Butlins Skegness is one of three Butlins resorts in the UK. Here’s our complete guide to Butlins Skegness, including:
Is a Butlins Skegness holiday right for my family?
Butlins Skegness is the most northerly of the three Butlins resorts. If you live anywhere north of Birmingham it will likely be your closest Butlins.
Butlins certainly isn’t as old-fashioned as you may be imagining. The knobbly knee competitions have gone and you can get now get a good value family holiday with a very good swimming pool, big name entertainers and a free funfair.
You don’t get the leafy surroundings of Center Parcs or Forest Holidays but a) Butlins Skegness is considerably cheaper and b) you get a local beach nearby.
My opinion is that Butlins Skegness is a good choice if you want a holiday where you don’t need to continually get in the car to leave the site. There is enough at Skegness Butlins to entertain you for several days without spending much money.
If you prefer to get out and explore the big attractions in an area then I would go for a Haven or Parkdean Resorts instead. Otherwise, you’re not making the most of the facilities and shows.
How do I choose the right accommodation at Butlins Skegness?
Butlins Skegness currently has eight different types of accommodation, which is a bit overwhelming for first time bookers.
However, it’s quite easy to narrow down your options.
First, decide if you want a ‘room’ or an ‘apartment’.
A ‘room’ is the cheapest option but it doesn’t have a kitchen or a lounge. Standard Rooms are the cheapest accommodation at Butlins Skegness, whilst Silver Rooms are a bit more expensive. There’s not much difference in what facilities you get but the Silver Rooms are slightly nicer and more modern.
An ‘apartment’ is more expensive than a ‘room’ at Butlins Skegness but you get a kitchen and a lounge. It's what I used to call a 'chalet'. If you can afford an apartment, I would go for this option even if you decide to get a dining plan. The extra space is useful and you may end up eating lunches in your accommodation.
The difference in price between a Silver Room and a Standard Apartment is often very small, particularly outside of school holidays.
What's the difference between the apartments at Butlins Skegness?
If you go for an apartment, you’ll need to decide what level of luxury you want. At the time of writing, Skegness Butlins has six different grades of apartment including ‘standard apartments’, ‘silver apartments’ and ‘new style silver apartments’ at the cheap end of the scale.
The more expensive apartments at Skegness Butlins are ‘gold apartments’, ‘fairground apartments’ and ‘seaside apartments’.
So, what do you get for upgrading?
The difference in facilities between the three cheaper types of apartment is minimal. You get a TV, lounge, bedding provided and Wifi regardless of which one you choose. The difference between them is more to do with décor and how modern they are.
The three more expensive types of apartment at Skegness come with towels, daily housekeeping and a hairdryer. However, you are mostly paying for a more interesting décor and design. The fairground and seaside apartments are nicely done and add to the holiday feel.
My personal opinion is that the upgrades are worth going for if you are visiting off peak.
For a week’s holiday in August 2022, a family of four might pay as much as £600 to upgrade from a standard apartment to a gold apartment. During early December 2022, the same upgrade would cost about £150.
Personally, I would save myself £600 and pay for a few extra activities.
What is there to do at Butlins Skegness?
Let’s start with the three big things included with your booking at Butlins Skegness.
Once you’ve filled a good chunk of time with swimming, funfair rides and live shows, you can either fill time with the other free things or pay for extra activities.
Free activities at Butlins include the beach (obviously), soft play and sand art.
Stuff you pay extra for includes minigolf (£4 a game), bowling (about £6 per person), balance bikes (£6), go karts (£6), music making (£5), football academy (£10), archery (£6), pottery painting (£10 + whatever you paint), laser tag (£15) and high ropes/zip wires (about £20 for a bundled package)
If you’ve been to Center Parcs, you’ll see that prices are generally a bit lower at Butlins. However, the prices can certainly stack up for a family of four, so include that in your budget (or just stick to the free stuff).
You can always leave the site and see other stuff in Skegness such as the rides at Fantasy Island, Natureland Seal Sanctuary or Skegness Aquarium.
Should I pay for a dining plan at Butlins Skegness?
If you choose a ‘room’ rather than an ‘apartment’ then you will definitely want a dining plan.
If you have an apartment, then it’s up to you whether you want meals provided.
The cheapest dining plan is ‘food court dining’. It’s a buffet in a big room where you can load up your plate and eat as much as you want. There’s a salad bar, a choice of hot main courses (5 or 6 usually) and sides. Hot drinks and soft drinks are included but alcohol isn’t included. There are also kids' meals, half a dozen puddings and an ice cream factory which is similar to Pizza Hut’s ice cream machine. You won't go hungry.
The Premium Dining plan is more expensive but it’s more like a restaurant and the choice of food is a bit wider. They do theme nights, carveries and the choice at breakfast is better. Again, soft drinks are included but alcohol isn’t.
The Dinearound Dining plan is the final upgrade. It allows you to tour round different venues and it includes a beer or a glass of wine for the grown ups. You can also swap round so that your main meal is at lunchtime.
One option is to self cater but to eat out once or twice at the pay-as-you-go restaurants. However, this can be quite expensive. When we checked, a family of two adults and one child would pay about £35 for breakfast and evening meals each day with a dining plan. Similar meals at the Beachcomber Restaurant at Skegness Butlins was about £60.
If you end up doing self catering half the time and then eating out half the time, it will cost you a lot of money. You might as well have signed up for a dining plan.
If you go for self catering, bring your own food rather than buying everything on site as the shop is more like corner shop prices than supermarket prices. Last time I checked you could get a supermarket delivery (Asda, Tesco, Sainsburys etc) to the entrance at Butlins Skegness but they can’t come on site.
Money saving tips for a Butlins Skegness holiday
We’ve mentioned a few money saving tips already, but here are some of our other favourite ways to save money on a Butlins Skegness holiday
When is the best time to visit Butlins Skegness?
If you have pre-school children then I would visit Butlins Skegness for one of their Just For Tots breaks. They take place on weekdays during term time and are cheaper than a school holiday break. If you pick your dates carefully you'll get to see a star from CBeebies or Milkshake which will go down well with your children. Well, they might have a tantrum and complain for no reason - who knows...
Here's our full guide to Just For Tots breaks.
If you have children at school then you can either squeeze in a term time weekend such as a 'Showtime Weekend Break' or a break during the school holidays. Holidays at Butlins during school holidays are more expensive than weekends. However, the biggest stars and performers appear during school holidays so you are getting more for your money.
If you visit during term time with children then the main advantage is that the resort is much quieter. That's particularly good news in the swimming pool.
Skegness is warmest during July and August and it gets a similar level of sunshine from May to August. September is warmer than April (Weather-and-Climate.com).
How does Skegness Butlins compare to the other Butlins resorts?
The three Butlins resorts are relatively similar, so I recommend going to the nearest one. However, if you live in Birmingham (for example) then you are a similar distance from all three.
In our 2022 comparison, Butlins Bognor Regis was the best value for money. However, Skegness was the winner in 2021. Honestly, the prices vary depending on dates and availability. Butlins Skegness was most expensive in some of our price comparisons, but was mid-priced in other comparisons.
Butlins Skegness, Minehead and Bognor all get similar review scores. Skegness and Bognor are tied in first, but Minehead isn’t far behind.
The swimming pool at Skegness isn’t as new as the Bognor Regis pool, but it’s newer than Minehead's. Skegness has a couple fewer funfair rides than Bognor, but it has a sandier beach and a cinema.
Images are from Butlins.com
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