THE new £40 million pool at Butlins in Bognor has opened so Arron Hendy could not wait to dive in and give it a try.

THERE has been a huge buzz about the new pool at Butlins and as I am one of the many who love a trip to this famous British holiday park, I jumped at the chance to have a go.

The new building is impressive as soon as you see it, built in an Art Deco, classic Butlins style that founder Billy Butlin would no doubt have been proud of.

And inside the new changing rooms are fantastic, lots of them and they are nice and big, with family cubicles and those fancy swimming costume dryers.

The place feels like it is state of the art but with a nod to the brand’s history. We rushed into the swimming area and it was hard to decide what to choose first, like a kid in a sweet shop.

The wave pool won this battle. With The Beach Boys blaring out over the speakers you just had to give it a go and it was great fun for, big waves hitting the pool shoreline.

Then we were off to the new seaside garden rapids, which are fantastic.

I think this bit is so good because you can do it all together as a family, sliding through the water and around the corners.

It takes you on a journey through different sections and there are different routes to try out as well.

My children dragged me on to the new flume rides next, filling me with fear as we climbed the stairs up, up and up more flights, knowing we would soon be shooting down, down, down.

The family raft ride was scary but just at the right level, as was the other flume ride which you do alone.

Then there were the great stick of rock slides and the helter skelter to try out too.

There’s also a pool for younger children, complete with more slides, as well as a swimming area.

We went back again and again during our four-night stay, which says it all.

And there is so much more going on all the time – it is heaven for families as you get to see your children entertained and smiling all week.

We loved all the shows.

The Sleeping Beauty pantomime was top quality and a real highlight for all of us, then there was more shows that we loved like Paddington and Mr Potato Head.

Other favourites for our children were the Theo The Mouse Show and Animal Antics, complete with real creepy crawlies on stage. And in between the Redcoats had everybody dancing.

The complex has so much for the children to do that there are things happening all the time. There is a stage in the main area with entertainment there too, bowling, and loads of amusements and video games.

The virtual reality rides looked and sounded great fun, one woman getting a standing ovation and having a bit of a shock when she took the VR glasses off to find out everyone had been listening to her loud shrieks and laughs as she went round what must have been quite an eventful fairground ride or something similar.

There’s a huge artificial football pitch where children can join in with sessions. Our two loved the climbing wall and we enjoyed a round of crazy golf. There was even a small petting zoo while we were there,

The huge fairground has lots of rides where you can just hop on without any extra cost.

We stayed at the Wave Hotel, complete with bunk beds in the children’s bedroom, each with their own television built into the wall. The hotel rooms are nice and big too, with nice balconies looking across the complex.

The food across Butlins was a real joy and a huge choice, the breakfast buffets setting you all up for the day. And the staff were all charming.

We’d return to Butlins in a heartbeat and definitely will or the children will never forgive us.

The fun really is non-stop.


Three nights (Friday to Monday) in a hotel at Butlins Bognor Regis resort during the school summer holidays starts from £719, while four nights (Monday to Friday) is from £870.

Both prices are based on four people sharing, and do not include dining plans.

The price of the breaks includes use of the new Splash pool, the traditional fairground, live shows from the likes of Stephen Mulhern*, Diversity*, Paddington, Teletubbies and Mr Men Little Miss – as well as a wide range of other daytime and evening entertainment and attractions. For more details go to www.butlins. com (*dependent on the date of the break).