I've tried to cut down on the product reviews on this blog, but when FuelMyBlog gave me and my girlfriend the opportunity to visit the Butlins resort in the seaside town of Bognor Regis, I couldn't say no.
Admittedly, the one and only time I'd been to a Butlins was on a school trip to Minehead about 15 years ago. I got caught up in a disagreement between some kids from my school and some rather older kids from another school, and was either headbutted or punched in the face (eye-witness reports varied, and I was left in no fit state to remember).
So this time round, as you can imagine, I was relieved that my girlfriend and I would be going on an adults-only weekend (no, not that kind of adults-only) and staying in a hotel rather than a chalet: the ship-shaped Shoreline.
It was a pleasant surprise: clean, spacious, well equipped. We didn't make much use of the room's "separate kids’ area with junior bunk beds and TV", but we appreciated little touches such as the Fairtrade teabags and the nice toiletries; the friendly hotel bar staff also offered to bring drinks up to the room at no extra cost. And the buffet breakfast was mighty fine, with a spectrum of hot and cold options.
Oh, here's the room's very accurately named "partial sea view":
The entertainment laid on as part of the Butlins 'Big Weekend' was a little boisterous for us (although we approved of the on-site cinema and shops), so we used the hotel more as a base to explore Bognor and the surrounds.
Highlights included Hotham House, in Hotham Park, just a stroll from Butlins. This was once the residence of Sir Richard Hotham, the chap who turned Bognor into a resort at the tail end of the 18th century. The house is now flats, but the Georgian exterior remains intact:
The nearby village of Felpham was also notable, especially for its fine pubs - one of which, the Fox Inn, was once the scene of an unfortunate altercation between the poet William Blake and a drunken sailor. But really, what can you do with a drunken sailor?
Blake ended up before the crown court charged with sedition - which I suppose puts my teenage scrape at Butlins into perspective. Not that I had any trouble this time round, I must add.
3 days ago