The frantic drum beats of the sunny surf anthem Wipeout boomed through the speakers.

As the swell rose, wave after wave began crashing rhythmically on to the shore.

Grinning and squealing, my children pulled me over to the pool where we spent a while bobbing and diving in the electronically simulated surf.

We were among the first to experience Butlins’ new £40million waterpark Splash, which opened at its Bognor Regis resort this Easter.

Along with the walk-in wave pool there’s also the 114.5ft-long helter-skelter waterslide, the four-lane “stick of rock” bumpy slides and the seaside garden rapids.

SPLASH: Butlin’s new £40m waterpark Splash opened at its Bognor Regis resort this Easter (Pic: SUNDAY MIRROR)

These take bathers on a wet and wild outdoor adventure around hairpin bends, slippery slopes and swirling lagoons.

With warmer, shallow tots’ areas, mini-slides, squirting flowers, tipping buckets, a fast flume and Jacuzzis, there’s loads for all ages.

And it’s a third larger than Bognor’s former pool, so there’s plenty of space.

To reflect Butlins’ heritage of traditional family vacations, it has been designed in an art deco style, with a retro colour palette of cheery turquoise, ice-lolly red and sunshine yellow.

It’s also cutting-edge in terms of energy efficiency, water usage and facilities.

 

The changing rooms are spacious enough to fit large families, the lockers are huge, there’s underfloor heating and the complex feels like it’s heated to tropical temperatures.

If you have kids, you have to try this pool – and it’s fun for adults, too.

We were on a three-night break staying at the Wave Hotel, Butlin’s newest accommodation option at Bognor.

A mixture of family-sized hotel rooms and apartments with kitchens, living rooms and balconies, it has its own bar serving cocktails and milkshakes, as well as some very modern food options such as vegan avocado toast and Korean pulled-pork burgers.

My tech-loving kids went crazy for the Wave’s games portal – a futuristic-looking virtual world of iPads, PlayStations and Wii consoles with big screens and bean bags for lounging.

 

helter-skelter waterslide

SLIDE: Along with the walk-in wave pool there’s also a 114.5ft-long helter-skelter waterslide (Pic: SUNDAY MIRROR)

Eating out at Butlins proved to be another big highlight.

Dining packages offer all-you-can eat breakfast and evening meal buffets at the resort’s Deck and Yacht Club eateries.

We went for the resort’s new “dine around” option, which gave us the chance to eat at any of its restaurants, plus you get a free glass of wine, beer or a soft drink.

We tried its trendy new fish and chip restaurant, and the sirloin steaks at the glossy Pub & Kitchen restaurant were cooked perfectly.

There’s so much to do in the daytime at Butlins, including Billy Butlin’s famous fairground, indoor rides for smaller children and a huge, maze-like soft play facility.

There’s also a packed schedule of activities with Butlins’ Redcoats and entertainment team, such as cheerleading, skipping, dance workshops and circus skills. Sports fans will love the fun football sessions tailored to different age groups or the Mitre Football Academy.

 

New for this year is the Discover Animals interactive exhibition featuring spiders, harvest mice and a very pretty-looking corn snake, which my daughter took great delight in wearing as a scarf.

Titan the Robot – a cross between Arnold Schwarzenegger and a giant Transformer toy – also made an appearance, cracking up the crowd with its one-liners, songs and piercing eyes which squirt water at anyone standing in its way.

At night, there are great family shows in the big venues Centre Stage and Reds. On the first evening we saw the new Sleeping Beauty panto.

The Paddington At The Seaside production is a gentle show about the bear’s adventures on holiday, with music and dancing.

Or grab a seat at the Animal Antics show, where host Craig invites children on stage to hold a 10ft snake before putting his sidekick in an I’m A Celeb-style tank full of rats.

 

Animal Antics show

FUN: Grab a seat at the Animal Antics show, where the host invites children to hold a snake (Pic: DAILY MIRROR)

There are also superb musical extravaganzas including The Big White Piano Show celebrating the songs of Elton John, ABBA – Here We Go Again, and Salute – the music of Little Mix.

There are also tribute acts to Ariana Grande, Ed Sheeran and Jess Glynn – all are seriously cool.

Butlins is just so much more than you’d expect.

After a fun-packed weekend, we managed to squeeze in a quick crunch along the pebble beach at Bognor.

“What was your favourite thing about Butlin’s?” I asked my kids as we headed towards the pier.

“The pool, definitely – it’s soooo amazing,” they both agreed.



Source link