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Thread: Differences between Butlins, Pontins, Haven and Potters

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  1. #1
    pumpkin Guest

    Default Differences between Butlins, Pontins, Haven and Potters

    not posted for ages.

    In 2004 I visited a number of holiday camp and through I would post my views on each and rate each of them.

    I visited:
    - Warner Norton Grange Classic Resort on the Isle of Wright in April on a midweek Half Board ?136 each
    - Haven Hafan Y Mor old Butlins Pwllheli in June on a half price midweek Half Board of ?58 each
    - Butlins Skegness in July (on Scottish Week busy) on a half price midweek Half Board of ?60 each
    - Potters Leisure Resort, Great Yarmouth on a Weekend Full Board of ?194 each
    - Butlins Bognor Regis in September on a discounted midweek Half Board of ?60 each
    - Warners Nidd Hall Historical House near Harrogate in November on a midweek Half Board ?192 each
    - Pontins Prestatyn Sands over Xmas on a discounted 4night Self Catering ?130 per a apartment

    Please take the price paid into account when reading these rating. Warners and Potters were around ?200 in the winter months. Butlins and Haven were around ?60 in the quieter months and Pontins a lot cheaper over Xmas.

    Warners, Pontins and Potters Maps, Entertainment guide and Photo at:

    ***** Potters
    Stay in Chalet new furniture and nicely decorated ensuite. New Built hotels with very nice ensuite room and suites with balconys.
    ***** Warners
    Norton Grange Classic Resort has all chalet accommdation. All with new furniture and nicely decorated ensuite.
    Nidd Hall Historical Hall was all ensuite rooms. Most expensive in the Historical House and others in a newly built wing connected to the left of the Historical House (this also contained the Showbar and Restautart and was four larger that the house itself). Rooms in the new wing where large with all new furniture and nicely theme decorated (like a modern 4 star hotel).
    ** Butlins
    Skegness was in a standard single storey chalet (old type) and was newly paint and the furniture was a few year old but still nice.
    Bognor Regis was in a standard two storey chalet. It was newly paint and the furniture was also a few year old but still nice. The room was small and smelly (damp), these rooms need knocking down and rebuilding like at Skegness.
    ** Haven
    Like Butlins (!!!) in a standard single storey chalet (old type) and newly painted and the furniture was a few year old but still nice.
    * Pontins
    Well it was cheap!!! We stayed in a Budget 1 bedroom chalet (upstair). The apartment was large newly painted but the furniture was old (I remember it from the 80’s) but well maintained. The only real problem was it was cold (over Xmas), the apartment had only one heater in living room/kitchen area and everything was screwed down so you could not move the seating closer to the heater. Last year when we stayed at Pontins Wall Park this was not a problem as the apartment was very small.

    ***** Potters
    Restaurant quality food was waiter service and cravery. Large two storey restaurant.
    ***** Warners
    Restaurant quality food was waiter service and cravery. Large restaurant split into smaller areas.
    *** Butlins
    Buffet self service. Pub food quality with very good selection of choices (around 8 main courses).
    ** Haven
    Buffet self service. Pub food quality with limited selection of choices (around 3 main courses).
    * Pontins
    Pontins Presentyn was self catering but we stay at Pontins Blackpool in 2002.
    Canteen self service. Canteen (70’s style) quality with limited selection of choices (around 2 main courses).

    **** Butlins
    Alots of sports, swimming pools, funfair and (pay of) thing. Not as much as in the 1980’s. Panto in afternoon on one day.
    *** Warners
    Sports and swimming pool. Panto in afternoon on one day.
    ** Pontins
    Sports, quiz, Bingo and swimming pool. No Panto.
    * Potters
    Sports, quiz and swimming pool with spa pools.
    * Warners
    Sports, quiz and swimming pool with spa pools.

    Evening entertainment is our number 1 reason for visiting holiday camps.
    ***** Butlins
    Must be best evening entertainment in Britain!
    Usually each night has: Kids Dancing, Kids Characters, Inhouse Band, Inhouse show (14 trained performers) and visiting band.
    Quiet bars: 2 Showbars: 3 (extra 1 adult latenight)
    ***** Potters
    Potters inhouse show team has over 30 members.
    Usually each night has: Bingo, Inhouse Band (ballroom dancing), Inhouse show (14 trained performers) or visiting stage show (“Mamma Mia in concert” when we visited) and Mark Brewer (he does Freddy Starr with water and Hitler outfit!!).
    Quiet bars: 2 Showbars: 1 (extra 1 latenight)
    *** Pontins
    This year for Xmas, Pontins has cut the entertainment. The inhouse band has been replaces with four singer and dancers (now in two groups) and the Kids show has been replace with a Kids party entertainer (a clown etc..). Pontins have only inhouse show or a visiting band, no large shows.
    Usually each night has:Bingo, Kids Dancing, Kids Party entertainer, Kids Characters, Inhouse Singers (2 performers), Inhouse show (10 Bluecoat performers) or visiting Band.
    Quiet Bar: 1 Showbars: 2
    *** Warners
    Usually tradition inhouse with inhouse band but have started using backing tracks like Butlins.
    Usually each night has: Bingo, inhouse band (ballroom dancing), inhouse show (5 performers) or visiting band or comedy act.
    Quiet Bar: 1 Showbar:1
    ** Haven
    The inhouse band was very good when we visited. I notice that all the staff were doing three or four different jobs! Some of the singers worked in the Restaurant in the day!
    Usually each night has: Bingo, inhouse band, inhouse show (4 Havenmates performers) or visiting band.
    Quiet Bar: 1 Showbar:2 (extra 1 July and August)

    We do not like visiting the same location every time
    ***** Warners
    16 locations. Historical House in good locations but need a car as miles away from anything. Can use taxis and each have one day coach tour a break.
    ***** Havens
    3 Halfboard and 38 Self catering (including British Holidays). A lot of good seaside locations, if you like caravans.
    **** Pontins
    2 Halfboard and 6 self catering. Good seaside locations. Pontins Blackpool is the best located in Blackpool (close to the tram into Blackpool).
    *** Butlins
    Now only 3 halfboard/self catering. Good for people in the South of England.
    * Potters
    Only 1 near Great Yarmouth.

    ***** Warners
    Booked already for this year!!!
    GOOD: Food. High standard of Accommadation. In a lot of good location, very upmarket!
    BAD: Price (can only go in coldest months), Entertainment needs a little improving, over 50’s
    Modern up to date public area and accommadation. Classic resort chalets with up to date main building and all entertainment is undercover. Historical House have up to date rooms and quiet bar in original house and swimming pool, modern 4* hotel type rooms, restaurant and showbar in new building. All accommodation and entertainment is under one roof (good in winter).

    ***** Butlins
    Booked for Christmas 2005.
    GOOD: Evening Entertainment, Afternoon Panto
    BAD: Limited locations (live in the North West), Bognor Regis need their accommadation replacing.
    Modern up to date public areas and the tent is a good selling point. All entertainment is undercover.

    **** Potters
    Been to Great Yarmouth with not be booking for a few year.
    GOOD Food, Evening Entertainment, High Standard of Accommodation, very upmarket!
    BAD Only one location
    From a tradition holiday camp all the main build was rebuild in the 90’s and the 70’s brick built chalets are very nice. If you stay in the hotel everything is under one roof.

    *** Haven
    GOOD Locations
    BAD Evening Entertainment could be better
    Modern up to date public areas and very green (or overgrown!!).

    ** Pontins
    May visit in the Summer but never in Xmas again.
    GOOD Locations
    BAD Cuts in evening entertainment, Looking rundown
    I have visited Pontins for the last 4 xmas and have enjoyed half board Pontins Blackpool (2001,2002). After visiting self catering Wall Park (2003) and self catering Presentyn Sands (2004) I am disappointed by the standard of entertainment and run down state of these sites. Pontins seems stuck in the 70’s especially if you compare them to Butlins, Potters or Warners. I can not see Pontins lasting a lot long, they need to spend a large amount of money on their sites.

    Next year we are trying weekend cruises, Butlins at Xmas and Warners Littlecote House.

  2. #2
    gabbo Guest


    Some interesting comparisons there. i had not heard of potters before. I have never stayed at a warners or pontins. i agree about haven though.

  3. #3
    geraldene Guest


    i remember going to warner as a kid when they use to open camp to all ages! it was in devon seaton, i went with my best mate and we had a brilliant time, baring in mind we were only 12, 13! best week i had there. As a kid with my family we always use to go to brean sands pontins, that use to be good. dont know what its like now i have never been to haven or any other holiday camp only butlins! i dont think i would like it now, im so use to butlins!

  4. #4
    billybusdriver Guest


    Wow what an in depth report. You obviously know your camps. I got a wee bit lost half way through. But you wrote it with such enthusiasm, that you require a WELL DONE.

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