To kickstart my ‘When Jon Visited’ series, I took a trip to Butlins, in Skegness, for one of its famous adult weekends.
So I travelled across the fields of Lincolnshire and back in time to a 60s weekend at Butlins where everybody was dressed as John Lennon, Tina Turner and….. anything they really fancied (be it 60s themed or not). In fact it was the first time I felt like the proverbial sore thumb for not being dressed up. All these revellers had come to drink their body weight in spirits and listen to tribute acts of some of their favourite musicians from the past; including, ofcourse, the compulsory Elvis impersonator (who was actually pretty good).
But these adult weekends are not a rare occurrence. Jan, from Solihull, told me: “I’ve been here five times this year and I’m coming back on the 27th for New Years and Christmas”. So what makes holiday makers come back for more?
The alcohol prices belong down south, your choice of food is Burger King or pre-heated Spar grub, the pool is only open 5 hours a day and you could always swim in the North Sea if you don’t mind contracting pneumonia. Even the town of Skegness looks like it lost out in a competition with Hastings to be situated on the coast of the English Channel.
But the grim scenery is overshadowed by the wild bunch of people dressed as teddy boys and gangsters all just enjoying themselves, and making sure everybody else does too.
So if you are under the age of thirty and the idea of visiting Butlins for a 60s weekend sounds horrific, give it a try before you knock it. If you can handle the brisk weather, and the occasional dig for having a non-alcoholic drink before midday, then you may be surprised at how enjoyable the weekend can actually be.