Saturday, 19 April 2014

Day Tripper! took me sooooo long to find out ...but I found out! Great Beatles track that one - here's a little clip to remind you that John Lennon was a far superior singer to Paul (sorry to all you Paul fans and my friend Barbara who will not have a bad word said against him).

A nice retro touch - kids loved sitting on this 
I am talking about....asides from The Beatles....BUTLINS!!!!  Now, before you all groan and say urgh and good god woman - which is still the case (take note Butlins PR although I'm sure you are very aware of this hence the drive towards nostalgia and going down the retro route). Yup, many a raised eyebrow and expressions of horror occurred on my facebook when I 'checked in' at Butlins in Bognor Regis.  I don't know why. I spent many a summer holiday (and so did one commentator - Sharon!) at Bognor Regis in the 1970's but now its all centre parcs isn't it. I, incidentally, would have the same urgh expression on my face if someone said they were off to centre parcs for the week. I couldn't think of anything worse - full of the chattering classes (I am an inverse snob as you all know) pottering around on their little bikes, child on the back clutching a copy of The Daily Mail.

Back to Butlins. I loved it! The kids loved it! Now I'm not an ambassador or anything like that even though I do get 16,000 hits a month and ranked 282 out of 10,000 blogs still I'm not bitter Butlins... In fairness, I never applied. I digress. I haven't been given free tickets but I'm going to give Butlins a shout out in any event.  Firstly, a mum at pre-school got me thinking about going there for the day. She is your a typical middle class mum - ballet, swim lessons, worrying about high school already when her child is in reception, areas matter, Daily Mail matters and a vote for David Cameron is as standard. You get the picture. So if she was raving about Butlins then it had to be good. Basically if you pre-book out of term time you get a 25% discount and in term time its 15%. Check them out here for day passes. So it cost me just shy of £53 to take myself and my three to Butlins for the day. I had arranged to meet my friend and we were all very excited about visiting the unknown. I for one, was hoping that there wouldn't be insane queues that make me lose the will to live.

Thankfully my little one didn't quite fancy this when he saw the steps - I was a tad worried the my bum would not fit the end part of this slide!! Maybe they should have a how wide are your thighs chart?!
I have been to Lego Land once - it was lashing down with rain and was on an inset day - that is the only time to visit it let me tell you.  The agony of Legoland for many a parent is legendary.  I have had friends queue for over an hour for a 2 minute ride, couldn't get into the outdoor splash area because the queues were so long, queued 2 hours to get out of the car park and a classic - found out the park was closed on the M25 with 2 excited children in the back. THIS IS NOT MY IDEA OF A FUN DAY OUT FOR THE KIDS. This is my idea of hell.  You couldn't pay me to have a Merlin pass. That would be my worst nightmare. .

My eldest could barely lift the hammer - my youngest is on the right waiting to have a go
I have no desire to go to Chessington or Thorpe Park. I went to Peppa Pig world last year and foolishly went on a Bank Holiday weekend - we didn't see Peppa's house through the crowds or get to go on most rides (3 in total with queueing time of 45mins).  I don't even like Peppa Pig - I think Daddy Pig could have them all up for emotional abuse so to be snubbed at their abode was another kick in the teeth! Thankfully the rest of the park was okay. We had to just pretend that the main train around the park was, in fact, Grandpa's proper train. My little one still wants to go back. I am considering it as I am a sucker but, it would have to be during thunder storms and a day where the rest of the nation were at school. Or I could just say that Peppa Pig world no longer exisits. So I had high hopes for Butlins. I prayed it would be different and hooray it was!

I called these the flying helicopters!
It was clean, safe, not crowded, friendly, easy to park (£6 for parking opposite the day entrance), not so easy to find with Mr SatNav as he chose not to follow signs for Bognor Regis but take me down the Worthing Road but we still were only 10 mins late. We were meant to meet up at 10.30 (I left at 9 am) and I arrived at 10.40.  We left our swimming gear in the car and heading to the pavilion for the toilets. All clean and let little buddy and the others have a go on all the little rides. We then progressed to the quaint fairground area - my son loved the helter skelker and all the kids had their pic on the big Butlins chair. We then tried out the trampolines - again only a 5 minute wait, the flying helicopters, dodgems and then we went off to the swim area.
This is the space bowl - my eldest was very brave rather him than me - pic google 
The kids loved the wave machine and the slides - my son said he was terrified on the space bowl -see above. He was glad he did it. If you child is under 1.4 metres tall you will need to go on some rides with them and they won't be able to do the rapid area. The pool was busy but not heaving and we still got in the changing rooms and lockers. We then went out to a few more rides and got our tea in one of the many restaurants dotted about - the food was so quick and service was excellent - the kids had their usual healthy! chicken nuggets when out and about and myself and Cath had the fish and chips. It had been a full on day and we thought sod it!

I went over my 1,200 calories that day - was back to normal Thursday, Friday and today. I'll need to fit in some exercise tomorrow to make sure of a loss on Monday.

My youngest wasn't tall enough to sit with me on the dodgems but had great fun at the drive school - you had to pay a £1 for this
Before leaving I did a hands up Billy Butlins and went a bit wild in their gift shop. I purchased coasters, a fridge magnet, 3 x bears for the kids, 4 x chocolate lollies for the hubster and a hessian bag with Butlins written over it.  We didn't get to try everything out like the high ropes etc but we'll just have to do that upon our return. We left about 6.40pm and I got home at 8.10pm. The kids loved it and we will definitely go back for a day trip.

One of my many purchases at the Butlins shop! 

Butlins we will be back!!

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