Forget day-spas. Forget personal shopping experiences. Forget makeover counters. If you want to feel like a supermodel – more attractive, thinner and more glamorous than anyone else in the area, I highly, highly recommend a visit to Butlins Skegness.
Originally we’d planned a cottage in Cornwall. This will be our last family holiday where we aren’t tied to school term-time dates (when prices become extortionate). We had already had one lovely abroad holiday this year, so a “staycation” it was… and a cottage in Cornwall sounded lovely and middle class. We’d go for walks through the countryside. We’d play board games. We’d have a day by the beach. It would be delightful.
Then we remembered none of us likes walking, EldestGirl has to win every board game, otherwise it’s Armageddon, and YoungestGirl likes to eat the dice. Also YoungestGirl has a pathological dislike of sand. Plus it would probably rain all week, and I wasn’t sure we could cope with all being in a cottage together with board games and no wifi and not ending up with a murder/suicide pact.
So, we ended up at Butlins on a Just for Tots week. With these special events, Butlins deters the hen parties and stag dos with an appearance from Mister Maker; TheBloke (TM) and I we thought at least if the kids were occupied during the day, in the evenings, we might sneak five minutes to ourselves to watch TV and think about what we’d actually done with our lives. But it was an unexpected bonus that I did feel like a supermodel the entire week.
I am not talking about people
like me who could probably stand to lose half a stone, or a stone, or even three stone, or have a wobbly tummy. I am not talking about one or two people – it was much, much harder to spot people who were a healthy weight, than those I would describe as obese. I decided I was letting the side down with my mere three puddings and went back for a fourth. To be fair, the food at Butlins in the Premium Dining was unexpectedly fantastic, so perhaps these people had just been staying there for a really, really, really long time.
I think I was also the only guest over the age of 12 without a tattoo.
So without even bothering to wear make-up, I felt incredibly glamorous all week. EldestGirl and YoungestGirl had a ball at the fairground, all of the various activities, watching the shows, doing crafts. EldestGirl adored the water-slides, strange little adrenaline junkie that she is. And we even all went to the beach, and, rather randomly all got completely covered in tiny spiders, who decided to make a nest in my changing bag. YoungestGirl even got over her sand phobia. Though she may now be arachnophobic.
TheBloke (TM) got to play in soft play too, which he pretends he hates, but secretly I think he loves it. I “accidentally” forgot my compulsory socks, so sadly I couldn’t get involved in that particular activity.
Would we go back? We were really lucky with the weather – warm but not too hot, and no rain. Our accommodation was at one far end of the resort, and it was a 15-20 minute walk to the other end of the resort, which is a lot for a four year-old, and would have been dreadful if the weather was inclement. I think it would be a gamble with this in mind. If we did go back, we’d definitely pay extra for a ground-floor apartment, as lugging the buggy (with the toddler in it) up and down a flight of stairs was the least favourite part of TheBloke (TM)’s day (several times a day).
But we had a lovely time.
TL;DNR: Premium dining was fantastic. Other customers were fat. The beach had spiders.