From wrestling to cracking a Bletchley Park code, EMMA ALLEN discovers there's something for everyone at Bognor Regis
The February weather was typically wet and wild, but we escaped it all by heading into Butlin’s splashpool complex which was, well, wet and wild.
This was the ideal indoor activity to keep two active children entertained during our half term break at Bognor Regis.
Although the majority of our fellow guests had the same idea, so the pool was rammed with splashing toddlers, daredevil teens and soggy parents.
But come early next year, there will be a brand new splashpool as Butlin’s are building a brilliant new complex. Complete with slides, outdoor rapid river and wave pool, this is a £40m investment for the well-establish company.
Considering the original pool has been in situ for more than 30 years, this is a welcome addition. In fact, I won’t reveal my age, but I can remember school trips where I spent the entire time riding the legendary black hole flume.
Another escape from the damp weather was the Science Zone. Ideal for older children, our two young scientists learnt how to make bath bombs, began astronaut training and even attempted to solve a Bletchley Park code breaking challenge.
This event is included in the price of your break and is available on all school holiday breaks.
One of our favourite things to do during a stay is to make sure we secure our seats for the Centre Stage venue where every evening there is always a top quality show on stage.
One night we enjoyed seeing the winner of 2015’s America’s Got Talent, ventriloquist Paul Zerdin who was extremely clever and funny. Actually, his foam friends who accompanied him on stage were the amusing ones and, always, had the last word.
The next night we were treated to the magical talents of Corporal Richard Jones, who won Britain’s Got Talent in 2016. Our children were astounded his act, spending days trying to fathom how he managed to pull it off. They never did work it out, however.
A particular highlight was Butlin’s traditional pantomime which is constantly updated. This year’s show was Cinderella Rocks, and is as good, if not better than your average festive offering, particularly the high level of writing.
Not forgetting the New Generation Wrestling, where Nathan Cruz's victory over some nasty ring rivals was euphorically received by the boisterous audience. Ace Matthews was particularly badly received in recognition of his cheating and general rudeness to all, warranting the boos in his direction.
And yes, our little ones were keen to reproduce the moves they had seen upon returning to our room. Fortunately the only one hurt was dad.
Again, such entertainment is all included in the price of your break and is amazing value considering how much you would expect to pay to see a performance of this calibre.
Accommodation for our break was a family room within the Shoreline Hotel. This was the first of the three hotels to be built at Bognor and is shaped like a ship. A nice touch was the ship’s wheel in our room which gives younger guests the opportunity to take the helm and steer a steady course.
We had a Butlin’s Hotel Dining Plan which allowed us to eat breakfast and evening meal in the hotel’s South Coast restaurant. Served in a buffet style, there is a wide choice of tempting dishes to suit all tastes with a special menu for younger diners.
If you fancy venturing out to eat somewhere different, then there is the option to swap your evening meal for a Dine-Around voucher which allows you to eat in other restaurants around the site. We particularly enjoyed the American-themed food at The Diner; the thick shakes a particular highlight.
We did brave the elements, though, as the draw of the dodgems and merry-go-round in the outdoor funfair were too great. Although the bad weather made for shorter queues!
The daily football coaching session was another popular choice and took place come rain or shine - thankfully! Our son would have been most upset without his daily dose of football.
That is the beauty of Butlin's, no matter the English weather or summer season, your holiday is unaffected and the entertainment level does not diminish. It is a holiday which cannot be spoilt.
What's more, as our children grow and tastes change, they find other activities and shows at Butlin's to enjoy.
The only disappointment is when the time arrives to leave and it is back to your own bed at home and school in a few days.
Don't worry, though, as long as they are very, very good, they'll return to Bognor Butlin's next year.
Perhaps the weather will be better - but you can rely on Butlin's brand of sunshine.