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I have always loved Butlins as a child and now as an adult. Last year my partner and I decided to go away on an adult weekend due to the lack of kids ;-) and we hope to go back soon.
Whilst I know that Butlins is made for kids as a teacher I don't really like to go away and be surrounded by them. The adult party weekends (strictly over 18's) was perfect for me and this review will relate mainly to this weekend although I will also put in some experience from my weekend family break.
our arrival was handled brilliantly. We drove into the park and was instantly given a car pass, then met by a smiling redcoat who directed us to the check-in desk.
We were given keys, map and entertainment booklet. As we were staying in Silver self-catering accommodation we felt it would be tricky to take all of our luggage, food and drink to the apartment. We were given a special temporary pass so that we could off-load then drive to the main car park. We were given excellent directions and the general atmosphere was friendly and relaxed - Just what I needed after a tough day at work/university, after rowdy kids.
We were impressed with the names of the accommodation. It was fun to look out for names and I would guess that children learning to read would take great pleasure in finding their rooms. Unfortunately we entered the apartment and I felt very sick by the smell lingering in the rooms. It smelt severely of stale smoke and it felt unclean. The toilet needed to be cleaned before use and the floor was dusty and sticky in places.
Apart from this the rooms were everything we needed for a weekend. We had TV and a dining area. The rooms were of a good comfortable size and the apartment was close to the car park, clubs and ironically for a self catering village, the dining halls. (these were practically next door). We decided that as we would spend most of out time sight-seeing and in the bars the rooms were only to eat and sleep in.
On our first night we watched a show dedicated to the 60's, 70's,80's,90's and 00's 9the last 5 decades of music and events) the show was very professional, we thoroughly enjoyed it. This took place in centre stage and to be honest this was one of the best places I have seen. It was clean, very big and generally impressive.
After the show we went to Reds next door to see a Madonna Tribute. The show was good although Showmaddy Maddy and Badness (can you guess who yet?) were much better as a tribute band. Each night we attended we were given an excellent performance, always professional and at times better than some of the shows I would pay £28 to see. It is hard to believe that during the day these people are redcoats who are normal people.
Throughout the adult weekend we took part in club nights, drag queen shows and during the day we watched tribute bands. The general feel was quite young and was fun. The redcoats seemed very relaxed and laid back. They turned a blind eye to drunks hugging bob the builder and people being sick on the rides. I wasn't too pleased at some of the behaviour but we were warned prior to our visit that it would be a bit crazy! During the family weeks/weekends the kids can be seen boogying and dancing on the dance floor. I understand that whilst on holiday many parents want to sit back and ignore their kid's behaviour but some can become a little crazy and this ruins it for me. It doesn't take much for a child to wander off and get lost.
*~*~*THE VENUE*~*~* The venue is fantastic. I can remember going to Minehead as a child. It now has a complex under a huge marquee (The skyline). This has a stage where Bob the Builder usually 'chills', a huge arcade with slot machines, teddy grabbers and many more - the incentive being tickets to exchange later. I saw many children enjoying themselves in this area. The fairground is great - unfortunately one ride broke down - this one being the best of the weekend. It went upside down and obviously was a hit with many thrill seekers. The Bars were excellent - very clean and tidy. Reds was non-smoking and I liked this aspect due to being asthmatic.
During the adult weekends these areas can get a little crazy with adults flirting with bob the builder and drunks trying to fit in the postman pat ride. The arcades are empty and the bars full. A few people can be seen in fancy dress and the takeaways are packed full of people. The venue is basically like a high street at pub closing time ;-)
*~*~*THE REGION*~*~* Minehead is situated in West Somerset, a gorgeous quaint part of the South West. On a good day people can see Wales. The beach is clean and tidy. The shops are good for a small town. Restaurants are well priced and the local supermarket is 24hours - a necessity for all holiday makers. The region offers much for the tourist - West Somerset railway is a lovely old fashioned steam railway. The resort is also close to such places as Cheddar Gorge, Yeovil, Glastonbury and Bridgewater carnival. Somerset has a lot to offer. The resort is also close to Devon and Exmoor where hikers and walkers can enjoys a challenge.
On the adult weekends the town centre is full of hungover fairies prancing around with fluffy wands…that's just the men!
The local Tesco store becomes full of self-catering residents buying trolleys of alcohol and baskets full of junk food. The residents can easily be identified by the bright paper band round the wrist, least the supermarkets don't need to ask for ID the bands are proof enough especially with 'OVER 18 WEEKEND' all over!
*~*~*VALUE FOR MONEY*~*~*
The adult weekend seemed more expensive than the family weekend for alcohol. I am not sure whether this was clever pricing or not. During the family weekend slush puppies and soft drinks were on sale all over the venue but not during the adult weekend…Excuse being that adults will not be needing them. The bars were slightly overpriced with reef and VK ice being priced at £3.20 per bottle. Locally it is no more than £2.50 so this was disappointing.
Overall the value for money is superb for sweets and souvenirs. We played archery and had proper lessons which were very well organised - this was included in the price. The shows are so well organised that I would happily pay more to see them. I believe that overall offers fantastic value for money.
The adult weekend cost us £65 each and this included bed, breakfast and dinner in silver accommodation. When we went away as a family we paid about £9 for the accommodation through the Sun holidays offer. We had to buy entertainment passes on top at about £19-£25.
Next time we go we have booked bronze accommodation as we spent little time in the chalet last time. If I went away with a family or went self catering. I would spend a bit more but for the adult weekend we spent the whole time in the bar or restaurant. Prices vary depending on time of the year or group sizes. Visit www.butlins.co.uk for more information and up to date prices.
I have booked to go back in October with my fiancé. I really enjoy a weekend at Butlins and for the price I believe it is well worth it. I receive regular leaflets with details and offers and the prices are fab. If you are looking for a low budget, but fun holiday I would definitely recommend Butlins. The area is beautiful and the venue is situated on the beach, there is plenty to do in Somerset I doubt you would need to as there is plenty to do on site.