Focusing on fun with a great Butlins break

Learn new sporting skills at Butlins.
Learn new sporting skills at Butlins.
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An enjoyable family holiday is always the target and at Butlins you can guarantee to hit the bullseye.

But sometimes even Daddy needs his fun away from the Skyline Gang, Bob the Builder and Billy Bear.

Which is why Bognor Butlins’ new archery initiative called Shooting for Gold left me all of a quiver.

Launched by Team GB coach Lloyd Brown and up-and-coming Great Britain archers Becky Martin and Bryony Pitman, the scheme offers the chance for a different sporting challenge.

Shooting for Gold will see families coached under the watchful eye of Archery GB-approved instructors.

With blue, red or gold badges, as well as certificates on offer to those who take part, there is plenty to aim for.

Certainly for this budding archer – who struck, ahem, gold four times before hurrying back to my wife and children to inform them of my proud achievements – it was a hugely rewarding experience.

They, of course, had not been present, with other activities keeping a five-year-old and two-year-old occupied. Far too young to take part in archery themselves, you understand.

But as ever with Butlins there is enough to cater for everybody and our week away also allowed us to check in at the Wave Hotel.

Upon arrival we were greeted by the ever cheerful Redcoats who welcomed us to the newest of the site’s three hotels.

Our sixth floor sea-facing accommodation had our daughter squealing with delight when she saw the submarine-styled room she would be sleeping in.

Her only dilemma was which bunk to sleep in as both had cool lighting and individual built-in TV screens.

Butlins aims to offer families the perfect British holiday with something to keep all ages entertained.

So the addition of an interactive games room is a winner with bored teenagers. Complete with Wii consoles, iMacs and PS3s, teens can compete to their hearts’ content while the weather outside is doing its worst.

Our little one didn’t need hi-tech games to keep her occupied though. She was content to wear her pink Candi outfit and sing and dance along with her Butlins favourites – the Skyline Gang.

In fact her suitcase was extremely easy to pack as she wore the pink dungarees and fluffy wristbands each evening.

Those wondering what would possess a small child to wear an uncomfortable nylon ensemble every night have obviously never seen this troupe of six colourful entertainers and their enormous orange dog, who are virtually hero-worshipped by younger Butlins guests.

Our four-night break included the premium dining plan in The Deck restaurant. The spacious restaurant is operated on a self-service basis with ample choice.

The fresh pasta station where you can choose your pasta and sauce, which are then cooked freshly for you, was a hit with us all.

Butlins is moving with the times and for 2013 has updated a few of its most popular activities.

The funfair has had a facelift with exciting new rides, there is a new character theatre and the addition of a discovery centre will fuel the minds of little ones.

So a memorable time for all. Gold medals all round.


Archery sessions are £5 per person and available on every break.

Breaks at Butlins start from £50 per person for three or four nights.

The Wave Hotel has an under-

water theme with submarine-style bedrooms for children, including cabin bunks with their own TV and DVD player.

The hotel also boasts Games Port, a 21st Century family games room with all the latest interactive games inside.

In addition, Wave has a Soho Coffee Co. café for the adults.