A Butlins Family Selfie :)

family selfie

 

I absolutely love this photo! It was taken last week at Butlins by Teen (here on the left) for a group selfie!!

The reason I love it is obviously because I have all my children together. I never, ever get a photo of my kids all together because, well, Teen doesn’t want to pose of course! Not that I blame him, it IS slightly awkward when someone wants to take your picture, how to stand, how to smile etc! Younger kids don’t care, they’re usually happy to oblige, and Teen is happy doing his own selfies to post on his countless social media channels but to pose for me? No way, absolutely not!!

We were sitting having some refreshments in the little coffee shop within the Wave Hotel where we were staying at Butlins. I’d had a coffee and we were all chilling out on the large comfy seats! The twins were cuddling up to me so I grabbed my phone hoping to get a snap of me with them. Teen was in happy spirits and jumped in, took the phone to take the shot and my daughter jumped in too!!

Very spontaneous but then the best things usually are aren’t they?

I love all my children so so much and even though it’s not the most flattering photo of me…. I could just look at this photo all day long, staring at my beautiful babies! We had such a lovely time at Butlins and this photo for me sums it up. Happy faces, happy times 🙂

 photo AMBASSADORSLOGO2013_LARGE_zps7b9f5756.jpg

                                                     

Butlins Bognor on the Beach!

This week we’ve been staying at Butlins down in Bognor Regis on the South Coast, as part of our Ambassador programme and we’ve been having a blast! The weather hasn’t been great considering it’s the May half term and the reason I left taking our 5 day break until now was to catch some better weather. Oh well, this is the UK and of course, as we know all too well…. the weather is always a risky business when ever we go!

But it wasn’t freezing cold, and it only rained on the very first day… so on the second we ventured to the beach.

I love the seaside and it’s absolutely brilliant that all three Butlins resorts are situated on the beach, it’s great to be able to walk out of the resort at Bognor and literally step on to it. When we’re away in the UK I think it’s important to be able to take the kids to a beach, we live pretty close to London so the beach isn’t something we get to see on a regular basis and as a child my most vivid happy memories are of little holidays at the seaside, or day trips even, there’s something very magical about it!

The beach at Bognor is very quiet and pretty. It was stony but when the tide was out it presented us with a gloriously soft and gooey sand that was easy to walk along bare foot, we took off our shoes and socks and got stuck right in!! There was hardly anyone around which made us feel like the beach belonged to us!

Bognor Regis beach We spent most of the afternoon here at the beach on this occasion, paddling in the sea, writing our names in the sand, climbing on the rocks and looking for crabs. There is so much for the children to wonder at, it’s surprising how fascinating seaweed is, no matter how many times they’ve seen it! You can also see how close the beach is to Butlins in the above photo… the Butlins Skyline tent is right there over the road!! Bognor regis beach

We were lucky enough to see the sunshine on Thursday so we made the very short walk out of the resort and over to the beach again for some more seaside fun! What’s great about having the beach right there practically on resort is that you really don’t need to carry tons of paraphernalia with you! If you forget or need anything, well it’s a two second walk back to your room to get it!!

Bognor  regis butlins beach Butlins bognor beach

When visiting Butlins, because there is literally so much going on, every second of the day, which is brilliant, it’s easy to forget there is a world outside the resort and if you’re lucky enough to visit Butlins in Bognor one day, try to make time for a little visit to the beach… it’s gorgeous 🙂

 

 photo AMBASSADORSLOGO2013_LARGE_zps7b9f5756.jpg

Butlins – Changing Perceptions

Butlins skegness

 My twins doing the obligatory Butlins photo shoot 🙂

I’m sure you are all well aware by now, if not by the gorgeous shiny red badge that has been displayed proudly in the sidebar of my blog for some months now, then maybe by the post I wrote ages ago informing you all that this year I was chosen, along with some other families, to become a Butlins Ambassador for the year 2013/14. Which basically means I get to experience an all expenses paid for Butlins break/holiday with my family and then to come back and give my very honest opinion about it, things we like, things we don’t like etc.

Right now I’m smack bang in the middle of my break at Butlins Bognor Regis. Butlins have three resorts in the UK – Bognor, Minehead and Skegness! Bognor is probably the closest to us in Hertfordshire and down on the South Coast which is a beautiful part of the Country, hence why we chose this particular resort for our little break. We are enjoying our time here and that’s the reason I haven’t blogged this week….. we’ve been far too busy having fun!

I will however be writing up some review posts in the next week or so but first I wanted to talk about Butlins in general.

A couple of weeks ago, as part of my Butlins Ambassador programme, we (my fellow ambassadors and I)  had a meeting with the Butlins team at their Skegness resort. There were a lot of Ambassadors that couldn’t make it due to other commitments but I was determined to be there no matter what, even though Skegness is a long, three hour drive from where we live. Just having a handful of us at the meeting meant we got to know each other a bit better which was nice!

What was great about this meeting was that I was able to take my family with me. Not to the meeting itself, but to enjoy a weekend of fun at the resort, experience and enjoy all the facilities and get to know Butlins before we took our proper break, and it was good to be able to see two resorts in my year as Ambassador and maybe compare the two!

Now, I have never been to Butlins before so I honestly didn’t know what to expect. I’d heard great things to be fair, by friends that have been in recent years, but I also carried a little scepticism with me…. visions of tackiness and loud scary families blighted my expectations a little! I was worried that I wouldn’t like it. I’ve been on British holidays before, to ‘child friendly’ resorts and I haven’t enjoyed them. Not really. Yes, they’re ok for kids and granted I probably haven’t stayed at the right places but my experience so far is of cramped accommodation, facilities not up to scratch, dire food and second rate entertainment.

No so at Butlins! I honestly and truly say I had no need to worry. Butlins is definitely up to scratch!

Skegness is all about self catering. We were staying in the Gold Apartments. There are Gold, Silver and Bronze types of apartments, depending on requirements and of course, budget. There is no real difference in the standard, just a few little extras in the higher ranking apartments like hairdryers, fresh towels daily etc, or distance from the main entertainment areas of the resort… obviously the closer you are, the busier and noisier it is. The Gold Apartments are situated the furthest away in the quiet area. If you prefer, and you don’t want to pay too much, they also do ‘Rooms’ which are still very comfortable and are very similar to those you’d find in a nice hotel. And not forgetting the adjacent caravan park if the traditional holiday park is what you’re after 🙂

I cannot tell you how surprised I was when I stepped foot in our apartment. It was lovely. It felt very home from home, it was spacious, the decor was up to date, fresh and clean looking, the three bedrooms were all decent sizes and it was very well kept. Yes I was very happy and the kids loved it!! I didn’t manage to take any photo’s of the apartment before we messed it up (hehe) but you can check out the Gold Apartments here.

The restaurants on site were all very good and varied, the entertainment for the children was constant and top drawer, I was surprised by the extent of what was on offer actually, shows and activities on all day long.

Butlins kept on surprising me if I’m honest. And that’s exactly how I wanted to feel. I wanted to feel bowled over by Butlins, I wanted it to dispel any negative preconceptions I held and to prove to me that it wasn’t a tacky, past it,  British holiday destination that a lot of families still believe it to be.  And I’m so happy it did just that. Butlins wants YOU to feel like that too.

Butlins is changing. It is developing and evolving, but still doing what it does best and that is providing safe, quality entertainment for all the family along with ensuring everyone has a comfortable, fantastic time and break from the norm. I think it’s well on it’s way to becoming the top choice for not some but ALL parents for a UK break.

At our meeting we discussed many aspects of the resorts, the Butlins team wanted lots of feedback from us Mums about what we really want from our family UK break. There were Ambassadors at the meeting that had already had their break so it was good for them to feed back on all the things they liked as well as things that they felt could be improved upon. We heard all about the exciting plans Butlins has in store for the future and the fabulous developments that are going to happen, which I can’t mention right now but they are super!

There is a stigma attached to Butlins. But gone are the days of the hi de hi campers two week summer holiday that parents of yester year would’ve undertaken back in the 60’s and 70’s. People today are more likely to want short breaks in the UK and then maybe take their main summer holiday abroad. Parents want to get away with their kids over the weekend or during half terms and school holidays, or mid-week if they have young children, where they can relax and unwind themselves and have their children thoroughly entertained.

The dining packages that Butlins offer are a great incentive in themselves as this ensures that Mum doesn’t have to do anything if she doesn’t want to… this appeals to me for sure and the two different pricing options suit most budgets. Of course you can self cater if you like OR you can eat as you go at one of the many restaurants. The on site Spa’s also provide some much needed ‘you’ time and there are countless amounts of organised kids activities for all ages. The many shows and big events for all the family to enjoy cannot be compared to anywhere else, they are utterly brilliant.

I think with the growing popularity of places like Center Parcs though, people have forgotten how good Butlins can be.

I’ve been to Centre Parcs and in all honesty I think Butlins is better for families. And I’m not just saying it, for very young children especially there is so much more on offer in terms of entertainment throughout the day. Everything is close by at Butlins and they seem to have thought of everything!

Here at Bognor we are staying in a very lovely hotel, there are three here to choose from so if it’s the thought of self catering accommodation that puts you off, then it doesn’t have to. This hotel has top notch facilities and all geared towards children. There’s even a huge games room where, whether we like it or not, kids love to play on the very many games consoles. I was blown away by this room actually, it was amazing!

And what about the beaches?!

Oh yes, this is one little trump card that Butlins has up it’s sleeve if everything else fails! All the Butlins resorts are situated at the seaside and for me, this sums up perfect memory making moments for kids as they are growing up. Spending time on the beach, paddling in the sea, whatever the weather (yes I mean it) is fun and magical for kids… it’s what THEY would choose I’m absolutely certain!

You really do get the best of everything here at Butins. For families it’s just a no brainer.

I want parents to look and look again at Butlins next time they are planning their next UK family break. I realise that a lot of Mums especially believe it to be unfashionable or a bit uncool, or that the type of person here at the Butlins resorts is not the type you want to be mixing with (I’m sorry but I know people that think this) but I can assure you that whilst, in some cases, you may have had this experience in the past, you are not likely to experience this now.

With the introduction of much higher standards of accommodation, facilities and high calibre of entertainment (the shows here have been compared to West End productions in terms of quality) I can absolutely and categorically declare that Butlins is ACE!

This year has definitely changed MY perception of Butlins and I’m sure if you were to take the plunge and give it a try it would change yours too.

This post is written as part of my Ambassador role for Butlins but they do NOT ask or tell me what to write. All words and views are my own.

 photo AMBASSADORSLOGO2013_LARGE_zps7b9f5756.jpg

What’s the Story?/Magic Moments – Butlins

Skegness Beach

This photo is of my gorgeous twin boys and was taken yesterday on Skegness beach at Butlins Resort.

At the end of the summer last year I was chosen (still can’t believe it) to be Butlins Ambassador for the year 2013/14.

This weekend was our first official ‘Ambassador’ meeting. It was rather delayed to be honest because the poor organiser, James, from the social media team at Butlins, couldn’t organise a date that all the Ambassadors could make, he tried quite a few! But I think in the end he was never going to please everyone so he just decided to pluck out a date and hope for the best!

I was able to make all the previous dates but this one clashed with the Tots100 blog summit (typical) which I’d been lucky enough to bag a ticket for! Aargh!!!! I now had a dilemma. I so wanted to go to blog summit, I went to Britmums last year and loved it and wanted to experience the Tots one as I know they’re lots of fun too. But I didn’t want to miss our Ambassador meeting!

In the end it all came down to a personal choice of what I felt was more important to me.

I was thrilled to be chosen as a Butlins Ambassador and I knew that I would make every effort to be at our first meeting. It was being held at one of their resorts, not the one we have chosen to review which was a real bonus as I would get to sample not one, but two resorts over my Ambassador year.

Skegness is a fair distance from us though, up on the East Coast of Lincolnshire, a three hour drive but being able to take my family for the weekend meant we could make the most of it and we did!

We had a great time. The resort was fab (I will be writing a separate post about our weekend later this week), the meeting was interesting, and I got to spend some quality time with my family at the seaside, which we was brilliant!

The kids loved it and I cannot wait to take our 5 day break at the end of next month down in Bognor Regis. 🙂

 

                                                     

Christmas with Butlins

There is something very magical about a white Christmas isn’t there? It’s that picture perfect moment to see the snow falling on Christmas day but unfortunately for most of us, this rarely happens.
But fear not, if you head down to one of the Butlins resorts this Christmas, you can be guaranteed to have one, kind of! All three fabulous resorts, Bognor Regis, Skegness and Minehead, will be hosting themed breaks from 13th December of this year and they look amazing!
In the Skyline Pavillions there will be an enchanting snowstorm to really get you into that Christmas spirit, the children are sure to be amazed!
I almost booked a break for my own family. I’ve never been away at Christmas and the thought of escaping without worrying about extended family, who’s household is cooking the dinner etc and all the other usual stresses that Christmas brings with it, it’s very tempting! But in the end we decided to stay home…. maybe next year!
The Christmas break promises to be everything you’d want for the perfect festive holiday… There will be a Winter Wonderland where every child will receive a free gift from Father Christmas, an Ice Rink, a traditional family Pantomime and themed arts and crafts.
Guests visiting on Christmas Day itself will be treated to a 5 course Christmas dinner, meaning that you won’t have to worry about all that Christmas food shopping, cooking OR washing up afterwards! Sounds like heaven to me 🙂

 

Families can also enjoy live entertainment from children’s favourite TV characters like Mike The Knight and Angelina Ballerina, or have fun in the indoor sub-tropical Splash Waterworld. The traditional fairground is always a big favourite too. Guests visiting over New Year will enjoy a New Years Eve party for the whole family, with a spectacular fireworks display, and live entertainment throughout the break.

Christmas themed breaks start from only £41 per person, for a 3 night break. Book online at www.butlins.com/Christmas or call 0845 070 4730. All breaks are priced per person and subject to availability. Entertainment may vary by break and resort and is subject to change.

 

I am very proud to be a Butlins Ambassador for the year 2013/14 and as such will share some exciting Butlins related news over the coming months! I have not been paid to write this post. 

 

I am a Butlin’s Ambassador!!

During the Summer of this year I found out that myself and my wonderful family had been chosen to be Butlins Ambassadors for the coming year 2013/2014!!

I was incredibly surprised it as I’d only been blogging a couple of months when I met the Butlins team at BritmumsLive in June. And even though I applied I didn’t think I stood a chance of being chosen, being up against all the amazing, well established other bloggers!

But obviously, myself and my little blog had made a good impression on the Butlins team, something I am immensely proud of.

Excited just doesn’t cover it…. my children are over the moon!

As an Ambassador for Butlins, I have been invited to take a break at one their fabulous resorts with my family, at a time that suits us, any time during the year, then come home and tell you all about it!

It’s a tough job I know but hey, someone’s got to do it 🙂

I will be taking my role as Ambassador very seriously indeed and that means when I go, I will be bombarding you with lots of Butlins related posts!!

Can’t wait!

%d bloggers like this: