Oh, what delightful times we’ve had!

1930s

Skegness opened on 11 April 1936 and within a year it had doubled in size; it was officially opened by Amy Johnson, the first woman to fly solo from England to Australia. Two years later Billy Butlin's chose Clacton-on-Sea for his second camp.

1940s

To help with the war efforts, Billy’s existing camps were given over to the government. Clacton became an Army camp and Skegness became HMS Royal Arthur. Billy was already building a new resort at Filey but was asked to finish it so that it could be used by the military too, and he was also asked to locate and build another two camps at Ayr and Pwllheli, both of which he bought back at the end of the war.

1950s

Indoor heated pools designed to be used ‘whatever the weather’ opened at Ayr, Clacton, Pwllheli and Skegness. And after holidaying in the Caribbean, Billy sees a gap in the market and opens Butlin's Bahamas!

1960s

A further three resorts opened, at Bognor Regis (1960), Minehead (1962) and Barry Island (1966). The 1960s also saw the famous monorails brought to Skegness and Minehead, and other new innovations being opened on the camps including chairlifts, a pool with underwater viewing windows and revolving bars!

1970s

As people fell in love with holidaying abroad, the specialness of the British seaside became lost and the idea of ‘holiday camps’ faded. The Butlin family sold the business to the Rank Organisation.

1980s

1980, a very sad start to the year for Butlin's as Billy passes away. His funeral precession is lined with Redcoats. In 1986 new Water Worlds are built at the remaining resorts. Then in 1989 our Redcoats receive a new uniform designed by Zandra Rhodes.

1990s

The new owners tried to reverse the downturn by building new accommodation and entertainment venues but sadly Mosney, Filey, Clacton and Barry Island all had to be sold, and Ayr and Pwllheli were transferred to Haven. 1999 saw the magnificent and renowned Skyline Pavilions built across all three resorts to cater for the unpredictable Great British weather.

2000s

The new millennium saw Butlin's bought by Bourne Leisure Holdings. In 2003, our beloved Billy Bear character made his debut, and a year later The Spa in Skegness opened. 2005 saw the very exciting completion of our first on-resort hotel, The Shoreline at Bognor Regis, and after it's success our second hotel, the Ocean Hotel, was built in 2009.

2010s

Bognor Regis welcomed it's third hotel, The Wave Hotel in 2012, and a new swimming complex is built at Skegness in 2013. The following year, a new break designed Just For Tots is launched and Butlin's partners with Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital. Last year our West Lakes chalet village in Minehead was opened, as well as our new Seaside Apartments in Skegness. New breaks such as the Astonishing Family Science Weekend, Horrible Histories and Diversity were introduced.

The Butlin's Blog

The Butlin's Blog

Take a look at our blog to keep up-to-date with all of our exciting news, and read more stories about our past and future developments.

Butlin's Heritage Collection - Luxury Holiday Camps

The Butlin's Archive

This year we are excited to announce the launch of our Butlin's archive; working alongside the History of Advertising Trust to collate and bring our history together.

Press Office - Butlin's Radio Skegness

Press Office

If you’d like to contact the Butlins Press Office for information or Press and PR enquiries please email: butlinspressoffice@bourne-leisure.co.uk