Butlins Minehead is located in Minehead, West of Bristol and Weston super mare. Across the sea From Wales! and near Bridgend and Taunton. It’s part of the Butlins group with other locations around England such as Bognor Regis and Skegness. We visited during the summer holidays.
To get there is relatively simple, the M5 goes near it so if you are coming south or west then this will be your road, more local areas to the south of this will still have a relatively short distance to get here, and may know more local routes. Once you leave the M5 it’s nearly an hour on more country roads. Being located on the coast and this part of the county, the journey is a little more complicated in the final stretch as you are going through villages, hills, with limited space. I’ve driven in the day and night (it’s interesting in the dark) there isn’t a better time but expect delays during peak times which includes people going too and from the resort.
Minehead itself is a normal size town, to get to Butlins is actually really easy as you turn off before you start heading to the centre of the town. Past some supermarkets, hotel and restaurants, its also right next to the beach. Its a very pretty area and sights are great to see, so this part of the journey is quite an attractive one.
To be honest, Butlins does change its line up and evolving it all the time, thus this review is more of an overview. If I was to go into massive detail on every part of it I would go on for a long while lol, I will do further reviews focusing on areas in the future. But we visited here in the summer over a weekend, we have been here at different times of the year. There are always things on, and they do rotate during the year and the week, which is great if you were lucky to visit it more than once in a year. Likewise, they have different break options, 3, 4 or 7 nights, starting either Monday or Friday. So in reality, if you stayed for 7 nights you would see the 3-night weekend entertainment and the 4-night weekday entertainment. Which as I said before does change. You can find enough to do for 3, 4 or 7-night breaks, but the money would significantly increase if you stayed longer and at certain key points of the year.
There are several grades of accommodation to go alongside this. Between dates, how many nights, and what accommodation it can all get a little complicated. At the resorts they have a booking office, much like a travel company, this can be very useful if you want to book a further break, they are often offering 40% off next year’s holidays, which to be honest isn’t great because the website shows almost the same price. So not a huge offer, however, the price on the website through the year will change all the time. If your brave you could try and get more last-minute deals, choose a week and then within a couple of weeks to go check the website, it’s risky, but you can get the best offer this way. We did it and it works very well, my only feedback is you need to have done your investigation on accommodation first, and which Butlins you want to do to. Spending time discussing it with them in those booking offices useful.
The accommodation ranges throughout the Butlins, but they are generally called the same and are tiered the same in other resorts. Minehead has lake view Chalets, these are lovely and essentially mini houses, they are overlooking lakes but are also in the furthest corner, so it’s very quiet. The flip to that is you are far away from everything, which can be a little annoying if you’re having to pop back to your room a few times, these are also expensive. The following generally ranges from expensive to cheap… Seaside apartments, deluxe suites, seaside lodges, gold apartments, new style silver apartments, silver bungalows, silver rooms, standard apartments, standard rooms. The website will give you a mini break down and a couple of pics. It doesn’t give you great detail so seeing these type of reviews or asking people that have been, is the best option.
As I said the chalets are mini houses and great for a big group, personally the seaside options are not especially great accommodation but you are paying for the location as these are right near the front of the resort, for views and being right around everything you need. Same with gold apartments, these are OK, and obviously better than the lower tier but again I don’t agree for such a significant jump between the silver and lower to the gold. We stayed in a silver apartment this time, the idea was a drop-off sleep place, there’s 5 of us so we need three bedrooms, it didn’t have a lounge but did have 3 sizable bedrooms, and long with a bathroom. Our logic is we are not staying in the room, it’s just a change and sleep area. So this has to be taken into consideration in my opinion, if you need a lounge, kitchen or a bigger place then choose the accommodation wisely, we spent all our time on the resort, not in the room, and didn’t need it.
With regards to food, this also influences your accommodation and can help organise your time or (hinder). If you are going self-catering then you may need a kitchen, or you can visit the food places around the resort. There is a burger king, fish and chip shop, several more restaurants like pizza, pasta, chicken, burgers, pub restaurants etc… A Greg’s type place (not Greg’s). These all range in prices but you would have to way up whether this is expensive or not. If you have Brought your own food, or visit the in resort shops and then make your own food in your kitchen, this could be cheaper compared to the restaurants as they can be pricey. Butlins do provide two dining options as part of there packages, a normal one and a premium one. these are expensive in the outset but when you compare how much you could spend on the restaurants etc.. Then they can be much more effective.
The main difference is the range of foods provided, there are separate restaurants for these dining experiences and are open at selected times. The breakfast and tea time food could satisfy you for the day, as they are all you can eat buffets. But being timed you have to plan this in your day. In comparison, The advantage of being self-catering though, is you are not restricted by times. We personally do take premium dining, we deliberately have a big breakfast that fills us up for most of the day, with only a small quick snack for lunch, then a big tea.
There are lots to choose from with some stuff being made for you, we have fussy eaters so being able to pick and choose is beneficial. It, as I said, is all about working out the price. You would probably spend between on average £7 to £15 per person per mealtime, even if you did just two meals. Then add then up an compare to the price its added at the time of your booking. I realise that some would spend more on an evening meal, and in comparison to eating as much as you would like in the dining? You would be a lot fuller. But you would Jo how much you normally spend, and ultimately there’s coffee shops, bars, doughnuts, pancakes etc.. Which could tempt you, and then you’re defeating the point of the premium dining, but it’s down to the family.
What to do?
There are many attractions around the resort, these are on most of the day. Fairground, splash water world, Little stars fairground, circus, skyline pavilion stage are all free and can bulk out a lot of your holiday. They are a big part of the holiday and personally I like to use this dotted around some of the other things. The swimming gets busy in the morning but like the others close around 5 pm, there’s often a water party on one of the nights, like the fairground which also has a special night open later. These are great and to be honest, was a big part of our holiday, the little fairground and indoor play area for Piglet allows her to blow off steam, and for a little one, there’s only so much for her.
The pavilion is open all the time and had the stage as well as amusements, and home to several of the food places already mentioned. You can also enter the center stage and Jack’s, both entertainment venues. The hotshot’s area has a bowling area and more amusements, this is a paid area. Not part of the package. The puppet Castle holds a kiddy based show, as well as the pavilion stage itself, this holds characters and some entertainment during the holiday. Skyline gang (Butlins own brand characters), Teletubbies, Mr men put on little 30ish minutes shows. I’ve noticed in Minehead that they also have other entertainment like SBX, titan the robot and before a bubble man in the pavilion, whereas Bognor, for example, felt like it had a lot more of the kiddies shows in this area.
There are several more activities around the resort but a lot of this are either paid or needing to be booked. Go karts, adventure golf, driving school, arts and crafts, pottery, high ropes, fun football, climbing wall, mini bow, archery, among others are activities that can expand your holiday. Whether you want to pay is your call, there is a booking group to combine some of this activities, personally, if you have saved money on the holiday these could be a good option, especially if you have the children that would benefit from it.
The night time entertainment can be very good, Reds and centre stage generally holds most of this. This is often where the big entertainment of the whole resort is, for example, Stephen Mulhern, Diversity, Paddington, tribute acts like ABBA, little mix, Ed Sheeran, and then pantos like sleeping beauty, cinderella. This is for the whole family, though the later the night more music is provided and fewer kids are around of course.
Overall there is a lot to cover and as I said earlier I will go into more detail in key areas like food and entertainment. However the resort is great, and personally, its a holiday that you can make the most of it, you can fit stuff around what you want to do. You could be more relaxed, chill, eat drink, the odd activities, watch some shows. Or if you are active people there are lots to do, in combination with some shows etc. The accommodation is a big decision much like the food, there are a lot of timed things so fitting it all in can be stressful and a struggle. We didn’t fit it all in this time, and with three different children at three different age groups doesn’t help lol but I would highly recommend that app. This allows and helps you to, organise your time far more. It’s customised to your holiday, shows you what’s on what’s paid, what’s free, what you need to book, and crucially when things start and where. There’s a map that can help. Minehead is a nice resort, Butlins resorts are different even though they’re the same type of place. The pavilion feels smaller than others, it is the centre of the place, but with a center stage in there as well as the boardwalk of shops, its probably much bigger than I think lol, especially as it holds WWE events! The fairground and swimming activities are not to be underestimated, they massively help you and they are great. It can be a budget holiday or it can be an expensive break, with kids it’s ideal, I don’t know if it’s an only adult place, I wouldn’t recommend it but on the flip, like I said it’s what you make of it.