like you had a lovely time. Congrats on the ambassadorship :) x

    ReplyDelete
  10. I have not been to butlins since I was a kid and it looks truly like a fun day out with the family.

    ReplyDelete

If you have any questions or enquiries email me at: emilyvaughanx@hotmail.com or tweet me at @emilyvaughanx