I love going abroad, but I've found that if you don't have the weather, you're invariably stuck indoors, staring at the rain hammering at the windows or watching English TV programmes dubbed over in the language of your destination. And you're paying a pretty penny to do this to boot.
This is compounded a hundredfold if you have youngsters in tow. And if they're tots?...well, it doesn't bear thinking about.
This is where Butlin's comes into its own. We visited the Minehead resort during half term, so while Storm Dennis did its utmost to pour water (literally hundreds of gallons worth) over our midweek break, we were able to brave our way to the wonderful and massive Skyline Pavilion, shed our raincoats and watch the metaphorical sun come shining through.
Once through the doors an Aladdin's cave for families awaits. The Pavilion's own huge stage is usually bursting with life, whether it be the famous Redcoats getting youngsters to hula hoop or cheerlead in style, or hosting a tots' or family disco, a Teletubbies Big Party, storytime sessions and much, much more.
He's been coming for years now but his cybernetic circuits are as strong as ever - Titan the Robot is still enthralling visitors with his unique show, incorporating music, jokes, dance and - very likely - spraying the audience with water! Great fun and a must experience for Pavilion visitors. Another great show is Braniac Live! Based on the popular fun but educational children's TV programme. Expect plenty of explosions, all in the name of science of course.
Each of the Butlin's venues - the others being Skegness and Bognor Regis - has its own Puppet Castle and young children are mesmerised by a great show. If you miss the first there's a chance to see it later in the week, with another different storyline show thrown in for good measure. Arts and crafts, circus skills, mini fun fencing and, for teens, adventure golf, bowling and fun football are on offer, again, all free, as is entry to Butlin's famous Splash Waterworld with its fun flumes and super slides.
And despite the rain we along with many other families were still able to enjoy the free funfair, with helter skelter, dodgems, waltzer, merry-go-round to name just a few, with rides for tots, youngsters and adults alike.
So imagine your break if the weather is more favourable? All over the resort are adventure playgrounds and open spaces to play in, and for an extra nominal price kids can also enjoy many more activities including archery, high ropes, zip wire, leap of faith, football and dance academies - the list goes on.
If the dads feel the need for a breather there's Hotshots, the live sports bar with TV screens showing every imaginable live sports event, and there's a bowling alley and pool tables in here too.
In the evening the resorts' main venues - Centre Stage and Reds - open their doors to live entertainment. On our week there were great tributes to Coldplay, Ariana Grande, Take That and Abba, with TV favourites Dick and Dom turning up for a comic audience participation tour de force, and the amazing Electric Circus, with stunts and routines performed by artistes clad in multi-coloured neon lights on a darkened stage. Brilliant, though be there early as this is a very popular show.
We enjoyed premium accommodation in one of the West Lakes chalets, with beautiful apex roofs, bright colours, all mod cons and a decking area overlooking swans on a lake.
And there are accommodation types to suit all budgets, either cook your own food in the self-catering options (a Morrisons and a Tesco are just five minutes' walk down the road) or avail yourself of the resort's dining package choices, including the Food Court and The Deck and Yacht Club premium dining.
A Burger King and a fish and chip shop in the Pavilion are ideally placed for lunch, as indeed are restaurants including Ludo's Italian,The Firehouse Grill and the Beachcomber Restaurant.
There are probably readers screaming out at me 'you've missed out this!' or 'you've forgotten about that!' and that's the whole point. With so much to see, do and enjoy you just can't mention it all, and that's why a break here is so good value.
Advertised summer attractions include Diversity, the Harlem Globetrotters, the Shaolin Monks, Rak-Su from X-Factor and BGT's Twist and Pulse.
Yes, there might be cheaper holidays out there, but not for the level of entertainment and activities that Butlin's offers, whatever the weather.
WHAT’S COMING UP
Some of the most successful acts from TV talent shows in England and America are among the star
names appearing at Butlin’s this year.
Winners of Britain’s Got Talent, American’s Got Talent, X-Factor and Britain’s Got Talent: The
Champions will all perform live at Butlin’s three resorts in Bognor Regis, Minehead and Skegness.
Diversity, who were Britain’s Got Talent champions in 2009, make a welcome return during school
summer holiday midweek breaks with a new show as well as the chance for your youngsters to be
taught the moves by the boys themselves in the Diversity Dance Academies.
Ventriloquist Paul Zerdin – America’s Got Talent Winner in 2015 - brings his hilarious show to
weekends during school summer holidays.
The winners of X-Factor in 2017, Rak-Su are appearing live at Butlin’s for the first time in 2020 and
will feature on selected school summer holiday weekend breaks.
Twist and Pulse were recently crowned winners of Britain’s Got Talent: The Champions, and they will
be bringing their street dance to Butlin’s during selected school summer holiday weekend breaks.
A unique live show featuring dance and acrobatics with stunning LED light costumes will feature at
Butlin’s this year.
The Electric Circus brings together a range of different acts for the first time ever on the same stage,
delivering a live show that is as stunning for its amazing lights as it is for the skills and dexterity on
Electric Circus will be at Butlin’s during, Easter, May half term, October half term breaks, Christmas
Fantasy weekends, Christmas and New Year breaks.
For more information about breaks in Minehead or the other two Butlin's resorts, visit www.butlins.com