We’ve created family memories at Butlins to last a lifetime | Cheryl Gibbs

I’m writing this week’s column from our hotel room at Butlins, Bognor Regis, having had another jam packed day of fun.

By Cheryl Gibbs
Thursday, 17th June 2021, 3:24 pm
Back row, from left: Cheryl's sister Michelle Nicholls with Harley, her daughters Florence and Sienna and husband Shaun. Front row: Matt and Cheryl.
Back row, from left: Cheryl's sister Michelle Nicholls with Harley, her daughters Florence and Sienna and husband Shaun. Front row: Matt and Cheryl.

But, my god, are we exhausted. I remember going to the Butlins in Minehead when we were little, as well as Pontins.

We loved every minute.

My mum and dad always used to joke that they took us round the world on these amazing holidays and yet all we really remember is the Butlins and Pontins holidays.

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I can see why now because they really are holidays for the children.

Everything we have done each day is designed around what will be fun for Harley and I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

She has absolutely loved every single second of it and it’s been just such a privilege to watch her grow in confidence as she spends more time with her older cousins.

Harley’s been on the infant funfair; going on rides on her own (after I got over the initial shock and anxiety of actually letting her go on her own); been in the arcades; played in the numerous parks; been in the swimming pool and splash park which was genuinely brilliant.

We’ve paddled in the ocean and walked the promenade countless times – it’s truly been a holiday to remember and we’ve had an absolute blast.

We’ve also been really lucky because the weather has been fantastic.

We’re just getting the first signs of spitting rain and then there’s a 100 per cent chance of rain today (Friday), which is when we come home.

But I’m really thankful because it’s been so warm that we’ve not had to wrap Harley up at all.

When she’s been running in and out of the water jets we’ve just allowed her to get wet and dry naturally – it’s been wonderful.

This is Harley’s second little holiday.

Last October, we took her to the Isle of Wight and both trips were half an hour from home.

But we’ve honestly felt that holiday vibe as if we were abroad and given that that time might be a way off yet, I’m just so glad we leave with more happy family memories to cherish forever.

I’ve really let go of the diet, but I want to enjoy myself

I don’t do anything by halves – I never had. I’m all or nothing and this holiday hasn’t been an exception either.

I’ve been on a strict diet for quite some time before coming here, but ‘when in Rome’ I like to indulge and that’s exactly what I’ve done.

We bought Butlins ‘DineAround’ plan which includes eating breakfast and dinner at several choice of restaurants. I admit to overindulging the whole time, but I don’t do things by halves. I know when I’m back home I’ll be back on the diet, so I’m just enjoying myself.

I have undoubtedly put on pounds that will take weeks to shift, I’m all about living for the moment and it’s been nice to not calorie count for a few days!

I wanted a romantic evening but Matt had other ideas

We’ve stayed out a couple of nights and been coming back with Harley later than her usual bedtime but she’s still been waking up relatively early at about 6am.

She’s also been w aking a few times during the night which she rarely does at home so she’s been quite tired.

On Wednesday night, we decided to come straight back to the hotel room to get her down for her usual routine. I wondered why Matt was so keen on the idea, until I came back from putting Harley down to see him laid out on the bed watching football.

Now I’m all for him doing what he wants, but I had visions of a nice romantic evening on the balcony – Euros it is then!